Upperchurch Walking Festival 2015

Upperchurch, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, this year celebrate ten years of successful walking weekends.


Pictured Above: A select group of walkers leaving Upperchurch village, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, on the ‘Knockalough Walk’.

Details of this years Upperchurch Walking Weekend 2015 to be held on November 6th, 7th and 8th have been announced, as this attractive, world class ‘walking hub’ now celebrates its tenth annual event. This year there will be a much expanded programme of events which will include emigration and reconnecting with the local Diaspora as an associated theme.

New chairman M/s Eileen Ryan has taken over from the long serving Mr Billy Clancy and has brought with her a new energy to the fifty strong team of volunteers, latter who have nourished the Upperchurch Walking Weekend to its present position as one of the most popular such events in the country, with over one thousand participants expected to descend on the rural village for this upcoming event.

There will be ten walks to celebrate each one of the ten years of the festival, along with several associated events such as traditional set dancing and music, a race night, organised cycles and displays on the “Upper Limits”, climbing wall.

The weekend also provides a great opportunity to renew old acquaintances and in keeping with the focus of welcoming home our emigrants there will be a lecture and discussion on the history of emigration from around the area. The much sought after 2015 Upperchurch-Drombane Historical Journal will also be launched during this most enjoyable of walking event.

It is evident that walkers in general have become fitter in recent years and that demand for longer and more challenging walks has therefore increased. While the usual eight to ten kilometre walks on the three local National Loop Walks and the popular night-time walks on the roads, will again be featured, it is the new, specially organised, one off longer walks that appear to catch the interest of the more experienced walkers and those looking for that real challenge.

Featured Walks:
(A) The ‘flagship walk’ of course will again be the 18 km “Hills of Upperchurch Walk”, latter which is strictly for the very fit and experienced.

(B) The 15 km “Farney Castle to Upperchurch Walk” drew a large crowd last year and will be held again with an opportunity for a tour of “Farney Castle” beforehand.

(C) Likewise the “Hollyford – Red Hill” walks will be of similar length (15 km) with visits to the hiding place and grave of Eamon an Chnoic included.

(D) A completely new walk this year will be a 12 km “Drombane to Knockalough” walk; starting at Drombane GAA field and going over the top of Knockalough to finish in Upperchurch Village.

(E) Even if you are a completely unfit beginner, there is no need to be overawed at this required fitness level; a recently introduced gravelled 1 km “Bog Walk”, beside Upperchurch village can be also utilized. This facility is also very suitable for wheelchair users.

But forget the walking for a moment; mostly this weekend is about making and renewing friendships, observing nature and the countryside close up and at its best, forgetting your cares for a few hours and working up an appetite or maybe a thirst. In short it is about taking a mini holiday, without stress and major expense, so be sure to put Nov 6th, 7th and 8th straight into your diary.

Note: Brochures are now available from the Community Centre in Upperchurch and other local outlets or same can be downloaded from www.upperchurch.ie .
All phone enquiries to Mobile: 087 0518934.

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Trip to Tipp Weekend of Cycling 2015

Miss Katriona Shanahan (PRO ‘Trip to Tipp Weekend of Cycling’) reports.

Join us here in Tipperary for the 20th Anniversary of the ‘Trip to Tipp Weekend of Cycling’, which will take place on the 15th & 16th August 2015, in aid of NCBI, working for people with sight loss. This year, as part of the celebrations, ‘Trip to Tipp’ have made some changes to the routes and participants and supporters also will be able to purchase a Special Limited Edition ‘Trip to Tipp’ jersey.
Trip to Tipp’ Programme of Events.
Saturday 15th August
12:00 pm. The Three Counties Tour.
Here you can choose from either the 70 KM route or the slightly more challenging 100 KM route!
Both Routes depart from the Sarsfields GAA Centre Thurles at 12:00pm sharp.

Links to both the maps for Saturday’s Challenge
70km Routehttp://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/788239301
100km Routehttp://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/788238589

12:30pm. Family Fun Cycle.
The family fun cycle departs from the Sarsfields GAA Centre Thurles at 12:30pm sharp.
Here participants can register online or on the day – €12.50.

Sunday 16th August
9:45 am: Grand Tipperary Challenge 140 KM.
The Grand Tipperary Tour departs the Thurles Sarsfields GAA Centre at 9:45am. The two notable climbs on the 140km route will be Dolla and the Glen of Aherlow. View Route at http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/788241117

10:15 am: Glen of Aherlow Challenge 100 KM.

