In Search Of Mr He Knows Me – Short Story by Tom Ryan.

There is something I have been trying to figure out for a long time; just who actually is He Knows Me?

Every time I return from work my neighbour tells me this person called, with urgency scrawled all over his face, enquiring as to my whereabouts.
When my neighbour asks “whom should I say called”, the reply invariably is: “He Knows Me.”
I never really take those three words literally. Would you if you were living near a large town and working as a news reporter?

So, I guess it has to be some trendy person whose parents would not settle for some humble name like Mick, Con or Pat for their much adored offspring.

Maybe they saw, at this mysterious person’s birth, the light of genius and immortality shining out of the baby blue eyes of Master He Knows Me, and so decided this gift to humanity should not be saddled with any ordinary plain name. And, figuring their baby was inevitably going to be a celebrity, they christened him by the rather august name, ‘He Knows Me’. That was one name that would sure stick in peoples’ minds, these proud parents probably reckoned.

At any rate, I have never once met Mr He Knows Me, and my curiosity is only bursting to find out his identity. Could somebody help me? If you ever see a person called, He Knows Me, do send him up to my house immediately. Tell him I have been seeking his acquaintance for years without any success.

And if we don’t see him soon, perhaps over a cup of tea, to discuss all those millions of things he called about over the years, I shall feel my living has been totally in vain.

You see Mr He Knows Me is as integral a part of my life, as are the wild cinnamon cats in the back garden, the dog beside the fire, or the lucky black cat in the children’s hobby-house, positioned on the tree beside my kitchen window sill.

Somehow, I feel Mr He Knows Me might think I am ignoring his company. Really, if I knew his address I would probably send a greeting card at Christmas, or St Patrick’s Day or even at Easter. But presently as for Mr He Knows Me’s age, name, address, background, hobbies and interests, romantic associations (if any), I remain completely in the dark. It’s all so perplexing; almost as perplexing and infuriating as that other person who calls to the house on the odd time.
He too has a rather uncommon name. He’s called “I’ll See Him Again”, which I can safely say that I never do. But that’s quite another story!

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


Thurles News Summary – March 20th 2024.

Thurles Town News In Brief.

Thurles.Info’s ‘eye in the sky’ sent back some rather disturbing images this morning. The first issue was the wanton destruction, by some ‘uncouth barbarians’, of public bench-seating, situated in the Cabragh-Ballycurrane area, close to the now redundant old Sugar Factory and closer still to the Thurles Top Oil Depot, on Route 659, south west of Thurles town.

Over this St Patrick’s weekend, vandals struck, severely damaging community seating, which had a wheelchair accessible plinth (rectangular block base).

Public bench-seating in Thurles destroyed in an act of vandalism.

As locals are probably aware, this facility, over the years, was been widely used by both young, old and infirmed, e.g. those attending the Thurles Rehab Care Resource Centre, and in more recent times the Ukrainian Refugees, based at the old Sugar Factory, on Cabra Road.

This bench-seating plinth, was put in place, and paid for, some years ago by the local residents association in conjunction with Thurles Lions Club. This weekend was the first time that it was vandalised and sprayed with paint.

Hopefully our local authority will see the benefit in rushing out, to undertake necessary repairs to this community seating.

Another Bent Post.

Our second image demonstrates a failure brought about, once again, by Tipperary Co. Council’s failure to employ qualified engineers.
The picture, immediately above, shows yet another bent signpost, adding to the very large number of other bent and misleading signposts, stretched right across the town, being ignored for years.

The third picture, however, was the most upsetting personally for me. You will remember I broke the news that Thurles were in the lead to win 5 national awards in the “National Pothole Awards Competition”.

Sadly, this act carried out at 10:45 Greenwich Mean Time, this morning, will, I greatly fear, put an end to any hope of our 5 awards, as promised.

Yet Another Three Day, Single, Crater Filling, Exercise.

As you can see from the image above, our ‘Eye in the Sky’ caught a glimps of a JCB attempting, for the second time in just 6 days, to fill the same single pothole on Kickham Street, Dublin Road, Thurles.
Thankfully, none of the other 48 craters were filled in, so I suppose we should be grateful to the town’s Administrator, her local Engineer and the Chief Executive of the County Council.

One nearby neighbour, in an effort to remove my frustration and my down cast fizzog, said that the new crater filling, put in place this morning, should be gone again, over the next two days, and hopefully long before the adjudicators reach their expected final decisions. (So least said in case judges are out and about).
Luckily the JCB operator left the filling to exiting traffic, to put pressure on the craters filling, in the knowledge that he would be back again on Friday or Monday, at the latest.

It’s a funny country, our little Ireland; we give out about the cost of medical health issues and funds spent by the HSE, yet we ignore, completely, the sheer waste of taxpayer money spent at Local Government and Municipal District Council level.


Thurles Town Leads In Nominations For 5 Coveted National Awards.

Breaking News!

Thurles.Info are proud to inform its readers that Thurles Town has been nominated for no less than five Irish National Awards, for the first time in the Town’s history.

We attempted to contact Ms Sharon Scully (Thurles District Administrator) to announce the news, on Thursday March 14th last, however Ms Scully failed to answer her telephone.

