International Miss Macra 2016

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Left – Right pictured above: (1) Representing South Tipperary, M/s Josephine Ryan. (2) M/s Ailin Walsh, representing Waterford, meets & greets former Epsom Derby & Irish Derby Stakes Winner ‘Galileo’ yesterday, at the world famous Coolmore Stud in Co. Tipperary. (3) Representing South Tipperary, M/s Denise Ryan.

Yesterday saw the welcome return of the 45th International Miss Macra Festival, returning to its initial roots; coming back to Thurles, Co. Tipperary for the full duration of this August Bank Holiday weekend. Such was the high calibre of the venues present here in Thurles that the Festival this year is taking place in three separate areas, showcasing the best that Thurles and Co. Tipperary has to offer, e.g. Hayes Hotel (Birthplace of the GAA), last night; The Dome (Semple Stadium), tonight, and the magnificent family-run Anner Hotel (Graded Four-Star by Fáilte Ireland), Dublin Rd, Thurles, for the Annual Macra Banquet tomorrow night.

Yesterday, the festival kicked off, when contestants met the Festival Committee and Host Families in Clonoulty village, before being taken on a personal tour of the world famous Coolmore Stud Farm. This was followed by a late lunch in the Anner Hotel’s ‘Green Room’ restaurant. Last night the participants attended a themed ’90’s Disco’, in Hayes Hotel, dancing into the early hours of this morning.

However today saw the contestants appear ‘bright eyed & bushy tailed’, rising early in preparation for their private personal interviews in front of a three judge panel, namely Joan Pollard Carew, (Representing Main Sponsors Michael Carew Jewellers, West Gate, Thurles); Geraldine Henchion, (Representing Tipp FM, Tipperary’s No 1 Local Radio Station); & Declan Ryan, (President of the Clonoulty/Rossmore Macra Club). This panel have been given the very difficult task of selecting this year’s “International Miss Macra 2016” winner; latter which will be announced following the Banquet on Sunday night in the Anner Hotel.

Tonight (30th July 2016) in The Dome, Semple Stadium, Thurles, will see the ever popular “Cabaret Night”, commence. Here the contestants will be interviewed publicly on stage, by expert interviewer Mr Mike Egan; himself a previous Macra Member and long-term friend of the festival. Live music will be provided by ‘Switch’ to which the contestants, their supporters and the public attending, can later dance the night away.

Guaranteed to be a most enjoyable and memorable evening.

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Thurles Sports Festival July 1st 2016 – July 10th 2016

Large numbers of visitors are expected to converge on Thurles for this year’s ‘Thurlessportsfest’ which will lumber up on Friday July 1st 2016; beginning at 11.00 am and continuing until July 10th 2016 inc.

The Thurles Sports Festival Committee would like to take this opportunity to thank, in particular, Tipperary County Council, LIT, Thurles Chamber of Commerce, Failte Ireland, Thurles Credit Union, The Anner Hotel, Tipperary Star and Tipp FM for their support of this 10 day festival event.

Sports-fest 2

‘Thurlessportsfest’ will officially kicks off on Friday morning at 11.00am with a ‘Scór Bowls for Special Needs’ event. This official ‘Indoor Target Bowling’ competition, will compete for the coveted Olden Cup, together with associated individual medals for runner’s up and winning team members.

At 6.30pm a ‘Horse (or Pony) and Trap Parade’, will be found heading in the direction of ‘Semple’s Field’, to the nearby Thurles Sarsfields Pitch, for possibly the most historic of this years super 10 days of sporting events.

Sport Picture shows – Mr Liam O’Donoghue (Lár Na Páirce), Miss Fiona O’Sullivan (Tipperary Rose of Tralee & Irish TV Presenter), Mr John Enright (Thurles Sarsfields and Thurles Sports Festival Member) examining the new specially designed 1916 style hurley’s ahead of ‘Thurlessportfest’, July 1stJuly 10th next. (Photo G.Willoughby.)

This historic parade on Friday evening will culminate with a 1916 ‘Hurling Final Re-enactment’, match, beginning at 7.30pm sharp in the Sarsfield’s Pitch, and same will be an admission free spectator event for all comers. The two teams taking part in this re-enactment will be Tullaroan (Representing the Premier Counties oldest rivals, Co. Kilkenny), playing Boherlahan (Representing the honour of our own Co. Tipperary).

