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Tag: Tipperary

At the apple juice shop

Sunday, 22 October, 2017 0 Comments

“Frost sharps the middle music of the seasons, and all things living on the earth turn home again… the fields are cut, the granaries are full, the bins are loaded to the brim with fatness, and from the cider-press the rich brown oozings of the York Imperials run. The bee bores to the belly of the grape, the fly gets old and fat and blue, he buzzes loud, crawls slow, creeps heavily to death on sill and ceiling, the sun goes down in blood and pollen across the bronzed and mown fields of the old October.” — Thomas Wolfe, Of Time and the River: A Legend of Man’s Hunger in His Youth

Apple juice

The Deposition at Lisvernane

Saturday, 1 April, 2017 0 Comments

The ecclesiastical definition of the noun deposition means “a work of art depicting Christ being lowered from the Cross.” Rubens and Caravaggio did famous depositions, but the grandfather of the theme, as it were, is The Deposition of Christ by the Italian Renaissance master Fra Angelico, which was executed between 1432 and 1434 and is now housed in the Museo di San Marco in Florence. Giorgio Vasari declared it was “painted by a saint or an angel.”

A more modest but no less saintly deposition in wood can be found in the Church of the Sacred Heart in Lisvernane in Tipperary.

The Deposition at Lisvernane

Remembering those who built for us

Saturday, 18 June, 2016 0 Comments

On 18 June 1952, Michael Fitzgerald and Catherine O’Donnell were married in the village of Lisvernane, County Tipperary. The ceremony was followed by a meal at Riversdale House Hotel in the Glen of Aherlow. Transport for the bride and her family was via a Ford V8 driven by Jack Fraser, grocer/publican/undertaker, but cars were scarce in the Ireland of the early 1950s so some of the guests cycled. The wedding cake was prepared by the bride, baked by Mrs Ryan-Russell, who had a Stanley Range cooker, and the icing was added by the confectionery specialists of Kiely’s Bread Company in Tipperary town. The sun shone and the couple went on to spend 59 years together, during which time they earned love and respect from those who loved and respected them.

Mammy and Daddy

Scaffolding is one of the first poems Seamus Heaney wrote. It’s a metaphorical work about the construction of a marriage and the measures needed to keep it firm in the face of the shocks. Walls of “sure and solid stone” will be strong enough to stand on their own, says Heaney. “Never fear. We may let the scaffolds fall / Confident that we have built our wall.”


Masons, when they start upon a building,
Are careful to test out the scaffolding;

Make sure that planks won’t slip at busy points,
Secure all ladders, tighten bolted joints.

And yet all this comes down when the job’s done
Showing off walls of sure and solid stone.

So if, my dear, there sometimes seem to be
Old bridges breaking between you and me

Never fear. We may let the scaffolds fall
Confident that we have built our wall.

Seamus Heaney (1939 — 2013)

Clonbeg Churchyard

Thursday, 20 August, 2015 0 Comments

Clonbeg Church is located in the Glen of Aherlow and its origins as a sacred place are associated with Saint Sedna, a 6th-century Bishop of Ossory. Today, it is a Church of Ireland property with both a Protestant and a Catholic burial ground. Many of the fascinating headstones date back to early 1700’s, but this one is from the 20th century.

Clonbeg Church

A mass of priests in Glencoshnabinnia

Thursday, 2 January, 2014 0 Comments

During the days when people travelled on horseback, there was a priest whose parish included a portion of the Galtee Mountains and it’s recalled that he decided to introduce a visiting cleric to his far-flung flock. At one point, they reached Glencoshnabinnia, which is an Anglicized form of the Gaelic for “the glen at the foot of the peaks”, and they stopped at a small home where they were made welcome and offered tea by a woman surrounded by a throng of small children.

“And how many children do you have?” asked the parish priest of the head of the household.
“21, Father,” replied the man, whose name was Brien or Ryan.
“Good heavens,” said the priest, “What do they all do?”

