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Mikey Ryan Relates Story Of Heart Warming Gesture Gotten From A Stranger.

“I read the amazing breaking news that Irish actress and writer, Ms Amy Huberman just revealed, relating to details of a heart-warming gesture she got from a total stranger”, said I to Mikey Ryan, during a recent nightly visit to the Arch Bar in Liberty Square, Thurles.

Arch Bar, Liberty Square, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

“Setting someone on fire could be construed as a heart-warming gesture”, Mikey quickly retorted, “so what’s that one’s story?”

But before I could relate Amy’s breaking news, Mikey began to extol a tale of a heart-warming gesture he had personally experienced himself.

“No word of a lie”, said Mikey, “As you know I used to drive a bus for CIE at one time. It was at that time that I got a tap on my shoulder, and looking into the rear view mirror didn’t I spot two little old lady passengers behind me. One of them is offering me a large handful of peanuts, which not having had much breakfast, I gratefully began munching.
After about 15 minutes, she taps me on my shoulder again, before handing me yet another handful of peanuts.
She must have repeated this gesture about five or six more times and just when she was about to hand me yet another batch; I politely asked this little old dear as to, why she didn’t eat the peanuts herself?”

“The truth is my travelling companion and myself can’t chew peanuts because we’ve got no teeth,” she replied in a low whisper.
“So why do you bother buying them in the first place missus?” I asked her, being somewhat puzzled.

The old lady smiled at me before replying, “We just love sucking the chocolate that they are covered in”.

“Pat, whenever you are ready, give Mikey a pint and you had better give me a half brandy, my stomach is beginning to act up”, said I.


Persons New To Thurles – Ignore Signposting.

So why, for the past 9 weeks, is the signpost offering directions to the town of Nenagh, Co. Tipperary, pointing in the opposite direction; now today continuing to remain angled, pointing down towards Wolfe Tone Place, latter situated at the junction of Westgate and Liberty Square.

Yesterday, in a survey, we asked a few of the locals for their views on this nine week old phenomenon and were offered the following explanations:-

(1) It is an political effort by Fianna Fáil to highlight the annual Wolfe Tone Commemoration, due to take place on the Sunday nearest June 20th 2024, next year in Bodenstown graveyard, Co. Kildare; latter date in June the birthdate of Wolfe Tone, known as the Father of Republicanism.

(2) It’s an effort to avoid the multitude of potholes on every road driving into and driving out of Thurles.

(3) A concerted effort by those who consistently fail to attract tourism to Thurles, to delay visitors, by sending them up a short road that is blocked off at one end; better known by the French word ‘cul-de-sac’ or translated into English ‘bottom of the bag’.

(4) A deliberate attempt by public representatives, including TDs to increase their motor milage, when asked to attend meetings in Nenagh Co. Council offices and Dáil Éireann.

What do I think, you ask?
Well now that you do ask, and having viewed all the other signposts pointing in the wrong direction in Thurles, [e.g. to name but one, the Thurles carpark sign supposedly directing motorists to the new carpark off Liberty Square, ]; other issues, such as the weeds now growing actively up through our pavements; the state of our river Suir, and the overall dowdy appearance of what was once a hive of industry; I would put it down to simply just poor town administration.

Explain for what are we paying Property Tax annually?


No Medal For Village Corrs.

Short Story Courtesy of Thurles Author & Poet, Tom Ryan ©

The city dweller may not be aware of it, but there is a powerful personage whose influence for good or evil in rural Ireland is so great that I doubt if Dail Éireann could even stop him/her in their train. I refer to the village correspondent (‘Corrs’), who is a proud and pontificating part of Ireland’s provincial weekly newspapers and who rules his realm with courtesy, charm and cuteness.

He has come to his profession usually after many long years writing verse or worse, on all manner of people, places and objects, prior to the editor of the weekly signing him on for a remuneration of a few euro a week. But the money, such as it is, means nothing (and is indeed almost nothing), to the country ‘Corrs’. It’s being a ‘Corrs’ that matters (honour before honours), and being one is akin to having the village Mayoral chain of office.

‘Corrs’ could be a verse maker, farmer, poet, playwright and newsmonger or indeed all of these professions. He is at once, like all good honest newspaper folk who do their job without fear or favour; the most feared and loved in the parish. He is also more likely to be the recipient of verbal abuse, than a Staff Reporter on his paper. Being a great mixer, he was often nearest to the anger of him or her who received six months suspended for viciously attacking a harmless lamp post.

