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“Tipperary Scutchers” Where Are They Gone?

Back in the late 18th-century spinning wheels were supplied, by the then Irish Linen Board, to Tipperary individuals, in an ambitious scheme undertaken to encourage the growing/farming of Flax.

Nationally, some 60,000 linen workers, became involved, which in turn assisted the development of a vibrant Irish linen industry. Irish Damask linen, developed in the 18th century, would go on to grace the dining tables of Royalty and the lesser landed gentry across the world, thus providing employment at a local level here in Co. Tipperary and nationally for centuries.

Since ancient times, Flax, also known as Linseed, from which linen is manufactured, had been growing in Ireland. Proof of flax curing has been uncovered in Irish bogs, dating back over two thousand years.

Early Irish Brehon Laws dictated that every farmer had to learn and practice the cultivation of Flax. In Tudor times, between 1485 and 1603, the production of linen was so great in Ireland that a law had to be passed banning the practise of ‘leaching’ and ‘water retting’ in rivers, to protect against the poisoning of fish stocks.

[Leaching and Retting: A process employed to facilitate the controlled rotting of cellular tissues, on Flax, thus separating the fibre from the stem of the plant.]

Labourers offloaded their flax plants into ponds, rivers, or retting dams and let it ‘ret’ for up to two weeks. Those farming then set up what were called flax ‘chapels’, rather like ‘stooked’ grain sheaves; latter supporting each other to be dried by the prevailing wind.

Flax sheaves being ‘stooked’

Back in 1796, the Board of Trustees of the Linen and Hempen Manufactures of Ireland (1711-1823) wished to encourage more farmers to grow flax and hemp seed to meet a ready demand. Spinning wheels, and looms, were awarded in proportion to the acreage sown. This incentive, encouraged small farmers to allocate part of their land to flax and hemp crops. County inspectors were appointed to receive claims from the growers and county lists were published as official documents of the Board.

A quarter-acre of flax grown would have qualified for one spinning wheel and for those who grew over five acres, a loom to the value of fifty shillings was granted.

Named Flax Growers of County Tipperary, 1796

NAME Town/VillageCounty
Archer William, Drom,Co. Tipperary.
Brien Patrick,Templebredon,Co. Tipperary.
Brook William, Caher,Co. Tipperary.
Burke Patrick, Nenagh,Co. Tipperary.
Burne Darby, Emly,Co. Tipperary.
Conners James, Nenagh,Co. Tipperary.
Doherty William, Doon,Co. Tipperary.
Henecy John, Cloneen,Co. Tipperary.
Hurley Timothy, Drom,Co. Tipperary.
Keesse David,Emly,Co. Tipperary.
Kinkade Richard, Emly,Co. Tipperary.
Long Robert, Knockgraffon,Co. Tipperary.
M’Donnel Arthur, Nenagh,Co. Tipperary.
M’Donnell Charles, Drom,Co. Tipperary.
Marnane John,Lattin,Co. Tipperary.
Marnane Thomas, Solloghodbeg,Co. Tipperary.
Meagher Daniel,Templebredon,Co. Tipperary.
Murphy Cornelius, Emly,Co. Tipperary.
Parker Roger,Nenagh,Co. Tipperary.
Parker William,Kilmurry,Co. Tipperary.
Parkinson William,Drom,Co. Tipperary.
Ryan James,Capagh,Co. Tipperary.
Ryan Samuel,Nenagh,Co. Tipperary.
Saunders Adam,Doon,Co. Tipperary.
Stokes Mary,Nenagh,Co. Tipperary.
White James,Knockgraffon,Co. Tipperary.

Small cottage industries thrived across Ireland until large factory-type production began in the 1830s, providing water-powered scutching (beating), washing and beetling mills (beetling the pounding of linen or cotton fabric to give a flat, lustrous sheen was achieved). Irish industrialised linen production occupied both men, women and children, latter who worked to steep, scutch, spin, weave and bleach, latter stage using lime.

In the Census of Ireland in 1911 there where 456 people nationally whose occupations are recorded as ‘Flax Scutchers’.

Are there any persons occupied as ‘Scutchersin Co. Tipperary today?


Holycross Village Bi-Weekly Market, Tomorrow Saturday August 21st.

A reminder that the bi-weekly Holycross Village Market is taking place tomorrow, Saturday August 21st, from 1:00pm to 3:00pm.

