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Two-Mile-Borris Sensory Garden

Exquisite Sensory Garden at
Two-Mile-Borris, Thurles, Co. Tipp.

A well designed sensory garden epitomises the adage that “gardening adds years to your life and life to your years”. Two-Mile-Borris village, near Thurles, in County Tipperary, is home to an exquisite sensory garden that provides enormous benefits both to its visitors and to the local community.

What is a Sensory Garden?
A sensory garden is a garden that is designed to stimulate all five main senses (sight, sound, taste, touch and smell), and in doing so, has been shown to have many and diverse benefits for its visitors.

What are the benefits of a Sensory Garden?
Sensory gardens are associated with multiple benefits, including having a positive impact on our cognition, physical fitness, creativity, mental health and well-being.
In terms of cognition, building and caring for a sensory garden provides ample opportunities for young and old to acquire new knowledge and skills. Planting and playing in a sensory garden can also help to improve fine and gross motor skills.

When it comes to physical fitness, any gardener will tell you that gardens and exercise go hand in hand, whether you are digging, weeding or simply walking outdoors and enjoying the sunshine. A sensory garden, by virtue of its stimulating design, encourages movement, as visitors explore all that it has to offer by way of touch, taste, sight, sound and smell.

Sensory gardens and the role they can play in supporting mental health and well-being is widely recognised. Different sensory experiences can immediately lift our mood, helping us to feel calm or joy. The very act of sitting outdoors and taking in the sights and sounds that nature has to offer, can help alleviate our stress levels.

For children and adults with sensory processing needs and other special needs, sensory gardens are praised for their therapeutic benefits and the opportunities they provide for sensory stimulation, emotional regulation, language experiences and social skills development.

The Two-Mile-Borris sensory garden, in terms of creativity, is a place of magic and wonder for all visitors. The materials and plants have been purposely selected to stimulate our imaginations, in addition to our senses. Life size insects and fantastical structures provide wonderful opportunities for artistic expression and storytelling, both now and into the future.

Apart from the positive impact the Two-Mile-Borris sensory garden has had on the local villagers themselves; situated beside the local primary school it has now also become undeniably beneficial as an additional outdoor classroom. Indeed, under the supervision of Two-Mile-Borris Development Association, many of the wonderful sensory items within the garden have been either constructed or introduced into this area by the local school pupils themselves, thus making this area, “Their Special Place”.

Where can I learn more about Sensory Gardens?
There is no one design for a sensory garden, but all five senses must be represented and there are certain plants and materials that you will typically find in a sensory garden because of their stimulating nature.

To find out more about sensory gardens why not visit this wonderful imaginative garden in Two-Mile-Borris and explore its selection of plants and materials that aim to stimulate touch, taste, sight, sound and smell.
This garden, like all sensory gardens nationwide, has just three simple rules, (1) No dogs to avoid dog fouling; (2) No alcohol consumption; (3) No smoking.

Two-Mile-Borris Development Association are anxious to emphasise that their local village sensory garden was initially the brainchild of the late Ann Commins. Today it stands as a lasting memorial to her creativity, her total dedication and true community spirit.

Thanks to the work of Liz & Philip Quinn, (Stonemad Sculpture Workshops), Holycross, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

A special thanks also to Development Association Chairperson Michelle Maher-King & Treasurer Maeve Russell, for their editorial assistance and continued promotion of this truly remarkable village asset.


Finalist Larry Doherty Wins RTE’s Irish Flora & Fauna Photo Competition

Eye on Nature” Wildlife Photographic Competition

Congratulations to Thurles, Co. Tipperary photographer Mr Larry Doherty, who has won RTÉ’s ‘Mooney Goes Wild’ and ‘The Today Show’ photography competition, announced today.

His macro photograph of an orange ladybird was originally photographed at the Cabragh Wetlands site, situated south of Thurles town.

Mr Doherty was one of only 12 photographers, shortlisted from some 7,000 entries to the competition, and will now receive a trophy and a cash prize of €1,000, for his talented efforts.

Orange ladybirds are a bright orange in appearance, with light brown antennae and between 14 &16 creamy white spots on its outer wing casing. The edges of their wing cases are slightly transparent. They grow in size up to 5mm, feeding mainly on mildew that forms on leaves, together often with the leaves themselves and sometimes small aphids.

Keep an eye out for our orange friend, during the months between March and October, especially on the leaves of ash or sycamore trees.


Two Tipperary Men, Shortlisted For RTE Nature Photography Award.

RTÉ’s ‘Mooney Goes Wild’ and ‘The Today Show’ both launched a photography competition in January 2021, with the aim of celebrating our Irish flora and fauna.

This competition not surprisingly received an massive response, with more than 7,000 entries being forwarded for final adjudication.

The judging panel, which consist of Mr Matthew Jebb (National Botanic Gardens), Mr Niall Hatch (Bird Watch Ireland) and Ms Sheena Jolley (Wildlife Photographer), have now shortlisted the final 12 pictures, with two of the excellent photographs selected; the work of Tipperary photographers.

Finalist Mr Larry Doherty, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, “Orange Ladybird” located at Cabragh Wetlands, Thurles.

Finalist Mr Philip Greaves, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, “Leaf Cutter Bee” spotted in the area of his back garden.