“Man receives six months suspended sentence, following attack on Thurles lamp post”.

Indeed, if a Staff Reporter wrote a court report about a character in the ‘Corr’s’ village then the ‘Corrs’ was nearest to the revenge of the defendant. And no sign at all of danger money for the job!

You see, when the village man’s private business becomes public knowledge at the local District Court, where no nonsense Justice Jailward presides, it’s a safe bet that the door of the ‘Corrs’ may be pounded upon that night. It’s no use the ‘Corrs’ telling the angry central character at that day’s District Court drama that he does not cover court cases. He will be branded as “being all the wan as that shower and of the same colour and bad breeding”. They are not pushed about such delicate details. Any scribe’s face will do when their blood is up. All that hassle for a man or woman who is not a member of the National Union of Journalists. They should strike a special NUJ medal for such unsung heroes of the Irish countryside, servants of democracy, after all “fair play is bonny play”.

In the scribe’s village on the Monday of every week you might see a fine flock of pilgrims filing along the boreen by the bog to the editorial cottage of the Scribe.
Many would come away happy after Scribe informs them that their daughter’s 21st birthday party photograph will get an airing in the following week’s paper or the wedding anniversary report or obituary or engagement will be in the week after.
Others who regularly file down that same well-trodden path, with their news bits, include the secretaries of the village community groups such as the GAA , ICA, Macra na Ferime, ICMSA, the darts club, the marbles association, the set-dancing group, the dramatic society, parish council or group water scheme.

But there is also a queue of long faced men and women, whose solemn presence lingers in the air of the Scribe’s lair, long after they have departed his abode. These are the folks who are about to be mentioned or have been already named as defendants in the court columns of the “Weekly Whatsit”.
These mercy seekers can receive no mercy from Scribe in the matter of having their names omitted from ‘the monthly honours list’, as Scribe calls it. For the ultimate arbiter is the newspaper editor, even if Scribe occasionally puts in the good word and character reference for a ‘dacent auld soul who wouldn’t harm a fly and is good to his mother‘, but in the company of good-for-nothing scamps had a pint or more too many, on the night he struck that bleddy lamp post, which is always in everybody’s way anyway.
And all this hassle for a man who is not a member of the National Union of Journalists and whose post carries no pension, holiday entitlements or bonuses, whatsoever.
The NUJ should strike a special medal for the village scribes of Ireland, who are at the coalface of the battle to preserve democracy, decency and Press Freedom in Ireland.
‘Corrs’ are beyond corruption and brown envelopes and it’s well-known such honesty and transparency puts him head and shoulders, in status above everybody else in the parish. For with him there was no hidden agenda. A fact is sacred and commentary is free.

Many years ago I attended a Drama Festival in Thurles, Co. Tipperary. I was a little nervous and just starting out in the business of journalism. But if I suffered from lack of any self-esteem, a Muintir na Tire man soon put that right. He said: “This is Tom Ryan and he is a member of the Press. No matter what, be nice to the Press.” It made sense. Pressmen and women are human and if you bite them, they’ll bite back like any newshound. Be nice and kind to them; ‘butter and jam them up and they’ll cover you in acres of flattering column inch’. It’s only human nature after all.
‘Corrs’ have a brilliant memory for the scandals, vandals, matches, and mismatches and all manner of events and people. He is omniscient. He has a good sense of humour also, as any scribe must have to survive. No harm to keep in with him.

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


Bee Friendly Flowers For Liberty Square, Thurles.

“The Town Centre First policy aims to create town centres that function as viable, vibrant and attractive locations for people to live, work and visit, while also functioning as the service, social, cultural and recreational hub for the local community.”Quote taken from Tipperary Co. Council’s commitment.

Without warning, they struck early this morning. Up came the long ago deceased ‘Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald ‘n’ Gold’. Having tossed a coin, left behind was the still barely surviving small group of rather delicate frail and confused, low-maintenance ‘Potentilla Dasiphora fruticosa ‘White Lady‘; the latter well-known for being resistant to attacks by rabbits in rural areas. (Very important to a rural town like Thurles with a large rabbit population).

Yes, I am talking about that large piece of wasteland, (some in their innocence may have called it a flowerbed), located centre on Liberty Square, Thurles, which for well over a year, has replaced some 20 car-parking spaces, thus driving consumers out of the town centre, to surrender their purchasing power to well-known German supermarket chains.

