Death Of Sr Colombiere Costello, Late Of Drom, Co. Tipperary.

It was with great sadness that we learned of the death, yesterday Tuesday 20th February 2024, of Sr Colombiere Costello, Presentation Convent, Parnell Street, Kilkenny City, Co. Kilkenny and late of Kilvilcorris, Drom, Templemore, Co. Tipperary.

Pre-deceased by her parents John and Bridget, sisters Bridie, Nora, Mary, Tessie (Sr. Clement I. C.) and Una (Sr. Rosarii R. S. M.) and her brother Tom; Sr Colombiere passed away peacefully, while in the care of staff at Gowran Abbey Nursing Home, Gowran, Co. Kilkenny.

Her passing is most deeply regretted and sadly missed by her nieces and nephews, grandnephews, grandnieces, extended relatives, her Presentation Community, and friends.

Requiescat in Pace.

Funeral Arrangements.

The earthly remains of Sr Colombiere will repose at her Convent Chapel from 3:00pm on tomorrow afternoon, Thursday February 22nd, concluding with evening prayer at 5:30pm.
Requiem Mass for Sr Colombiere will be celebrated in St. Mary’s Cathedral, James’s Street Gardens, Kilkenny, on Friday morning at 11:30am, followed by interment, immediately afterwards, in St Kieran’s Cemetery, Hebron Road, Co.Kilkenny.

For those persons who are unable to attend Requiem Mass for Sr Colombiere, same can be viewed streamed live online, HERE.

The extended Costello family wish to express their appreciation for your understanding at this difficult time, and have made arrangements for those persons wishing to send messages of condolence, to use the link shown HERE.

Suaimhneas síoraí dá h-anam dílis i dteannta na Naomh agus na n-aingeal.


Death Of Therese Ely, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

It was with great sadness that we learned of the death, yesterday Sunday 18th February 2024 of Mrs Therese Ely (née O’Donovan), Garranroe, Moyne, Thurles, Co. Tipperary and formerly of Church Street, Toomevara, Co Tipperary.

Pre-deceased by her parents Jack and Maura; Mrs Ely passed away peacefully at Tipperary University Hospital, Clonmel, surrounded by her loving family.

Her passing is most deeply regretted and sadly missed by her loving husband Gerard, devoted daughter Ancuta and her beloved grand-daughter Mia, sisters Mary and Eileen, brothers Michael and John, aunts Peggy (Connolly) and Bríd (Meaney), niece Ruth, nephews John and Rory, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, cousins, extended relatives, neighbours and friends.

Requiescat in Pace.

Funeral Arrangements.

The earthly remains of Mrs Ely will repose at Hugh Ryan’s Funeral Home, Slievenamon Road, Thurles [E41 CP59] on Tuesday afternoon, February 20th from 5:00pm until 7:00pm same evening.
Her remains will be received into the Cathedral of the Assumption, Cathedral Street, Thurles on Wednesday morning February 21st, at 10:30am to further repose for Requiem Mass at 11:00am, followed by interment, immediately afterwards in St Mary’s Cemetery, Moyne, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

For those persons who are unable to attend Requiem Mass for Mrs Ely, same can be viewed streamed live online, HERE.

The extended Ely family wish to express their appreciation for your understanding at this difficult time, and have made arrangements for those persons wishing to send messages of condolence, to use the link shown HERE.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a h-anam dílis.


Can A “Blow- In” Be Ever One Of Us?

A story from the pen Of Author & Poet Tom Ryan, who calls for the immediate setting up of a Government Department for ‘Blow-ins’.
Tom ironically points out, tongue in cheek, that we have a Department for Foreign Affairs for Foreigners; some sort of Department of Internal Affairs for those residing here at home, but divil a Department for those unfortunate craythurs, better known in communities as ‘blow-ins’.

We invite you to read on.

Blowing in.

One of the most pathetic of rural institutions is that enigmatic personage known euphemistically as a ‘blow-in’.
I have spent the greater portion of my life attempting to define and rationalise the character of both the ‘blow-in’ and the people with whom he associates, the ‘Ould Stock’.

Firstly, the ‘blow-in’ is a citizen of no mean city and, presumably, of no good one either. Indeed, in retrospect, he is perhaps a tale of two cities, the one in which he was born and the other in which he is now a dark stranger, coming to live among natives.
He is an eternal wanderer, a socially-acceptable rambler, and his heart is restless. For he will never receive acceptance in his adopted abode, as in the manner of the native. After a certain period away from home, he will become a ‘blow-in’, within the confines of his own parish. Which or whether, he is a sorry loser.

Now, why the ‘blow-in’ should be such a slighted dignitary I do not know. But slighted he is. And I have known a wretch to devote some forty years of his time and talents to a parish, only to hear at his graveside: “Arrah, he was a ‘blow-in’, the craythur, but sure we will not hold that against the poor divil now.”
By the same token, I have heard a convicted blaggard righteously defended on the grounds that he was surely led astray by the ‘blow-ins’ of the parish, who should never have been allowed to set foot on native soil in the first place.
I have since learned that all goodness and virtue and graciousness is in the natives, and that every evil is inherent in the heart of a ‘blow-in’.

There is no middle course, and he, who would attempt to establish such a compromise is in dire danger of being found hanged in the haggard or worse still, of being sent to Coventry, like the very “blow-in” himself.

