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Electoral Practices in Cashel in 19th Century Post Advertiser, June 10, 1986, Vol 2 No 2

Electoral Practices in Cashel in 19th Century

Post Advertiser, June 10, 1986, Vol 2 No 2


In order to understand the corrupt practices obtaining in the Cashel Westminister constituency in 1868 it is important to understand the part corruption played in 19th century elections in Ireland. It was widespread. The Nationalist estimated in 1859 that at least 27 of the 33 borroughs were significantly corrupt. Towns with electorates under 500 were the corruptionist's native habitat, not only becasue they were cheaper, but because money could more effectively smother other considerations within their narrow and intimate political worlds. 

Corruption took two forms, direct, in the form of actual cash payments and the like. In his book on the subject Theodore Hoppen quotes a song that was sung at Portarlington in the general election of 1332: 

Oh! tis cash, tis cash, tis cash, 
That makes the world go round
And with the cash, the cash, the cash, 
Doth our candidate abound. 
When we return our friend
He'll make our tyrant quake; 
His cash he'll freely spend
On us, for justice sake. 

Indirect forms of corruption included everything from subscriptions to local charities to providing jobs for voters and their relations. Both were more common in the boroughs than the counties. The towns of Ireland were the home of the outstretched hand, the bulging pocket and the floating voter adrift on seas of whiskey, beer and stout. According to Hoppen town elections were at all times supported upon a deep cushion of cash. Boroughs supplied three-quarters of the politicians alleging bribery or treating in the period 1832-50, four-fifths in 1851-68 and almost two-thirds in 1869-83. 

Bleeding Freely!

Corruption produced a culture and language of its own. Generous candidates were said to be 'bleeding freely', and they lad a bye word 'crap' which stood for money and it was also designated 'twine'. Everything proceeded upon the nod and wink principle. Sums were only vaguely agreed, cash was never paid on the spot. People did not insist but they did expect. Elections stood outside conventional morality and otherwise respectable pleople took bribes as a matter of course. 

The Galway Town Corrupt Practices Commission revealed the following: 'You are an advocate for Justice?' - 'Yes! And an honest man.' 

'You are an honest man and you would sell your vote for £10 and would have liked £30 better?' 


Corruption flourished most where power was relatively difuse, according to Hoppen. Cashel was a notorious example. Here blocs of voters, sometimes grouped along occupational, sometimes along merely ad hoc lines, auctioned themselves in return for communal or individual benefits. In 1852 more than half the electorate agreed publicly to support whoever would promise money for railway construction. Weeks before the 1868 contest one of the candidates deposited £5,000 in a local bank and had his agent parade the town waving the deposit slip for all to see. 

In such a context Archbishop Leahy's remark that voters could quite 'conscientiously' prefer the candidate who would promote the material prosperity of the town took on meanings clear to all. Others made the message even less ambiguous. The voters, according to Fr. John Ryan, P.P., were entitled to any money going, they would be very great fools if they refused it. 

Only in private, according to Hoppen, was Leahy brave enough to summon up the mood of moral outrage: 'The men who would determine the election are to a man corrupt. They are divided into two parties. If one of them takes up a candidate, the other is sure to, oppose him. And those parties are Catholics ....'No one would have any business in Cashel that would not be prepared to look for places for themselves and their children (or) ... spend money Iiberallv.'

Such an atmosphere encouraged the activities of electoral groups. Occupational groups voted together, not because issues of importance to particular crafts were at stake but because occupation constituted the most obvious basis for association. In Cashel in 1868 twenty-six of the 203 voters were butchers. Twenty-five voted for Henry Munster not because Munster represented interests congenial to butchering, but becasue their support had jointly been, purchased at £30 a head. Becasue of such enticements the turnout of borough voters was exceptionally high, in some cases in excess of 90 per cent of registers which must have contained their share of dead and departed. 

Group Voting

Cashel Protestants voted as a group. Cashel electors included a large number of farmers because the borough had been extended into the outlying Commons in 1832'in order to give a sufficiently large electorate the vote. 

The occupations of voters in the Cashel constituency in 1832 were as follows: Gentlemen 12.4, professional 2.6, merchants, manufacturers and commercial 4.5, shopkeepers 25.9, drink interest 4.5, artisans 6.8, farmers 39.9, labourers 0, others 3.4. 

At Cashel in 1868 the publicans behaved as informal clearing-houses for information and as brokers between the dispensers and receivers of favours. As such they themselves received favours usually in the form of extravagant hiring fees for their premises or huge orders for drink to be distributed among the electors and their hangers-on. 

Wealthy carpetbaggers were attracted to Cashel like flies to manure. 'Cashel.' chortled Lord Donaghmore, 'is a delightful mess. There are Hemphill, Hughes, late Solicitor-General, Lanigan, V. Scully and last, but not least, John Carden, all hard at it.' 

In 1859 one candidate reminded the voters of their P.P.s denunciations of bribery. 'Votes is riz,' came the unflappable reply, 'they were selling at between £5 and £6 on Saturday but, after Sunday, when we heard our souls would be damned for selling them, no vote will go under at least £20.' 

There was another fallout from 19th century electorate corruption. Donations, large and small, to local charities, chapels, clubs, societies, brass bands and religious orders were extracted from candidates with a sleight of hand that would have flattered the most practised of pick-pockets. 'Twas asked for charity', moaned the clean-picked Captain Trench at Galway in 1872, all over the county, 'as soon as I became a candidate.' Even the niceties were bogus. 'l am not,' a Galway nun concluded her begging letter, 'entirelv influenced on this occasion by your being a candidate for the representation of the town, but from your general character.' 