In response, the man began to recite a litany of names and related tasks: Jack minded the sheep; Mary was in charge of the hens; Peggy fed the cow; Billy took care of the pigs; Jim had the task of going to the well for water; Norah milked the goat; Nell baked; Tom cut turf… and before long he had listed 20 names and their occupations.

“And this little lad beside the fire,” said the parish priest. “You haven’t mentioned him. What does he do?”
“Ah, young Ned does nothing, Father. We’re thinking of making a priest out of him.”

The Galtees

“10 shillings to go and a pound to come”

Monday, 23 December, 2013 0 Comments

In my mother’s time, life in the foothills of the Galtee Mountains was simple and, sometimes, short. When it came to illness, various traditional “cures” and treatments would be tried before the doctor would be called as he represented a considerable expense for people who eked out a living on tiny farms. “10 shillings to go and a pound to come” was the maxim that applied to the doctor, meaning that it cost 10 shillings to attend his practice and that he charged one pound to visit the home of the sick person.

When, for instance, a child was unwell and refusing to eat, jelly would be made as it was sweet and consisted mostly of water. Anyone unable to eat jelly was a considered a case for the doctor and then it was a question of spending either 10 shillings or a pound.

One pound

The Tipperary Star bids for ‘Headline of the Year’

Thursday, 5 December, 2013 0 Comments

According to the 2011 census of Ireland, the population of County Tipperary was 158,754. That of Tipperary Town was put at 4,415. Both numbers are useful as it is not clear which “Tipp” entity The Tipperary Star is referring to in its recent headline.

The Tipperary Star

Situation clarified: “There are twelve women working as prostitutes in County Tipperary at the present time, The Tipperary Star can reveal,” the paper reported on 19 November. Councillor Billy Clancy pointed to the example of Germany, where he claimed “that 1 million per day are availing of” legalised prostitution. “They are even opening a mega brothel at the moment and I just feel that if we introduce legislation to ban prostitution people will just go to where sex is available to satisfy their desires,” he added.

The Tipperary Star, by the way, is owned by Johnston Press, a British newspaper conglomerate, and has a declining weekly circulation, now below 7,000 copies, down from 9,000 in 2008. Given the “sex sells” theory of newspapering, The Tipperary Star knows which buttons to press when it comes to doing the business.

Changing station for Mr Bianconi’s horses

Sunday, 10 March, 2013 0 Comments
Changing station for Mr Bianconi’s horses

“In July, 1815, I started a car for the conveyance of passengers from Clonmel to Cahir, which I subsequently extended to Tipperary and Limerick. At the end of the same year I started similar cars from Clonmel to Cashel and Thurles, and from Clonmel to Carrick and Waterford; and I have since extended my establishment […]

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Jeremiah Ryan’s Bar

Sunday, 3 March, 2013 0 Comments
Jeremiah Ryan’s Bar

Location: At the foot of the Knockmealdown Mountains, where Tipperary meets Waterford. Jeremiah Ryan’s Bar is attached to a farmyard in Graigue, which is on the road from Clogheen to Goatenbridge, and visitors will find that there is no discernible line between work and leisure. Business is conducted amid the comforts of home and everything […]

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The Staves in the Caves

Saturday, 13 October, 2012

Emily Staveley-Taylor, Jessica Staveley-Taylor and Camilla Staveley-Taylor from Watford in England are The Staves and, starting on 26 October, the three sisters will be providing support for Bon Iver during his European tour. That’s “a feather in their cap”, as mother would say, but they’re earned it by putting in the work and the miles. […]

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Summiting Slievereagh on the longest day of the year

Sunday, 24 June, 2012
Summiting Slievereagh on the longest day of the year

The mountain is known locally as Slievereagh. The Irish form is An Sliabh Riabhach. The summit offers a panorama of the plains of Limerick and Tipperary.

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