Upperchurch-Drombane Launch 2015 Historical Journal

“Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield, Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke;
How jocund did they drive their team afield! How bow’d the woods beneath their sturdy stroke!
Let not ambition mock their useful toil, Their homely joys, and destiny obscure;
Nor Grandeur hear with a disdainful smile, The short and simple annals of the poor.”

[Thomas Gray – “Elegy Written in a Country Church-Yard]

Tipperary’s new Senior Hurling manager, Michael Ryan, will officially launch the eagerly awaited 2015 Upperchurch-Drombane Historical Journal this Saturday night Nov. 7th in Upperchurch Hall, starting at 8:00pm. This sixth annual publication, in this very successful series, has stories, poems and photographs dealing with many aspects of the history and heritage of the parish and indeed the frequent and continuous demand for back volumes prove the lasting value of each past publication.


Martin Greene, Dooree, Upperchurch, Co. Tipperary, at work.

At this official launch there will be a short talk about the history of local emigration by a regular contributor to the Journal, Eugene Shortt. Same will be followed by discussion and a question and answer session. Stories and accounts from the floor are always much welcomed at such events.

While tales of G.A.A. sports have historically been the most prominent locally, the book this year puts the spotlight on other sports where there were local connections, e.g. American Gerry Britt, a frequent visitor whose ancestors came from the area and who has published an account of his travels in Ireland, writes about the famous baseball player and manager John McGraw, who dominated the game in the USA in the early years of the last century. McGraw’s father had parents who emigrated from the parish.

The victory of locally owned ‘Rugged Lucy’ in the 1981 Galway Plate is recalled by John Ryan (C) while Tom Quinlan writes about the three Irish Senior Soccer Internationals, Shane Long, Seamus McDonagh and Mike Milligan whose ancestors were local. Billy Clancy writes about one of the greatest ever scandals in greyhound racing; which occurred sixty five years ago, involving a greyhound from Upperchurch, which today has a street in England named after it.

Sports including handball and racquet ball also feature in Paddy Dwyer’s reminiscences entitled “Gortahoola Memories”, along with the story of Gortahoola School, latter which operated for only nineteen years. ‘Courting’ (That period in a couple’s relationship which precedes marraige.) might also be considered a type of ‘sport’ by some and in verse Ned Harrington describes the goings on at the Metal Bridge Platform, in more innocent times.

A hundred years ago Ned’s grandfather John wrote a stirring patriotic ode to the green flag of Ireland, which demonstrated an encyclopaedic knowledge of Irish history, and the poem is given in full. Also on a patriotic theme, Thomas Fogarty tells of a few local connections with the 1916 rising, which also includes is the first half of Paddy Kinnane’s statement to the Bureau of Military History concerning his involvement in the War of Independence. The final part of the ‘Eamon an Chnoic‘ play is also in this new publication, as well as a continuation examining the local burial records.

Andy Byrne completes his list of local musicians and reproduces the happenings of a hundred years ago from the newspaper archives. Among the hundreds of religious and missionaries, the parish produced, were seven priests from the O’Rourke family and Joan Ryan gives a short account of each of them.

Nowadays we take for granted and frequently complain about our road networks, failing to appreciate the hardships suffered by our ancestors in putting them there in the first place; using pick, shovel, horse and cart. Eugene Shortt has researched the subject and gives the details of the various roads, fences, bridges and gullets and who put them there and when. There is also an account of the legal case concerning the Mulgrave Bridge at Drombane Creamery, which was built on a disputed land site and the ensuing tragic aftermath.

Like the road networks, it took centuries of work and nurturing to bring our agricultural land to its present state of fertility. One of the big breakthroughs was the introduction of lime from kilns and Frankie Shortt describes the process of burning lime in the various local kilns. Eamonn Ryan also deals with the subject in later years when lime from Killough Quarry became available. He also recounts early drivers and their cars and the impact of Hogan’s bus service together with wartime shortages.

All are welcome to attend this launch on Saturday night and this latest publication will be available from the usual outlets from Sunday onwards. Overseas buyers can of course order online from www.upperchurch.ie.

Wherever you reside today, this latest publication promises to be a truly heart warming read on the long expected winter nights ahead.

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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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