A Cashel carpetbagger, who had already distributed almost £2,000 among the Christian Brothers, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, the Thurles Cathedral Building Fund and the nuns of the Fethard Convent, spoiled the whole costly effect by being heard to mutter more loudly than was nice that Holy Mother Church had a very wide mouth. Clergymen, Protestant and Catholic, were invariably at the head of the queue.


Equally important with the ability to hand out largesse was the ability of the candidate to hold his liquor. William Keogh's electoral success at Athlone was in part the result of attendance at the bedside of the companion of his debauch the next morning with a brandy and soda in his hand and the Christian name of his scarcely-recovered inebriate in his mouth. In contrast an English contender for the same borough had to be shipped home in a violent fit of delirium tremens. Sergeant Barry at Dungarvan complained of how he was expected to inbibe large quantities of punch, day and night, with successive batches of electors and how failure in this terrible duty would seriously imperil his popularity. 

Few aspects of life remained untouched by electoral largesse. Loafers received scatterings of coin in the streets or payments to start a riot. Workhouse inmates were given meat teas. Newspaper proprietors grew fat on direct bribes and inflated political advertising. The editor of the Cashel Gazette claimed 'some influence by my family and otherwise'. In 1868 John Davis White was paid £50 by Henry Munster for services othef than advertising. Everything written and published in favour of a candidate, be it a leading article or a letter, was charged and paid for at the same rate as the advertisements. A paper published three times a week, therefore, made a good thing out of an election. Money could also be made by printing the thousands of placards and leaflets, which covered constituencies like confetti during elections. Candidates were supposed to act as employment agencies. Influenctial M.P.s had a strong say in the direction of Government patronage. Ministers had at their disposal a great numbers of jobs. 

It cost a lot of money to get elected. Few candidates could escape spending hugh sums. In 1868 votes cost £30 per head in Cashel. In 1865 J.L. 0 Beirne spent £3,000 to get himself elected in Cashel. In 1868 Henry Munster spent £6,000 and failed to get elected. Appeal petitions, against the successful cimdidate, were made regularly after Irish elections. In the fifty years after 1832 over 100 Irish petitions ran their full course while three or four times that number failed to stay the course. The moderate cost for such a petition was £2,000 and in bad cases it could be three or four times as much. Many had spent so much getting elected it was their one way of recouping. The costs included the hiring of lawyers, the paying of sleuths to dig up local dirt and the transportation, until 1868, of witnesses to London and paying for their food, drink and lodgings. 

Membership of clubs was important. By 1870 at least 11 clubs flourished in Dublin and 13 in provincial towns like Belfast, Cork, Limerick, Waterford, as well as in smaller places like Nenagh and Clonmel. The last three M.P.s to be elected for Cashel, Timothy O'Brien, John Lanigan and James Lyster O'Beirne were all members of the Reform Club 

Belonging to the hunt was also important. Over 66 mounted packs existed in the country in 1875. Not to hunt was the certain sign of a fool or an ass, for as Lord Dunsany remarked, any man who is utterly unconnected with the fox lives a little apart. 


Much electoral rioting took place during elections. Twentysix people were killed in the Kerry election of 1826. Rioting gave the voteless a voice by enabling them to bring countervailing pressures against the influence of property, money and patronage. Large gangs took control of small towns and made their influence felt. 

At Cashel in 1865 young and old were to be found shouting, whistling, groaning, dancing and foaming with irrepressible rage. In many places candidates were obliged to deal with popularly recognised mob leaders, who negotiated pay and contracted to supply crowds as and when required. At Cashel in 1868 Mary Glasgow ruled 40 women during the election; speeched and agitated day and night, for six weeks in the interest of 0'Beirne 'and begs to submit to him a bill of £3'. Women often took a prominent part in riots carrying plenty of stones in their aprons. 

The average election mob was large enough to intimidate and destroy but small enough to retain a high degree of mobility, energy, and socal cohesion. Violence or its threat was the raison d'etre of election mobs. The full cycle of mob activity usually began with hooting, continued with hitting (spitting was an optional extra) and concluded with shouting. Sticks and cudgels were the usual weapons. These were augmented with crutches, spikes, hatchets, knives, axes, cleavers skewers, sword canes, loaded whips and sticks, pikes and paving stones, iron bars and bottles and half-pound weights with straps. Injuries were more extensive than dangerous but there were some bloody and horrendous results when a crowd became frenzied. 

Election riots and disorders provided the most common outlet for women's political feelings as for those of the disfranchised generally. Women could be the most violent and savage of all: 'By God, Smith,' yelled one woman in Cork in 1852, 'if you attempt to vote I will rip your bloody Protestant guts out'. At which another female demon seized one of his hands in her mouth and tore it with her teeth. At Cashel in 1865 well-looking well-dressed girls, one a perfect Amazon, bared her arms, wound their shawls tightly around them and rushed into the melee. 

The levels of violence at election time can be shown by the demand for a greater commitment of police and soliders in 1865 and 1868 than in previous years. In those years every single polling place was crammed with troops and police. All the violence was to aid the victory of one candidate over another. Other expressions of high spirits at election time were the burning of tar barrells, the illumination of windows, the lighting of bonfires, music and flags, banners, arboreal arches and the like. Tipperary town was enfete during the O'Donovan Rossa by-election in 1869 gleaming with a thousand lights, some brilliant and gorgeously coloured, others shining with the lustre of half penny dips. Each window was a sheet of flame, tar barrells flamed' everywhere and were surrounded by crowds, shouting and dancing. 

Elections definitely enlivened towns and they lasted as long as six weeks. The 1868 election was one of the most exciting events in the history of Cashel and in future issues it will be possible to see why. 