Meanwhile a ‘Family Fun Cycle’, will also be taking place at 7.00pm in association with Upperchurch-Drombane Cycling Club. This event will be a 10k cycle race through parts of Thurles town and out into the countryside, with all competitor standards welcome to participate regardless.

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Thurles, Co. Tipp, To Host 2016 International Macra Festival

The 45th International Miss Macra Festival this year returns to Thurles, Co. Tipperary

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Pictured L-R: Declan Ryan (Pres. Clonoulty/Rossmore Macra), Simone Loughman (Int. Miss Macra Secretary), Susan Willis (2015 Int. Miss Macra Winner), Anne Marie Lyng (Chairperson), Helen Hayes, (2015 Int. Miss Macra Runner-Up), Jamie Driver (Anner Hotel), Geraldine Henchion (Tipp FM Radio), at the official launch of the 2016, 45th International Miss Macra Festival to be held in Thurles, Co. Tipperary, on August Bank Holiday Weekend 2016.

Clonoulty-Rossmore Macra na Feirme are delighted to confirm that this year’s International Miss Macra Festival will take place over the 2016 August Bank Holiday weekend, from Friday the 29th of July to Monday the 1st August, here in Thurles, Co. Tipperary. This will be the Festivals 45th year and is an exceptional representation of what just one farming organisation can achieve; through hard work, determination and the full support of its local community.

This year will once again see young ladies travelling from all over Ireland, in the hope of following in the footsteps of last year’s winner, Miss Susan Willis (Co. Carlow); in being crowned International Miss Macra 2016. This, as stated, 45th year of the festival, will see many new initiatives and a change of scene, but first a brief history lesson.

International Miss Macra Festival History
The International Miss Macra Festival is a personality competition, a mini Rose of Tralee, if you will, for Macra na Feirme Clubs and their members. The festival was founded by Mr Paddy Heffernan, Mr Tom Horan and Mr Michael Slattery back in 1971. Initially Macra Members were met with little enthusiasm from Macra National Headquarters, but the Clonoulty / Rossmore club did not allow this to deter their ingenuity. As a rural farmers organisation they ploughed on (pardon the pun), regardless, with their plans and year on year since its conception this festival has blossomed with as many as 32 contestants competing annually each year, from Ireland and abroad.

The 90’s saw an interest from rural youth and agricultural organisations abroad, e.g. 4H clubs in America and Scottish Young Farmers, begin to develop. The International Miss Macra Festival is somewhat unique in that it is run by the same local Macra Club every year; rather than a County Executive and their scale of success is a testament to both the dedication of the Clonoulty-Rossmore Macra members and the massive support of the local Tipperary community.

The local Clonoulty / Rossmore community, in particular, play a most important part in this festival, with households taking on the role as ‘Host Families’ for each of the contestants, year after year. This tradition remains very strong; seeing the contestants receive the warmest of welcomes, as they become adopted into the hearts of the local host families. To these ‘Host Families’ go our committee’s gratitude for their never ending support, generosity, overall commitment and loyalty, each year.

International Miss Macra Festival Returns to its Roots
This year, 2016, sees the festival returning to its initial roots; coming back to Thurles, Co. Tipperary for the full duration of the weekend. Such is the high calibre of the venues in Thurles that the Festival this year will take place in three separate areas, as we showcase the best that Thurles and Co. Tipperary has to offer: Hayes Hotel (Birthplace of the GAA), on the Friday night, The Dome on Saturday and the magnificent family-run Anner Hotel (Graded Four-Star by Fáilte Ireland), on Sunday night.

This year, the festival will kick-start on Friday the 31st of July when contestants will meet the festival committee in Clonoulty village. Friday afternoon also offers contestants a chance to take a personal tour of the world famous Coolmore Stud Farm, followed by lunch in the Anner Hotel restaurant. Next the contestants will take part in a Zumba class in Clonoulty Community Hall where contestants, host families and local people will get their chance to ‘meet and greet’; a long-standing tradition of this festival.