The winner will to be announced on ‘The Today Show‘ tomorrow, St. Patrick’s Day, on RTÉ Radio One, with Mr Derek Mooney himself presenting the winning photographer with a trophy and a cash prize of €1,000.

Best of luck to both men.

In the coming months, it is planned that the exhibition will travel to Office of Public Works sites around Ireland.


Transport Infrastructure Ireland Failing Thurles Town

We here at Thurles.Info always give credit where credit is justified.

To this end we have sought nominations for Thurles Municipal District Councillors Mr Sean Ryan (Fianna Fáil) and Mr Jim Ryan (Independent) to be considered for the Kluge Prize, which recognizes the highest level of achievement and impact on public affairs, and today is considered one of the nation’s most prestigious awards.

According to my copy of the Tipperary Star Newspaper, both men demonstrated what was observed by a reporter as demonstrating unreasonable or foolhardy contempt for danger, by verbally speaking out, accusing Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) of neglect in relation to investment and an overall failed responsibility for roads, here in our rapidly deteriorating Thurles town.

Their remarks were addressed through Mr Marcus O’Connor, (Director of Services Roads, Transportation, Infrastructure), who appears to have taken on the role of Chief Executive (CE) within Tipperary Co. Council, in an as yet unpublished Coup d’état, dislodging the reigning Chief Executive Mr Joe MacGrath.

Mr Marcus O’Connor of course felt that it was not right to be criticizing Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) at this time, because quote “they are playing their part”.

Evidence of failed ability either by Mr Marcus O’Connor himself or TII however is evidenced in the video hereunder.

The video above shows again the same repair work being carried out every 3 days, using cold tarmac; while wasting taxpayers money, through the use of necessary machinery, inferior materials and man hours.

Further along Cabragh Road heading out, towards the stronghold of Mr Michael Lowry TD; run-off areas designed to remove water off the road surface are blocked. Outside Cabragh Business Park the footpath, for at least the past 10 years, has remained 10 centimeters (4 inches) below the actual road surface itself, gathering muck and troughs of water, rendering it useless to pedestrians.

Further wasted Money.
In the past few weeks a new tributary of the river Suir has emerged to flow on the Mill Road, flooding out through the gates and through the walls of residential gardens.

Believing that a pipe had burst, immediately Irish Water were summoned. Tests were done, showed no presence of Chlorine. Thus this water was deemed to be a “newly developed underground spring”.

Today this new river Suir tributary continues to flow along the surface of Mill Road, passing residential houses, local businesses and forcing oncoming pedestrians to use the wrong side of the road.

A few hundred metres further up, on higher ground, the new half completed housing estate is flooding our ‘Double Ditch’ (near to its centre) as the estate builder, now in lockdown, is allowed to drain this land, latter a flood plain of a choked River Suir.

This drain, ripped out by Tipperary Council contractors some years ago, for the first time in its history, now contains thousands of gallons of contaminated water, 1.3 Metres deep (Over 4ft), carrying clay, sand, and what appears to be an oily paint-like substance.

This created trench ripped out at the side of the Great Famine Double Ditch by these Tipperary Council contractors, has no proper drainage pipes connecting it to the river thus allowing this contaminated water to pass through the Double Ditch into the adjoining fields on the other side.

One must ask is this the same water causing this new fast flowing Suir river tributary to appear at a lower level in the Mill Road gardens.

Meanwhile, our video clearly demonstrates the complete failure by Mr Marcus O’Connor and Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) in serving the needs of Thurles town.

Perhaps Mr Marcus O’Connor might like to get up from his office desk and visit the streets of Thurles and surrounding roads, to experience at first hand the failures now being tolerated by the people of Thurles.


Thurles – Looking Back.

Presentation Convent Building, Cathedral Street, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

The Presentation Sisters, first founded by Nano Nagle in 1775, have been involved in education here in Thurles, Co. Tipperary since 1817, where they have dedicated their religious order to serving the people of Thurles and its environs, by providing outstanding primary and secondary education, grounded within the Presentation ethos.

Above Picture: Then East Main Street, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, now today Cathedral Street, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

The above Convent building was erected in 1862, replacing six thatched houses which extended eastwards from Chapel Lane, today the current driveway into the Archbishops residence.

The small residential businesses which the above building replaced had been formerly owned by Patrick Loughlin (Bakery), Martin Clear (Grocery & Bakery), Thomas Tierney (Huckster or a seller of small wares), Edmond Ryan (Pub & Grocery) and John Headon (Shoe Maker). All latter houses had been in disrepair after previously being destroyed in the hurricane wind of January 6th 1839; the night of the Big Wind.

Presentation Building today, Friday January 22nd 2021.

Interesting to note above the differences between todays image and the earlier picture, latter possibly taken in the early part of the 20th century.

Note, the high wall with its Palladian arch style entrance is gone replaced by a low wall with railings. Also, note the Palladian style, half-moon or eyebrow arched windows, prominent in the centre portion of the earlier building, have also been altered, as indeed have the original centre single sash windows. Some chimneys have also been removed.

Note: Palladian architecture was a neoclassical style of building design created by Andrea Palladio, an early 16th century Italian Renaissance architect, who was greatly influenced by Roman and Greek architectonics.