Cashel's Parliamentary Representation 1801-1868 Post Advertiser, May 16, 1986, Vol 2 No 1

Cashel's Parliamentary Representation 1801-1868

Post Advertiser, May 16, 1986, Vol 2 No 1


As a result of the Act of Union between Great Britain and Ireland, which was passed in August 1800 and became law in January of the following year, Ireland returned one hundred members of Parliament to the House of Commons at Westminster. There were two M.P.s for each county, two M.P. for each of the two boroughs, Dublin and Cork, one M. P. for each of 31 boroughs and one M.P. for Dublin University. Two of these single-seat boroughs were in County Tipperary, Cashel and Clonmel. Cashel's claim to a seat was based on the. towns historical importance and the ancient City of the Kings was to send an M.P. to Westminster until 1868. 

The reform legislation of 1832 increased the number of M.P.s from Ireland to 105. Four of the five new seats went to boroughs and the firth to Dublin University. The four boroughs that saw their representation double were Belfast, Galway, Limerick and Waterford. 

The Electorate

The number of voters was small. During the period 1801-1829 the possession of a forty shilling freehold was the principal qualification for voters in counties. This qualification was increased to £10 freehold as a result of Catholic Emancipation in 1829 so that the number of county voters was reduced from 216,000 to 37,000. The Reform Act of 1832 augmented the number of £10 freeholders by various classes ot leaseholders, bringing the number of county voters to 60,597 or 1-116 of the population This compared with 1.24 in England and Wales and 1.45 in Scotland.

In the boroughs during the period 1801-32 the fanchises varied considerably from constituencies where the vote was restricted to members of corporations in some to others where it belonged to a much larger number of corporation members, freemen and forty-shilling freeholders.

As a result of the reform of 1832 the fanchise was given to £10 property owners and produced 29,471 electors in the towns. That amounted to 1-26 in Ireland as compared with 1-17 in England and Wales. All voters were adult male. 

Duration of Elections

The idea of a single Polling Day was some time coming. Until 1820 elections for counties, boroughs and the university could last up to forty days. In that year the time limit for the duration of a poll was reduced to fifteen days. In 1832 the time limit for polling was reduced to five days. The borough elections were limited to a one-day poll in 1847 and the county elections were reduced to a two-day poll in 1850 and a one-day poll in 1862. The time limit for the voting in the university constituency remained five days. Not until 1918 were all contests, except the university seats, held on the same day. 

One important reason for the duration of elections was the small number of polling places. Until 1850 each county constituency had only one polling place and the long journeys this often entailed provided endless opportunities for fights. All voters in County Tipperary had to travel to Clonmel to vote for their two candidates. For those from the extreme north of the county this involved a journey of over 70 miles. The Franchise Act of that year increased the number of polling places in county constituencies to between three and six. The County Election Act of 1862 allowed the number to be increased still more on petition from local magistrates. The result was that the thirty-two polling places of 1850 was increased to one hundred and thirty-four by 1862, one hundred and fifty-four by 1868 and six hundred and forty by 1874. 

Dates of Elections 

As mentioned above all elections did not take place on the same date. After the Union became law in Jan. 1801 Richard Bagwell was nominated M.P. for Cashel. He had sat in the old Irish House of Commons and he resigned later in the year. On December 9 Lt. Col. John Bagwell was elected in his place. There was a general-election in 1802 on February 27 and William Wickham was elected. He was re-elected in the next general election on February 27, 1806 but was appointed Commissioner of the Treasury some time later. The result was a by-election on November 17 in which Viscount Archibald John Primrose was electad. He lost his seat in the general election on May 25, 1807 and Quinton Dick was elected. He resigned in 1809 and Robert Peel was elected on April 15. 

Peel represented the constituency until tne general election of 1812 when Sir Charles Saxton was elected on October 26. The next general election was on June 9, 1818 and Richard Pennefather was elected. He resigned the following year and was succeeded by Ebenezer John Collett on March 4. He was re-elected in the general elections of March 17,1820 and June 17,1826. He was succeeded on August 5, 1830 by Matthew Pennefather who was re-elected on May 6 of the following year. However, he resigned soon after and was succeeded by Philip Pusey on July 16. 

Number of Electors

Up to 1832 we have no information on the number of electors in the Cashel constituency. After that date not only have we the size of the electorate but also the number that voted, when there was a contest and the number of votes cast for each candidate. As well we get the political affiliation of .the candidates. 

Philip Pusey did not go forward for re-election on December 14, 1832 and Jarries Roe, a Repealer was elected unopposed. There were 277 electors. The next general election was on January 14,1835 and two candidates contested the seat. Louis Perrin was victorious with 166 votes out of an electorate of 325. He was a Liberal and his opponent, Matthew Pennefather, a Conservative got 56. Perrin was appointed Attorney General and as the practice was at that time, had to seek re-election. He did so without opposition on April 28, 1835. Later in the same year he had to resign as a result of being appointed a Justice of the Kings Bench. In the by-election Stephen Woulfe was elected unopposed on Sept. 4. By that stage the electorate had increased to 351. Woulfe was a Liberal and was re-elected unopposed on August 1, 1837. The electorate was then 353. Woulfe was appointed Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer in Ireland in 1838 and in the resulting by-election on'July 14 Joseph Stock, a Liberal, was elected unopposed. He was re-elected in the General Election of July 3, 1841 without opposition. The number of electors had dropped to 267. 

In the next General Election, August 3, 1847 Timothy O'Brien, a Repealer, was elected unopposed, The electorate had declined still further to 172. The next election was on July 15, 1852 and the number of electors was 111. Timothy O'Brien, having been knighted in the meantime, went forward as an Independent Liberal and was opposed by Charles McGarel, a Liberal. O'Brien won by 60, votes to 18 for his opponent. Five years later, on April 3, 1857 the number of electors had increased to 135. In the general election on that date O'Brien, now named as a Liberal, was opposed by Charles Hare Hemphill, a Conservative and John Lanigan, Independent Opposition. The result was 54 votes for O'Brien, 39 for Hemphill and 35 for Lanigan. Lanigan must have been a rising force because he succeeded in the 1859 general election. 

