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sunrise: 8:15 am
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Mother Nature Confused In Thurles.

Mother Nature continues to remain somewhat confused here in Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

Pics: G. Willoughby

Berberis (Barberry) (Top Picture Above)
The attractive, easy-to-grow, evergreen shrub Berberis (Barberry) loved for its abundant bright orange flowers, which are normally expected in late March to May, was in bloom yesterday, some 5 months early.
These evergreens shrubs bear small blue-black shaded berries much loved by our feathered friends, (birds).

Primroses (Irish: Sabhaircín) (Bottom Picture Above)
Meanwhile, our dainty and colourful wild primroses (from the Latin word ‘primus’, meaning ‘first’.) which can be found decorating grassy banks, woodlands and roadsides, have not been fooled and appear to be on schedule to bloom in early or mid-December.

Both the flowers and leaves of the Primrose are edible; the flavour ranging between mild lettuce and more bitter salad greens.

More importantly, Primroses are beneficial as an excellent early source of nectar for bees, as well as an attractive flower to brighten up your outdoor spaces.

Also keep in mind that according to Irish folklore, when primroses are positioned near your front doorway, same protects your home from an unwelcome visit by the fairies. In Ireland, fairies were blamed for stealing babies and children, especially boys with blue eyes and fair hair, leaving fairy substitutes in their place; so do take care. You have been warned.

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November 2nd, “All Soul’s Day”

Perhaps it’s being caused by climate change, global warming, or the current mild weather being experience here in Ireland. Either way, it appears that some ghosts, phantom ghouls and wandering souls are reluctant to return to that place of departed spirits, as I experienced and photographed, while passing a local graveyard tonight. [Thank goodness the gate was locked.]

In earlier times people would dread being out late on the eve of November 2nd, “All Soul’s Day” as ghosts were said to be observed in the most isolated of places, especially in rural graveyards.

People would remain at home and would refrain from going out after dark, thus avoiding walking on or indeed with the dead.

So deep was the belief that households would sit around a blazing fire, relating stories about their memories of ancestors, before retiring early to their beds.

However, going early to bed would not take place before leaving the house ready for any visiting dead. The door on this night would remain unlocked in rural areas; while in larger towns and cities a window was left open instead, and for obvious reasons. A big fire was put down before going to bed and hot ashes (Irish -gríosach) were never raked out on that night.

No water could be thrown outside on All Souls’ Day, as they could be accidently throwing it into the faces of invisible wandering soul’s.

If people gave money to a poor man calling to their door on All Souls Day, the householder could expect great luck within the next 12 months.

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Thurles Man Mikey Ryan Updates Info. On Death Of Johnny Hayes.

It had come to my attention that I hadn’t seen Johnny Hayes, from the Watery Mall, in recent weeks. So, when I ran into Mikey Ryan in the Arch Bar here in Thurles, last night, I broached the question as to where he might have suddenly vanished.

Mikey had just come off his iPhone, having organising his costume for the 56th annual Littleton “Star Treck” celebrations, this coming month.
[By the way, this year Mikey hopes to win the best costume competition. He is appearing, wearing a ‘Tree Trunk’, representing the ‘Captains Log’.]

“No sure it would be strange if you had seen him”, said Mikey, “Sure Johnny’s resting above in St. Patricks”.

“Holy God and his Mother”, said I, “I never heard; how long is he dead?”

“If he had lived until next Saturday”, said Mikey, “he’d have been dead a full month”.

“Good Lord, I’m totally shocked”, said I, “Sure last time we met he was in great form; how did he die?

“Ah, it was nothing serious”, said Mikey, “It was a workplace accident, didn’t a Tipperary Co. Council stream roller run over his fingers”.

“But sure that wouldn’t kill a strong, healthy man like Johnny”, said I.

“Indeed it would”, said Mikey, “Sure wasn’t he picking his nose at the time”.

“God love him, he was fierce unlucky. Then again it was always the case with Johnny, as long as I knew him anyway; if he had been playing doctors and nurses, he’d have been the ambulance driver”, continued Mikey.

“Two half ones there, Pat,” said I, “and we’ll raise a glass to his memory”.

