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GAA Presidents Award Croke Park, Feb 9th 2018

GAA Presidents Award

Croke Park, Feb 9th 2018

On February 9th, 2018 in Croke Park, Seamus King was a recipient of one of the prestigious annual GAA President's Awards.  The award was in honor of Seamus's  ‘outstanding voluntary contribution to the GAA over a prolonged period’ and was presented by Uachtarán Aogán Ó Fearghail.

 Seamus J. King receives a GAA President's Award from Uachtaran Aogán Ó Fearghail

Seamus J. King receives a GAA President's Award from Uachtaran Aogán Ó Fearghail

 From left to right; Pádhraic Ó Ciardha, Leascheannasaí TG4, Patrick Farrell, Head AIB Area South, Seamus J.King, Uachtaran Aogán Ó Fearghail.

From left to right; Pádhraic Ó Ciardha, Leascheannasaí TG4, Patrick Farrell, Head AIB Area South, Seamus J.King, Uachtaran Aogán Ó Fearghail.

 A happy gathering of friends of Seamus J. King, Cashel King Cormacs, at Croke Park on Friday night, February 9, 2018.  Back row, left to right: Michael Perdue, Mick Mackey, Paul Hogan, Sharon Perdue, Shirley Hogan, Ruadhan King, Teresa Connolly, T. J. Connolly, Paddy Moloney, Pat Dunne, Tim Floyd, Liz Dunne, Liam King, Ger Slattery, Aodán Wrenn, Joe Regan;  Front row, left to right: Martin Cummins, Kathleen King, Uachtarán Aogán Ó Fearghail, Seamus J. King, Margaret King, Mattie Finnerty.

A happy gathering of friends of Seamus J. King, Cashel King Cormacs, at Croke Park on Friday night, February 9, 2018.

Back row, left to right: Michael Perdue, Mick Mackey, Paul Hogan, Sharon Perdue, Shirley Hogan, Ruadhan King, Teresa Connolly, T. J. Connolly, Paddy Moloney, Pat Dunne, Tim Floyd, Liz Dunne, Liam King, Ger Slattery, Aodán Wrenn, Joe Regan;

Front row, left to right: Martin Cummins, Kathleen King, Uachtarán Aogán Ó Fearghail, Seamus J. King, Margaret King, Mattie Finnerty.

 

A video highlight of the event can be seen below.

 

 

 

 

Marjorie Hamill (1941-2018) Eulogy at the Funeral Mass, Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Creagh, Feb 7th 2018

Marjorie Hamill (1941-2018)

Eulogy at the Funeral Mass, Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Creagh, Feb 7th 2018

 

Rev. Fathers, Andrew and Jane, members of the extended family.

I don't think it would be proper to allow Marjorie to disappear into the dark night of death without a few words in her honour.

I want to sympathise deeply with Andrew and Jane, who have lost a devoted mother, who was always there for them when they returned from their travels. She was the anchor of their lives.

Marjorie was the third in our family of two boys and two girls and she is the first to go and it will put a big gap in our lives because, even though we all lived apart we did keep in contact and we were always united on New Year's Eve with a meal and on New Year's day with a sumptuous repast  at Kathleen  and Liam's.

Marjorie was absent this year, having become ill on December 3, but we drank a few glasses in her absence and hoped that she would be well soon.

But, she wasn't. She gave us hope a few times during the past weeks but, more often than not it was only a short respite and, as the weeks wore on and she fought with the many failures in her system, our hopes for her recovery became fewer and we were all gathered on Sunday to watch her heading towards her end.

During this period we had the opportunity to have conversations with Andrew and Jane who, because of  their work continents away, had almost disappeared off our radar. Marjorie's illness brought us all closer together. 

During those weeks she was extremely well cared for by the front line staff in both the Portiuncula and Galway University Hospital. I have nothing but the highest praise for their caring professionalism and we are all extremely grateful to them for the way they looked after Marjorie during her last days.

Marjorie was a bit prone to accidents. We expected perhaps not the worst but something to go wrong when she was doing something. I remember going a play in the school in Oranmore when she was a boarder there. She was in charge of the curtain and she slipped off the stage and brought the curtain down with her.

Her driving skills were problematic and she had many an argument with piers and bollards.

She broke her leg on one occasion by falling over a trough for feeding the hens.

And, I heard last night that Marjorie went through a door in the Bundestag, Berlin for a smoke during a visit to that city, and almost created an international incident, when she tried to get back into the building!

I suppose because of these mishaps, we had a protective nature towards her, even though she learned to look after herself well.

I suppose another memory of her was to have been on the slow side. On one occasion we climbed Croagh Patrick and Liam and I left her behind on the way down, she was so slow. Also, at one stage she had to prepare the dinner at home for a period and she could never get it ready in time for Daddy who was a stickler for the 12 o'clock meal. Instead of improving her ways, she used to turn back the clock and convince him he had come in early.

But Marjorie managed and got on with her life and was in charge of medicines in St, Brigid's hospital at a time when the hospital was a very large going concern and in the days before computers were available to record and control what took place in her department.

And she did all this in a laid-back manner always having the time for a chat with a patient or a member of the staff. I suppose this is the quality I admired most about her, her time for people, her capacity to listen and to bond with others.

Her friends say she hadn't a bad bone in her body. They have nothing only good memories of her. She hadn't a bad word for people and was great to keep a secret. She didn't carry stories and was a thrusted friend

What I only learned recently was her love of poker, not high stakes stuff I might add but small stuff where a tenner pot would be big money. Marg and the cards revealed a different person.  She was a member of two schools and, as far as I can make out, she bossed both of them. She kept a great eye on the table and on the cards that were played and was very sharp on payments to the pool. In fact she wouldn't deal until everyone had the money paid in. Everything had to be in order before the cards could be dealt.

I suppose most of us associate Marjorie  with a love of smoking.. She was so happy when she had one and following the smoking ban, a regular sight during a gathering was to see her disappearing outside for the drag. We encouraged her often to give them up but she was never going to do so and it wasn't only the cigarette that gave her satisfaction but the conversations that occurred when she went out for her fix.

Marjorie had a good sense of fun and enjoyed the good story. I recall her remarking on how  all the old psychiatric hospitals were located between rivers and railways, as if the planners had a nefarious intent. She told me numerous stories from St. Brigid's and one she told with humour was of the patient running away and racing madly for the river and the nurses tearing after him with their white coats flying in the wind and he arrives at the water's edge before them and turns around to face his pursuers and says: I fooled you! I fooled you! The story tickled her humour.

And, so with these few thoughts and memories, we come to say a last farewell to Marjorie, the daughter of Joe King and Annie Slevin, the wife of the late David, the mother of Andrew and Jane, the sister of Maura, Seamus and Liam, the relation of an extended family, the friend of many of you and, as we do so we say goodbye to one who didn't do any extraordinary things during her seventy-seven years but who was a person with a generous heart,  a lively spirit, a person capable of strong friendships, and we wish eternal rest to her soul and that her memory will remain fresh in the lives of all who knew her.

 

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Michael F. Cronin (1901-1982) The Lamp, 2016-17, pages 56-60

Michael F. Cronin (1901-1982)

The Lamp, 2016-17, pages 56-60

 

Michael Finbar Cronin was born in Lorrha on the 26th September 1901. Seventeen years previously his father, Felix, had come to the parish as a National Teacher, all the way from Kilgarvan, Co. Kerry, where his parents had the Post Office. 

Three years after arriving at Lorrha Felix married a girl called Mary Dalv from Kenmare and they had ten children, eight boys and two girls. Michael was the seventh son. One of his brothers, Felix, became a Major General in the Irish Army. Another brother, Tom, lost his life in a shooting accident while out fowling. Two other brothers made their names on the hurling field: Gerard hurled for Clare and played against Michael. Phil played for Dublin. Michael was to make his name playing with Lorrha and Tipperary, the highlight of his hurling career winning an All-Ireland senior title in 1930 and being part of the American Tour the Tipperary team made in 1931

Michael was educated in his father's school in Lorrha and went to secondary at De La Salle, Waterford. After completing the secondary course, he transferred to the Teacher Training College. He got a fine gold medal in recognition of his position as De La Salle hurling team captain, 1922. 
On completing his teacher training he got a job at Lorrha and succeeded his father, almost immediately, as Principal. This was a controversial appointment as the practice was for a teacher to need five years’ teaching experience before becoming a Principal. The school manager, Fr. Gleeson, ignored the controversy, claiming that Michael was the best man for the job. The result was that when he retired in 1969, Michael Cronin must have been the longest serving National School Principal in the country. Later, he studied for his B.A. by driving to Galway after work. He was conferred in 1932 and received his Higher Diploma in Education the following year. He received an M.A. in 1935. He was also a fluent Irish speaker.

In an earlier article (Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook, 1983), I gave a detailed account of Michael Cronin’s hurling life. On this occasion I want to concentrate on his political life, which involved being one of the early members of Clann na Poblachta in Tipperary, a member of North Tipperary County Council from 1950-1967, and being a candidate for the Dáil in the 1948 and 1954 General Elections.

 

Party Established 1946

Clann na Poblachta was established in July 1946 as a radical alternative to the Fianna Fail party, which at that point had been in office continuously since early 1932. Many of those associated with the Clann were disaffected Fianna Fail supporters and the party appealed to disillusioned young urban voters and republicans, who were tired of de Valera and Civil War politics. Some of the members of the new party came from the ranks of the Irish National teachers Organisation, whose Dublin members had engaged in a protracted strike with the government on the issue of pay. 

The Clann set out to challenge Fianna Fail on economic and social policy in particular. The country was in a mess following the deprivations of the Second World War, suffering from emigration, economic stagnation, poor health and terrible housing conditions. For instance, over 4,000 people a year were dying of tuberculosis.

The new party’s primary purpose was to establish complete national independence and provide a decent living in a free Ireland for every citizen, who was able to engage in useful activity. It also claimed to stand for the ideals of the men of 1916.

The party got a great chance in 1947 when there were three bye-elections, in Dublin, Waterford and Tipperary. Clann na Poblachta decided to contest the three and won in Dublin and Tipperary.
The Tipperary candidate was Paddy Kinane of Upperchiurch, who had played a prominent part in the fight for freedom and was a strong supporter of Irish language and culture.

The bye-election was held on 29th October 1947 and it was the last election to be fought in the county as one constituency. It was called following the death of Clann na Talmhan T.D., William O’Donnell.

There were five candidates in the election and Kinane caused a sensation when he won the seat, even though he was well behind the Fianna Fáil front runner after the first count.

Sean Hayes (Fianna Fáil)                         17,169
Paddy Kinane (Clann na Poblachta)        11,471
Col. Jerry Ryan (Fine Gael)                11,341
Denis O’Sullivan (Labour)                 7,201
Michael Fitzgerald (Clann na Talmhan)         6,323

Kinnane caught up with Hayes in subsequent counts and was elected on the fourth with 23,265 votes to the Fianna Fáil candidate’s 21,647.

De Valera and Fianna Fail immediately recognised the threat caused by the new party and called a general election for 4th February 1948 in the hope of stymying the Clann’s progress. The result failed to reach their expectations.

 

His Political Beliefs
 

Michael Cronin worked for Paddy Kinane in the bye-election and when the General Election was called, was selected as a running mate for Kinane in the North Tipperary constituency.
In the course of the election he spoke at many political rallies and at Thurles on January 17, he elaborated on what the party stood for and what it would do for the Irish people.

He called Clann na Poblachta ‘a peace-loving, Christian, democratic party, whose political aim was the complete independence of Ireland and a 32-county republic.’

Economically, the party ‘would strive to develop their land and natural resources and their industries so that there would be a decent living for every citizen and a substantial volume of goods for export in order to pay for the materials, which they must necessarily import.’
He continued in the following vein: ‘They had a fertile land and a virile people and with full production and full employment there was no occasion for this proud nation to seek loans or charity from any other country. Must they go with hat in hand to beg for money or alms when they had the full means of production in their own country, good arable land, and willing workers to produce the bulk of their own requirements? Full production and full employment at a Christian family wage and related directly to the cost of living, would be assured if the people rallied around Sean McBride and Clann na Poblachta in the election.

‘Clann na Poblachta had a plan and a policy which would bring back to the Irish people their national self-respect, their complete political freedom, their economic opportunities and their cultural inheritance. Under the leadership of Sean McBride. Ireland would march forward to complete nationhood and to a fuller life for all its citizens,’

Cronin went on to describe the role of agriculture in the Irish economy: ‘Agriculture was their principal industry: it was the primary child of the nation and needed to be fostered and developed. Millions of acres, capable of producing excellent crops, but now flooded and incapable of yielding their best, must be drained and reclaimed and put to the best possible use.

The farmer must be encouraged to grow the crops best suited to his land and must be paid a price, which would be guaranteed over a number of years so that he could purchase in the certainty that he would be in a position to dispose of his products at a remunerative price and be enabled to pay the agricultural worker a proper wage for his labour. It was the first concern of Clann na Poblachta to ensure that the people of the land would have a decent honest livelihood in their own country.’

 

General Election

The 12th Dail was dissolved on January 14, 1948 and polling day was February 4. The electoral landscape was changed as a result of the Electoral (Amendment) Act 1947. This had increased the size of the Dáil from 138 to 147 seats. Another important change was the increase in the number of three-seat constituencies from 15 to 22. Under this change Tipperary was divided into two constituencies, Tipperary North with 3 seats and Tipperary South with 4 seats. Critics of the change claimed that the increase in three-seaters would enhance the chances of the bigger parties. 

There were eight candidates in the new North Tipperary constituency for three seats. Four of the candidates, Mary B. Ryan, F.F., Andrew Fogarty, F.F., Paddy Kinane, C. na P., and Dan Morrissey, F.G., were outgoing T.D.s, so one was going to lose out. As it happened Andrew Fogarty was the one, falling between two stools in the political divide of the county.

 

Election Results
 

The result of the first count was as follows in a total poll of 28, 217 with a quota of 7,055:

Dan Morrissey, F.G. 5656 (20.04%)
Mary B. Ryan, F.F. 4601 (16-31%)
Paddy Kinane, C.na P. 4502 (16.31%)
John Murphy, Lab. 4408 (15.62%)
Andrew Fogarty, F.F. 4377 (15.51%)
Thomas McDonagh, F.F. 2227 (7.89%)
Michael F. Cronin, C. na P. 1638 (5.81%)
Joubert Powell, F.G. 708 (2.51%)

Kinane, Ryan and Morrissey were elected in that order. A second Clann na Poblachts candidate, Timoney, was elected in South Tipperary. However, at national level the result was frustrating with only 10 T.D.s elected, in spite of receiving 13.3% of the national vote. A total of 93 candidates had stood for the party across the country but 51% lost their deposits.

Michael Cronin  was disappointed but realistically it was never going to happen that Clann na Poblachta would get a second seat in a three seat constituency.

In his concession speech he said that Clann na Poblachta were idealists. They were a new party and had got a fine vote. Paddy Kinane eventually headed the poll and it was great that Sean McBride had done so in Dublin also. The party gave the lead in idealism. They had the youth of the country behind them. It would take some time before the youth had the majority. Clann na Poblachta stood for a sovereign Irish republic and he believed Sean McBride was the only man to achieve that result. 

‘They owed allegiance to no one and never would and it would be the men who believed in Ireland Gaelic and free, who would achieve an independent republic, . . The party would get what they wanted by democratic means and they would one day rule the country, when the people would get freedom, democracy, prosperity and independence.’

The new Dáil met on February 18 to form a new government. De Valera was defeated by 75 votes to 70 for Taoiseach and a compromise candidate from Fine Gael, John A. Costello, was elected by 75 votes to 68. Four Independent T.D.s voted for de Valera in the first vote but two of them abstained in the vote for Costello.