It was held on May 6 with an electorate of 147. Lanigan, a Liberal, was elected with 91 votes. His opponents, John Carden, a Conservative, got 10 votes and Charles Hare Hemphill, another Liberal got 8 votes. Lanigan was defeated in the next general election on July 17, 1865. His opponent was James Lyster 0 Beirne, another Liberal and he polled 86 votes to Lanigan's 49. The electorate was 146. 

The last general election in which the electors of Cashel sent an M.P. to Westminster was on Nov. 21, 1868. The electorate was 203 and O'Beirne polled 100 votes to his opponent, another Liberal, Henry Munster's 84 votes. The election was fiercely contested and after the result was announced Henry Munster accused O'Beirne of bribery, and malpractices in getting himself elected. As a result of a Parliamentary investigation both parties were found guilty of bribery and the election was declared void. Two years later, 1870, the constituency was disfranchised.The investigation published its findings in a hefty volume of over four hundred pages and will be dealt with at a later date.




Blacksmiths and Farriers Post Advertiser, April 18, 1986, Vol 1 No 18

Blacksmiths and Farriers

Post Advertiser, April 18, 1986, Vol 1 No 18


In his poem Felix Randal the poet, Gerald Manley Hopkins, envisages the farrier at the 'random grim forge, powerful amidst peers fettling for the great grey drayhorse his bright and battering sandal'. The poem is a very fine profile of Felix Randal the farrier and it reminds many of us of our own memories of the village blacksmith. 

The forge was a centre of village life in days gone by, a meeting place for the men of the surrounding townslands. According to Kevin Danagher the smith was an expert horse handler and was wise in all the ways of curing sick and injured animals. He would just as readily cauterize a wound or pull a tooth for a human client. His favourite method of removing a tooth was to attach the offending molar to the anvil by a strong cord and then to present the victim with a red hot horseshoe at close range, whereupon the sufferer drew his own tooth! 

Cashel Blacksmiths

I do not know if the smiths and farriers of Cashel did any dental work but they were expert in many other ways. Paddy Hogan, who ran a very neat establishment in Boherclough St., was one of the leading farriers in County Tipperary and was in constant demand from racehorse owners. On the big double door into his establishment was proudly proclaimed in bold lettering: 'Patrick Hogan, Smith and Farrier'. He showed his skill at the Cashel Agricultural Show in 1923 when a set of his horseshoes won first prize. His daughter, Breda, has still got that set of shoes.

Another establishment was behind Mattie Dunne's in Canopy St. It was owned by Mikey Ryan who was a noted all-round man at his trade. His helper was Mikey Gayson. Another Ryan had a forge behind Mrs. Mai Walsh's bungalow on Main St. Jimmy Lawrence recalls watching the work in progress on his way home from school. 

A little further down Main Street, where the Cashel Co-Operative store stands at present, a Mr. Ashwell had his establishment. He was an expert on agricultural machinery breakages and welding was his speciality. 

A brother of Jim Sheridan the N.T. in Dualla, had a forge where Jinimy Lawrence has his garage today in William Street. In fact the remains of the forge can still be seen. He came from Ballinahinch and had a forge in Ballytarsna also. He died young. 

Peter O'Sullivan had a forge in Sullivan's Lane, off Friar Street. He was a great little smith and used to go to Dargan's for a pint in his apron after shoeing a horse. 

All Disappeared

Where are they all gone now? Not one of them remains. Of course there were many more horses around them. Fr. Ryan used to keep a horse. Murphy of Hillhouse always kept a few hunters. Christy 0'Connor, a stableboy was killed at Lowergate. Miss Corby kept two horses. There were a load of jarvey horses. Suttons had horses drawing coal from the Railway station. Lar Ryan (Andy) kept horses in Ladyswell for bringing mail to and from Gouldscross. 

A whole way of life has passed away. To quote again from Kevin Danaher on the role of the blacksmith in society that he made the tools for every tradesman, and to crown all, he also made the tools for his own trade. He made the tailor's needle and the sailor's anchor, the shepherd's crook and the forester's axe, the carpenter's saw and the thatcher's knife. Spades, pitchforks and scythes, nails, hinges and locks, handsome gates and ·fireirons, griddles and brands, buckles for the harness maker, bands for the cooper, the weaver's lamp and the fisherman's gaff. If a housewife broke a fine willow-pattern dish, the smith drilled holes in it and put it together again with stitches of iron wire. When the miller wanted a pivot for the great millstone, the smith made that and when a little boy wanted a spear for his top, the smith made that too. There was no craftsman more busy, none more versatile, none more respected. 


Cashel Lions Club Post Advertiser, April 5 1986, Vol 1 No 17

Cashel Lions Club

Post Advertiser, April 5 1986, Vol 1 No 17


The Cashel Lions Club celebrated their Silver Jubilee recently. It was a proud moment for the members who could look back with a certain amount of pride in their service to the Cashel community over twenty-five years. 

'We Serve' is the motto of the organisation and service to the community is at, the heart of all Lion activity. This service has taken different forms through the years and in the Silver Jubilee year of the club it is predominantly concerned with the senior citizens of the community.

When the Cashel Club was formed in 1961 it was the fourth club to come into existence in Ireland. The first had been Dublin in 1955 and it was followed by Cork in 1958 and Belfast a year later. Lions Intemational, the oganisation of which Cashel became a member, was founded in the U.S. in 1917 when a group of hitherto independent clubs responded to an ideal laid before them by a young insurance man, Melvin Jones. The ideal was one of service as a group to their fellow men without regard to politics, religion, race or, in any way, the personal interests of the members. 

