Tipperary Village Wins Tidy Towns 2017 Competition.

Birdhill, Co. Tipperary, Tidy Towns Winners 2017 & Ireland’s Tidiest Village.

The village of Birdhill (Irish: Cnocán an Éin Fhinn, or the Hill of the Fair Bird) in North / West Co. Tipperary, has beaten off stiff competition, to be named overall winner of the Tidy Towns 2017 competition, (Sponsored by SuperValu) with 332 points.

Situated just off the N7 motorway, midway between Limerick city and Nenagh, and overlooking Lough Derg; Birdhill received a double accolade by also being named ‘Ireland’s Tidiest Village’.

SuperValu Managing Director Mr Martin Kelleher paid tribute to the winners and indeed all 870 other towns and villages and their communities who had entered the competition during the current year.

Birdhill’s Tidy Town’s Committee are no strangers to community awards, with the village previously named “Tidiest Village” in the Tidy Town’s Awards in recent years; e.g. 2006, 2007, 2008 and again in 2016. They also won a gold medal in the European Entente Florale competition back in 20o7.

Tidy Towns (Irish: Bailte Slachtmhara) is an annual competition held here in Ireland, first begun back in 1958, and organised through the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government. The overall aim of the competition is to honour the tidiest and most attractive cities, towns and villages throughout the ‘Emerald Isle’.

The Competition is judged during the summer months May – August, using independent adjudicators, who issue each town / community with a written report, latter highlighting positive advancement and offering future recommendations on how each area can further improve their immediate surroundings.

Representatives from Birdhill’s Tidy Towns Committee picked up their trophy and a cheque for €10,000 in Dublin this morning.

Posted in County News, Environment, News, Tourism | Leave a comment

Join Us During Heritage Week 2017 In Co. Tipperary

Trees
By Alfred Joyce Kilmer (1886–1918),
[Latter killed by sniper fire near Muercy Farm, beside the Ourcq River, near the village of Seringes-et-Nesles, in France during WW1]

“I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day, and lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear a nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain; who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me, but only God can make a tree.”

One of the many events taking place in Co. Tipperary during Heritage Week will be an illustrative and informative talk by Author and historian Mr George Cunningham, entitled “Trees at Home and Abroad”.

The event will take place on Monday night next, August 21st, beginning 7:30pm9.00pm, courtesy of Tipperary County Council Library Service, in The Source building, Cathedral Street, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

Mr Cunningham will take his audience to such places as the redwoods and protected Bristlecone Pines Forest area, latter high in the White Mountains in Inyo County in eastern California, as well to many other such places here at home, which remain a ‘tree treasury’.

Mr Cunningham has had, and continues to strongly retain, a lifelong interest in trees; building up a significant tree library and travelled to many world-famous places adorned by trees and rich forests.

He is a director of ‘Crann(Translated from the Irish – ‘Tree’), formed in 1986; latter an organisation which it attempting to re-leaf Ireland. Crann is Ireland’s leading voluntary tree organisation dedicated to the promotion, protection and awareness of the importance of our trees, hedgerows and woodlands. It is a membership-based, non-profit registered charity, uniting people with a love of trees.

Admission to this Heritage Week event is free of charge.

You can find other events taking place throughout Co. Tipperary, during Heritage Week, by simply clicking HERE.

Posted in County News, History, Tourism, Visitor Attractions | Leave a comment

International Miss Macra 2016

Macra16

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.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in County News, Festivals, Sport, Tourism | Leave a comment

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

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

45macra-16

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

Posted in County News, Festivals, Tourism | Leave a comment