The new government under Costello was known as the inter-party government. Clann na Poblachta became part of it following intensive debate and the decision was poorly received by a large minority, especially on the republican side, who found it loathsome to be political bed-fellows with Fine Gael. The party got two prestigious ministries with External Affairs going to Sean McBride and Health going to Dr. Noel Browne.

 

Decline of the Party

It has been said of Clann na Poblachta that the party reached the zenith of its power in the bye-elections of 1947 and that its decline began when it joined the interparty government in February 1948. As already stated the decision to go into power was not well received by many in the party. The party’s central organisation was weak and it became riven by disputes and personalities. The fact that the leader was away much, as Minister for External Affairs, didn’t help matters either. And, then the fate of Noel Browne in the Mother and Child controversy led to the party’s terminal decline. Many T.D.s resigned in sympathy with the Minister for Health.

The result of all this was that they lost eight seats in the 1951 General Election. Three were returned in 1954 and they supported the second interparty government but withdrew their support in 1956 because of the government’s I.R.A. stance. The party won one seat – John Tully in Cavan – in 1957 and he retained it in 1961 and 1965. Eventually, having struggled on to the latter year, the party was dissolved  following a special Árd Fheis in July.

The decline of the Clann na Poblachta is reflected in the party’s share of the national vote between 1948 and 1965. It peaked at 13.3% in 1948, declined to 4.1% in 1951, to 3.8% in 1954, to 1.7% in 1957, to 1.1% in 1961 and to 0.8% in 1965. Decline in North Tipperary

This decline in North Tipperary was equally dramatic. From 22.1% in 1948 the percentage of the vote for Clann na Poblachta dropped to 9.2% in 1951. There was a slight recovery to 10.00% in 1954 but further decline to 5.7% in 1957. The party didn’t contest the 1961 election in the constituency.

Michael Cronin didn’t run in the 1951 election. The three T.D.s elected were Dan Morrissey, F.G., John Fanning, F.F. and Marty Ryan, F.F. Paddy Tierney, Lab., contesting for the first time came fourth and Paddy Kinane came fifth with 2,601 votes as distinct from a combined vote of 6,140 for Clann na Poblachta in the 1948 election

Michael Cronin went forward again in the 1954 election and the combined vote of the party increased slightly. The three outgoing T.D.s, Morrissey, Ryan and Fanning, retained their seats. Paddy Kinane received 1898 votes or 6.72% of the poll, and Michael Cronin received 935 votes or 3.31% of the poll.

The party’s final fling was in 1961. Dan Morrissey, F.G. didn’t stand and the party failed to get a seat. Fianna Fail retained their two seats with John Fanning and Mary Ryan and Paddy Tierney, Lab. got elected for the first time.

Neither Paddy Kinane or Michael Cronin stood for Clann na Poblachta. Daniel Kennedy was the party’s candidate and he received 1537 votes or 5.7%. The party didn’t contest the constituency after that.

 

Local Elections

Michael Cronin was one of four councillors elected to North Tipperary County Council for the Borrisokane Area between 1950 and 1967.

In the 1951 local elections the electorate in the Borrisokane area was 6751, the turnout was 3637, the valid poll was 3601 and the quota was 721.

The results of the First Count were as follows:

Paddy Tierney, Lab. 913 (25.4%)
William Brennan, F.F. 816 (22.7%)
Martin Collins, F.G. 570 (15.8%)
Michael Cronin, C.na P. 523 (14.5%)
John Cahalan, F.F. 478 (13.3%)
James McGrath, C.na P. 188 (5.2%)
Michael Carroll, REP 113 (3.1%)

Michael Cronin was elected on the 5th count without reaching the quota.

The electorate in the 1955 local elections was 6,400, the turnout was 4235 and the quota was 836.

The results of the First Count were as follows:

Martin Collins, F.G. 1017 (28.7%)
Paddy Tierney, Lab. 895 (23.5)
John Cahalan, F.F. 868 (22.8%)
William Brennan, F.F. 526 (13.8%)
Michael Cronin, C.na P. 500 (13.1%)

Fifty transfers from Collins brought Cronin past Brennan in the second count and he got plenty of transfers in subsequent counts to be elected on the fourth count.

In the 1960 local elections the electorate was 6024, the turnout 3619, the valid poll was 3591 and the quota was 719.

The results of the First Count were as follows:

Paddy Tierney, Lab. 1068 (29.7%)
John Cahalan, F.F. 613 (17.1%)
Pat Cleary, F.G. 486 (13.5%)
Liam Whyte, F.G. 459 (12.8%)
Michael Cronin, C.na P. 435 (12.1%)
John Donoghue, F.F. 313 (8.7%)
Seamus Ó Slatarra, S.F. 217 (6.0%)

Tierney, Cahalan and Whyte were elected in that order and Croinin was elected on the Sixth Count

The next local election didn’t take place until 1967 and Michael Cronin stood as a Non-Party candidate on this occasion. The total valid poll was 4,110 and the quota was 823.

The results of the First Count were as follows:

Paddy Tierney, Lab. 863 (21.0%)
John Cahalan, F.F. 826 (20.1%)
Liam Whyte, F.G. 761 (18.5%)
James Darcy, F.G. 709 (17.2%)
John Cashen, 552 (13,4%)
Michael Cronin, Non-Party. 399 (9.7%)

Tierney and Cahalan were elected on the First Count and when Cronin was eliminated in the Second Count, his votes were distributed as follows: Whyte 146, Darcy 60, Cashen 90.
Whyte and Darcy were elected to the remaining seats. Following the count the remaining candidates sympathised with Cronin ‘who was a very good councillor and had served the area well.’

 

End of Political Career

This was the end of Michael Cronin’s political life. He was well got by all who knew him in politics and was noted for his loyalty. He was a member of the Library Committee and the Vocational Education Committee. His family- he married Madge Hoctor of Sharragh in 1938 and had three children, Clare, Felix and Mairead, who was tragically drowned in 1954- relate how avid a reader he was and how he enjoyed his membership of the Library Committee. 

 

The Most Fearless and Gallant Soldier I Have Ever Seen. The Story of Martin O’Meara The Lamp, 2016-2017, Journal of the Lorrha & Dorrha Historical Society, page 51

The Most Fearless and Gallant Soldier I Have Ever Seen.
The Story of Martin O’Meara

 

The Lamp, 2016-2017, Journal of the Lorrha & Dorrha Historical Society, page 51

 

The above is the title of the first full length biography of Martin O’Meara, ‘Australia’a only Irish-born Victoria Cross recipient of the First World War’. Written by Ian Loftus, an Australian journalist, and published by himself,  it fills many of the gaps in the life of arguably the most famous Lorrha man who ever lived.

The basic facts of Martin O’Meara’s life are clear. Born in Lissernane, Lorrha of farming stock he left Ireland circa 1911, first to Liverpool, later to Australia, where he worked in the timber business. Following the outbreak of World War 1, he enlisted with the Australian Imperial Force, was shipped to France, fought with extraordinary bravery on the Western Front, won a Victoria Cross, eventually got back to Australia in November 1918, was hospitalised in a mental institution soon after and died there in 1935, following which he was buried with full military honours at Karrakatta Cemetery near Perth.

The book is a fine example of investigative journalism. The author, as anyone who has researched the life of O’Meara will have found out, had vey little to go on when researching his subject. The amount of information on his early life is minimal excepting his baptismal record and the 1901 census. There is no information on his voyage to Australia. There is little information on his work life in Australia. He left little or nothing from his years in the army behind him with the exception of a badge and the Victoria Cross. Probably the most information available on him comes from the hospital records of the last sixteen years of his life in Claremont Hospital.

And, in spite of this paucity of source material, Ian Loftus has put together a very credible  account of his life in a publication of over 270 pages. In the context of what was available on the subject, he has written a comprehensive account of the life of Martin O’Meara, and his family, the people of Lorrha and others farther afield, who believe in the great personal qualities of the Victoria Cross winner, will be happy with the result.

There are many things that stand out in the account. I was delighted with the details of O’Meara’s life in south and west Australia that were discovered by the author through a diligent search of contemporary newspapers and documents. There is a lot of information on the role of scouting in which O’Meara was involved on the Western Front. He uses quotes from officers to describe O’Meara ‘s actions: ‘I saw O’Meara on a number of occasions attending to or bringing in wounded men from the area over which the Battalion had advanced to and from No Man’s Land. I estimate that the number of men rescued by him is not less than 20.’ And: ‘I saw O’Meara on many occasions on the 10-11-12th Aug. searching the ground for wounded to whom he rendered first aid and whom he subsequently brought in or assisted to bring in.’

The author has also sourced a lot of information on O’Meara’s relationship with Mary Murphy of Kilmacow. He also quotes from an interview which O’Meara gave after receiving the Victoria Cross, revealing the modesty of the man: ‘I am lucky, while others have gone unrewarded, because either their deeds were not seen, or their officers had fallen before they could make a recommendation.’ The author reproduces the grainy newsreel of the presentation of the Victoria Cross by King Ceorge V on July 21, 1917, one of twenty-four presented that day. According to the account Martin spoke briefly to the King ‘before saluting him and then marching away’.

There’s a detailed account of O’Meara’s involvement in the war and a lengthy presentation of medical reports from his time in Claremont Hospital. Some of the latter make sad reading. He was no sooner back on Australian soil than he suffered a serious mental breakdown which was probably the result of the traumatic conditions he experienced during the war. The result was a deterioration in his behaviour which led to him being placed in a straight jacket in the evenings and he remained in it until 11 o’clock the next day.

The author has a chapter on the two wills that Martin made during his life and how their differences were resolved. There is a chapter entitled ‘Remembering Martin O’Meara’ on how he is remembered in Australia and Ireland. There is also a collection of all the extant photographs of the man reproduced in an appendix.

This book would make a great Christmas gift for and is available to purchase by clicking here. It is also available from the Army Museum of Western Australia at Fremantle, the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, and from Boffins, Perth’s best specialist bookshop. The book can also be purchased directly from me – I have a small stock myself – and I welcome inquiries – feel free to contact me directly at ianloftus@gmail.com

 

 

Laochra Gael Awards 2003-2016 West G.A.A. Convention Handbook, December 7, 2016

Laochra Gael Awards 2003-2016

West G.A.A. Convention Handbook, December 7, 2016

 

The Laochra Gael Awards, originally known as the Sean Gael Awards, were inaugurated at a meeting in Hayes’s Hotel, Thurles on April 23, 2003. The attendance included John Moloney, Noel Morris, John Costigan, Pat Moroney, Seamus J. King and Michael O’Meara. Seamus McCarthy was unable to be present. At the outset John Moloney, who had initiated the idea, was unanimously appointed chairman and Michael O’Meara secretary.
 
The chairman outlined the aims of the group, which were chiefly to honour annually persons over 70 years of age, who had given significant service to the Gaelic Athletic Association in whatever capacity, player, official, groundsman, , jersey carrier, tea maker, referee, umpire, etc
 
Initially it was decided to present 40 awards annually, 10 per division, in order to catch up with a backlog of deserving persons. The number was reduced to 32 in 2008 and to 24 in 2014. To date 472 awards have been presented.
 
The awards presentation took place in Brú Ború, Cashel up to 2008, when they were transferred to the Dome, Semple Stadium. The guest of honour is usually a distinguished figure in the G.A.A. The guests of honour at the early presentations, were Past Presidents, Joe MacDonagh, Jack Boothman and Sean Kelly.
 
 

West Division Recipients
 

The following persons in the West Division have received awards to date.
Aherlow: Mgr. Christopher Lee, Tom O’Shea, Philly Kiely, Billy Kiely, Hannie Hanley, Jack Ivory, Jackie Bourke,
Arravale Rovers: James O’Donoghue, Hugh Kennedy,  Richard Meagher, Sean Hayes, Liam O’Dwyer, John Cleary (Tipperary H.C.), Seamus O’Donoghue,
Cappawhite: Willie Walsh, John Treacy, Joe O’Carroll, Jerry Creedon, Paul McCarthy, Tom Joe McGrath, Anne Holmes, Francis Grisewood.
Cashel King Cormacs: Mickey Murphy, Pat Donoghue, Willie O’Gorman, Michael O’Dwyer, Pat O’Donoghue (Cashel H.C.), Paddy O’Sullivan, Peter O’Sullivan, Albert Carrie (Cashel H.C.)
Clonoulty-Rossmore: Fr. Roger Kinane, Philip Maher, Jack Gleeson, Tom Ryan (Casey), Joe Tuohy,  Michael O’Dwyer, Philip Maher, Tom Ryan, Michael Coen.
Eire Óg: Thady O’Carroll, Mick Gleeson, Pakie Joe Ryan, Martin ‘F’ O’Dwyer, Michael Ryan ©, Liam O’Dwyer, D. J. Gleeson, Don O’Mahony,
Emly: Jimmy Ryan, Paddy Clancy, Mick Frawley, Patsy Dawson, Sean McManus, Mike Dawson, Martin Condon, Michael Burke.
Galtee Rovers: Jim Byron, Jim Doocey, Jerry Whyte, John Moloney, Jimmy Quirke, Nicholas Bergin, Larry Roche, Roger Roche, John Marnane,
Glengar: D. J. Treacy, Harry Bradshaw, John Ryan (Luke), Michael Ryan.
Golden-Kilfeacle: Tommy Landers, Con Cash, Jack Leamy, John Bargary, Arthur Landers, John Stapleton, Alice O’Carroll.
Kickhams: Jimmy Hennessy, John Farrell, Tom McCormack, Maurice Ryan, Paddy Ryan, Bill Hayes, Joe Lonergan, Billy Shanahan.
Lattin-Cullen: Jimmy Hannon, Ned O’Neill, Jackie Hannon, Liam Leahy, Johnny Slattery, Michael Maguire, Sean Crowe, George Ryan
Rockwell Rovers: Val O’Dwyer, Tim Curran, Andy O’Dwyer, Paddy Hally, Philip Heaney, Tom Buckley,
Rosegreen: Paddy Cooke, Willie O’Grady, Teddy Gould, Oliver O’Donnell,
Sean Treacys: T. J. Caplis, Michael Ryan, Mick Caplis, Bill Quigley, Jerry Fahey, T. K. O’Dwyer, Fr. Christy O’Dwyer, Michael O’Brien, Michael Ryan (W),
Solohead: Bill Stapleton, Donie Nolan, Dick O’Connor, Con Ahearne, Michael Cunningham, Paddy Verdon, Lar O’Keeffe.

The total number of West recipients is 117, of whom 3 are women. Hannie Hanley broke the mould in 2008, when she was nominated by Aherlow. Anne Holmes was nominated by Cappawhite in 2015 and Alice O’Carroll by Golden-Kilfeacle in 2016.

The 2016 awards were presented at the Dome, Semple Stadium on November 20 with Tipperary senior hurling manager, Michael Ryan, Guest of Honour.

The current organising committee is as follows: chairman, John Costigan, secretary, Seamus J. King, Seamus McCarthy, Sean Nugent, Noel Morris, Michael Bourke

 

 

Memories & Reflections, Twenty Five Years Later Strictly Come Dancing Program, Halla Na Feile, Cashel, June 5th 2016

Memories & Reflections, Twenty Five Years Later

Strictly Come Dancing Program, Halla Na Feile, Cashel, June 5th 2016

 

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 Cashel King Cormac’s club president, Willie Ryan (T), (the man with the cap), watching proceedings during the presentation of the cup at Cappawhite.

Cashel King Cormac’s club president, Willie Ryan (T), (the man with the cap), watching proceedings during the presentation of the cup at Cappawhite.

Twenty-five years on from what was probably the club’s greatest year, Cashel King Cormac’s are remembering the glorious year of 1991 when the senior hurlers climbed to the summit in winning the county senior hurling championship for the first time. They went on to take the Munster title and narrowly missed out on All-Ireland honours.