The Glen of Aherlow Challenge departs the Thurles Sarsfields GAA Centre at 10:15am. View Route at http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/788240341

10:15 am: Scenic Tour of Tipperary 80 KM.

The Scenic Tour of Tipperary departs the Thurles Sarsfields GAA Centre at 10:15am. View Route at http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/788242015
Once again entries for all cycles can be taken on the day, or you can avail of the online reduced price by registering at: http://www.active.com/thurles-munster/cycling/races/trip-to-tipp-2015

Note: Online registration closes on Friday 14th August at 6:00pm.
Online Special Offers are as follows:
2 days cycling & Cycling Jersey – €65. 2 days cycling only – €45
1 day cycling & Cycling Jersey – €45. 1 days cycling – €25

Entry on the day for all routes is €30.00 with Family Fun Cycle €12.50(Special offers for Families).
All participants over the weekend will receive a ‘Goodie Bag’ and ‘Certificate of Completion’.

All routes will be marshalled and the roads will also be clearly marked. Each route will have a Water Stop and Food Stop.

Accommodation: For anyone seeking accommodation in Thurles for the weekend 15th & 16th August 2015, please note that special hotel rates have been secured from the following venues:-
Anner Hotel Thurles:- [(0504) 21799] B&B €45 pps. Hayes Hotel Thurles:- [(0504) 22122] B&B €35 pps.
In all bookings please reference ‘Trip to Tipp’ when securing accommodation.

To celebrate this 20th Anniversary Milestone, ‘Trip to Tipp’ are going to have a special night of entertainment, with spot prizes, in Hayes Hotel, Liberty Square, Thurles, Co Tipperary on Saturday 15th next.

For further information Email katriona.shanahan@gmail.com

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Play ‘Templemore’ Comes To Source Thurles In October 2015

Following her success as a writer and actor, Tipperary and Upperhurch native Áine Ryan brings to the stage her eagerly awaited second play entitled ‘Templemore’. This new exciting play will première first at the New Theatre, Dublin, from September 8th – 12th, as part of ‘Tiger Dublin Fringe 2015′.

Following on from ‘Tiger Dublin Fringe 2015′ the playTemplemore is scheduled to take to the stage in ‘The Source’ Arts Centre, Thurles, Co. Tipperary on Friday, 2nd October 2015 starting at 8.00pm.

Kitty in laneÁine Ryan – Writer/Actor

Áine holds a BA in ‘Theatre and Performance’ from Goldsmiths, University of London. Her first play ‘Kitty in the Lane’ achieved much critical acclaim and was been performed in venues in Ireland, the U.K and the U.S.A. She has completed ‘E20 Writers School’ with the BBC, a programme for emerging scriptwriters. As well as playing the title role in ‘Kitty in the Lane’, other recent theatre credits include ‘Sive’ in the Irish première of ‘Desolate Heaven’ by Ailís Ní Ríain , directed by Tony McCleane Fay at the Everyman Theatre, Cork. Also, ‘May in Angel Dust and Dallas’ by Paul Maher, directed by Amy Hill, a touring comedy production. Her Film Credits include ‘Susan’ in the short film ‘Spellbound’, directed by Sean Breathnach together with ‘Rachel’ in ‘Five Pillars’, latter directed by Jon Rosling.

As already stated, Áine Ryan achieved much critical acclaim for her first play ‘Kitty in the Lane’. Through her production company Studio Perform, she showcased her prevailing talents both nationally and internationally with performances at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival (Belfast) and the San Francisco International Arts Festival.

Studio Perform‘ and Áine Ryan’s latest venture, ‘Templemore,’ is set in a small rural Tipperary town, home to the prominent Garda College. Her play follows three young Gardaí about to graduate, who take a break away from the training grounds one sunny afternoon. Ryan, along with Cork actor Irene Kelleher (Mrs Shakespeare, Game of Thrones) and Clare actor Mark Griffin (The Turn of the Screw), take the audience on a suspenseful sixty minute journey, where a series of seemingly unrelated events culminate in a sinister twist, resulting in tragedy, suspicion and many unanswered questions.

Áine Ryan takes on the role of Éadaoin in the première production of ‘Templemore’ and explains the inspiration behind her new play: “I grew up close to Templemore and I have always been fascinated by people who choose to uphold laws and regulations, such as Gardaí. With recruitment to the force open once again, I wanted to examine what personal reasons people might have for joining. In this play, three students choose to be rebels for the day and we get to observe if control of our heart can ever be dominated by our head.”