Ann Lanigan Reports:

“Experience the ultimate village market in Holycross tomorrow afternoon, Saturday, August 21st, from 1:00pm to 3:00pm.

Indulge in a coffee, hot food or an ice cream as you check out all the market has to offer.

Browse the lovely art and crafts stalls and savour local fresh produce including fruit, vegetables, meats and artisan bakes.

Enjoy the live music while the children have their faces painted and hair braided.

There’s something for everyone to enjoy in the beautiful surrounds of the historic village of Holycross , with its ample parking behind the abbey with stewards on hand to help in anyway necessary.”

Spread the word, bring a friend.
We are looking forward to seeing you all there.


Holycross Village Bi-Weekly Market, Tomorrow Saturday August 7th.

A reminder that the bi-weekly Holycross Village Market is taking place tomorrow, Saturday August 7th, from 1:00pm to 3:00pm.

Ann Lanigan Reports:

“Tomorrow is the first of our block of Autumn markets and we look forward to welcoming new vendors including Cathal, an entrepreneurial local student who is bringing a sporting angle with hurleys, sliotars, jerseys, shorts and much more, a must for all GAA enthusiasts.

We have many familiar faces returning with their popular products, including arts and crafts, artisan bakes, hot foods, coffees, healthy breads, free range meats, fruit and vegetables.

There will be live music and poetry to enjoy as you avail of the beautiful surroundings of the historic village of Holycross.

Following on from the outstanding success of ‘The Eco Laundry Egg’ promotion as part of the market Environmental policy, we’re delighted to raise awareness with this market’s Eco promotion “all about the kitchen sink”. These products are not only environmentally friendly, but are also financially sound solutions.

We have stewards on hand to help in any way necessary and there is ample parking behind the Abbey Church.
Check out our social media market updates on Facebook and Instagram or contact us on thevillagemarketholycross@gmail.com


Ireland Continues To Be In Non-Compliance With EU National Emissions Ceiling Directive EPA043112.

  • Ammonia emissions have been non-compliant for 7 out of the last 9 years, driven by the growth of the agriculture sector.
  • Ireland can achieve compliance with the 2030 ceiling for ammonia through full implementation of planned ammonia reduction measures.
  • Ireland is compliant for 2019 with the emissions ceilings under the NEC Directive for nitrogen oxides, non-methane volatile organic compounds and sulphur dioxide.
  • Full implementation of planned policies and measures, including those in the Climate Action Plan that target greenhouse gas emissions, will reduce emissions of air pollutants. Further action may also be required for some pollutants to meet tougher 2030 EU emission limits.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today published a compliance assessment for emissions of five key air pollutants which impact air quality, health and the environment. The pollutants, which are subject to current and future emissions ceilings under the EU National Emissions Ceiling (NEC) Directive, are : –

  • ammonia,
  • non-methane volatile organic compounds,
  • sulphur dioxide,
  • nitrogen oxides and
  • fine particulate matter (PM2.5).

Emissions of other air pollutants and heavy metals not subject to NEC Directive ceilings are also reported on.

This latest report shows that, despite decreasing in 2019, ammonia emissions are still non-compliant with the EU ceiling and have now been non-compliant for 7 out of the last 9 years. Agriculture dominates emissions of ammonia (99%), which arise from animal manures and nitrogen fertiliser. However, there are some encouraging signs of abatement measures being adopted at farm level, with approximately 16% of cattle slurries applied using low emission spreading techniques, avoiding over 3,000 tonnes of ammonia emissions. There was also a four-fold increase, albeit from a low base, in the use of inhibited urea fertiliser products in 2019.

Emissions of nitrogen oxides – primarily from transport and diesel fuelled vehicles in particular – decreased by 9.2% in 2019 as vehicle NOx abatement technologies continue to improve. Emissions of non-methane volatile organic compounds also decreased slightly (1.1%) in 2019. These mostly arise from spirit production in the food and beverage industry, animal manures and fertilisers.

There was a 13.1% decrease in emissions of fine particulate matter due to lower heating requirements in 2019, while emissions of sulphur dioxide continued on a downward trend. Ireland is compliant for 2019 with the emissions ceilings under the NEC Directive for nitrogen oxides, non-methane volatile organic compounds and sulphur dioxide, whilst a ceiling for fine particulate matter doesn’t come into force until 2020.