We then attempted to contact Tipperary Co. Council’s Chief Executive Mr Joe MacGrath, however all we got was the usual automated email reply which read; [(Thu, 14th Mar, 11:25) “I am away from my office until Wednesday 20th March, 2024. Please re-send your email to, if this matter requires urgent attention. Since it wasn’t, we didn’t.

Full details of these “Five Irish National Awards”, (much coveted by other competing counties I might add), were contained in a communication delivered by registered post, to the offices of Thurles.Info. today.

The communication received reads as follows:-

Dear Mr. Willoughby,
It is with great pleasure that I, as President of the Pothole Preservation Society of Ireland (PPSI), can inform you that Thurles has swept the boards in our annual “National Pothole Awards Competition”.

As you will be possibly aware the foundation of our Society came about because of the need to maintain the high standard and quality of all road potholes in Ireland, and to recognise and reward those local authorities who contribute to the making of new potholes and who also support the improvement of those already in existence, by not filling them in, thus destroying their original structure and cultural Irish diversity.

You have highlighted the pothole situation on many occasions with fine photographs from your local area and a number of these are now on permanent display in our Library.

As you know, potholes have been an intrinsic part of our heritage for centuries, in fact ever since the invention of the wheel. It is a matter of record that many blacksmiths all over our green and pleasant land, have made a good living, for many years, from the refurbishing of wheels on donkey carts, horse-drawn carriages and caravans, as a result of the careless driving through, rather than around, our nation’s numerous potholes.

Similarly, in modern times, tyre companies have contributed greatly in reducing unemployment figures as they attend to the needs of motorists who fail to recognise the need to avoid potholes at all times, especially at night. Speaking of which, our Society is extremely conscious of the difficulty of this latter point raised, and is presently engaged in active discussion with the Road Safety Authority on the possibility of providing Pothole Warning Lights (PWL), for night-time driving.


Judging of all the major towns in Ireland has just been completed and, while the final official ratings from our headquarters will not be available for some weeks. Delay is due to the practice by some County Councils, who insist on filling potholes that have already been nominated for an award.

However, I am in a position to inform you that, to-date, Thurles has been awarded first place in all of our major categories.

These categories include:

  • Highest Overall Number of Potholes.
  • Lowest Number of Streets with no Potholes.
  • Highest Number of Potholes impossible to avoid while driving.
  • Potholes that simply will not vanish.
  • First-time Potholes Filled In, but still causing serious bumps while driving.

Your town of Thurles is expected to finish top of the list outstripping, by a huge majority, all other leading contenders in their race for National Award recognition.

It is a matter of great pride for our Society to highlight the fact that the municipal authority, within the Thurles Town Municipal District area, has set new standards of preservation with regards non maintenance of potholes in the town and its environs. and have set new standards for others that will be most difficult to emulate into the future.

Yours sincerely,
T. R. McAdam, Honorary Secretary,
(Pothole Preservation Society of Ireland).

Readers please keep your fingers crossed, the race is on.


When In A Hole, Stop Digging.

Surface of Kickham Street Thurles, regularly travelled by Thurles Town’s two TD.

As a boy caught involved in some mischief, it was a regular phrase conveyed verbally by my grandmother Liza Jane, which out of respect resulted in my immediate head bowed silence. “Always when in a hole, stop digging George”, that wise old woman would say.

On Friday March 8th, the family amendment, which proposed extending the meaning of family beyond one defined by marriage and to include those based on durable relationships, lost, (67.7% to 32.3%).

The second care amendment, latter which proposed deleting references to a woman’s role within the home and replacing it with a new article acknowledging family care, not surprisingly, also lost, (73.9% to 26.1%).

According to the Irish Independent newspaper, Tipperary Fine Gael Senator Mr Garret Ahern went abroad last weekend and failed to cast his vote on both Irish Constitutionnal Amendments. Which reminds me, I will book a flight abroad, in advance of the next General Election.

Fianna Fáil Senator, Ms Lisa Chambers, latter a contestant for the European elections expected in June next, and a former barrister; yes I repeat “a former barrister”, and leader of Fianna Fáil in the Seanad since June 2020, has confirmed that she had voted No in the recent referendum; despite canvassing for a Yes vote in Dublin city centre, last month.

Cavan/Monaghan Fianna Fáil Deputy, Ms Niamh Smyth, also canvassed for a Yes vote on the Care and Family referendums, but had voted No on her election paper. But then Fianna Fáil blood flows deep in Ms Niamh Smyth, what with her being a grandniece of former Minister Paddy Smith.

Meanwhile, here in Thurles, according to RTE, Fianna Fáil TD Mr Jackie Cahill stated, quote; “I think this is a serious wake up call for us. We need to start listening to the ‘ordinary people‘ on the ground. We’re doing things in Government that they don’t agree with”.
Mr Cahill was elected to Dáil Éireann in 2016 and was, prior to that, a member of Tipperary County Council from 2014 to 2016. Was it the ordinary people who elected Mr Cahill, or was it some higher power?

No matter, we now fully understand why Thurles has no ‘Ring Road’, no ‘Inner Relief Road’, no Local Employment’, yes we fully understand why Thurles has ‘Potholed streets’, reminicent of the moon’s surface, and works to upgrade the ‘drainage infrastructure’ in Thurles may not be completed until 2029. It appears that it is all because Mr Jackie Cahill and Fianna Fáil have not been listening to those annoying ordinary people.


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.