‘Tiger Dublin Fringe’ is a platform for a new generation of emerging theatre makers. From September 7th – 20th 2015 this annual curated arts festival will showcase the very best of Irish and International performing arts.

Janice de Bróithe, the director of ‘Templemore’, was eager to take on this project, noting: “One read through was enough to get me incredibly excited to get stuck into ‘Templemore’. The characters, the situation, the stakes involved, all ensure that this is one incredibly gripping play. I am thrilled to be working with Áine, Irene and Mark, all very talented actors with whom I have had a blast making the show. I am looking forward to seeing them explode into life at the New Theatre Dublin”.

Bookings: www.fringefest.com [Tiger Dublin Fringe Box office: (from August 26): Ground floor at DIFF, 13 Lower Ormond Quay, Dublin 1. Tel: – 1850 374 643 (International Bookings +353 1 687 7976)]

For further information please contact:
Rachel Willoughby PRO at Tel: 086 8106690 Email rachelwillo@gmail.com
Áine Ryan Tel: 087 2506878 Email aineryan121@hotmail.com
Janice de Bróithe Tel: 086 0759166 Email janicedebroithe@gmail.com

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Borrisoleigh Annual Festival 2015

Borrisoleigh Annual Festival Begins July 24th To 26th 2015.

All roads will lead to Borrisoleigh this coming weekend for the annual Borrisoleigh Festival, which takes place from Friday 24th to Sunday 26th July.

Here there will be something for everyone and for all ages over the course of this well planned festival weekend.


Pictured here prior to the launch of the 2015 Borrisoleigh Festival (sponsored by Ryan’s of Camden St., Dublin) are:- Back Row: Brendan Maher (Tipperary Senior Hurling Captain), Sean Shanahan, Marie Shanahan, Patrice Cooney, Mayor of Borrisoleigh, Tom Mason, Phil Mason, Kathleen Scanlon, Nuala Ryan, Fiona Max, Breda Ryan. Front Row: Joe Loughnane and members of the Ryan Family, Bernie, Liam, Martin (Snr), Pauline and Brenda.

Programme of Events
The weekend will kick-start with the Tomás Max Camogie U10 tournament on Friday evening to be held in the Town Park. Macks Funfair will also be present in the Town Park all weekend. The opening of the Festival will take place in The Square, with this year’s main sponsors, Ryan’s of Camden St. Dublin, making their official declaration at 9:00pm. This will be followed by live music from that hugely popular band ‘Acoustra’.

Walking Tours
Saturday July 25th starts early with walks organised by the Bush and Briar Ramblers to Knockanora (The Tower) and Latteragh, Forest Loop. Registration for these walks takes place in the Community Centre, to the rear of the Church, at 9.30am and 10.30am respectively.

A Historical Walk through Borrisoleigh takes place from 3:00pm to 6:00pm; starting at Shanahan’s Centra Store, coming down to McDonagh Square and finishing on Pallas Street. This event promises as always to be an enlightening and entertaining journey as participants examine Borrisoleigh’s past rich history.

Line Dancers
Borrisoleigh ‘Line Dancers’ will be displaying their fancy footwork from 12:00 noon to 1.30pm in McDonagh Square. A Food and Craft Fair will also be taking place in the Square from 12:00 noon to 6:00pm with local food and handmade crafts for sale.

Bake 4 Borris
A baking competition, ‘Bake 4 Borris’, will tantalise your taste buds also on Saturday. All baking entries must be dropped into the Community Centre before 2:00pm. (Viewing is from 3:00pm with the final results being announced by judges at 6:00pm.) Note: Entry is free and all cakes will be sold afterwards in aid of Festival organisational costs.

Be part of Irish TV
Irish TV will be present to record some of the events on Saturday, so ladies be sure to put on your best ‘Frock’ and you men, your best ‘Bib and Tucker,’ for this most publicised of televised event.

Variety Concert
Also on Saturday a ‘Variety Concert’ featuring talent from Borrisoleigh and neighbouring parishes begins at 7.30pm in The Square. There will be a special guest appearance by the Dubai Rose, Marie Ryan from Ballyroan; latter who will be interviewed by the local Mayor Patrice Cooney. Marie will also present the prizes for the school art competition. This Artwork will be on display to view in the local Community Centre throughout the weekend.