They were accompanied to county honours by the junior and under-21 teams, an achievement unmatched up to then by any club in the county. In fact, earlier in the year on January 13 to be exact, Cashel won another county final, albeit for 1990, when they defeated Commercials in the under-21 football championship final at Kilsheelan. Three players, Seanie Barron, Seanie O’Donoghue and Joe O’Leary, were members of all four panels giving them a unique personal distinction.

The senior success was the most celebrated because it was a first for the club. The King Cormac’s reached the final the previous year only to lose out to Holycross-Ballycahill on a miserably wet day. Three earlier final appearances, in 1937, 1939 and 1940, also ended in defeat.

 

A Long Wait
 

 M. Quinn (Referee) about to throw in the ball before the Munster Club final at Mitchelstown, December 1991. Cashel King Cormac’s captain, Colm Bonnar, and Midleton captain, Ger Fitzgerald.   

M. Quinn (Referee) about to throw in the ball before the Munster Club final at Mitchelstown, December 1991. Cashel King Cormac’s captain, Colm Bonnar, and Midleton captain, Ger Fitzgerald.

 

So, when victory eventually came at the final hurdle in 1991 it was long-awaited, greatly savoured and much celebrated. In fact my memory is of outstanding occasions in O’Reilly’s Pub, later O’Sullivan’s, Chief’s, Campion’s, Penny Lane and currently McCarthy’s. It was a wonderful pub for celebration, having three entrances to facilitate access on crowded occasions!

It was also a time  of  unprecedented  support for the club with great crowds attending the games, plenty of financial sponsorship – Garveys Supervalu was proudly displayed on the jerseys
- and support. The level of that support was reflected in the turnout for the club social after the 1991 victory when 330 sat down to dinner at Dundrum House Hotel. I remember the extensive display of silverware that night, all shining brightly following hours of work by Tricia Fitzell.

Another memory from these years was the excitement of club president, Willie Ryan (T) as victory followed victory. He walked on air!

There were signs in 1988 that the hurling prospects of the club were improving. Although beaten ultimately by Borrisileigh in the county semi-final, Cashel’s performance in the final quarter of that game, which produced goals from Peter Fitzell and Sean Slattery, gave the supporters hope that there was a future for the team and made the public look up at a new hurling force.

Another development that year was the success of the minors in winning the county championship. This was followed up in 1989 with a further success in that grade and, while the seniors stumbled and fell badly against Cappawhite in the West championship, there were a number of recruits from the minor sides, like Ailbe Bonnar, T.J. Connolly, Raymie Ryan, Timmy Moloney and Seanie O’Donoghue, who were bursting to get into the senior ranks.

 

 

Outside Help

The following year, 1990, was a crucial one. There was the promise shown in 1988 and the influx of young talent from the minor champions. Something extra was required to drive the team to a higher level. This came with the appointment of Justin McCarthy as coach.


Justin brought to the team a number of very important things. Probably the first was an immense experience from years of managing not only club but county teams as well and the respect that this generated in the players. Then there was his total dedication to the cause of Cashel King Cormac’s. The club became the only one that mattered to him and he thought about it and planned for it not only when he was in Leahy Park but when travelling to or away after a training session. There was also his totally professional approach, one aspect of which was his emphasis on how every hurley had to be an individual piece of equipment for each player and he spent many hours shaping and repairing hurleys to meet individual requirements. There were also his man-management skills which facilitated good individual rapport with each player. In fact the team became a family and Justin’s family became part of that family.

 The victorious Cashel King Cormac’s panel of 1991  Back row, left to right: Seanie O’Donoghue, James O’Donoghue (RIP), Ramie Ryan, John Ryan, Pat O’Donoghue, John Grogan, Seanie Morrissey, Seanie Barron, Don Higgins, Joe Minogue; Middle row, left to right: Pa Fitzell, Willie Fitzell, Sean Slattery, Tommy Grogan, Ailbe Bonnar, Colm Bonnar (capt.), Cormac Bonnar, Conal Bonnar, Timmy Moloney; Front row, left to right: Joe O’Leary, Ger Slattery, Michael Perdue, Declan McGrath, Liam Devitt, T.J. Connolly, Tony Slattery, Peter Fitzell.

The victorious Cashel King Cormac’s panel of 1991

Back row, left to right: Seanie O’Donoghue, James O’Donoghue (RIP), Ramie Ryan, John Ryan, Pat O’Donoghue, John Grogan, Seanie Morrissey, Seanie Barron, Don Higgins, Joe Minogue;
Middle row, left to right: Pa Fitzell, Willie Fitzell, Sean Slattery, Tommy Grogan, Ailbe Bonnar, Colm Bonnar (capt.), Cormac Bonnar, Conal Bonnar, Timmy Moloney;
Front row, left to right: Joe O’Leary, Ger Slattery, Michael Perdue, Declan McGrath, Liam Devitt,
T.J. Connolly, Tony Slattery, Peter Fitzell.

The result was that he developed  the  players not only into a better bunch of hurlers but into a better team as well. He raised the bar of their performances and the result was qualification for the 1990 county final.

 

Other Contributors
 

 Cashel King Cormac’s first aid man, Pearse Bonnar, dispensing aid to son, Conal, with Justin McCarthy looking on.

Cashel King Cormac’s first aid man, Pearse Bonnar, dispensing aid to son, Conal, with Justin McCarthy looking on.

It would be an omission not to mention two other people who played an important part in the preparation of the team, Dinny Keating and Paddy Greaney.  Dinny looked after Leahy Park and had it perfectly prepared for every training session, even to the extent of having tea in the dressing-rooms – the milk supplied by Tommy Moloney – after training sessions!  He may be an unsung hero but anyone who remembers his many years of contribution to the park, will agree that any praise of him is well-deserved. Paddy’s contribution was in another area. As well as being the club’s greatest promotor of the County Draw with over one hundred subscribers, Paddy was the person who gave the team their supper in the splendid surroundings of the panelled Vincent O’Brien room in the Cashel Palace Hotel, a place not normally associated with hurling. This was an innovation inspired by Justin following the last training session before matches. The food was always top class and the place conducive to the pep talks given by the selectors, Brendan Bonnar, John Darmody and Aengus Ryan, as well as contributions from the players.

 Paddy Greaney, Tommy Grogan and Dinny Keating

Paddy Greaney, Tommy Grogan and Dinny Keating


The rising graph of success was temporarily halted with defeat in the 1990 county final. This was a finely balanced game throughout. Holycross led by 0-6 to 0-4 at the interval on a day when the weather made good hurling difficult. In fact Tommy Grogan had the ball in the net eight minutes before half-time, only for the referee to call back the play for a foul on Jamesie O’Donoghue. With eight minutes to play the sides were level but it was Holycross’s, Tony Lanigan, who got the winning scores, three unanswered points in the final minutes.

 Cashel King Cormac’s, West senior hurling champions 1993  Back row, left to right: T.J. Connolly, Joe O’Leary, Donal Ryan, Pat O’Donoghue, John Ryan, Seanie O’Donoghue, Joe Minogue; Front row, left to right: Michael Butler, Ramie Ryan, Ailbe Bonnar, Colm Bonnar, Conal Bonnar, Cormac Bonnar, Willie Fitzell (capt.), Michael Perdue.   

Cashel King Cormac’s, West senior hurling champions 1993

Back row, left to right: T.J. Connolly, Joe O’Leary, Donal Ryan, Pat O’Donoghue, John Ryan, Seanie O’Donoghue, Joe Minogue;
Front row, left to right: Michael Butler, Ramie Ryan, Ailbe Bonnar, Colm Bonnar, Conal Bonnar, Cormac Bonnar, Willie Fitzell (capt.), Michael Perdue.

 

Holycross had lost to Clonoulty- Rossmore in 1989 and the mantra was that a team had to lose one to win one. Would Cashel’s time come in 1991?

 

A Team of Brothers
 

 At the last meeting before the 1991 county final, the selectors and Justin McCarthy went into conclave in the Cashel Palace Hotel to pick the team. This piece of paper, supplied by Aengus Ryan from his job as office manager in O'Connors Vets, was used for writing out the team, and the handwriting was by Aengus

At the last meeting before the 1991 county final, the selectors and Justin McCarthy went into conclave in the Cashel Palace Hotel to pick the team. This piece of paper, supplied by Aengus Ryan from his job as office manager in O'Connors Vets, was used for writing out the team, and the handwriting was by Aengus

One of the contributory factors to the strength of the Cashel team in 1991 was its brotherly composition. Over half the panel, fifteen out of twenty-seven, was made up of bands of brothers.

The Bonnars contributed Cormac, Colm, who was also captain, Conal and Ailbe. In mentioning them one has to include Pearse, the father of them all, who was the first aid man to the team and who was a familiar figure rushing in from the sideline – belying his years - with his case of aids for the injured. And, there was also Brendan, one of the three selectors, making it an overwhelming family affair, which was manifested in the sign erected on the Cahir entrance to the town: ‘Welcome to Bonnar City’!.

The other bands of brothers were the Fitzells, Pa, Peter and Willie, the Grogans, John and Tommy, the O’Donoghues, Pat, Jamesie (RIP) and Seanie, and the Slatterys, Tony, Ger and Sean. Needless to add the remaining twelve members of the panel, who included cousins T. J. Connolly and Raymie Ryan, also contributed significantly to the team’s success.

 

Used to Success
 

Any reflection on this team has to question why it took so long to achieve success. Some of the panel had achieved county success as long ago as 1969, when Cashel under-13s won the county final in football and were beaten by Ballina in the hurling final with virtually the same panel of players. The team included John and Tommy Grogan, Tony Slattery, Joe Minogue, Don Higgins, Brendan and Cormac Bonnar, Pa Fitzell. Guided by the coaching and management of Brother Noonan the club enjoyed further unprecedented success during the early seventies, culminating in successive county minor successes in 1974 and 1975. Progress stalled after that with West senior titles in 1975, 1976 and 1980 and, as mentioned above, in 1988, but no progression to county titles that the successes between 1969 and 1975 might have anticipated.

 Cashel King Cormac supporters after county quarter-finals at Golden in 1991 Left to right: T.J. Connolly, Jim O’Leary, Brendan Bonnar, Denis Fitzgerald.

Cashel King Cormac supporters after county quarter-finals at Golden in 1991
Left to right: T.J. Connolly, Jim O’Leary, Brendan Bonnar, Denis Fitzgerald.

 The management team in 1991 Back row, left to right: selectors, Jack Darmody, Aengus Ryan and Brendan Bonnar; Front row, left to right: club chairman, Seamus J. King and coach, Justin McCarthy

The management team in 1991
Back row, left to right: selectors, Jack Darmody, Aengus Ryan and Brendan Bonnar;
Front row, left to right: club chairman, Seamus J. King and coach, Justin McCarthy

The  victory  over  Holycross  by  2-8   to 1-5 in 1991 final was belated then as the expectation created by  the  victories  in 1969 and the years following was only then realised. However, these thoughts were far from the mind of Colm Bonnar , when he became the first Cashel player to receive the Dan Breen Cup from county chairman, Michael Maguire. Neither did they dim the excitement of Raymie Ryan, as he received the man-of-the-match award,  his third time to be so honoured on county final day, having twice accepted similar honours following the minor deciders in 1988 and 1989.

Whenever players and supporters look back to the early nineties they remember a time when it was great to be alive, when the King Cormac’s reached the summit and when it was such pleasure to follow them.

 

 At the launch of Justin McCarthy’s book ‘Hooked, at Rochestown Park Hotel, Cork on April 22, 2002 Back row, left to right: Seamus J. King, John Grogan, John Ryan, Tommy Grogan, Raymie Ryan, Cormac Bonnar; Front row, left to right: Michael Perdue, Jack Darmody, Mattie Finnerty, Ger Slattery.   

At the launch of Justin McCarthy’s book ‘Hooked, at Rochestown Park Hotel, Cork on April 22, 2002
Back row, left to right: Seamus J. King, John Grogan, John Ryan, Tommy Grogan, Raymie Ryan, Cormac Bonnar;
Front row, left to right: Michael Perdue, Jack Darmody, Mattie Finnerty, Ger Slattery.

 

 

 

 

 

Knocknagow United Sports Panel Presentation Booklet for the Annerville Awards, Clonmel Park Hotel, Jan 23rd, 2016

Knocknagow

United Sports Panel Presentation Booklet for the Annerville Awards, Clonmel Park Hotel, Jan 23rd, 2016

 

I love you, Tipperary dear, for sake of him who told
The tale of homely ‘Knocknagow’ – its hearts as true as gold –
For sake of ‘Matt the Thresher’s’ strength, and Nora Leahy’s grace,
I love you, Tipperary, tho’ I never saw your face.

 

The words are by Brian O’Higgins and the poem includes five more verses outlining all the places of beauty in the county that he loves as well as ‘one dear friend, Within whose eyes your smiles and tears forever meet and blend.’

O’Higgins was born in County Meath in 1882 and took part in the Easter Rising. He was present in the GPO during the rebellion. Elected MP for Clare in 1918, he was re-elected to the Dáil in 1921, 1922 and 1923. He opposed the Anglo-Irish Treaty and lost his seat in the 1927 election. Active in the Gaelic League, he started a successful publishing company in the late twenties. He was an ardent lover of Ireland, its history, culture, language and freedom. From 1935 to 1962 he published the Wolfe Tone Annual in which he presented Irish history from a republican viewpoint. He died in 1963.

O’Higgins gave the background to his poem: ‘I always had a special love for Tipperary as my mother, God rest her, told us the stories of Kickham and recited the poems for us even before we were able to read, and when I did read them my love for Tipperary grew. It was far back in 1903, when I was a patient here in a Dublin hospital, that I wrote ‘I love You, Tipperary.’ While convalescing I amused myself and the other patients by composing poems. One day, a Tipperary man said to me: ‘It’s a pity you don’t write something about Tipperary.’ ‘But I have never seen Tipperary,’ I answered. ‘What matter? Haven’t you read Kickham?’ I composed this poem that day.’

 

Charles J Kickham

And, of course, as most people know, it was Charles J. Kickham who created Knocknagow, when he wrote his great novel, entitled Knocknagow, or the Homes of Tipperary. Published in 1879, it was an instant success and ran to seven editions between then and 1887. In it the author presents an idealised picture of the contemporary peasant as ‘simple-minded, honest-souled, high-spirited, animated and inspired by two noble passions, love of his religion and his country.’

This love of country finds expression in one of the most memorable incidents in the novel, the sledge throwing contest between Captain French and Matt the Thresher. The Captain has just delivered a huge third throw and most of the spectators doubted if Matt could possibly beat it. The account continues:

‘The captain is a good fellow,’ thought Mat Donovan, ‘and I’d like to lave him the majority – if I could do it honourable.’

He looked on the anxious faces of those around him; he looked at Bessy Morris; but still he was undecided. Some one struck the big drum a single blow, as if by accident, and, turning round quickly, the thatched roofs of the hamlet caught his eye. And, strange to say, those old mud walls and thatched roofs roused him as nothing else could. His breast heaved as, with glistening eyes and that soft plaintive smile of his, he uttered the words: ‘For the credit of the little village!’ in a tone of the deepest tenderness. Then, grasping the sledge in his right hand, and drawing himself up to his full height, he measured the captain’s cast with his eye. The muscles of his arms seemed to start out like cords of steel as he wheeled slowly around and shot the ponderous sledge through the air.

His eyes dilated, as, with quivering nostrils, he watched its flight, till it fell far beyond the best mark that even he himself started with astonishment. Then a shout of exultation burst from the excited throng; hands were convulsively grasped, and hats sent flying into the air, and in their wild joy they crushed around him and tried to lift him upon their shoulders.

‘O boys, boys,’ he remonstrated, ‘be ‘asy. Sure ‘tisn’t the first time ye see me throw a sledge. Don’t do anything that might offend the captain afther comin’ here among us to show ye a little diversion.’