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Thurles Film Stars Unite In “The Banshees of Inisherin”.

While only released officially this month, [October 21st, 2022] the film, “The Banshees of Inisherin” [Runtime: 113 minutes], is already available, two days later, here to view in Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

Opening this afternoon to rave reviews; three of the film’s well known stars, Brendan Gleeson, Kerry Condon and Pat Shortt; are no strangers to Thurles town, with the latter two named, both born and educated here in the Cathedral town.

Directed by Martin McDonagh, [“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”]; the story tells of a pair of lifelong friends, on a remote Irish island, (set on the Irish Arran Islands), who find themselves at an awkward period in their relationship, when one of them no longer wants to be friends with the other.

Pádraic (played by Colin Farrell), latter an affable and kind man living on a fictional remote island known as Inisherin, suddenly has his world seriously shaken when his former close friend Colm (latter played by Brendan Gleeson), chooses to cut off their previously enjoyed, lifelong friendship.
What begins as a minor squabble between both of these former old friends, soon sends shockwaves throughout their small close-knit community, thus causing everyone, from Pádraic’s sister Siobhán (Played by Thurles born Kerry Condon) to the local parish priest, to inquire as to the cause of Colm’s sudden active hatred.

Well worth viewing at the IMC cinemas here in the Thurles Shopping Centre.

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Thurles.Info’s Guide To Locating Blocked Drains.

You can’t trust sewage or drainage pipes….They’re full of crap.

You would think that following the major flooding of our Thurles streets, last Sundays night; which saw 73.2mm to 125mm [3 to 5 ins] of sewage, permeated with surface water, flooding business premises and other dwellings, that those who raised our property taxes by 10% each year for the next two years, would have cleaned out our blocked drains.

No, five days later, total failure, I regret to report; as pictured by our drone this morning within the 50 kilometre [30mph] speed limit area, between O’Carroll’s (Top Oil) Service Station and Thurles Lidl Supermarket, on the N62, Slievenamon Road in the town.

N62 Slievenamon Road, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, October 21st 2022.
[Pic. G. Willoughby]

The N62 road is a national secondary road linking the M6 motorway east of Athlone, Co. Westmeath with the M7 motorway south of Roscrea and junction 6 of the M8 motorway close to the Horse and Jockey in Co. Tipperary.

The N62 is well travelled daily by local councillors; Municipal District senior officials and staff.
Because of heavy traffic, our “eye in the sky” was only able to hover over, and photograph just two of some 5 identified blocked drains, all within a 500 meter stretch of this secondary road.

Clue to locating blocked drains.
Since, hopefully, you are driving within the 50 kilometre [30mph] speed limit laid down in this area, recently prone to flooding, it is easy to locate the blocked drains.

N62 Slievenamon Road, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, October 21st 2022.
[Pic. G. Willoughby]

First check for tall Grass; various sprouting Brassicas; (latter genera of plants relatives of the cabbage and mustard family), Dandelines, frost tolerant Common Groundsel and germinating Wheat seed.
Same growth can be located growing, like tiny islands, on tarmacadamed road surfaces, usually located close to kerbs; growing from what appear to be at first potholes.

Here also is yet another clue; Thurles potholes (which we are aware number 3,978, following a more recent count by the Central Statistics Office) are for some unknown reason, usually round, disk shaped, or hoop-shaped on our Tipperary roads. Blocked drains on the other hand, for some strange reason and for the most part are quadrate or rectangular in shape.

Same are used everywhere else in Ireland, except Thurles town, to drain away excess rain and ground water from impervious surfaces, such as paved or tarmacked streets, car parks, parking lots, footpaths, side-walks, and roofs of buildings.
But then Thurles is big into promoting biodiversity, as can be seen by the state of our polluted river Suir, our pavements and our local graveyards.

Section of current Thurles pavement.
[Pic. G. Willoughby]

Once identified, one wonders should Thurles Municipal District Council contact Irish Water; or the Office of Public Works; or maybe Iascach Intíre Éireann (Inland Fisheries Ireland)?
Maybe there is some other government department that Thurles Local Councillors can blame befort shifting responsibility.

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