Churn Racing & Salsa Band
A large crowd is expected at 7.30pm for the Churn Racing display on Pallas Street which will feature some of the participants from the All Ireland Churn Racing competition held in Tipperary Town. This is a great opportunity to now see this unique and growing sport. To truly add to the festival atmosphere there will be live music in The Square with ‘Ochy Calderon’ Latin Caribbean Fusion Salsa Band; beginning from 9:00pm.

Family Fun Day
There will be a Family Fun Day in the Town Park on Sunday July 26th from 2:00pm to 5:00pm. This features a number of entertaining events such as a Veterans Hurling Tournament, Bubble Soccer, Vintage Car Display, Strongman Display, Tug of War, Pony Rides, Athletics, Sheaf Tossing, BBQ, Games of Skill, plus much, much more.

Live Music
Live music starts in The Square with Old Time Dancing by ‘The Castle Trio’ from 4:00pm to 6:00pm. They wll be followed on stage by the wonderful ‘Ebony’ from 4:00pm to 6:00pm. The band ‘Silver Dollar’ will finish off the live outdoor music from 8:00pm to 9.45pm with the official closing of the Festival by Lord Mayor Patrice Cooney.

Note: In the event of severe or inclement weather; all outdoor music gigs, due to play outdoor in The Square, will move to the village Community Centre.

Local pubs will also have live music on this weekend and even some Storytelling with the hilarious comic monologues of Fergus Costello; latter performing his show ‘Tell me lies horse’ in Finn’s pub on Saturday at 9:00pm.

For full event listings and more info visit www.borrisoleighfestival.com or follow on Facebook and Twitter.

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44th International Miss Macra Festival 2015

Miss Eibhlis Maher (International Miss Macra festival PRO), reports:-

This year (2015) celebrates the 44th anniversary of the International Miss Macra festival. The festival is run annually by the Clonoulty/Rossmore Macra na Feirme club; held over the Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights of the annual August Bank Holiday weekend.

Click HERE to view Video in High Definition

(Video Music: Courtesy Richard and Linda Thompson – “I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight”.)

Once again this year’s festival will see young ladies travelling from all over Ireland and beyond and all converging on Co. Tipperary to compete for the honour of being crowned International Miss Macra 2015 (succeeding the much admired, 2014 winner Miss Bríd Cooney.).

History of the Miss Macra Festival

With regards to the history of this most prestigious of events, the International Miss Macra Festival is one real example of a ‘personality competition’. This festival was originally founded by Mr Paddy Heffernan, Mr Tom Horan and Mr Michael Slattery back in 1972 and has grown from strength to strength every year since conception.

In the very beginning after approaching Macra National Headquarters, the founding members received little enthusiastic support for their idea, however they were determined to succeed and decided to organise the competition ‘of their own bat’. Major success followed and by 1987, for the twenty-fifth anniversary there were thirty-two contestants, one from every county in Ireland. Also during the 1980’s the festival began to attract participation from rural youth and agricultural organisations abroad, such as the 4H clubs in America, the Scottish Young Farmers and many more.

The International Miss Macra competition is unique, due mainly to the fact that it is organised solely by a local Macra Club and not via any County Executive. The Miss Macra festival has a huge community base also, with the contestants staying with host families from around the locality for the duration of the festival period. The pinnacle point of the festival is that it is, perhaps, the best example within Macra of what a local club can achieve, demonstrating strong dedication and team-like commitment.

The local community play an important part in this festival, with many households taking on the role of a host family for each of the contestants, year after year. The tradition of the contestants staying with host families is very strong and contestants are adopted into the very heart of each host family’s home for the full duration of the festival, where a warm welcome is guaranteed. The host families are a very important part of this community based festival and Clonoulty/Rossmore Macra na Feirme club are very grateful each year for this support, generosity, commitment and loyalty.

International Miss Macra Festival Venue – Dundrum House Hotel, Tipperary

The luxurious Dundrum House Hotel (latter winner of a certificate of excellence in 2012) has once again been chosen as the prominent venue for this year’s festival. Described as an oasis in the Golden Vale; Dundrum House Hotel boasts the perfect setting for those seeking relaxation and fun. The historic, picturesque building was originally constructed in the early eighteenth century by the O’Dwyers of Kilnamanagh, as the centrepiece of their vast estate.

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