 

 

For the Credit of the Little Village

‘For the credit of the little village’ has become a mantra of exhortation for all sporting endeavour in the county since then. Wherever the Tipperary sportsperson finds himself, he is exhorted to give his all, just as Mat did, for the honour and glory of his native place.

The mythical name of Knocknagow, with its broad vowels and solid sound, is synonymous with the county. It reflects great love for home and hearth, for friends and neighbours, for one’s native place, however small and insignificant it may appear to others.

The kind of inspiration that lifted Mat’s achievement to such heights came from the sights and sounds of the people around him, the people of his own  kith and kin. He was their representative, their saviour, their champion against the forces outside Knocknagow.

This kind of endeavour is extraordinary and drives  people to greater heights of achievement. One does it for one’s community and there is no nobler cause than the protection of and championing the cause of one’s community.

Of course the whole episode presents an idealised picture. There is a nobility and decency about Mat’s motives that are almost saint-like.. The captain is a guest in the community and the laws of hospitality have to be observed. These laws demand that you don’t do anything that might offend your guest and that is where Mat is torn, between his desire to champion his community and yet not beat the captain. The sound of the drum helps to make up his mind but when he has delivered his winning cast, he tries to prevent his supporters from being too triumphal.

Although it  presents an idealised version of Irish peasant life in nineteenth century Ireland, it does show the importance of local loyalty in driving people to greater endeavour for their communities. The G.A.A. recognised this when they made the parish the basic unit of the new Association, which came into existence only five years after the publication of Kickhams’s novel.

It is appropriate that the most prestigious of the Annerville Awards, which recognise athletic achievements, is the Knocknagow. Introduced in 1962, three years after the awards were initiated, the Knocknagow award is a unique and special honour for an athlete from the past. It recognises the pinnacle of achievement and the high level of excellence reached through dedicated commitment.. 

Paddy Anglim (1904-1954) - Irish Olympic Athlete Rosegreen Community Hall on July 8, 2016

Paddy Anglim (1904-1954) - Irish Olympic Athlete

On the occasion of the unveiling of plaque in his honour at Rosegreen Community Hall on July 8, 2016

 

On July 23, 1928 a party of 38 competitors, 33 men and 5 women, departed Westland Row Railway Station, Dublin for the start of a journey that would take them to Amsterdam for the Summer Olympics.

There were 11 athletes in the party and included were two Tipperary men, Paddy Anglim from Rosegreen, who was scheduled to compete in the ‘running broad jump’ and T. D. Phelan,  whose farther was a Clonmel man and who had qualified to take part in the hop, step and jump.
The party took the Mail Boat to London, having been seen off by President Cosgrave, and stayed there over night. They joined the Dutch Steamship, Orange Nassau, at Harwich the following day and sailed for Amsterdam. The boat was to be their accommodation and headquarters for the duration of the Olympics.

In an editorial on the day of their departure from Dublin, the irish Independent took a realistic attitude to Ireland’s chances of winning medals: ‘If we may judge from recorded performance this season, only one of the Irish team, Dr. O’Callaghan in hammer-throwing – has a reasonably good chance of winning his event. In the long jump, for example, the Irish representative (Paddy Anglim isn’t named) will be doing well if he exceeds 23 feet; a score of his foreign rivals will be under their best if they do not exceed 24 feet.’

Paddy Anglim qualified for the Olympics by virtue of his performance in the Irish Athletic Championships at Croke Park in June 1928, when he won the long jump with a jump of 24’ - 41/2” or 7.12 metres, the best jump in the national championships since 1906. It was a spectacular performance as there wasn’t much known about the athlete at the national level before then.

Paddy was born in Rosegreen on September 6, 1904, the only boy in a family of four children. His father was a farmer. There is very little information available of his younger years. He started in Rosegreen National School in January 1910 and was registered under the name of Pat Anglim. He attended only twenty-four days during the first three months. He remained there until 1920. In his last year he was in seventh class. There was only one other pupil in the class, a girl, and whether that had anything to do with the matter, he  attended for only twenty-seven days in his final year. It is believed that Paddy attended Rockwell College for some time but was unhappy there and finished his secondary schooling in Clonmel High School. Presumably he helped out on the farm during the holidays though from an early age he had little interest in farming. 

When he became aware of his athletic ability we don’t know. Neither do we know for certain when he joined the fledgling An Garda Siochana. The Civic Guard had been formed by the Provisional Government in February 1922 to take over the responsibility of policing the new state. It took over responsibility from the RIC and the Dublin Metropolitan Police. Later the name of the force was changed to An Garda Siochana with the creation of the Irish Free State in August 1923.

The first Commissioner was Michael Staines but he lasted only eight months and was succeeded by General Eoin O’Duffy. The latter was a physical fitness enthusiast and he put a great emphasis on the physical development of the new police force. He favoured the athletic types and any members of the force, who showed athletic talent was given every opportunity to develop and improve it.

The best information we have on how Paddy joined An Garda Siochána comes from Seamus Leahy. He got to know Paddy Anglim in 1952 at the time of a diphtheria outbreak in Nenagh, following which Paddy became a visitor to the family home. He recalls one conversation in which they were told how Paddy joined the new force. He was performing at some sports and this man arrived and began to take an interest in how Paddy was performing. At some stage he asked Paddy of his plans and whether he was interested in joining the new police force. The man turned out to be General Eoin O’Duffy.  He gave Paddy the fare for the train to Dublin and the following Tuesday he left Rosegreen with a suit case and presented himself in the Phoenix Park, where he was taken on as a new recruit.

Paddy’s athletic ability must have impressed the recruitment officers because when he applied to join he was a half inch short of the required height, 5’ 81/2 inches instead of 5’ 9”. So he got the name as the smallest  member of the force!

It would appear that the year was 1924, when he was twenty years of age because in that year the family farm was leased and was to remain so for nearly 30 years until Paddy’s second son, P. J., took it back in 1953.

There are many gaps in our knowledge of Paddy Anglim’s life during his first four years in An Garda Siochana. It appears that his first station was in Oylgate, Co. Wexford from which he was transferred to Clonmel. Later he was moved to Roscrea and he finished up his life in Puckane in the north of the county. He remained an ordinary policeman all his life and was never interested in becoming a sergeant.

Paddy was a member of Clonmel Athletic and Cycling Club and represented the club in many sports in the years before the 1928 Olympics. We read that on July 1, 1928 he took part in a sports meeting in Ballinasloe and ‘secured a very fine silver cup for the 100 yards open handicap.’ The following day he performed at the Cappawhite sports. His son, P. J. told me that at one stage a case he had for holding medals contained no fewer that seventy-three. Sadly this impressive collection was dispersed over time as the medals were taken by members of the family, and more, plus other athletic prizes, given away to friends. It appears that Paddy didn’t put too much store on his winnings as if taking part was the most important thing.

We do have a reference to achievements of his in 1926. He represented Tipperary against Limerick in an intercounty contest in that year and another reference has him winning the long jump and the pole vault at the Clonmel sports.

At any rate whatever he was doing during these years must have convinced him that he was above the ordinary in his athletic ability and quite capable of competing at the national level. He made his first appearance in the Irish Athletic Championships at Croke Park in June 1928 and made a winning long jump of 23’-41/2” or. In metre measurements, 7.16. It was a sensational jump and shot him so much into the national headlines that he was chosen to represent Ireland the following month in the Summer Games.

Unfortunately his achievement in Amsterdam didn’t live up to expectations as his best jump was 6.81 metres or 22’ 4”, well below his 7.16 in the national championships. He came 21st out of 41 competitors and well behind the winning jump of 25’ 5” of the U.S. athlete, Hans.

Paddy came 3rd in the long jump the National Championships in 1929 and second the following year. Then came his glorious achievement of six championships in six years, 1931-1936 inclusive. During these years he never bettered the mark he set in the 1928 championship. His best recorded jump was made in Tipperary Town on August 24, 1934, when he reached 24’ 6”.

His versatility as an athlete was revealed during these years. As well as the long jump Paddy won four National championships in the Pole Vault in 1931, 1932 1933, and 1934, and he came second in 1935. Also in the 1932 National Championships he came third in the javelin.

Michael O’Dwyer, who has written extensively on the exploits of Tipperarymen in sport, has this to say about Paddy Anglim’s achievements: ‘As well as his 24 ‘ 6” in the long jump, he could throw the javelin over 150 feet, he was a handy sprinter, a 37 feet shot putter and 5’ 7” high jumper, once recorded 15.8 seconds in the 120 yards hurdles, and on August 23, 1931 at the Templemore Garda Sports, he jumped 11’ 7” in the pole vault, beating his own Irish record.’ An impressive record indeed.

Paddy first represented Ireland internationally at Croke Park in 1929, competing in the long jump against Achilles AC. He won the long jump in the international v England and Scotland at Crewe in 1930, the only Irish victory with Pat O’Callaghan’s in the hammer. He won twice in internationals in 1931 in Dublin and was victorious in Edinburgh in 1932, his achievements internationally following his national championship wins.

He travelled to Wales in August 1934 to compete in the Swansea Valley Athletic Sports, where he not only broke the Welsh long jump and pole vault records but he also won the shot putt and discuss events.

He took part in the 1936 Irish All-Round Championships, or the Decathlon, held at Killarney Stadium and finished second to Ned Tobin.

Probably the greatest disappointment in Paddy Anglim’s life was his failure to qualify for the long jump at the 1932 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. At the Irish Olympic trials the standard set was  23’ 10”. In his final jump Paddy landed out over the 24’ mark but fell back on one hand and the measuring tape had to be put on the hand mark, which was 23’ 8” from the board. He was convinced that had he got to Los Angeles his jump would have improved greatly and he was always disappointed that he never got the chance of joining O’Callaghan and Tisdall, who did so well at the games.

Paddy married Kathleen Carroll in 1931 and the couple had seven children, six boys, Willie, P. J., Francis, Matt, Thomas and John, and Rita, who came in the middle of the six boys. Matt and Rita have departed this life.

Paddy, himself died tragically at the young age of 49 years on March 3, 1954. He had been in bad health for some time and had been out of work since the previous September. It is appropriate that we should remember his passing on the evening that Mass was celebrated in Rosegreen Cemetery, where he is buried.

Equally important is the celebration of his life, which the unveiling of this plaque to his memory is all about.  Galteemore in the Nationalist on the occasion of his death, referred to him as ‘a splendid all round athlete’ as indeed he was and as these remarks about his athletic achievements bear eloquent testimony of. The village of Rosegreen and the wider parish of Cashel & Rosegreen have to be proud of him, their most distinguished native son, whose achievements have never been equalled let alone surpassed.

It has been a great honour to me to be asked to say these few words in honour of Paddy Anglim and I hope they do justice to his greatness as well as encouraging others to look closely at his life and achievements with a view to emulating them.

Tony Reddin (1919-2015) On the Day of his Death, March 5th 2015

Tony Reddin (1919-2015)

On the Day of his Death, March 5th 2015

 

Only one gift was presented at the funeral mass for Tony Reddin in St. Rynagh's Church, Banagher on March 4 and that was the hurley stick he used when winning the 1949, 1950 and 1951 All-Irelands. It was a fitting and complete presentation as it was offering to his Maker the symbol of the gift which Tony had received at birth and which he developed, honed and perfected during his hurling career.

It wasn't a particularly impressive looking hurley. Its narrow bás, cracked and hooped and mended following many exciting games contrasted with the ever-increasing, board-wide hurleys used by goalkeepers until the G.A.A. stepped in and limited the width to five inches.
The hurley was an extension of Tony's arm and he relied on his brilliant eyesight, allied to a wonderful agility, honed from hours practising against a rough stone wall, to be in position to stop the fastest moving shots that arrived in his goalmouth.

There were many examples of his great stopping ability but two come immediately to mind. The first was the North senior hurling final between Lorrha and Borrisileigh in August 1948. Played in a downpour, the Borrisoleigh forwards did all in their power to best Reddin in the second half after trailing 4-3 to 0-3 at halftime. They bombarded the Lorrha goals in an unceasing barrage but Reddin was in defiant mood and saved right, left and centre, even on one occasion with his head. They did get through for goals twice but, had they gone for points they wouldn't have found themselves in arrears by 5-4 to 2-5 at the end.

The second occasion was at Killarney in July 1950 in the replay of the Cork-Tipperary Munster final. Many of the estimated 55,000 spectators encroached on to the field as the game reached its climax. Referee, Bill O'Donoghue of Limerick had to stop the match for ten minutes to clear the field but as soon as it resumed so did the encroachment. Any time the ball came into Reddin he was teased, barracked, even pushed. Not only was he in danger from missiles from around the goals but also from Cork forwards rushing in after a delivery in order to bury him in the net, which was the lot of goalkeepers before health and safety issues changed their plight from being in the eye of the storm to being a protected species. After the game angry Cork supporters sought Reddin out and he had to be rescued by friends and camouflaged in a clerical coat. There couldn't have been a more fitting tribute to the quality of his play.

Tony was a professional in the days hurlers paid much less attention to personal fitness and match preparation than is the case today. At his peak he was 5' 9'' and never weighed more that eleven and a half stone. He trained as another might do for centrefield, running cross-country, jumping over hedges and ditches and he built up his arms to make him the strong player he became. He was no mere ball stopper but completed the act by clearing the ball. He was equally good on the right or left side. Probably his greatest ability was a sensitive touch allied with the tilting of the hurley's face at an angle which enabled him to kill even the fastest ball dead so that it rolled down the hurley into his hand.

Tony Reddin was born in Mullagh in 1919 and one of his cherished memories was winning a county under-14 medal in 1933. It was the only county medal he won. He played with Galway and Connaght before coming to work in Lorrha early in 1947.

The summer of 1947 was one of the wettest on record. Not a great time to come working in Lorrha but whatever about the work, Reddin put Lorrha on the hurling map and he made one proud to be from the place. He played a  major part in helping the club to two county finals in 1948 and 1956. He also married Lorrha native, Maura Smith.

In the early sixties Reddin moved to Banagher, where he and Maura reared his family of three boys and six girls. He also got involved with St. Rynagh's G.A.A. Club and made it a force in Offaly hurling. The club contested the first All-Ireland Club final in 1970.

The three clubs, so much a part of Tony Reddin's life and to whose success he contributed so handsomely, were well represented at his funeral and formed a guard of honour that escorted him along the final section of the route to his grave in the historic cemetery of Bonachum in the parish of Lorrha.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a ainm.

 

 

Cashel King Cormacs Win County Under-21 A Football Championship for First Time in 1990 February 2015

Cashel King Cormacs Win County Under-21 A Football Championship for First Time in 1990

25th Anniversary of the Achievement, February 2015

 

Cashel King Cormacs made history when they won the county under-21 A football title in 1990. The club had been successful in the West on two previous occasions but this was the first time they went all the way for county honours.

Five teams affiliated in the West championship, which was played as a knockout competition. Cashel opened their campaign at Golden on June 23 with a victory over Lattin-Cullen by 2-11 to 0-6. They had to wait over four months for their next game which was a semi-final outing against Arravale Rovers at Clonoulty on October 28. They had an easy victory by 3-5 to 0-2.

Cashel's oponents in the final at Clonoulty on November 25 were Cappa/Eire Óg, who had defeated Clonoulty-Rossmore by 2-7 to 0-3 in the other semi-final.

Cashel played with the breeze in the first half and led by 0-7 to 0-1 at the interval. Play was held up for a half-hour during the opening half because of an injury to Joe O'Leary. As a precaution the player could not be moved from the pitch because of a suspected neck injiury but, thankfully, it wasn't as serious as feared.

Early in the second half Cashel netted twice, the first from a T. J. Connolly penalty and the second from John Paul O'Dwyer. They now led by 2-7 to 0-2 and this effectively was the end of the contest for Cappa/Eire Óg, who scored a consolation goal by Cathal Creedon near the end to leave the final score 2-7 to 1-4 in Cashel's favour.