The Cashel Club was founded by Cork and the Cork connection came through Surgeon Tim Noonan, who had become, surgeon in the County Hospital, Cashel. Another Cork connection was Dr. John Osborne whose cousin, Jim Lannen, was a Cork Lion. Preliminary work on the formation of the club began in September 1960 and the club was finally organised on January 23, 1961. The presentation of the Club Charter was made two weeks later at a function in Cahir House Hotel. 

Charter Members

The function was held in Cahir House Hotel because there was no hotel in Cashel to house the event. Charter dinners continued to be held at Cahir House Hotel up to and including 1969. The Cashel Kings Hotel opened in July 1969 and it became the venue from 1970 to 1981 inclusive, with the exception of 1976, when the venue was Grants Castle Hotel, which has also been the venue since 1981. 

At that first function in Cahir House on February 6, 1961 the Club had eighteen members. Tim Noonan was President, Des Kennedy of Tipperary was Secretary and Larry Nugent was Treasurer. The other members were John L. Buckley, Patrick Darmody, Michael J. Davern, Owen B. Davern, Frank Dwyer, John Fahey, Bill Ganon, Tom Kennedy, Leo MacNamara, Dermot O'Brien, Jack Joe O'Connor, Patrick O'Connor, John Rogers, Willie Ryan and John Osborne. The latter two are still members. Ten of the group are dead, two no longer reside in the town and four dropped out along the way. In all there have been members over the 25 years and the present membership stands at twenty-five. 


As well as serving the people in the community a Lions Club has the obligation to spread the message of Lionism by founding new clubs. The Cashel Club has founded four clubs since its own foundation. The first of these was Thurles in 1964. Waterford followed in 1966 and Clonmel a year later. There was long wait until 1985 for the fourth. In June of that year Cahir Club was founded and it gave particular pleasure to the members. As a result of these foundations. other clubs came into existence and the Cashel Club can claim responsibility for the ancenstry of no fewer than thirty-one clubs altogether. 


The services provided to the community by the Cashel Club have changed down the years. At the moment there is a lot of attention to our senior citizens. There are three main areas of club involvement with this group, the holiday scheme, under which the club gives a week's holiday annually to a number of men and women in the town, the senior citizens party, which is held in the Spring and to which all the senior citizens in the town are invited and the birthday scheme, under which members of the club visit senior citizens living alone on their birthdays, bringing a small present and discovering something of their needs, if any.

If one returns to the early years similar attention was paid to the residents of St. Philomena's Orphanage in Dundrum. Senior Cltizens were not forgotten then either and used to be taken on outings to the sea. Another big early project was the building of a swimming pool in the town. This occupied the minds of the members for a long time and was eventually shelved with the oil crisis of 1974. For a number of years after that the club subsidised the transport of children to neighbouring pools. 

Larkspur Park

This year will see the completion of a £100,000 sports complex in Larkspur Park. The building will include badminton, and squash courts, showers and toilets, meeting and recreation rooms. The completion will be a landmark in the development of Larkspur Park and a major advance on the Nissan hut that was erected there in the sixties. It will also be a fitting tribute to the perseverance and dedication over twenty years of a large number of Lions and members of the Larkspur Park Development Committee. 

The story of Larkspur Park began in the mid-sixties when the Cashel Lions were looking for a project that would bring lasting benefit to the town and community. Such a project would also engage the members of the club in a high degree of activity over a long period of time. Finally it would be permanent monument to the existence of the club and its service to the community.

The Lions purchased a piece of land opposite Our Lady's Hospital in 1965 as a result of a generous donation from American Ambassador, Raymond Guest. who had horses in training at Vincent O'Briens. The contact with the Ambassador was made through Dermot O'Brien, who was a member of the Club. ln appreciation of the donation the park was named after the Ambassadors horse, Larkspur, which won the Epsom derby in 1962. 

Development of the Park got underway and a pitch and putt course was laid out. The now familiar Nissan hut was purchased as a pavilion. Later tennis courts were constructed. The Larkspur Park Development Committee was set up and it has organised the development of the park since. It consists of Lions and other interested parties. As time passed the Lions were content to give the committee its head so that today, while still retaining overall control, the Lions are content to play a back seat role. 

The original idea in purchasing the field was to develop recreational facilities for the people of Cashel and District. Over twenty years these facilities have been developed to their present impressive state. The. Lions continued interest in. the place is to ensure that its original idea is realised to the fullest possible extent. 

International Commitments 

The club's activities extend beyond the local level. From an early stage the members were involved in many Third World projects. In the late sixties Tom Kennedy started collecting drugs and spectacles for the Third World. When Seamus King was Zone Chairman in 1974-75 he organised neighbouring clubs to fund the sending of an agrcultural graduate, John Devane from Boherlahan to Bangladesh for a year. The T.J. Noonan Memorial Fund helps to finance the cost of sending 4th year medical students from U.C.C. to Third World countries for the summer. The Cashel Club-also pays into the Lions Clubs International Foundation, which is an emergency fund existing for the relief of disaster in the world. Eye Camps, for the relief of blindness caused by malnutrition, are supported in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. One of the most dramatic demonstrations of this commitment to the Third World happened in 1980 when the then President of the club, Dr. Pat Donohue, went to Kampuchea for six months to work as a medical officer with the people of the country. 


The Gospel According to the G.A.A. Post Advertiser, Jan. 1986, Vol 1 No 12

The Gospel According to the G.A.A.

Post Advertiser, Jan. 1986, Vol 1 No 12


Did you know that the G.A.A. promotes Rounders? Or that it supports lrish industry? And, that if you fail to provide trophies and playing equipment of Irish manufacture you can be penalised £50? And, if your correspondence is not written on Irish paper it can be ruled out of order? Similarly, if you do not follow certain guidelines for the use of the Irish language in correspondence the latter can be ruled out of order. 