Here at Thurles.Info we decided, (following on in true Tipperary Co. Council fashion), to employ a landscape consultant and I might add not just any English fly-by-night consultancy.
Regardless of expense we sought the services of that long established landscape consultancy firm of ‘Root In The Hole Ltd,’ ©.

In the interests of fair play they decided to invite the local Thurles community, asking them to submit what they would like to see planted on this waste ground and in keeping with Tipperary Co. Council tradition, those who forwarded submissions were ignored on the basis that elected Co. Councillors and their Council Officials know best.

After the area was surveyed by two top gardening experts, employed by ‘Root In The Hole Ltd’©, same forwarded their findings/recommendations in the form of photographic evidence, shown in the video above.
In Root In The Hole’s report, which we won’t be publishing for fear of embarrassing certain individuals. Suffice is to say; sentences containing text like “Worst landscaping ever observed to date”, appear at least 6 times in the report, and a concluding phrase suggests that the ‘Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald ‘n’ Gold’, at the very least may have been recovered, having been first dumped from a garden centre, on waste ground, before being planted in Liberty Square.

Then again I suppose we could always cement this piece of waste ground over completely and paint a bird on it.

Readers might wonder about the reference to the 18th century weighing scales in our video; same located today in Co. Galway.
This same weighing scales type, which also was used on Liberty Square, sitting on a quadropod, during this same historical period, has now been located and can be made available to Thurles Municipal District Council.
Same could be erected in the centre of this flower bed, to remind us and any lost foreign tourist, of our humble beginnings when, prior to our Liberty Square down-grading, we had a once busy flourishing town centre.


Thurles – What Happened Was!

The Leaning Pedestrian Crossing lighting standard, Brittas Road, Thurles, Co. Tipperary
Pic: George Willoughby.

One of the Pedestrian Crossing lighting standards, situated on Brittas Road, Thurles, (N62) continues to stands, bowing in a northerly four-degree lean.
While some believe this phenomenon is designed as a tourist attraction, and as yet not advertised as part of the 10 things you need to know about Ireland’s Ancient East.
Sorry folks, this is not an attempt to emulate the leaning, yet free-standing bell tower of Pisa in Italy.

What Happened Was!

What happened was that an unsuspecting vehicle driver, obviously a fluent Irish speaker and possibly travelling south, noticed the blatant misspellings and grammar errors relating to two of our directional signposts*. Having briefly taken his/her eyes off the road, a devious Pedestrian Crossing lighting standard; taking advantage of this situation, and without any warning, jumped out in front of the oncoming vehicle, striking it before hopping back into its original place.
No, the qualified Tipperary Council engineers, who have recently taken it upon themselves to construct narrower streets, leaving signposts too close to the edge of pavements are not responsible, as some would secretly claim, latter harbouring such unspoken thoughts behind closed doors.

* Within five hundred yards of each other are two signs both displaying grammatical misspelling of our native language. The housing estate direction sign entitled ‘Cluain Glas‘, (English translation – “Green Field”). Correct spelling should read ‘Cluain Ghlas‘.
Just a few yards closer to Thurles town we find the housing estate direction sign ‘Gort na tSagaire, (English translation – “The field of the priest”). Here we find two mistakes. Correct spelling should read ‘Gort an tSagairt. Latter correct spelling can be found in the official book “Liostaí Logainmneacha Contae Thiobraid Árann (County Tipperary)” same published in 2004, by the place-names Branch of the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.

Three neglected road signs situated on Mill Road, Thurles, all within 800 metres of each other. To avoid a choked Liberty Square; this is the same route now being used to avoid Thurles town centre altogether. For Gardaí anxious to get a few prosecutions under their belts, before the end of each month, this is the place to sit and point your Traffic Radar Gun.
Pic: George Willoughby.

We have highlighted the problem of the “Moving Road Signs of Thurles” previously with Tipperary Co. Council, but due to the unavailability of a workforce, little or no correction has ever been undertaken.
Hopefully, with the grant of €30,000 in funding, to fill two road craters on the long neglected Cuchulain (Cuchulainn) Road Junction, joining this same Brittas Road, someone will have a spanner in their arse pocket, to turn a lurking STOP sign, to face in the right direction.

Signs in the neglected town of Thurles are not to be trusted. (See the picture above). These signs hide behind hedges, turn their faces in the opposite direction and even resort to camouflage, in an effort to fool and confuse unsuspecting, oncoming and unwary motorists.