Ms Sharon Finegan, (Director of the EPA’s Office of Environmental Sustainability) stated:

“Emissions of all air pollutants need to reduce further to protect air quality and health and achieve compliance with EU emissions limits. The National Clean Air Strategy, which is currently being finalised, needs to set out the proposed measures to reduce emissions.
It is encouraging to see ammonia emissions beginning to be addressed at farm level. The assessment shows that Ireland can comply with the 2030 ammonia ceiling but this requires full implementation of measures in the Department of Agriculture’s AgClimatise strategy, and the National Air Pollution Control Programme. ”

Emissions of Sulphur dioxide, particulate matter, ammonia and nitrogen oxides are projected to be compliant with more challenging EU emission ceilings that will apply for 2030, provided planned measures are fully implemented.

Mr Stephen Treacy (EPA Senior Manager) stated:

“Ireland has seen big reductions in the emissions of many air pollutants over the last thirty years, including a 94 per cent fall in Sulphur dioxide emissions and an over 60 per cent drop in fine particulate matter emissions. Further emissions reductions are possible with the right measures in place.
These measures are far reaching and require big changes in the Agriculture, Transport and Energy sectors including switching to cleaner fuels, technology improvements in slurry application and a significant uptake of electric vehicles. Further measures are required to reduce Non- Methane Volatile Organic Compounds emissions to meet the 2030 ceiling for this pollutant.”

These figures take account of the immediate short-term impact of COVID-19 in 2020 and in the first half of 2021.

For further detail on these figures, see the EPA report Ireland’s Air Pollutant Emissions 1990-2030.


Former Bóthar CEO Accused Of Misappropriating Charity Funds.

The Third World development organisation and charity Bóthar, of whom the late great Mr Thomas Joseph (T.J.) Maher, Castlemoyle, Boherlahan, Cashel, Co Tipperary was a founder member, has claimed before the High Court that its former CEO Mr David Moloney has misappropriated hundreds of thousands of euro, donated to the organisation, for his own and his associate’s personal use.

Mr David Moloney, former CEO Bóthar.

On Thursday last Bóthar, whose activities include aiding poor farmers in developing nations through donations of livestock, succeeded in secured a temporary High Court injunction, thus freezing the assets of Mr David Moloney, latter who in February last resigned his post as the charities CEO.

In the High Court Ms Justice Nuala Bulter ordered that Mr Moloney must not reduce his assets below a value of €465,000.

It should be noted that Mr David Moloney who has worked with Bóthar since 1995 and was CEO of the organisation for eight years, and who currently resides at Newport, West Co. Tipperary; strongly denies any allegations of wrongdoing.

However, Bóthar claim that an ongoing investigation into his conduct has revealed that he is guilty of a shocking breach of trust and an appalling dereliction of his duty; not just to Bóthar as an organisation but also to the beneficiaries of the charity.

Mr Frank Beatty SC, appearing with Mr Frank Crean Bl, acting on behalf of Bóthar, stated in court that Bóthar investigations show that at the very least, some €465,000 of monies donated to the charity had been misappropriated by Mr Maloney.

Counsel further stated that arising out of current investigation it is alleged that between 2013 and 2019, the accused Mr Moloney withdrew €192,000 of money, donated to Bóthar, claiming it was paid to a Mission run by the Congregation of Mary Immaculate Sisters in Tanzania, East Africa.

Bóthar claim to have consulted with the administrator in charge at the African mission, who informed them that the religious order was never in receipt of any money from Mr Moloney or indeed the charity Bóthar, itself.

Counsel for Bóthar further stated that Mr Moloney arranged that Bóthar make three payments, totalling €127,000, to a company called Agricultural Innovation Consultants Limited, for services it provided in relation to purported projects in Rwanda. These payments appear to not be recorded in the accounts of A.I.C. Ltd, which was incorporated in 2018, and has since been dissolved. Bóthar now believe the projects in Rwanda were falsified, and it does not know what became of the funding.

Ms Justice Nuala Bulter granted Bóthar the temporary freezing order on an ex-parte basis, where only one side was represented in court. She also gave Bóthar permission to seek orders requiring the defendant in this case to provide a list of the full value or interest he holds in any assets.

The judge also gave Bóthar permission to seek an order requiring Mr Moloney to provide details of all funds donated to the charity, that it is now alleged he used for his own benefit or the benefit of other parties.

Following the decision by Bóthar to commence High Court proceedings, the charity has decided to cease all of its fundraising activities with immediate effect.