The late Hubie Hogan,a former county chairman, remembered the latter to his regret. During the mid-forties Hubie and the late Mick Brophy, the father of Michael Brophy who is on the present county senior hurling panel, cycled from Lorrha, to Thurles to present their club's case in some objection. Having arrived to the meeting of the county board they waited to be invited in to present their case. When they finally got in they were informed by the chairman that their case was out of order because it had not been written in Irish! The two had to cycle home the full forty-six miles again empty-handed. 


The Association shall also be non-sectarian. Of course 'Faith of our Fathers' and the kissing of the Bishop's ring before the start of major games are now part of history. But what about the medals presented to champions by the Tipperary county board. They all incorporate the arms of the Catholic bishop of Cashel and Emly. How does one reconcile that practice with Rule 9. 

It is interesting to recall that in 1934 an attempt to incorporate the arms of the Bishop of Killaloe in the medal to be struck for the winners of the Clare county hurling and football champions failed. 1934 was the Golden Jubilee of Bishop Fogarty's ordination as well as the foundation of the G.A.A. and the county chairman, Monsignor Hamilton, envisaged the idea of combining both jubilees on the county championship medal. A proof or sample medal was made by J. Maurer of Ennis. It was made in sterling silver, one and a quarter inches across with a bust of Bishop Fogarty in the centre. At a further county board, meeting the members did not approve of he bust. It was replaced by a similar type medal in 9 caret gold with the heads of Croke, Cusack and Davin in the centre 

An Treoraí Oifigúil 1986

All of this interesting information is contained in the new Official Guide of the Gaelic Athletic Association. The Guide has been fully revised and it was sanctioned at a Special Congress in Cork in December 1985. Rule 12 is concerned with Amateur Status. No player, team, official or member shall accept payment in cash or in kind or other material reward in connection with his membership of the Association nor shall he be associated with any commercial enterprise in connection with membership of the Association. It seems that the individual member is denied an opportunity of making a few bob by virtue of his membership but the county board or any unit of the Association can make what they like. The Kerry county board can screw Mr .8endix for all they want but neither the Bomber nor Paudie O'Shea are entitled to a brass farthing. 

The rule on drugs intrigues me. Drugs and stimulants are strictly forbidden. But there will be no spot checks. A player will submit to a drug test only when directed in writing. The rule doesn t say how long after the direction has been issued. Would it be possible to submit after a month, or perhaps, six? 

Under the rules for membership clubs and counties shall insist that the first allegiance of their members is to the Association and may impose disciplinary measure for breaches of the same. What kind of disciplinary measures? If your goalie is late for the game because he has been playing in the town soccer league, what can you do about him, What punishment can Ballina Stephenites hand out to their player who chooses to play basketball with Team West on the day of a Connaught club championship game? 

The British Armed Forces

Under the new deal for Northern Ireland what is going to happen if a multitude of Association members begin to join the British Armed Forces or the R.U.C.? They will automatically debar themselves from membership of the Association. And, if your girlfriend insists on going to the R.U.C. disco in Ballygawley you have got a problem. If you do not go you have a row on your hands and if you do you are liable to three months suspension from the Association. But then, whose to tell you were there! . 

A club shall be held responsible for the conduct of its members and known partisans. What can you do about the local loud mouth who comes to all your games and hurls invective at all and sundry. Have him arrested the night before for being drunk and disorderly? Give him the wrong venue for the game. There is very little can be done except to hope that he gets an attack of laringitis on the day. 

In line with our national proclivity to ignore the living and profuse about the dead Rule 24 states that a club shall not be named after a living person. Even Pope John XXIII is excluded. 

The United States

A member cannot play hurling, football or handball (what about rounders?) promoted by any body not affiliated to Central Council, without the prior sanction of Central Council. In order to get that prior sanction one must have an official authorisation form in duplicate, signed by the club and county secretaries and the Director General. The form must be lodged in Croke Park at least two days before the date of the game. Just imagine trying to get all those signatories in a hurry! 

Did you know that senior provincial championships shall be decided during the months of May, June and July. In exceptional circumstances, to be decided by the Games Administration Committee, provincial finals may be played on the first Sunday in August. Only twenty-one players are allowed on a county team party and, prior to All-Ireland semi-finals and finals the placing of the teams must be given to the Director General at least six days prior to that game. 


The field of play shall be rectangular. and its dimensions shall be 130 to 145 metres in length and 80 to 90 metres wide. The scoring space shall be formed by two seven (minimum) metres high goalposts placed in the middle of the end line. They must be 6.5 metres apart and the crossbar must be 2.5 metres high. 

There are two rectangles marked in the front of the goals. The first, the so-called small square, shall be 14 metres by 4.5 metres. The second rectangle, the so-called big square shall be 19 metres by 13 metres. This shall be formed by two lines, 13 metres long at right angles to the end line marked 6.5 metres from each goalpost. There is an anomoly here. If the goalposts are 6.5 metres apart and the 13 metre lines at right angles are 6.5 metres from each goalpost then the total width of the rectangle has to be 19.5 metres. And that does not include the width of the posts. So, where does that leave Rule 162(b)!

Will the anomoly provide, the basis of a successful objection at some future date? It might but only if Rule 163, is observed: It states that no 'objection shall be made to the markings of a pitch or the dimensions thereof unless an official protest is made 'to the referee by the captain of the team before the game.' You have really got to get your retaliation in first! 

The hurling ball shall weigh not less than 100 or more than 130 grammes and have a circumference of between 23 and 25 centimetres. And the football measurements are also specified, between 370 and 425 grammes in weight and between 69 and 74 centimetres in circumference.