 

Winning Double

Michael Perdue was the winning captain and the victory gave the club an under-21 hurling and football double. Not since Arravale Rovers did the double in 1959, the inaugural year of the under-21 grade, had any club achieved the double.

The Cashel King Cormacs team was as follows: Seanie O'Donoghue, Sean O'Duibhir, Denis Keating, Joe O'Leary, Michael Perdue (capt.), Ailbe Bonnar, Sean Morrissey, T. J. Connolly (1-1), Raymie Ryan, Shane Lawrence (0-1), Conal Bonnar (0-3), Timmy Moloney (0-1), Declan McGrath, John Maher (0-1), John Paul O'Dwyer (1-0). Subs: Jamesie O'Donoghue for Raymie Ryan, Seanie Barron for Joe O'Leary, Kelvin Flanagan for Timmy Moloney. 

Referee: Nicholas Lonergan (Solohead).

Selectors: Denis Fitzgerald, Brian Clancy and coach, Colm O'Flaherty. The latter, from Cahir and a teacher in the Vocational School, was brought in as a coach to help with the final preparations of the team.

 

County Championship
 

In the county semi-final at the Ragg on December 9, Cashel defeated Eire Óg, Nenagh by 2-9 to 2-6. Cashel started slowly but then got into their stride and had a goal from John Paul O'Dwyer. They went six points clear but Eire Óg rallied before half-time, at which stage Cashel led by 1-6 to 1-4. Thegame remained tight in the third quarter but then a Timmy Moloney goal put Cashel back into a six-point lead once more. Eire Óg got a goal back in the last minute but it was too little, too late to effect the result, which had Cashel in front by 2-9 to 2-6.

Cashel King Cormacs: Seanie Barron, Sean O'Duibhir, Ailbe Bonnar, Denis Keating, Michael Perdue (captain), Raymie Ryan, Jamesie O'Donoghue, T. J. Connolly, Timmy Moloney, Shane Lawrence, Conal Bonnar, Seanie O'Donoghue, Declan McGrath, John Maher, John Paul O'Dwyer.
Referee: Michael Doyle (Holycross-Ballycahill.

The county final wasn't played until January 13, 1991. Originally fixed for Littleton it was changed to Kilsheelan where Cashel, who were very much the outsiders, had to play Clonmel Commercials, who had a convincing win by 2-17 to 1-5 over Loughmore-Cstleiney in the second semi-final on the previous Sunday. 

The match developed into a low-scoring encounter that provided plenty of thrills for the attendance. Cashel led by 0-3 to 0-2 at the interval. Commercials went in front early in the second half but with T. J. Connolly in sparkling form, and points from Declan McGrath and Timmy Moloney, Cashel went in front once more. Commercials levelled but failed to score in the last eight minutes as Cashel substitute, John Maher, twice pointed to ensure a famous victory for Cashel. The final score was 0-8 to 0-5 in their favour as they won their first ever title in the grade. 

Michael Perdue was captain of the history-making side and he received the cup from football chairman, Hugh Kennedy.

Cashel King Cormacs: Seanie Barron, Sean O'Duibhir, Ailbe Bonnar, Denis Keating, Michael Perdue (capt.), Raymie Ryan (0-1), Jamesie O'Donoghue, T. J.Connolly, Sean Morrissey, Shane Lawrence, Conal Bonnar (0-2), Sean O'Donoghue, John Paul O'Dwyer, Timmy Moloney (01), Declan McGrath (0-2). Subs: John Maher (02) for John Paul O'Dwyer, Joe O'Leary for Shane Lawrence. Also: Kelvin Flanagan, James Maher, Pakie McInerney, Michael Delahunty, Trevor McInerney, Michael Brosnan, Andrew Courtney, Justin Irwin.

Clonmel Commercials: Sean Duggan, D. J. O'Dwyer, John Connolly, Sean O'Loughlin, Michael O'Mahoney, Riain Forrestal, Conor English, Ger O'Mahoney (0-1), Ger Deely (0-1), Brian Fahey, Anthony Wall (0-1), John Harvey (0-1),  Mickey Peters (0-1), Brian Cahill, Brendan Kearney. Subs: Pa Burke for Brian Cahill, Declan Pollard for Michael Peters, Liam Phelan for Brendan Kearney.

Referee: Michael Maunsell (Moneygall)

 

Cashel Jubilant at County Final Triumph
(Cashel Page, The Nationalist, January 19, 1991.)

Jubilation enveloped Cashel on Sunday afternoon and evening as news quickly spread than Cashel King Cormacs under-21 team had taken the county football championship – a first-ever for Cashel – in a tussle with hot-favourites, Clonmel Commercials.

Earlier on Sunday at the Rock Club, the clubhouse for Cashel King Cormacs, team manager, Denis Fitzgerald, had no doubt about the outcome of the game in his pre-match pep talk to the players. Denis, making light of the ominous record of the opposition and the vaunted status of Commercials as a top team, said 'he had seen Cashel going all the way to the county championship from the first game.' Continuing he predicted: 'I have no doubt about the cup coming back to Cashel today.' The team had it in them, he felt. It was a case of getting out on to the field, despensing with personal complaints between each other or altercating about the referee's decisions, to bring out the championship ability he knew the team was made of. The crown would be there for the taking and he confidentally expected it to be won by Cashel.
Other mentors, although more cautious about predicting the outcome, had the same hopeful and confident message to impart to the would-be champions.

Seamus King, chairman of Cashel King Cormac's G.A.A. Club, advised the Cashel lads: 'Give it your all,' cautioning against a fancy approach especially in rough, cold weather conditions. He advised the players to play 'direct football'.

Fr. Bernie Moloney, wishing the team well, pointed to the fact that the team was formed around the nucleus of teams who had won county championships at school level and who had now come to fruition at under-21 level. Putting Commercials' daunting tradition to the side, he said: 'You yourselves have done much to build up the tradition of football in the town.'

Brian Clancy, the energetic selector, assured the players that from a psycholiogical point of view 'we have the support of all thecounty outside Clonmel.' If the team paid attention to discipline he said they could definitely win.

Colm O'Flaherty, team trainer, who gave a detailed tactical talk to the players, exuded a sense of confidence to them. He felt that finals are won by the 15-18 fellows, who most want to win.
As they left the clubhouse on a bitterly cold and windy Sunday afternoon in January, one felt that the young players had it in their hearts to come back to the 'City of the Kings' with nothing less than the county cup --- and they did. Denis Fitzgerald, as it happened, had spoken the most prophetic words of the day and, perhaps, of his lifetime.

A spokesman for Cashel King Cormacs, expressing delight at the outcome of the game, praised Kilsheelan G.A.A. Club for the excellent condition of the playing field. The 0-8 to 0-5 scoreline was a comfortable win and Cashel had played a hard game especially in the first half. Cashel were very happy, he said, with the performances of T. J. Connolly, Michael Perdue (captain),  and Declan McGrath in the first half, which ended with Cashel 0-5 to 0-3 ahead at half-time.
Cashel had reason to be worried when the enlivened Commercials had levelled withing ten minutes of the second half. The introduction of John Maher, who scored a spectacular point, and of Joe O'Leary made all the difference, and it was sweet for Cashel supporters when Declan McGrath brought Cashel back in front again. Conal Bonnar, James O'Donoghue, Joe O'Leary and Seanie O'Donoghue were also all roundly congratulated for the spokesman for helping to achieve a fantastic win or Cashel.

The evening was rounded off for Cashel's returning heroes with a meal at Grant's Castle Hotel, followed by further inevitable hours of celebration. Cashel King Cormac's had completed a remarkable year with at least one highly cherished county final success.

 

Satisfaction for the the King Cormacs
(Westside, The Nationalist, January 19, 1991.)

First a full-throated three cheers for Cashel King Cormacs. When you've won the hurling and football double in both senior and under-21 in your division it would indeed be rough justice not to claim one county addition.

If Cashel had their choice from the four I don't think under-21 football would be the selection but nevertheless, when the others failed it must have been sweet solace to win the under-age football from such reputable opponents as Commercials.

Adding to its flavour was the fact that it was a first for the club in the under-21 grade, either hurling or football. That sounds surprising given the quality of their undersage output over the years. Their upcoming teams of the mid-seventies stopped short of under-21 success after minor wins in both codes. A hurling loss to Kilruane still hurts from that period and on Sunday they were recalling a loss in football to Commecials in 1977. Revenge (in the sporting sense) was sweet indeed.

In their victory Cashel gave much credit to team trainer/coach, Colm O'Flaherty, principal of the local vocational school. Colm's Cahir background would have been quite useful in anticipating Commercials strengths and weaknesses as would his involvement with Tipp underage sides.

Reports on the game indicate a Cashel win somewhat handier than the scoring would indicate.

 

Path to County Championship Success
 

West
23/06/90  Golden:  Cashel King Cormacs 2-11  Lattin/Emly 0-6  (John Moloney, Galtee Rovers))
30/09/90  Dundrum:  Cappa/Eire Óg 2-7  Clonoulty-Rossmore 0-3  (James O'Donnell, Rockwell Rovers)
28/10/90  Clonoulty: Cashel King Cormacs 3-5  Arravale Rovers 0-2  (Paddy Lonergan, Galtee Rovers)
25/11/90  Clonoulty: Cashel King Cormacs 2-7  Cappa/Eire Óg 1-4  (Nicholas Lonergan, Solohead)

County
09/12/90  The Ragg: Cashel King Cormacs 2-9  Nenagh Eire Óg  2-6  (Michael Doyle, Holycross-Ballycahill.
13/01/91  Kilsheelan:  Cashel King Cormacs 0-8  Clonmel Commercials 0-5  (Michael Maunsell, Moneygall)

 

Eileen Bell Appreciation Tipp Mid West Radio, February 13, 2015

Eileen Bell Appreciation

Tipp Mid West Radio, February 13, 2015

 

Ladies and Gentlemen:

As you know only too well Eileen Bell was a regular contributor to this program over a number of years. In fact she started on Cashel and District Radio in February 2002 and continued on Tipperary Mid-West when the two stations were amalgamated in 2007.

During that period Eileen's New Inn report was a fixture on the program and she often prefaced her contribution by stating that she didn't have much to say. Nevertheless, she always succeeded in mentioning five or six items relating to the parish and keeping the parishioners up to date. She never failed to mention the cards in Knockgraffon on a Wednesday night!

There was no more fitting person than Eileen to report on New Inn. Even though she wasn't a native of the parish she became very much a part of it following her marriage to Gerry in 1968.
This identification with her adopted place was given fine expression in 1987, when she published her first book, Around New Inn & Knockgraffon. She was modest about her achievement. In a Foreword she stated: 'Much of the information is hearsay and is therefore open to contradiction.'
However, Fr. Meehan, P.P. who introduced the publication, differed. He wrote: 'The people of this community should be forever grateful to Eileen Bell for this monumental work involving over three years of careful research from all available sources. It was indeed a labour of love for Eileen.'
The book brings together a wealth of information on the history of the parish, illustrated by a great selection of photographs, the compiling of which must have been painstaking in the extreme. While the text tells us much on the history of places this collection reveals to us the faces of the people who lived there.

Eileen sourced information on many of the famous people who came from New Inn. Dorothea Herbert of Glebe House is featured and her unrequited love of Rockwell owner, John Roe. World high jump champion of 1895, James M. Ryan of Ballyslateen appears in a handsome picture. Dan Breen's on-the-run sojourn in Glenegat House is mentioned and Pat Cleary, of early G.A.A. prominence, is outlined.

The book did more than anyone to highlight the success of Lena Rice, who was born on the 21st June 1866 at Marlhill and went on to become ladies singles champion at Wimbledon in 1890! As far as I can recall from the time of the book's publication, Eileen told me tha she had got some of the information on Rice from Wimbledon at the time but that she also supplied information to the All-England Tennis Club which they hadn't got. This illustrates Eileen's research interest and her desire to have the complete story. It is probably true to say that as a result of her researches into the importance of Rice's achievements, the first and only Irish woman to win a championship at Wimbledon, the direction sign to her grave was erected in the village.

Eileen updated the book in 2003 because she was 'inundated with requests to do a follow-up', but also because she had collected further information on the parish, in particular 'the Halloran story'.

Before touching on this one paragraph in the introduction tells us much about Eileen's love of the place. She writes:

'To many people the name, New Inn, means nothing. For those born and reared in the parish, wherever they may be today, New Inn is very special. To them it means home and in the words of the famous song 'There's No Place Like Home'. Certainly there is no place like this peaceful parish which is bursting with history. Down through the years the parishes of New Inn and Knockgraffon combined have produced a variety of famous people in many different walks of life. Over the years the parish has grown into a thriving, mature and peaceful place, ideal for parents to raise children in these difficult and troubled times.'

The new history that had come to light in the intervening years was the story of the Halloran family. In 1862 Gustave Thiebault, the landlord at Rockwell, was murdered and three sons of an evicted tenant, Patrick Halloran of Boytonrath, were arrested for his murder. They were acquitted in court  but the three brothers, Edmund, John and Thomas, emigrated to the U.S. and nothing was heard of them for 125 years.

In 1961 the first contact was made by a decendant regarding the brothers and this culminated in 1987, when a party of 38 of the Halloran clan, mainly from Minnesota, came to Ireland to visit their ancestral home in Boytonrath. They were feted at New Inn and Eileen took a great interest in the story and facilitated the visit.

Eileen published a third book in 2008:  Rosegreen: Then & Now. She did for the village and surrounding area what she had earlier done for New Inn. She had a real connection to the place having been born in the lodge at Ballydoyle, where her father worked in the forties before moving to Cashel. The book is notable for some wonderful photographs, including one of her parents, Pa Joe and Bridget O'Connor with Eileen, about three years old, on her father's knee. 

Along with her books she also did a vast amount of research on the graveyard in Loch Kent when it was being renovated in 1985 under the guidance of Fr. Meehan and Gerry Bell, and she used the old fashioned method of the pencil and paper to trace over old headstones and study them later at home to make out who was buried there. But she didn't stop there. She endeavoured to make contact with living relations where possible and revealed the burial places of many famous parishioners. It all paid off in 1987 when the first Mass was held there in over 200yrs concelebrated by Archbishop Clifford and witnessed by a large congregation.

Eileen's interest and researches into the Halloran and other stories tells us of her passionate love of place and her intense desire to become acquainted with the whole story. This was also reflected in her involvement in community projects in the parish. Whereas her greatest interest was in the G.A.A. and Fianna Fáil, there was always time and space for other activities. If she weren't directly involved she lent her time and interest to helping others out, If it was a sports day or a festival she was one of the first to put her name forward and she inculcated this community involvement into her six children, Fergus, Dessie, Ivan, Sandra, Sherry Ann and Raeleen, who find themselves equally committed to their communities wherever their lives take them.

Eileen Bell was the great volunteer, the first to put her hand up when the community was in need or work required to be done. She set a tremendous example to her family and to the community of New Inn and Knockgraffon and she will be missed greatly by all who have known her.

May she rest in peace.

 

 

 

Rural Electrification in the Parish of Lorrha The Lamp 2015, pp. 23-26

Rural Electrification in Lorrha

The Lamp 2015, pp. 23-26

 

The Parish of Lorrha was selected for Rural Electrification on February 1, 1950. Construction work commenced on February 13 and the Area was completed by May 6, 1950.

This short sentence fails to do justice to the enormous change the coming of electricity brought about in the lives of the people of the parish. The event took place without the kind of fanfare that such change deserved. It has been described as the QUIET Revolution, and quiet it may have been but a revolution in the lives of the people it definitely was, the greatest social revolution since the Land Reforms of the 1880s and 1890s introduced a peasant proprietorship of the land.

For generations the way of life in rural Ireland had changed but little. Activity on the farm was carried out by human and animal power. Farming was at a subsistence level. Life in the home was an unchanging round of time-consuming drudgery.