It is indeed, a serious matter, and little, if anything, is being done to remedy the situation. We have a Department for Foreign Affairs for Foreigners, some sort of Department of Internal Affairs for the ones at home, but divil a Department for the unfortunate craythurs referred to as “blow-ins”.

A great discrimination defies human rights, and we acquiesce in apathy and aloofness. We would sooner face a mad bull in a field than face up to this problem!

Rural society has many ways of sticking the ‘blow -in’s’ head into the muck, mud and manure. He could come into his new parish to teach, farm or just to inhabit a humble cottage and, if he is a teacher,he might be selected Secretary of the Parish Hall Renovation Committee or P.R.O of the Dramatic Society. Usually, he thinks he has made it in society if he progresses thus far to such an appointment. But, he is a right gomalog of a fool if he believes this. For he is only being used, and even a public ‘thank you’ for his efforts is tempered with the follow-through: “And he not even one of us.” No, the “blow-in” can never hope to win. He may as well try to sow barley on cement.

The ‘blow-in’ will seldom, if ever, play hurling for the parish. The parish would never have it said that they could not win by the sole efforts of the ash-wielders from the parish alone. No, faith, they would sooner be beaten into the ground by the neighbouring parish and be able to hold up their heads to declare: “We (natives and ould stock) did it OUR way“. Then they proceed to kick the head off the goalie for letting in 18 goals, in front of the ‘blow-in’ who, once upon a time, played inter-county for another county.

Alas, but in the country we set too much store on and attach too much importance to the vague notion of “knowing your place”. I think it may simply be an over-reaction, and a delayed over-reaction at that, to Diarmuid Mac Murrough going over to England and bringing back a brigade of “blow-ins,” who are still with us. Indeed, any of us could be a descendant of that brigade. But only the mighty-minded will believe the latter idea.
Yet, not all ‘blow-ins’ were treated with dishonour and disregard. Indeed, you might say that the greatest ‘blow-in’ of all, for whom the Gaels have the greatest reverence, was the rustic Welshman who is our National Saint – St Patrick. It is a matter of history that not a few of our most honoured and hallowed citizens in high places were born very far indeed from Dingle Bay and Malin Head.
In this controversial matter, the discussion of which is detrimental to people with blood pressure problems; blood is thicker than water. There are long horns on the cattle overseas, but what about the ones from the parish next door?
The world is a cantankerously peculiar place. But we have to live in it, somewhere. All the world is a stage but the ‘blow-in’ is never the hero. Always he is the anti-hero, who must invariably come to no good end. He is the perennial fall guy in the comedy of country manners and mindlessness.

The partner of mine who is a ‘blow-in’ (‘runner-in’, they say up there) in our parish from Dalkey , says sagely: “Honour and fame are no respecters of blow-inism; rather it is the person who matters”
Fair enough. But what happens when the ‘blow-in’ starts to run the parish and starts acting as if he owned the place, acting like a lord of the manor?
Dearie me – the disease is contagious. A native is an unnatural thing!

Tom Ryan, ”Iona”, Rahealty, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.


St Brigid, Imbolc & Co. Tipperary.

February 1st is St Brigid’s Day, the feast day of Ireland’s Patroness Saint, St Brigid. In pre-Christian times February 1st was also known as Imbolc or Imbolg, the ancient festival marking the beginning of spring. February 1st and the Imbolc celebration marked the halfway point between the winter solstice (Yule) and the spring equinox (Ostara).

The goddess Brigid was considered one of the most powerful Celtic gods, the daughter of the Dagda, the oldest god in the Celtic pantheon Tuatha du Danann.

Historically, the traditions were widely observed throughout Ireland, with Imbolc one of four ancient seasonal festivals, together with the other three; Beltane, Lughnasadh and Samhain.

Many scholars opine that when Ireland converted to Christianity, it was hard to convince people to get rid of their old gods, thus the goddess Brigid was adopted into Christianity as St Brigid.

It is interesting to note that ‘Imbolg derives from the old Irish word ‘imbolc’ meaning “in the belly”, indicating that the seeds of spring were beginning to stir in the belly of Mother Earth. Therefore one could be forgiven for wondering if there could be an association with the word Imbolc and the numerous Sheela na Gig’s located across Co. Tipperary and indeed Ireland; which we now hope those involved in Tourism promotion will take on board. View Here.

Since 2023, St Brigid’s Day has become an annual public holiday here in the Republic of Ireland and so we wish all our readers a very Happy St Brigid’s Day.


Put Out Your Bratóg Bríde Tonight For A Year of Better Health.

Have you ever heard of the Brat Bríde or Bratóg Bríde (roughly translating from Irish as Brigid’s Rag)?

It’s an old Irish tradition in honour of St Brigid. Long ago it was the custom to tie a small piece of cloth to a bush on January 31st, the eve of St Brigid’s Day, February 1st.

Bratóg Bríde (Brigid’s Rag)

Overnight it was believed that the cloth would be blessed by St Brigid and conferred with healing properties. It was then worn under clothing to protect against sickness, relieve headaches and cure toothaches.

It was particularly important for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers, because it was said to help women to produce enough nourishing milk to feed their babies.

This fascinating ancient tradition is currently being highlighted by the “Monasterevin Women’s Collective in Honour of St Brigid” and is among a host of initiatives and activities taking place across Ireland as part of Brigid 1500 celebrations this year, 2024.