The Hurley

Dimensions for a hurley are introduced for the first time. It shall weigh not less than 567 and not more than 680 grammes. Its length shall be between 94 and 97 centimetres and its width shall not be more than 13 centimetres. A couple of thoughts come to mind. Why was it necessary to have a minimum weight and a minimum length. Maybe 94 centimetres is just too long for a small man playing senior hurling. Will the referees gear in the future include a metric measuring tape and weighing scales? Will there be spot weigh-ins after every match? Whatever the result may be this new rule 165 must be the swansong of the half-door hurleys of the present time. 

Before all senior intercounty championships, National League finals, Railway Cup finals and AII-Ireland and provincial and senior championship finals, a team shall take the field not later, than ten mins before the appointed starting time. For all other games it is,five minutes. Teams appearing late will be penalised £20 at the county and provincial level and £5 at club level for every five minutes or part thereof. A team taking the field more than fifteen mins. after the appointed starting time shall be liable to forfeiture of the game in which case the game shall be awarded to the opposing team. But what if both teams are more than fifteen minutes late? 


There are four categories of fouls and for every one a free will be awarded to the opposing team. For instance striking or attempting to strike interfering with, threatening or using abusive language or conduct to a match official is a Category A foul. Doing the same thing to an opponent is in Category B. 

Charging the goalkeeper within the small rectangle is a Category C foul while lifting the ball off the ground with the knees or lying on the ball is a Category D infringement. 

In this comprehensive and all-embracing document there are 214 rules, many of them containing a number of sections. Number 214 concerns the kick out in football. At the very end of the book there are amended rules for the club constitution. Overall it is an impressive production and will, no doubt, provide great scope for discussion among players and members alike. 



Thomas Walsh Post Advertiser, Jan. 1986, Vol. 1 No. 12

Thomas Walsh

Post Advertiser, Jan. 1986, Vol. 1 No. 12


When he died early in January, 1913, no man's passing was more widely regretted than that of Thomas Walsh, the proprietor of the"Cashel Sentinel". When his remains were brought to the Parish Church a hearse was to have carried the coffin but an immense con­course of "respectable gentlemen" present insisted on bearing the re­mains in their own hands into the place of repose. On the day of the burial an enormous number of mourners lined the streets as the cor­tege proceeded round the town before the remains were interred in the cemetery adjacent to the Parish Church.

Thomas Walsh was a veteran Nationalist. When a young man he gave a taste of his patriotic proclivities by throwing himself into the Fenian movement. With several other Cashel men he travelled to Ballyhurst, near Tipperary where a great mustering of the Brotherhood met. The inception of the Land League saw him enrolling himself in the new movement for the extirpation of dual ownership. In that strenuous fight he came to be prominently identified.

"The Cashel Sentinel"

In 1885 he launched the "Cashel Sentinel" as a weekly paper, which devoted its columns to the dissemination of the numerous grievances that actuated the founders of the Land League in their ef­forts to secure redress and reform. His outspoken articles and strong denunciation of the policy and administration of the Government of the day incurred for him the ire and vengeance of Dublin Castle. In one of the issues of the paper, for daring to quote from a speech, he was tried and convicted and incarcerated with John Dillon, William O'Brien and Patrick Moclair, M.C.A., Chairman of the Cashel Board of Guar­dians, for three months in Clonmel gaol.

The imprisonment seemed to increase the spirit of patriotism and resolve in Thomas Walsh for, on his release, he continued to excite the attentions of Dublin Castle by his trenchant articles. A case of libel was taken against him. The trial lasted for several days and Walsh was sentenced for four months in gaol. He commenced the term in Clonmel gaol and was afterwards removed to Tullamore where an outbreak of typhoid fever was responsible for his premature release. On the day following his release he received the following telegram from T. M. Healy: "It's an ill wind that blows nobody good". Patrick Moclair was released at the same time for the same reason.

Thomas Walsh was an indefatigable worker in the National fight for freedom and continued his participation in the popular movements un­til his death. The formation of the United Irish League afforded him an opportunity of again entering into the struggle carried on by a united party and people. He was secretary of the Cashel branch from the in­stitution of the League.

Gaelic Interests

In local affairs he was equally zealous. For twenty-seven years he sat on the Corporation and no member enjoyed such whole-hearted favour and respect as he did. He was also a member of the County Infirmary Committee of Management, the Loan Fund Board and the Town Tenants' League.

His support for the G.A.A. was enthusiastic from the beginning. Again and again he exhorted the Gaels of Cashel in the editorials of the "Cashel Sentinel" to come together and get a strong club going in the town. He was disappointed when attempts failed and started im­mediately to initiate new efforts. But he wasn't content merely to wield the pen on behalf of the new movement. He, himself, attended many of the meetings and contributed of his wisdom to the pro­ceedings. Equally sincere was his involvement with the sportsfield committee and the establishment of a good field for Gaelic games in the town.

Thomas Walsh may be long dead and mostly forgotten in 1985. There are no descendants of his left in the parish of Cashel and Rosegreen. But any account that failed to remember his contribution to Gaelic affairs in the parish would be incomplete and not a true record of events.
On the occasion of his death Francis Phillips contributed the follow­ing poem to the "Tipperary Star". In a preface to it he said: "The deceased was a patriot of the old school, a sterling and uncompromis­ing Nationalist, and one who in the days now passed stood fearlessly and independently for the cause of Justice, Liberty and Right".

Into the great eternal home,
Where lives the Living Light,
A patriotic noble soul
At last has taken flight,
And from our ranks God called away
As sound a heart as beat this day.

For many long and weary years,
Through tempest and through shock,
He held the "flag" despite our fears,
His faith was like "The Rock".
And when the waves with fury roared,
The prouder still his spirit soared.

Out from his kind and generous heart,
And from his genial face,
There burst a beam 'twas more than art,
A beam of nature's grace.
That you might judge that fire did blaze,
That Fenians lit in by-gone days.

