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Mostly clear
real feel: 12°C
wind speed: 4 m/s W
sunrise: 5:16 am
sunset: 9:55 pm


Ballad Of A Bard

Ballad Of A Bard

Poem Courtesy of Thurles Author & Poet, Tom Ryan ©

To ramble is to wonder at the majesty of life.
All its rich diversity, serenity and strife.
For many a year I rambled, aye, I met times good and bad,
Some had tea pots for the rambler, and others a dog gone mad.
Oh, it’s weary, on the long road and how my feet get sore,
But what learning is a load, I think I’ll ramble more.
For life’s to me is seeking, till there’s nothing more to see.
You know, now that I think its like eternity.
Often on the darkest road, not even a star for light,
I think of a fixed abode, where never falls the night.
The long and lonely bitter night and the whistling wind and rain
When oft my heart gives way to fright, and my body’s tore with pain.
‘Tis then I ponder journey’s end, cold and old and sad,
‘Tis then I wonder where I’d go, aye, wonder till I’m mad.
But then always dawns the sun, the miracle of the morn.
Broken, broke and bewildered, with the sun I’m newly born.
And Nature, like a Spanish wine, engulfs my soul with joy,
And I go on the road again, but still keep asking why?
Ah, but the weary wherefores, that dull the heart of living,
That tear at the finest thoughts in manner unforgiving.
Ifs and buts and constantly, the never ceasing quest
Sweet birds’ sweetest harmony, is reasonless the best.
Yet, nigh always in my roving, I see strange sights it’s true,
The lonely wonder of the moon, the awesome sea of blue,
Queer things that bother reason and ways beyond the mind,
Aye, and queerest of them all, the goodness of mankind.
I met a widow woman three biscuits were her store
A cup of tea into my hand and then she had no more.
Yet did I see a wonder there that no one could imagine,
The wonder of a heart of care and, aye, it baffles reason.
I think it’s all this giving that nothing can defy
That makes life worth the living and living worth a try.
Just a friendly cup of tea and brown bread, sometimes bacon,
Oft drowns all rationality and reason’s overtaken.
Many a like yarn I’d relate, many a one tomorrow,
‘Tis love transforms the heart of hate, empties the cup of sorrow.
Lowlands, highlands, dale and glen, for many a lifelong season
I have trod time and again and ‘tis love gives me a reason.
Then my pen no longer traces each possibility;
Thank God for the friendly faces, for they are life to me.
For all such is a mirror of that which will not die
All troubles, tears and terror, depart with all the why.
For love was never reason, all reasons of the earth,
My God, my bones were freezing, but joy was in my heart.
Dear God, to whom we wander with every struggling mile.
Scorn not the hearts that ponder, they only sleep awhile.
And one day we will waken with all this rambling o’er,
Never again to reason or wherefore anymore.


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


Not All Of Us Have Jewels To Give.

Not All Of Us Have Jewels To Give.

Poem Courtesy of Thurles Author & Poet, Tom Ryan ©

Not all of us have jewels to give,
Or fine expensive wear,
To one we love beyond all else
With whom our life we share.

Not all of us can dine at night
In elegant hotels,
Or laugh or giggle in delight
At super money deals.

Not all of us can fly abroad
For holidays in the sun,
Nor see the world as one small place
And chat with everyone.

Nature bejewels my lover’s skin,
And elegance her wear,
And when we dine together
Our home has not a peer.

And though we do not fly abroad
For a sojourn in the sun,
We’re just as happy up the road
And bless our days each one.

For we have sunshine all the time,
As joy bejewels the heart.
We drink our health in rich red wine
And never are apart.

There is no more on this good earth,
A laugh a loving kiss,
And sweetest merriment and mirth,
What more can count for bliss?


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


Thurles History Destroyed As Minister Malcolm Noonan’s Office Sleeps.

“Bricks through the window now,
Thieves in the night.
When they rang on her bell,
There was nobody there.
Fresh graffiti sprayed on her door,
Shit wrapped in a newspaper posted onto the floor.”

Extract from that wonderful poem History”, by Carol Ann Duffy, DBE FRSL HonFBA HonFRSE.

A current decision by Dublin City Council planners to grant permission for a proposed demolition of yet another part of Moore Street’s 1916 battlefield site; latter to make way for another office block, has been described as “deplorable”. If relatives of the Signatories to the 1916 Proclamation and the Moore Street Preservation Trust expect help from Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Mr Malcolm Noonan, then forget it and for God’s sake don’t communicate, as we did, by email.
We base this assertion on the Ministers assistance in preventing the total destruction of the Great Famine Double Ditch, once situated at Mill Road, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

Over the past few weeks we have continued to watch as officials of Tipperary County Council and Thurles Municipal District Council combined to further continue to wipe out Thurles History.

Watch the video hereunder and sigh.

You can see from the video, that despite threats of “COVER CCTV” detecting “ENVIRONMENTAL OFFENCES”; the most of these offences I might add, were done by Tipperary County Council and Thurles Municipal District Council, whose combined destruction of this area has continued unabated.