International Miss Macra Judges
The judges for the 2016 competition this year are:-
(A) Joan Pollard Carew, representing Michael Carew Jewellers, Friar Street, Thurles. Joan, whose husband is main sponsor of the festival, is herself a published poetess and well known nationally in Irish Art and Irish Dancing circles. Joan and her husband also contribute greatly to the festival in terms of invaluable support, time and advice.
(B) Geraldine Henchion, representing Tipp FM, Tipperary’s No 1 Local Radio Station. Geraldine also well known in Art Circles, joins the panel for the first time this year.
(C) Declan Ryan, who has held every known post of responsibility on the International Miss Macra Festival committee and also currently holds the title of President of the Clonoulty/Rossmore Macra club.

Continue reading

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County Tipperary’s Haunting Landscapes

“On a clear day rise and look around you and you’ll see who you are.
On a clear day how it will astound you that the glow of your being, outshines every star.”

(Words by lyricist Alan Jay Lerner, from the musical “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever”.)

This weekend, why not take a leisurely drive into the area of the Knockmealdown mountains known as “The Vee”, situated in south Tipperary on the remote, picturesque borders of counties Tipperary and Waterford.

The Vee, situated on the R668 between Lismore, Co. Waterford and Clogheen in Co. Tipperary gets its name from a V-shaped bend on the road leading to a gap in the Knockmealdown mountains. The roadway itself is situated on the slopes of Sugar Loaf, passing from Tipperary to Waterford; running between Knockaunabulloga and Bay Lough (a low lying picturesque lake) on the right and the Sugar Loaf itself, on the left. Local folklore states that the Vee road was constructed during the ‘Great Famine’, but the area’s Ordnance Survey map of 1840 would appear to contradict this account.

The heavy rain showers during the last few days will possibly have removed a great deal of that sea of pink rhododendron blossoms, stretching for as far as the eyes can see; freely growing in groves in the area, at mother nature’s discretion. However their absence will take little from the rugged, untended, wild beauty of this outstanding landscape, nor indeed the breathtaking panoramic views afforded to travellers and sight-seers.

From this viewpoint almost 2,000 ft above sea level, same lends itself to views across the valley to the towns of Clonmel, Cahir, and the lesser hamlets of Ardfinnan, Clogheen and Ballyporeen, latter village ancestral home to former late United States President Ronald Reagan. You can also view the Galtee Mountains the Comeragh Mountains together with Slievenamon, quite clearly from this vantage point.

Few people today refer to the 1975 British-American period drama film ‘Barry Lyndon’, directed by Stanley Kubrick, which chose this mountainous area ‘The Vee,’ as their period location. Based on the 1844 novel ‘The Luck of Barry Lyndon’, by William Makepeace Thackeray, this film won four Oscars in production categories and is today regarded as one of Kubrick’s finest films ever made.

This film starred Ryan O’Neal, Marisa Berenson, Patrick Magee, Hardy Krüger and, as shown in the clip above, Leonard Rossiter, the dancing Captain, (Remember “Rigsby” in Rising Damp & in the Title Role of “The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin”). The film recounts the exploits of a fictional 18th-century Irish adventurer.

Samuel Richard Grubb, High Sheriff of Tipperary 1916.

It is here also at this scenic area that a rather curious pile of limestone rocks emerge, dome-shaped, from the hillside. This stone erection is the last resting place of Mr Samuel R. Grubb, appointed High Sheriff of Tipperary in 1916 and who requested that he be buried here to overlook a ‘picturesque and romantic view’ of his county.

Local tales that he believed he would be reincarnated into a bee in an after life situation (memorial shaped like a beehive) and that he insisted that he be buried with his horse standing upright are hardly believable, but facts we do know are recorded hereunder.

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Picturesque Obsequies – Burial on Mountain.

Funeral of the late Mr S. R. Grubb. (As reported by the Clonmel Chronicle, 10th September 1921.)