'Then came rural electrification bringing power into the homes and on to the fams, lessening the burden on the housewife, shortening the time of many chores, providing light and heat at the turn of a simple switch. On the farm it provided the means for much greater efficiency in many operations and a base for the application of modern technology. Again at the turn of a switch the time for such activities as milking, grinding, milling and cleaning could be more than halved, apart from creating greater basic efficiency.'

 

Electricity for All
 

The ultimate object of the Shannon Scheme in the late 'twenties was the supply of electricity to rural as well as urban areas, on a nationwide basis. Much thought was given to the matter over the following years but it wasn't until 1946 that rural electrification became a meaningful prospect.

The first step towards the realisation of the dream was the introduction of the 1945 Electricity Bill by Sean Lemass in the Dail on January 24. In his speech the Minister stated that a job of the magnitude of the Rural Electrification Scheme had never before been undertaken . It would use over one million poles and involve the construction of 75,000 miles of new line (as against the total of about 2,000 miles which then existed), the erection of 100,000 extra distribution transformers (as against the existing 1,200) and the connection of 280,000 new customers, as against the approximately 250,000 existing urban customers.

Because of post war shortages and the difficulty of sourcing supplies for such a monumental task, the actual work of construction couldn't commence until the second half of 1946. By that stage the ESB had divided the country into twelve districts. These in turn were divided into Areas, each of which was roughly coterminous with a parish. In all the country was divided into 792 Areas, each of which was served by an Engineer, an Organiser, a Clerk and a Supervisor. The first two of these officials were important in selling the scheme to the people and ensuring that they kept their promise, once they had signed up to be connected.

The policy of the ESB in the early days was to roll out the scheme in every county as early as possible. In this way the benefits of electricity would be publicised across the country. Initially priority was given to the most remunerative Areas in the country. The most remunerative referred to the ratio between the capital costs of supplying the customers and the yield from the annual fixed charge revenue. In the early days another factor contributing to the priority of an Area was the proximity to existing electricity networks.

 

Had to be Paid For
 

The Rural Electrification Scheme had to be paid for and the ESB did this through a two-part electricity tariff system, as well as Government subsidy. One part was a fixed charge, which came to be known as the 'ground rent' and this was based on the floor area of the house and out-offices. This was used to pay for the provision of the supply and appeared as an unreasonable imposition to many consumers. The second part was the unit charge for the electricity actually consumed. In 1946 this was as follows:

For first 80 units (per two-monthly period): 2.5d per unit; For next 280 units: 1.0d per unit; All units over 360: 0.75d per unit. This price structure was adopted in 1946 and remained in operation until June 1951 when an increase in the price of coal led to 0.3d per unit to be added to all unit charges.


The first pole to be erected in the Rural Electrification Scheme was at Kilsallaghan, Co. Dublin on November 5, 1946. Oldtown, Co. Dublin was the first village to be switched on in January 1947.

By 1962 280,000 houses in 775 Areas were connected, leaving 100,000 not connected. Also, 17 Areas with 6,000 premises had not been developed because of low return.

By 1976 420,000 houses, representing 98-99% of all rural houses, had been connected to the rural electricity networks at a total cost of £80 million,of which some £28 million represented State subsidy.

By March 31, 1980, 468,000 houses were connected at a cost of £109,355,000 of which £27,900,000 was provided by Government subsidy.

 

First in Tipperary
 

Bansha was the first Area in Tipperary to be developed and the twelfth in the country. In fact there was a 'row' between Bansha and Cahir as to which would be the first to be developed.

Although Cahir had the better sign-up of customers after the canvass, Bansha was selected on the basis of a better economic return and was switched on on May 24, 1948,

There may have been another reason why Bansha got the nod. The Parish Priest of Bansha was Fr. John Hayes, who had founded Muintir na Tire in 1931. The man appointed to head the Rural Electrification Organisation within the ESB was W. F. Roe, who had been a prominent member of Muintir na Tire from 1938 and was dedicated to the ideals of its founder. Both men saw in rural electrification one of the most effective means of providing the stimulus required to overcome rural stagnation.

Bansha was followed by Ballingarry (32nd), Emly (33rd), Cahir Rural (35th), Moyne (42nd), Silvermines (86th), Templetuohy (97th) and Lorrha (103rd).

 

Preliminary Work
 

As each area was canvassed the line crews moved in, surveying and pegging out the routes for the main lines, erecting poles, stringing cables and installing transformers. At the same time people had to have their houses, farms and shops wired.

Lorrha was defined to be an area of 39 sq. miles in North Tipperary, hemmed in by the River Shannon and the River Brosna. An initial survey in August 1949 estimated the cost of implementing the scheme in Lorrha at approximately £13,100.

The surveyors identified that there was a total of 406 houses. Of these 262 were identified as opting for supply with 152 economic acceptances and 110 uneconomic acceptances. There were 79 refusals, 48 termed as doubtfuls, 17 houses were vacant or could not be seen.

The work began in earnest in February 1950 and was completed in May and the final cost was £13,350.  Post development work in Lorrha continued throughout the 1950s, 60s until the late 70s with additional work being done to connect new customers and to improve and upgrade the network infrastructure to accommodate the increased usage of electricity from both existing and new consumers over time.

 

REO News
 

W. F. Roe was keenly aware of the importance of good communications with staff. If a high standard of performance was to be achieved, the staff needed not alone to be well briefed and motivated at the start, but to be constantly refreshed with information on the progress of the scheme, advised of developments in all aspects of the work, sustained when difficulties arose and motivated to give of their best at all times. One day in December 1947 he called a typist and, in his own words, 'dictated the first issue of REO News (Rural Electrification News) from cover to cover', three foolscap pages which were issued in stencilled form.  The publication evolved into a fully-fledged monthly and continued in existence until November 1961, playing an important management role in informing, educating and motivating the widely dispersed staff and providing a vehicle for the exchange of views, for criticism of performance of management and field worker alike.

Today, the file, which can be consulted in the ESB Archive, provides a good research area for the writer and historian.

The February 1950 issue tells us that Timothy D. Murphy, Clerical Officer, formerly at Athlone, had been appointed to Lorrha. In the same issue we are informed that 'Mr. T. P. Haugh has returned to his home in Lorrha to do the preliminary design of the rural area shortly to be commenced in that vicinity.'

There are two entries in the March issue. Patrick J. Healy, Rural Area Engineer, has been transferred from the Grange Area to the Lorrha Area. Also, Patrick J. King, Engineer, Tyrrellspass Area to Lorrha Area to Rural Head Office.

As stated above construction work commenced in the Lorrha Area on February 13. The March issue informs us that 59 poles had been erected to date and 1 kilometre (sic) of line. In the same issue other Areas are requested to take note of the rapid progress in the Lorrha Area: 'In Lorrha Area, which was selected on 1st February, construction work started on 13th February.'

Further progress was reported in the April issue. Here we learn that 333 poles had now been erected and 22 kms of line.

In the May issue we are told that Patrick J. Healy, Rural Area Engineer had been transferred to the Monkstown Area. By now 473 poles had been erected and 42 kms of line. There is a further vital piece of information: 17 customers had been connected to date!  Unfortunately we are not informed where or who they were.

And then, so quickly, in the June issue we are informed that the Lorrha Area has been completed with 481 poles erected, 45 kms of line, and 145 customers connected.

The same issue includes a note on the completion of the Lorrha Area as if it were special in some way. It states: 'During the past month we received the final report on Lorrha Area from the Rural Area Engineer, Mr.Healy. From his report we learn that although there were 21 'backsliders', he obtained 27 additional consumers to show a 'plus' of 6 consumers. Capital expenditure exceeded the Authorisation by £71, but as against this Revenue increased by £43.

'The report notes that transport was abnormnally high, partly due to the scattered nature of the Area, and also due to the excessive rock met with during construction. In the early stages of the construction, proper rock drilling tools were not available, which made it necessary to go back and clean up certain spurs, although at this time construction was proceeding at the opposite end of the Area.

'Readers will be interested to learn that Lorrha was selected on 1/2/1950. Construction commenced on 13/2/1950 and the Area was completed on 6/5,1950. An excellent record, and one that reflects great credit on the Rural Electrification Engineer, Mr.Healy, and his construction crew, not forgetting Mr. T. P. Haugh, who did the preliminary design andpegging in this, his home Area.'

The May issue of the REO News has the news that Timothy D. Murphy, Rural Area Clerk, Lorrha Area, was transferred to the Delvin Area.

Finally the January 1952 issue apologises for failing to mention in the Christmas number that authorisations for a number of public lighting installations were issued. ey included one for Lorrha.

 

The Canvass
 

The Rural Area Organiser was a key person in each area under construction. His responsibility lay in the areas of relationships between the Board and the people it was serving. As well as persuading potential consumers of the benefits of electricity, the officer had to measure houses and assess the fixed charges, get application forms signed, serve wayleaves, deal with objections and organise demonstrations of electrical equipment.

In order to facilitate his work, the RAO sought help from local committees for the preliminary canvas and in carrying out the subsequent official canvas. Tom Lambe recalls a meeting held in Redwood School, when the Rural Electrification plan was announced. It was called by Fr. Paddy O'Meara, C.C., apparently to inform the people and to drum up support. This wasn't unusual as priests, teachers, shopkeepers, public employees, etc. were more aware of the benefits of electricity. It was from this group that the initial pressure for electricity came and they were used to persuade some of their more reluctant neighbours to sign up.

Tom Lambe and Mikey Sullivan of the Castle were detailed to go around Redwood and contact potential customers. According to Tom they didn't try to persuade the people because 'when farmers get a thing into their heads they can't be persuaded.'

Some pressure was applied, however. People anxious to get the electricity to their area, used their persuasive powers to get people to sign up since priority wouldn't be given to a place until so much income was guaranteed from the fixed charge.

The fixed charge was one of the stumbling blocks for many potential customers. They could live with the idea of paying so much per unit for the electricity they used, but to have this permanent albatross of a fixed charge round their necks, winter and summer, was more than many could bear. As well as the cost others had strange perceptions of electricity. It was believed by some that it was dangerous and that thatched houses in particular were at risk from it.

 

Wayleaves

Wayleaves referred to the permission granted to the ESB by landowners to run lines of poles through the land. There was no payment involved and it appears that the Board had absolute power to erect the lines and the owner had few powers of redress. It is accepted that some consultation did take place but in many cases the concerns of the owners were overlooked. One thing that annoyed farmers was the way poles were placed without consideration of farmwork.

For instance they were often placed a number of yards from ditches and boundary fences where they interfered with farmwork. It does appear that the powers of the ESB were absolute. There is one story told of a farmer, who had a fine field with a bull in it. The RAO came to inform him that that a line of poles were going right through it. The farmer protested that the Board hadn't power to do this. The official replied: 'We have the power to put the pole up the bull's arse if we feel like it!'

 

Backsliders

'Backsliders' were the bain of the RAO in every area. They were potential customers who signed up in the initial canvass and later changed their minds. Often they were victims of an over-enthusiastic canvas by a local committee, who had persuaded reluctant householders to sign up in order to improve the numbers and thus increase their chances of getting electricity to their Area at an earlier date. Then when it came to actually signing up as a consumer they had second thoughts and refused to do so, much to the annoyance of the RAO and their neighbours as well.

Refusals came about when the householder learned what the fixed charge would be and what the wiring up of the house was going to cost. Some came to believe at that stage that electricity was a luxury they couldn't really afford. We saw above how the Lorrha Area had 21 backsliders, who were balanced out by 27 new consumers who, presumeably, were householders who refused to join initially but changed their minds later.

 

Erecting the Poles

Digging the holes for the electricity poles was a major task in the days before the JCB digger. They had to be dug by hand and workers who took on the task had very different experiences.

One could get an easy ride if the soil was sandy or boggy, but rock was also a possibility. The rock seems to have been plentiful in the Lorrha Area, as the report mentioned above stated.

The hole was quite large as the pole had to be dug six feet deep.  To get down that far with a pick and shovel a hole, seven feet long and about four feet wide at one end, tapering to a narrower width at the other end, had to be dug. There was a shelf down about four feet, which reduced the amount to be dug in the lower section.

Two workers were involved in the digging in the Ballymacegan-Redwood area. They were Junior Costello of Grange Cross and Willie Russell of Rathcabbin. Another man, Jimmy Dunne of the Ferry, was employed to bring the poles from Grange Cross to Ballymacegan and Redwood. He did this with a horse and tackle, dragging the poles along the road.

The poles came mostly from Finland where they were sourced in 1946 and initially cost about £2 each. A total of 114,000 was shipped in 1947 and, in all, over a 1,000,000 arrived in the following years. They were shipped between May and September into Dublin, Cork and Limerick where cresotting plants were set up to treat them before they could be used.

 

Rural Geography

Lorrha gets a mention in an anonymous poem, entitled Rural Geography, which appeared in the December 1953 issue of the REO News. It is worth quoting in full. 

One thing can be said for Electrification
And that is the names it recalls to the Nation.
It has put rural Ireland back on the map.
Before its inception, who'd heard of Windgap?

Some Ballys you've read of in Irish folklore,
Like -dehob and nacargy, -duff, -noe and -tore;
But unknown until lately was -macelligott,
Even that doesn't finish the whole 'bally' lot.

Outside its own county, I think you'll agree,
Few people had heard of the name Knocknagree,
Not to mention Bohola, Abbeydorney, and Doon,
Oola and Lorrha, Tullaroan and Kilcloone.

The Kills, as expected, are well to the fore,
Represented by -dimo, -awalla and -more,
-adysart, -avullen, -moganny and -car
-macthomas, -inure, and -eentierna afar.

Unless he were quite the most credulous fella,
He wouldn't believe there's a place called Gneeveguilla;
And what of Feohanagh, Kilmuckridge, Corduff,
Moynalty and Emly, Man-o'-War, Schull or Bruff ?

Pity the Clerk, you can bet it with joy
at he closes the office in Abbeyknockmoy.
Or in odd Tourmakeady, the writing of which
Will produce writer's cramp, as did Cahirconlish.

What a prospect to face, coming straight from the 'school,'
When ordered 'Go quickly and peg Abbeyschrule'!
Still his lot could be worse, it might be Ballyduff,
And there's Nobber, Cong, Bekan, Bodyke and Cloughduv.

There's Ticknock, and Tinryland, Rahan, Ballymoe,
Ardfert, Burt, Clontibret, Looscaun and Raphoe.
And in case you should doubt it, there's proof here all right
That they really exist – they have all got 'the light.' 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tony Reddin 1919-2015 The Lamp 2015, p. 13

Tony Reddin 1919-2015

The Lamp 2015, p. 13

 

Only one gift was presented at the funeral mass for Tony Reddin in St. Rynagh's Church, Banagher on March 4 and that was the hurley stick he used when winning the 1949, 1950 and 1951 All-Irelands. It was a fitting and complete presentation as it was offering to his Maker the symbol of the gift which Tony had received at birth and which he developed, honed and perfected during his hurling career.


It wasn't a particularly impressive looking hurley. Its narrow bás, cracked and hooped and mended following many exciting games contrasted with the ever-increasing, board- wide hurleys used by goalkeepers until the G.A.A. stepped in and limited the width to five inches.

The hurley was an extension of Tony's arm and he relied on his brilliant eyesight, allied to a wonderful agility, honed from hours practising against a rough stone wall, to be in position to stop the fastest moving shots that arrived in his goalmouth.

There were many examples of his great stopping ability but two come immediately to mind.  The first was the North senior hurling final between Lorrha and Borrisileigh in August 1948. Played in a downpour, the Borrisoleigh forwards did all in their power to best Reddin in the second half after trailing 4-3 to 0-3 at halftime, they bombarded the Lorrha goals in an unceasing barrage but Reddin was in defiant mood and saved right, left and centre, even on one occasion with his head. They did get through for goals twice but, had they gone for points they wouldn't have found themselves in arrears by 5-4 to 2-5 at the end.