The old 1846/47 stone walls built by starving, emaciated men, have now been totally destroyed in favour of modern wire fencing. This same fencing has removed legal access to the lands on the southern side, of the now destroyed ditch area, formerly identified as Bohereen Keagh [translated from Irish to English ‘Blind Road’]

The old stile entrance appears to has been temporally replaced, with the worst effort at stone masonry that I and many others have ever witnessed. [Compare same with left section of stile built in 1846]. Sadly, none of the original faced stone work was retained. Dog walkers are now beginning to use the stile entrance as an area to dump dog faeces bags.

Thankfully, the perennial Common Spotted Orchid, despite every possible attempt to destroy it, has survived the cement post holes. Alas, other wild flowers have since been replaced by tarmac.

The promise by Councillor Seamus Hanafin in Press and Radio Statements of February 20th, 2022, to the more gullible of his electorate, has, as we suspected, never materialized.
His quote, lest our readers forget, “This coming week contractors will begin site preparation works on the pathway running from Monakeeba to the Mill Road through the double ditches. Some vegetation will be removed and illegal dumping cleaned up“.

Five months later, this filth and unsightly dumped rubbish remains in its entirety; some 3.5 years, after we first highlighted its existence, and today remains currently hidden, courtesy of Mother Nature’s green cloak, until next autumn.

Quite a few of the newly built houses, situated north of the destroyed Great Famine Double Ditch, are now occupied.
To demonstrate their ‘gratitude’, a few of these newly housed persons have already begun to rip numerous vast breaches in the new green chain link fencing, in their efforts to gain access to lands to the south side of the now destroyed Famine Ditch.

With council officials unable to fill a pothole in Thurles streets; same are unlikely to be able to control continued acts of local vandalism to the satisfaction of Thurles taxpayers.


Thurles Shopping Centre Setting High Standards In Thurles.

If you’re out and about visiting Thurles in the coming days; enjoying our summer spell of warm sunshine, please do be sure and take a walk down to the rear of Thurles Shopping Centre. There you’ll find a ‘must see’ wildflower garden, reminiscent of a showcase exhibit at “Bloom” in the Phoenix Park, Dublin.

Congratulations to the Management of Thurles Shopping Centre for not just supporting this wonderful example of biodiversity and urban beauty, but also in providing a new seating area, together with an appropriately sized Litter Bin to handle recycling waste.

“Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey,
Where wealth accumulates, and men decay”

Extract from the poem “The Deserted Village”, by Irish born novelist, playwright, dramatist and poet, Oliver Goldsmith (1728–1774).

In Goldsmith’s poem, “The Deserted Village”, latter published as a poem but also as a political broadside, in 1770; the poet laments the total decline of rural life and the depopulation of the countryside.
Same decline had been brought about as a result of commonage land enclosure, by greedy, wealthy individuals then in power; eventually leading to the destruction of the livelihoods of peasants and subsistence farmers.

“Those fence-less fields the sons of wealth divide
And ev’n the bare-worn common* is denied”.

[* ‘bare-worn common’ – land that was owned by more than one person.]

This poem remains as up to date today, as it did in 1770, when first dedicated to the 18th century English artist Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723 – 1792).
However, today, the then 18th century land grabs by the wealthy and power hungry, have changed name and are known as ‘Local Property Tax’, (LPT), latter introduced in 2013 to provide we were told “a stable funding base for local authorities” and to supposedly deliver “significant structural reform”.

“Thus fares the land, by luxury betrayed:
In nature’s simplest charms at first arrayed;
But verging to decline, its splendours rise,
Its vistas strike, its palaces surprise;
While, scourged by famine from the smiling land,
The mournful peasant leads his humble band;
And while he sinks, without one arm to save,
The country blooms — a garden, and a grave.”

Currently, we reside in a town where elected representatives and highly paid Municipal District Council officials are no longer embarrassed by their abject failure to administrate.

Same was evidenced today when a Government Minister visited the town to officially opened an upgraded Liberty Square and the public were not invited to attend, despite same being invited 4 years ago to contribute their vision for the future of this same town centre area.


Twenty In South West Twenty.

Twenty In South West Twenty.

Courtesy of Thurles Author & Poet, Tom Ryan ©

Hearty with the ale and the hell of it,
And punch drunk on Dylan, the poet of Wales,
The excitable Scot and myself, Mad Paddy,
Surged barefoot through the nocturnal summer rain,
By a railway embankment in Raynes Park,
London South West Twenty.
For we were twenty too.
And oh we forged our dreams
Of high almighty art,
And I would pen the world’s soul,
And he would paint the eternal condition of man.
We sat with a tramp by the railway and envied him,
And bottles of Guinness in hand,
We toasted the thunder
And celebrated the living storm,
And feared not a whit the world,
For we were twenty in South West Twenty
All of many years
And many dreams ago

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