“In accordance with his request, the remains of the late Mr Samuel R. Grubb were interred today on the Sugar Loaf Mountain, on his property. The place selected is a most picturesque and romantic one and commands an excellent view of the county for a considerable area.
The remains arrived in Castlegrace on Friday by motor hearse from Dublin, and the funeral started at 10.30 this morning. The coffin containing the remains was conveyed on a farm cart to the foot of the mountain and then carried on the shoulders of his tenants and employees to the place of internment on the mountainside.
On arrival at the grave the remains were received by Rev. J. Talbot, Clogheen, who conducted the Burial Service.
The scene on the wild mountain side was picturesque and impressive and will long remain implanted on the minds and hearts of those who had the privilege of witnessing it.
The chief mourners were – Major Raymond Grubb M.C. (Son), Mrs de Sales le Terriere (daughter), Mrs Grubb (daughter-in-law), Mr de Sales le Terriere (son-in-law), Mr Cecil Barrington, Mrs Taylor, and Mr James Binny.
There were a large number of beautiful floral tributes from, amongst others, Mrs Grubb (Widow), Major Grubb, Mrs Grubb (Suir Island), Mr and Mrs de Sales le Terriere, Mrs Denny, Mrs Gutherie, Lady Beatrice Pole-Carew and Mr D. Mahoney.
Those present in addition to the chief mourners included – Major Murdock, Major Hutchinson, Captain Seymour, Mr Gerard Denny, Mr Blakeney (Junr.), Dr W. Walsh, Mr Palmer, Mr Kennedy (Derrygrath), Mr Kennedy (Ballindoney), Mr E.Boyle, Mr J. Mulcahy (Corabella), Mr W.Byrne (Ballinamona), Mr Sutcliffe, Mr Geoffrey Prendegast, etc.
Acting in accordance with the directions of deceased, all the tenantry and employees who attended the funeral were subsequently sumptuously entertained at Castlegrace.”

Voluntas Ultima (Last Will)
[The late Mr Samuel R. Grubb, of Castlegrace, requested that his remains should be interred in a beautiful and romantic spot on the side of the Sugar Loaf hills.]
—————————————————
O place me in a silent grave upon the mountain crest,
‘Mid endless fields of golden gorse, the heather on my breast
‘Mid endless fields of golden gorse, O shape my narrow bed,
Nor plant the cypress at my feet, the willow at my head.

O place me in a silent grave on storied Knockmealdown,
The drowsy churchyard’s not for me, in country or in town;
And when the final trumpet sounds and bids the world “Arise”
‘Twill find me nearer unto Thee, wherein salvation lies.

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ᗅᗺᗷᗅ Tribute Night – Premier Hall, Thurles

ᗅᗺᗷᗅ Tribute Night in aid of Suir Haven – Mr Tommy Barrett Reports

“Moyne Road Residents Committee are delighted to announce details of their upcoming fund-raising event in aid of that wonderful Cancer Support Centre, better known as the Suir Haven Centre, situated here in Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

On Saturday 18th June an ᗅᗺᗷᗅ tribute band with special guest Tina Turner Tribute“, will perform in The Premier Hall, in Thurles.

Abba Event

Pictured Above: A section of the group who attended the recent launch of this Abba event on Tipp FM Radio; recorded in the new Order of Malta Centre in Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

For the first time ever band “Waterloo bring their fabulous show to Thurles. Tickets for the night are a mere €10 and are available right now from Tony’s Shop, Ryan’s Daughter Restaurant and the Tipperary GAA Shop, latter all situated in Thurles Town. Tickets can also be purchased by contacting the box office on (089)4487657 / (0504) 22983.

To avoid disappointment, the organisers are urging people to purchase their tickets before the actual night; to be in with a chance of winning a ‘two night break away’ for two people (Bed & Breakfast) in the magnificent, 5 star Victorian Park Hotel overlooking Kenmare Bay in Kenmare, owned by the Brennan Brothers.

Note: Please ensure you give your name and number to the ticket seller; to be in with a chance to win this amazing prize, with the draw taking place on the night. Members of the organising committee will have the Box Office in the Premier Hall open each day from Monday (13th June) to Friday (17th June) from 10.00am-12 noon to facilitate ticket sales, so please do drop-in and support this worthy charity. All monies raised from the upcoming event will stay in our local Community to aid the ongoing wonderful work being undertaken by the Suir Haven Cancer Support Centre.

Truly a great night of fun and entertainment is promised. This event will allow for patrons to perform on the dance floor, while seating will be arranged for those patrons who want only to come to listen and enjoy the music.

So without delay purchase your tickets today and join us on Saturday 18th June and dance the night away to all your ᗅᗺᗷᗅ favourites.

And finally to ᗅᗺᗷᗅ (pardon the pun), “Thank You For The Music.”

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