The second occasion was at Killarney in July 1950 in the replay of the Cork-Tipperary Munster final. Many of the estimated 55,000 spectators encroached on to the field as the game reached its climax. Referee, Bill O'Donoghue of Limerick had to stop the match for ten minutes to clear the field but as soon as it resumed so did the encroachment. Any time the ball came into Reddin he was teased, barracked, even pushed. Not only was he in danger from missiles from around the goals but also from Cork forwards rushing in after a delivery in order to bury him in the net, which was the lot of goalkeepers before health and safety issues changed their plight from being in the eye of the storm to being a protected species. After the game angry Cork supporters sought Reddin out and he had to be rescued by friends and camouflaged in a clerical coat. There couldn't have been a more fitting tribute to the quality of his play.

Tony was a professional in the days hurlers paid much less attention to personal fitness and match preparation than is the case today. At his peak he was 5' 9'' and never weighed more that eleven and a half stone. He trained as another might do for centrefield, running cross-country, jumping over hedges and ditches and he built up his arms to make him the strong player he became. He was no mere ball stopper but completed the act by clearing the ball. He was equally good on the right or left side. Probably his greatest ability was a sensitive touch allied with the tilting of the hurley's face at an angle which enabled him to kill even the fastest ball dead so that it rolled down the hurley into his hand.

Tony Reddin was born in Mullagh in 1919 and one of his cherished memories was winning a county under-14 medal in 1933. It was the only county medal he won. He played with Galway and Connaght before coming to work in Lorrha early in 1947.

The summer of 1947 was one of the wettest on record. Not a great time to come working in Lorrha but whatever about the work, Reddin put Lorrha on the hurling map and he made one proud to be from the place. He played a major part in helping the club to two county finals in 1948 and 1956. He also married Lorrha native, Maura Smith.

In the early sixties Reddin moved to Banagher, where he and Maura reared his family of three boys and six girls. He also got involved with St. Rynagh's G.A.A. Club and made it a force in Offaly hurling. The club contested the first All-Ireland Club final in 1970.

The three clubs, so much a part of Tony Reddin's life and to whose success he contributed so handsomely, were well represented at his funeral and formed a guard of honour that escorted him along the final section of the route to his grave in the historic cemetery of Bonachum in the parish of Lorrha.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a ainm.

 

All Quiet on the Lorrha Front 1916 The Lamp 2015, pp. 5-6

All Quiet on the Lorrha Front 1916

The Lamp 2015, pp. 5-6

 

How did the parish of Lorrha and Dorrha respond to the Rising of 1916? According to the best authority on the subject, Sean Hogan, in his comprehensive account in The Black and Tans in North Tipperary: Policing, Revolution and War, 1913-1922: 'The CI (County Inspector of the R.I.C.) found little support for the violent outbreak in North Tipperary, with the exception of a small number of individuals in Thurles, Templemore and Roscrea.' Not one of the 128 members of the four branches of the Irish Volunteers in North Tipperary was known to have participated in the Dublin events.

 Lorrha IRA: Martin Needham, Jim Carroll, unknown, Felix Cronin.  Photo: Nancy White

Lorrha IRA: Martin Needham, Jim Carroll, unknown, Felix Cronin.

Photo: Nancy White

The inspector's report went on to state that no disloyal papers circulated and no meetings were held by the Sinn Fein Volunteers in North Tipperary. He was referring to the propaganda organs of the various small 'advanced nationalist' organistions, weekly or monthly news sheets produced by the Irish Volunteers, the Gaelic League and Sinn Fein.

Hogan further states that few arrests were made in North Tipperary in the immediate aftermath of the Rising. Only three from the Riding were interned. They were Patrick Gantly, an employee of the bacon factory in Roscrea, who was interned in Frongoch in Wales, Matthew Morris from Thurles and John (Jack) MacDonagh of Cloughjordan originally but who was a theatre manager in Dublin in 1916.

In fact the general feeling towards the Rising in North Tipperary is reflected in the resolution passed at the weekly meeting of Nenagh Board of Guardians early in May:
'We are convinced that the continuance of martial law and military executions in this country is causing a rapidly increasing feeling of bitterness and exasperation amongst a large majority of the Irish people who had no sympathy with the late insurrection and we are of the opinion that martial law in the best interests of the country be immediately withdrawn and no further executions under any circumstamnces should be allowed.'

The reason for the lack of response to the Rising may have been due to the countermanding orders and the confusion about the mobilisation arrangements. The more likely reason was the absence of any 'advanced nationalists' in places like Lorrha, where the Irish Parliamentary Party and later the Volunteers had substantial support. Also there were no individuals present who supported violent agitation such as Pierce McCan from Dualla or Edward Dwyer of Ballagh.

 

Reports from the Guardian

Life in Lorrha appears to have been untouched by events in Dublin at Easter 1916 as reports in the Nenagh Guardian would lead one to believe. A report on May 6, 1916 states that John Dillon of Lorrha complained to the Borrisokane Guardians & Council of the allocation of a labourer's cottage, and of the action of the Council in taking up a pump stick in the village of Lorrha and 'depriving the people of their pump for no reason wahtever.'

The report from Lorrha Petty Sessions on May 13 gives the usual litany of cases. John Tuohy was prosecuted for the larceny of some harness. Mr. F. Kelly, Kellysville, Rathcabbin was summonsed for selling Indian meal not up to the standard. Miss M. F. Quinlan was summonsed for opening her licensed premises during prohibited hours on Good Friday. Patrick Burke summonsed Michael Corcoran for assault. The parties were brothers-in-law!

The normalcy of life is illustrated by a report on June 10 of the North Board of the G.A.A. meeting at Nenagh, at which no delegate from Lorrha was in attendance. Championship fixtures were made. They included three concerning Lorrha. The club were fixed to play Silvermines in senior hurling on June 18, and to play Portroe in junior hurling a week later. Also a junior match was fixed for the village of Lorrha between Eglish and Shannon Rovers on July 9.

One thing did happen at the same meeting which was a response to the insurrection in Dublin. The chairman, William Flannery, proposed that the board support any fund-raising, started in Tipperary for the benefit of the dependents 'of our brother Irishmen, who were slain, executed, deported and imprisoned during the recent insurection.' The motion was seconded by Frank McGrath and unanimously adopted.

The fund referred to was the Irish National Aid Association and the list of subscribers, which was published in the Guardian on June 26, included Rev, J. Gleeson, P.P., Lorrha, who subscribed £1. Most of the names were from the Nenagh area and Fr. Gleeson was the only one from Lorrha.

 

Changing Political Climate
 

In fact the main celebration in the parish during the remainder of 1916 had nothing to do with the Rising. It was for Private Martin O'Meara, from Lissernane in the parish, who had been awarded a V.C. for outstanding bravery at the battle of the Somme. The Guardian describes the event: 'The little village of Lorrha in North Tipperary was en fete last Friday on the occasion of the presentation to Martin O'Meara, V.C., who hails from the district. By motor car, by brake, by side car, by bicycle and by foot came hundreds of people to testify their pride in the bravery displayed by this gallant North Tipperary man. Aplatform was erected in the ball alley by the side of the venerable old abbey. Gaily decorated poles with the Union Jack and the Shamrock added a bright appearance to the scene. Fortunately the weather was sunny and bright, if a trifle windy. The band of the Royal Irish came all the way from Templemore to add the charms of music to the day. Arrived on the spot a selection of Irish airs was played to the enjoyment of the large concourse of people who had assembled.'

As it transpired Martin O'Meara was not in attendance as he had returned to the army in the meantime. General Hickie, who presided at the event and made an appropriate speech, presented the gold watch to his sister, Miss Alice O'Meara.

Eleven months later when O'Meara returned to Lorrha again, his reception was much different. Instead of being the centre of attention and generating admiration for his exploits, the locals regarded him as an oddity and an outsider. He attended a number of threshings but usually found himself on the outside, without much rapport with his neighbours and a curiosity to his friends.

Eventually he got the message that he wasn't part of the community anymore and returned to his battalion earlier than intended.

Martin O'Meara's experience reflects the changing political climate within twelve months of the Rising. The first big impetus to that change was the release of the Frongoch internees at Christmas. The prisoners from the Easter Rising who had been spat upon in the streets of Dublin as they were marched to internment in Wales the previous May, retuned as heroes.

The celebration of the first anniversary of the Rising at Easter 1917 confirmed the change in the political climate and the dramatic transformation in people's attitudes to the insurrection.

 Bill Boucher, Little Portland, Nenagh and Jack Moloney, Roscrea, taken on the day that the Truce was declared in the War of Independence, 1921.

Bill Boucher, Little Portland, Nenagh and Jack Moloney, Roscrea, taken on the day that the Truce was declared in the War of Independence, 1921.

Redwood National School Celebrates 75 Years First published in The Lamp, 2014 Edition, pp 14-19 (Lorrha & Dorrha Historical Society)

Redwood National School Celebrates 75 Years

First published in The Lamp, 2014 Edition, pp 14-19 (Lorrha & Dorrha Historical Society)

 

Redwood National School celebrated 75 years with a re-union of past pupils in the school on Saturday, June 7, 2014. It was an occasion to renew acquaintance with former classmates, to learn how life had been for them since they left and to consult the Roll Books in which their registrations featured.

This get-together was followed by Mass next door in the Church at 7 pm. A crowded church heard parish priest, Fr. Pat Mulcahy, speak about the significance of coming together and the need to forgive things that might have happened in the past. The choir of current pupils sang such popular hymns as Walk in the Light and Give Me Joy in My Heart with gusto. 

At the end of the ceremony past pupil, Seamus King (1942-1951) spoke about earlier schools in the parish and introduced some of the oldest past pupils who were present, Tom Lambe, who was registered in the first school at Redwood Castle on October 9, 1923. Also Kitty (Kennedy) Slevin, who started on June 5, 1925 and Maureen (Lambe) Moran, who started on September 14, 1925. As well, Kathleen (Guinan) Moran and Jimmy Sullivan who started in the school at Kilmurry on July 14, 1928 and January 30, 1929 respectively.

Another past pupil. Pat Hough (1943-1952), spoke of what he called the Golden Mile, the road that stretched from Redwood Church to Redwood Castle and the historical places and names and events associated with it.

One of the highlights of the occasion was the launch of a booklet containing a history of the schools in Redwood, a great collection of pictures of past pupils and teachers, the names of all the pupils who entered the school from Nan Kirke of Killycross, who started on May 25, 1923, to the last pupil to register, Chloe O'Sullivan of Carrig on April 28, 2014.

All the work in organisiing the events and compiling the booklet was done by school principal. Michelle Hogan, and assistant, Helena Darcy.

 

The First School in Redwood

The first school in Redwood was opened in Redwood House on September 8, 1879. The parish priest, Rev. James Meagher, reported the opening to the Education Office (the precursor of the Department of Education) and requested recognition. He added that he had appointed Miss Winifrid Carroll, former assistant in the female school in Lorrha, as teacher, that there was no school within four miles of the new foundation and that the attendance on the first day was over fifty. He looked for a 'free stock' (of books) and 'all the help in your power for the new school.'

In an earlier letter to the Education Office, dated June 18, 1879, Henry Trench, the local landlord, requested the setting up of a National School 'in a portion of my house in Redwood.' Henry Trench lived at Cangort Park, Roscrea and his connection with Redwood House commenced in 1836, when his namesake married Georgina Mary Amelia Bloomfield of Redwood. Sometime after 1864 Redwood House became a Trench home and it was valued at £18-15-00 in 1906. The Bloomfield family originated in Eyrecourt, Co. Galway and it appears they acquired the estate in Redwood during the eighteenth century. It is uncertain when the house was built but it would appear to have been constructed early in the nineteenth century.

The house was occupied by Major Bloomfield in 1837. In 1840 the Ordnance Survey Name Books mention that Redwood was 'a commodious house at present occupied by a party of the constabulary and also the residence of Mr. Ryan, under-agent to Major Bloomfield.' The house is marked as a police station on the 1st edition Ordnance Survey map. At the time of the Griffith Valuation (1847-1864), Philip Crawley held the property from Lord Bloomfield and the house was valued at £15.

 

Form A 121

Following the request for recognition, th Education Office despatched Mr. Dugan, District Inspector of National Schools, on October 8, 1879 to inspect the new school. The inspection involved the completion of Form A 121, a series of eighty-two questions to be answered.

The information contained in the form is of great interest. We are told that the school was situated in one of the 15 rooms of the two-storey Redwood House. It was a large room, 30'' x 18'' x 11'', and was 'fitted up as a schoolroom.' On the privy situation there was one for the girls but the boys' wasn't yet ready. There was a separate play area for the girls.

The school was to be kept in repair with the manager's and local funds. The schoolmistress occupied two rooms in the house, Mr. Trench's steward occupied three and the remaining nine were locked up.

There was no teacher's desk on the day of the inspection but it was being made by a carpenter.. The teacher was Winifrid Carroll. She was a Roman Catholic. and was aged 22 years. She was trained in 1874 and had been assistant in the female school in Lorrha.

The school was classed as being in the First Division of Third Class. Salary levels varied according to Class and Division. A male teacher in the First Division of Class 1 was paid £52 while the lowest Division in Class 3 was paid £18.

The document tells us, in answer to the question on what amount of Local Funds was paid to the teacher, that her free residence was worth the equivalent of £5 and that school fees amounted to £12.

In answer to another question it was stated that virtually all the children paid fees. Apparently the manager had the right to absolve some children from paying.

Religious Instruction was given for 3 to 31/2 hours per week in the summer and 21/2 to 3 hours in the winter. The school day commenced at 9.30 am and finished at 3.30 pm in the summer and 3 pm in the winter. Thirty-five children, 15 males and 20 females, were in attendance on the day of inspection but there were forty-two altogether on the rolls.

We are informed that only three of the children had been in another school before the opening of Redwood. There was big support for the school from among the neighbouring farmers.

In conclusion the inspector stated that the 'school is much required' with the nearest schools about four miles distant. However, he recommended a three-month trial period in order to ensure that 'the attendance keeps up'.

At the end of the report it is stated that Winifrid Carroll was granted a salary of £25 plus whatever would accrue to her from results. The salary would be paid on condition that an attendance of thirty pupils was maintained.

 

Early Pupils

The names of some of the first pupils in the school are as follows. The following boys were in infants: Larry Guinan, Redwood, Thomas Quinlan, Moatfield, John J. Loughmane, Killycross, Michael Lambe, Redwood, Willie Lambe, Redwood, John Sammon, Moatfield.

Tom Lambe recalls being told that Willie Lambe attended a hedge school in Hickey's field at the back of Tom Quinlan's old house, above Redwood Chapel before Redwood School was opened. Some information on that school is available in an accompanying piece on 'Old Schools' from the Folklore Collection. The master was BrianCarroll, who was related to the first two teachers in the school at Redwood Castle, Winifrid Carroll (1879-1889) and Ellen Carroll (1889-1923). According to the report English, Reading and Writing were taught. The school was held at night for the men and during the day for boys and girls.

The following girls are listed as attending the new school at Redwood: Bridget Crean, Fort Alice, Anne Loughmane, Killycross, Mary Sammon, Moatfield, Julia Sammon, Moatfield, Mary Elizabeth Donoghue, Moatfield, Bridget Carroll, Ballea..

The occupations of the parents are also given in the Roll Book and they include labourer, blacksmith, farmer, orphan, herd, gamekeeper, coachman, pensioned policeman.

 

Inspections

The school in Redwood House continued in existence until 1926. The major source of information on its progress and development is the school inspection reports. These are to be found in the District Inspector's Observation Book in which he wrote a report after each visit.
The first such report follows a visit by a Mr. Dugan on October 10, 1881. In the report the teacher was informed that no books could be used in the school except those sanctioned by the Education Office. The inspector also advised that all pupils should be on the register, including infants. The information is also given that Miss Carroll had a monitor, Maria Somerville, in the school

There is another inspection a month later and the inspector reported that one girl had her examination cancelled because she was found copying her answers from a book under the desk!

