Book Launch – Tom Semple & The Thurles Blues

Tom Semple & The Thurles Blues

The long-awaited biography of Tom Semple and his legendary hurling comrades “The Thurles Blues”, by author Liam Ó Donnchú, was launched to a thronged main hall in Thurles Sarsfields Centre, (beside Semple Stadium) Thurles, Co Tipperary on Saturday June 13th 2015.

Performing this launch was Tom Semple’s son, Martin, who travelled with his wife Jo Ann all the way from Denver, Colorado, in the USA to attend the event.

Speakers on the occasion included: -Robert Frost (Munster Council Chairman), John Devane (Vice-Chairman of Tipperary County Board), Archbishop Emeritus Dr Dermot Clifford,  Michael Maher (Chairman Thurles Sarsfields) and the author himself Liam Ó Donnchú. Michael Dundon, (Former editor of the Tipperary Star newspaper) proved a most efficient ‘Master of Ceremonies’.


Picture shows author Liam Ó Donnchú with Archbishop Emeritus Dr Dermot Clifford and Martin Semple, latter son of Tom Semple.

Tom Semple, the GAA icon, whose name is immortalised at Semple Stadium, is synonymous with the game of hurling, since he led the Thurles Blues to All-Ireland glory in 1906 and 1908.

This new publication details the exploits of these earlier heroes of the camán (Irish – Hurl) and of Tom Semple’s training regime and tactics.

The reader can now follow ‘The Blues’ on their amazing tour to Brussels and historic Fontenoy in 1910. They can access the fascinating story of the early years of Thurles Sportsfield, renamed ‘Semple Stadium’ in Tom’s memory, and how it developed into today’s ‘Field of Legends’.

The role Semple and others played in the War of Independence is also detailed in this hardback publication, which contains more than 400 pages. The book is illustrated throughout and offers new insights into the life and times of yesteryear.

Books costing €30 are available from local Tipperary bookshops and signed copies may also be ordered by post (€35 inc postage) from: Liam Ó Donnchú, Lár na Páirce, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

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2 Responses to Book Launch – Tom Semple & The Thurles Blues

  1. Annie O'Brien says:

    Jim (Hawk) O’Brien was my grandfather, but we know very little about him. His son Patrick (my dad) moved to England at a young age for work, and as far as we know his father had already passed away. My dad, Patrick Joseph O’Brien from Thurles, emigrated to Australia in 1972, and sadly passed away in 1992. I live in Australia, and am about to become a grandmother for the first time and would dearly love to know more about my grandfather Jim so that I can share his story with the next generation. If anyone from Thurles can provide any information, we would be very grateful. Thank you, Annie O’Brien.

  2. Finbarr says:

    Hello, at the Tipperary Co Board convention of 1952 tribute was paid to Hawk O’Brien, who had died in the early part of 1951.

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