A Mr. Purser replaces Mr. Dugan as inspector in 1882 and he visited the school on November 15, 1882. According to the report this visit was to examine for result fees. Sixty one were present and fifty-nine were examined.. No results are given but an observation at the end noted that some children were leaving the school as soon as the roll call was completed. The inspector stated that such pupils should be marked absent.

 

Poor Performances

The next report, dated July 6, 1883, which was probably the result of the examinations the previous November, is anything but favourable. Class 1 with 8 pupils was 'weak at tables'. Class 2 with 10 present, was weak at reading. Class 3 with 10 present was weak at grammar and geography. Class 4 with 8 present was middling at reading, poor at spelling and grammar, and defective at maths. Class 5 & 6 with 8 present were poor in 'deduction' and bad at grammar.

The inspector added the following note: 'The defects in arithmetic in these classes show that repetition is not enough attended to: only 1 in Class iv could multiply 8096 x 270 and all failed in dividing 175,488 by 297; in v & vi only one could reduce 10,001 square yards to square inches.'

He made further observations. He believed the pupils were prone to copy from one another and 'this would account for the low proficiency in arithmetic.' The girls worked without thimbles in needlework. On the positive side the house was in fair order, with just one window frame in poor repair.

From the information given above the total number of pupils at school on the day was 44.

There is better news following the inspection on November 19, 1883. Fifty-two pupils were examined and the inspector found that 'the answering of the juniors was very good with the exception of grammar.' The oral examination of the seniors was very creditable. However mental arithmetic needed attention. Discipline in the school was good.

A report in May 1884 stated that needlework was not good enough. 'More care should be given to this matter – the girls to be made bring suitable material for sewing unless strips of callico for practice are provided in school.'

 

New Teacher

It appears that Miss Winifrid Carroll married between inspections held in November 1885 and November 1886 as she appears as Mrs Winifrid Loughnane on November 19, 1886.

There was a change in inspector in 1887, with a Mr. S. Allman signing the inspection book in November of that year. In his report of a visit to the school in May 1889, the name of the principal is given as Miss Ellen Carroll. The inspector adds: 'Mrs Loughmane died on May 22, 1888. The school, since then up to 1 April 1889, had been in charge of an unrecognised teacher. Miss Ellen Carroll took charge on 1 April 1889.'

The report continues: 'Many children have been in the same class since November 1887 and it is only reasonable that they should be anxious for promotion. Miss Carroll should, however, be careful to ascertain the fitness of each pupil for promotion before making a change.'

The numbers attending appear to have dropped from a high of 59 in 1885 to under 40 in 1891. The reports given by S. Allman are much shorter than under the previous inspector and information is much less as a result. Numbers begin to climb again in the mid-nineties with 51 being examined in May 1897.

A new inspector, E. S. Cromie, was appointed in 1898 and his reports are much more detailed.. Following his May visit in 1899 he wrote: 'Throughout the school the pupils should be accustomed to speak much more clearly and distinctly than they do at present.' The teacher is advised to use the blackboard more when teaching arithmetic. Also: 'It would be well to use the inkwells. Time is lost in giving out ink bottles and these are liable to be overturned.'

There's a new inspector in 1901, Mr. D. Mangan, and for his annual inspection the following year there were 51 present. The report stated that the 'Reading is fluent, but it is not expressive or incisive.' Also: 'The children should be taught to express themselves freely and to speak distinctly and audibly.'

A Mr. A. J. McElwaine inspected the school in 1903 and found 44 out of 49 pupils present. Among his complaints was the state of spelling and grammar in the school.

The inspector's first report is interesting in that it tells us the subjects that were taught in the school in 1903: English Oral and Written, Arithmetic, Drawing, Object Lessons (sic), Needlework, Geography, Physical Drill.

In his report following a visit on July 6, 1904, Mr. McElwaine stated that the ventilation in the school was insufficient: 'One small window is not enough to ventilate the room.' We learn that there are 31 pupils on the Roll..

A Mr. J. D. Bradshaw did the inspection in September 1906 but Mr. McElwaine was back again in 1907. Further inspections inthat year and 1908 report the same old problems. Reading is generally indistinct. Writing leaves a lot to be desired and more thoroughness in teaching was required.

 

Detailed Report

There is a very detailed report of an inspection carried out by Mr. J. P. Dalton on May 26, 1911 The report begins: 'I consider the school accommodation here most unsatisfactory. The ventilation of the room is particularly defective: there are no means of sending a current of pure air through the schoolroom and the atmosphere is, therefore, quite oppressive.'

The report continues: 'Much more attention should be paid to order, arrangement, tidiness, etc. Copy books and papers are left lying about in loose heaps, official documents are scattered through the records, and no attempt seems to be made to keep things in their right places. Some school portfolios should be got and used for filing papers.'

'The organisation would admit of much improvement. The whole tone of the school needs bracing up. The pupils seem to be allowed to answer their lessons along in an aimless, unthinking way; the desks are not supervised and much of the work shows great carelessness. The teaching methods show some radical faults.'

A new inspector, J.A. McMahon, was appointed in 1912 and a report of his following a general inspection in March 1915, is much more positive, The report stated: 'The teacher here works honestly though with moderate success. The progress of the pupils is fair generally. There is need of increased attention to the development of intelligence at arithmetic and oral answering. Desk discipline might be easily improved. . . . A globe is needed.'

The most interesting part of the report is the statement that the school was very unsuitable and that it was hoped that the new one would be built with as little delay as possible.. It was to be twelve years before the school was replaced as World War 1, the Rising in 1916, the War of Independence and the Civil War, followed by the setting up of the Irish Free State, put paid to any plans in place in 1915.
Inspections were held in 1916, 1917, 1918 and 1919. There is no report for 1920. 

In the 1921 report it is stated that 'Efficiency of instruction is defective in various respects.' This is signed by J. O'Riordan, who gives his address as 46 Grosvenor Square, Dublin.. There is a second inspection in December the same year. J. C. Kyle is the inspector and his report includes the following: 'The accommodation is not ideal but at the same time the room might present a more tasteful appearance: mantelpiece and top of press should be clean and tidy and floor should be cleaner.'

 

The Free State

The takeover of the Education Office by the Free State Government is reflected in the inspector's report of November 16, 1922. The inspector, who now signs himself in Irish, S. C. Ó Cadhla, writes his report in Irish.

In the course of this report he informs the teacher of the new policy of the Department of Education that the school must provide 1 hour's instruction in Irish per day in every class. In the following years there is a big emphasis on the teaching of Irish, both oral and written. In his report on the 1926 visit the inspector is critical of the progress of Irish in the school. He states that the speaking of the language is awful and the handwriting is equally bad. According to him too many children are showing no signs of improvement.

 

The Second School 1926

In the same year the children moved from Redwood Castle to the new school at Kilmurry. There were occasional reports from the inspectors over the years about the condition of the school in Redwood House. 

There is a report on 25th September, 1900 that the house is only in middling repair. There's a further report on September 10, 1901 that 'the windows are bad, the floor boards are loose and the roof leaks.' On August 15th, 1904 it is reported that improvements have been carried out. There were other reports that the ventilation was very bad. The report in 1915 seemed to suggest that a new school was imminent. The commencement of World War 1 and the he political developments following the Rising of 1916 probably delayed any building plans and the replacement school wasn't opened until 1926.

In fact there is confirmation of this in the official report of the Department of Education covering the years 1925, 1926 and 1927. It included the statement that at least 350 new schools would be needed to make up for arrears of building that accumulated during the period from 1914 to 1924. As well more schools were required to replace unsanitary and unsuitable premises.

This report also states that during the year 1925-26 grants of £27,652 were sanctioned in respect of the erection of 13 new schoolhouses. The names of the schools aren't given but the new school in Kilmurry could well have been one of them. There is the additional information that grants for new schools were normally sanctioned on the basis of two-thirds of the cost, but in poor and congested districts a larger grant could be given or, in extreme cases, the whole cost of the building could be defrayed by the Department.

The site for the new school at Kilmurry appeared to be ideal. It was a piece of land owned by the parish and so would cost nothing. It was adjacent to the old school so there wouldn't be any great difficulty for the schoolchildren getting there. There was about an acre of land attached to the site which would provide a playground.

 

Little Information

However, the new school was built on the site of an ancient graveyard and Tom Lambe recalls seeing bones being thrown up when the foundations were being dug. In fact there is little information on the actual building. One theory is that the site was chosen because the landlord, Major Trench, refused to give land for the building. There may be some truth in this. The local papers carried reports in 1922 of agitation in favour of dividing up the Trench Estate. Cattle were driven on to the estate lands and the new Irish Army was called out on two occasions. It may have been the case of the owner taking offence and refusing as a result of the agitation.

From information from pupils like Tom Lambe and Paddy Guinan, the building appears to have been poorly finished. From markings scratched with a nail on one of the rafters, we learn that William Sharkey, Slater, Birrdid the roof.

Paddy Guinan remembers that the school was just one room with a teacher at each end. There was no divider in it, and the two sets of classes sat with their backs to one another. There was a fireplace at Miss McCormack's end, which was totally inadequate to heat the place. The room was so cold in the winter that the children were sent out side to warm up, run around, jump around, wave their arms to get the blood circulating. On the other hand in the summer time, if the weather was good, the junior classes went out to the yard for their lessons. There were fewer distractions outside than inside where all the classes were in the same space.

Paddy remembers the playground, which had a hill in it, a pond in the corner and big trees around. The children played there but there were no organised games, and no hurling. There was plenty of punishment dished out by the teachers. In fact the children had to bring their own hazel rods for the punishment.  Each family brought a load of turf for the fire. There was one privy with one seat in it and it was used by the boys and the girls.

Paddy Guinan started school in Kilmurry in 1934 and continued there until 1939 when he moved to the new school beside Redwood Chapel. In the same class were Joe King, Carrigeen, Tessie O'Sullivan, Redwood Castle, Davy O'Sullivan, Lordspark, Molly Kirwan, Lordspark. His teacher was Miss Nora Moran, a sister of Bill Moran, and she lived with her brother in Bonachum.  She got married about 1936 and became Mrs. Kelleher. The principal teacher was Miss McCormack. During his time in school he remembers two substitute teachers, Miss Heagney and Miss Dalton.

He remembers only one inspector during his years there. Fr. Cleary, who was the C.C., used to visit regularly.  He recalls getting his First Communion in Redwood Chapel and each of the recipients got a bottle of lemonade after it. He was confirmed in Lorrha in 1942 by Canon Fogarty, who did the catechism examination in the sacristy the day before

 

Teachers

Miss Ellen Carroll was succeeded in Redwood House by Miss Mary Guinane (later Mrs. Grogan) in 1923. Mrs. Grogan died in January 1930 following the birth of a child and she was succeeded by Miss Mary Clune. Miss Clune was appointed initially as a substitute for Mrs. Grogan and later as principal on February 10. However, she resigned during the summer holidays, having married in Scotland and Miss Margaret McCormack was appointed principal on October 1, 1930. She transferred to the third school in 1939 and remained as principal until she retired in 1952.. Miss Mary Kelly had been appointed as a junior assistant mistress in Redwood House in 1923, moved to the new school in Kilmurry in 1926 and was succeeded by Nora Moran in 1931. She became Mrs. Kelleher in 1936 and was succeeded by Mrs Annie King in 1941.

 

The Third School beside Redwood Chapel

It is difficult to understand why a third school was built in Redwood in 1939. The existing school was only thirteen years old. It is also difficult to get information on why the change took place. According to Sally Gardiner (83) the school at Kilmurry had gone to 'wrack and ruin'. Does this suggest it was very badly built? She also recalls that it was infested with bats! According to her they nested behind the big maps that covered the walls. She recalls that girls were assigned every evening to tidy up the school and occasionally some boys came in, disturned the bats and caused them to fly around. On such occasions the girls fled to the cloakroom! She also recalls the tins of sweets the teachers kept to give the children a treat on the days of holidays. They usually got two or three sweets each

Her sister, Mary (87) recalls the move up the road to the new school beside the Chapel. Asses and carts were used to carry the furniture and the whole operation was organised by Miss McCormack and Mrs. Kelleher. Sally remembers the children had to carry the books up the road under their arms and how they loved it to sitting in the classroom. She believes that the last of the stuff was transported in the boot of Miss McCormack's blue car, one of the few vehicles in the area at the time..

The new school was officially opened with a Mass said by Canon Moloney. It was said in Miss McCormack's room and many of the mothers attended. The children stook around the room during the Mass.

Sally recalls one little incident in the new school. After moving up to the school she used to clear the wall beside the girls' shed at lunchtime to run down the road to her house for a cup of tea and bread or soup. Afterwards she would rush back to be in time for the end of break. Somebody spilled the beans on her and she was informed, in a nice way, she remembers, by her teacher that she couldn't leave the school during school hours but that if her mother wanted to bring her something during the day, she was free to do so. Another thing she recalls was learning long division sums from Mrs. King. She couldn't get the knack of them before and is very thankful to Mrs. King for the explanation, which helped her.

 

Building the School

The school was built by Billy Martin, Builder, Portumna. According to Mary Gardiner George Connell and Jack Mulcahy, two carpenters, she thinks, worked on the building. It cost £1,400 and the parish had to contribute one-sixth of the cost. This was known as the local contribution. Obviously th sum of approximately £235 was not easily raised in the late thirties.

At the time,the Parish Priest, Canon Moloney was trustee of a fund, the residue of the money collected in 1916 as a testimonial to Martin O'Meara on the occasion of him receiving a Victoria Cross for his bravery on the field of battle in France in the same year, and bequeathed by O'Meara for the restoration of Lorrha Abbey. Canon Moloney applied to the High Court to have the bequest changed and a decision was made by the court on January 16, 1939 to set this clause aside 'as it is not valid either as a charitable trust or as a non-charitable trust.'

In an affidavit to the court, the Canon stated that because of the state of the Abbey, its restoration 'would now be impossible and it would be merely a waste of money to spend the bequest herein on any sort of restoration.' Also, the Abbey was 'in the custody of the Office of Public Works for preservation.'

The affidavit concluded: 'I respectfully pray this Honourable Court to declare the said bequest a charitable one and impossible to implement and that the moneys be applied cy-pres (as near as possible): £60 being applied to the purchase of two Confessionals, be way of memorial to the Testator, and the balance to the erection of the school at Redwood.'

Earlier in the affidavit the Canon stated: 'I am at present erecting a new school at Redwood in the Parish of Lorrha. The estimate for said purpose prepared by the Board of Works is £1,400. Of this sum I have to provide one-sixth viz: £233-6-8. This sum will have to be raised by public subscription of the parishioners.'

And so, the Martin O'Meara bequest provided the local funds for the building of Redwood School, probably much to the relief of Canon Moloney, who was saved from having to collect £233-6-8 from his parishioners at a difficult economic time for all Irish people.

 

Teachers: 1879-2014

Miss Winifrid Carroll 1879-1888
Miss Ellen Carroll 1889-1923
Miss Mary Guinane (later Mrs. Grogan) 1923-1930
Miss Mary Clune Jan-Aug 1930
Miss Mary Kelly 1923-31
Miss Margaret McCormack 1930-1952
[Miss Nora Moran 1931-
Mrs. Nora Kelleher1941]
Mrs. Annie King 1941-1974
Mr. Jim Keane 1952-1977
Mrs. Joe Needham 1974-2000
Ms O'Reilly 1977-1979
Ms Kay Heveran 1979-1985
Mrs. Maura Kennedy 1999-2012
Mrs. Mary Coen 2000-2010
Ms Helena Darcy 2010-
Ms Michelle Hogan 2012-