He loved to talk of colleagues gone
Of heroes who have been,
Forever with the faithful throng,
Those sons who loved the' green.
And with him strove that SHE' might be,
A Nation rocked in Liberty.

An yet though death has stilled that heart,
His memory shall not fade,
With Spartan strength he played his part,
Such stuff are heroes made.
Some day when Freedom's lights will burn,
One flickering ray may gild his urn. I reckon.




Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1986 Post Advertiser, Dec. 1985, Vol 1 No 11

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1986

Post Advertiser, Dec. 1985, Vol 1 No 11


In the bookshops since last weekend is the 1986 county G.A.A. Yearbook. A committee has been producing this book since 1970, when the first one was published as a result of the initiative of Seamus Ryan of Moneygall, the then county chairman. The first editor was an enthusiastic Gerry Slevin, then working with the 'Nenagh Guardian' and he conlinued in that position until he moved to work with the 'Clare Champion' in 1977.

The production has come out faithfully since and has expanded and become more comprehensive. Last year's edition was a special Centenary number and was an extremely comprehensive account of everything that happened in the G.A.A. in the county for Centenary Year. That number is now a collector's item and should be in every household. The present committee includes Michael McCarthy of Moyle Rovers, one of the county representatives on the Munster Council, as chairman and Liam O Donnchú of Durlas Og as secretarv, Sean Nugent of Kilsheelan, John O'Grady of Thurles, John Costigan of Templemore, Michael Maguire of Lattin, J.J. Kennedy of Kickhams, Seamus King of Cashel King Cormac's, Philly O'Dwyer of Boherlahan, Seamus O'Doherty of Roscrea, Gerry Long of Knockshegowna. 

Under-21 Success

Pride of place in this year's edition goes to the All-Ireland under-21 hurling victory. The cover contains a colour photograph of the winning team and Seamus O'Doherty has a detailed account of the successful campaign. Michael Dundon gives comprehensive coverage to the near victory of the county juniors in the course of which he says: "Tipperary's disappointment, at the defeat in the final was understandable and with the county having to field a completely new side in 1986, the prospects of going one better next year are not great. Yet how different our outlook would be had Tipperary won, because at any time an All-Ireland victory is a great achievement, no matter what the grade, and who will deny that in these rather barren times, we can hardly turn up our noses at such a success."

In his report on the senior champianship John O'Grady concludes: 'So, despite the satisfaction of running up 4-11 we had to bow to Cork's 4-17; and to wonder at the lack of amendment to a defence that was so porous and lacked, most prominently, a solid middle core' .. John also covers our success in the Ford Open Draw and has this to say: "The final was, naturally, enough, in the field down river from the now silent Ford premises on the Lee. It rained. At the end our jubilant players were as muddied as a rugby team, but they were happy.' 

Kilruane MacDonaghs

As surely befits a team that achieved so much in 1985 Kilruane MacDonaghs get plenty of exposure. In an article on the senior hurling championship Seamus King observes how successful the club was during the year: "It was a great achievement for the Kilruane MacDonagh Club. It was the best possible success to have in the Centenary Year of the Club. But it wasn't the club's only achievement during the year. They also won the county junior hurling championship and the divisional senior. football championship. To top it all the parish, priest of Cloughjordan, Fr. Eddie White, produced a fine club history which told the story of the G.A.A. in the parish up to the present year. The only task that remains to be done at the end of 1985 is to write another chapter that will properly chronicle the great achievements of the year'. When that was written Kilruane hadn't won the Munster hurling championship and, to add to the attraction of the Yearbook, it contains an account of that memorable victory over Blackrock. 

In his account of football affairs in the county Michael Power, the secretary of the Football Board states that 'even thpough no major honours were won, I thionk it is fair to say that football has reached a stage of credibility in the county.' There's a full account and a full-page colour photograph of Arravale Rovers, who won their first county senior football final in 44 years. The historic 21st successful Mid football championship by Loughmore-Castleiney is also highlighted.


Schools get plenty of cover. Tommy Barrett has an account of the visit of President Paddy Buggy to all schools early in the year. Liam O'Donnchu covers the Primary Schools Scheme. There's a detailed account of the activities in hurling and football· in the Vocational Schools by T.J. Egan. There's an account of Cashel C.B.S. winning the Croke Cup for the second year in a row, of Rockwell Agricultural College, captained by Philly Quirke of Bansha, winning the All-Ireland Agricultural Colleges' final, of Roscrea C.B.S. success in Corn na Phiarsaigh, of Thurles CBS winning the Rice and Fitzgerald cups and of Templemore CBS retaining the Kinane Cup, plus much more. In fact this section is particularly extensive and an earnest of the the committee's intention to make the Yearbook as comprehensive a record as possible of G.A.A. affairs in the county. 

Obituary Section

There is an extensive obituary section on the greats of the past who went to their final reward during the year. Pride of place goes goes to Tommy Treacy and this appreciation contains some fine photographs. In fact the level of the visual in this book is of an excellent standard. Not only are the photographs many and good but the layout and the headings make it a very attractively produced work. 

Traditionally there has been another dimension to the Yearbook, the historical flashback. An interesting episode or incident from the G.A.A. history of the county is presented. In this number Philly O'Dwver of Boherlahan turns his attention to the Munster hurling final of 1941, which was postponed until October 26 because of the Foot and Mouth disease. Tipperary beat Cork, who had previously been nominated to represent Munster in the All-Ireland series and had won the first of their four-in-a-row.

On a slightly different vein Seamus Leahy turns his nostalgic eye on some great GAA days at Thurles one of which was in 1886, when a great tournament was held a a huge crowd turned up but most of them got in for nothing because the organisation was so bad. The result was that when the teams had returned home. and the crowd had scattered, the committee realised that "they had incurred huge expenses, had entertained lavishly, and had failed to take a 'gate' .. They decided to throw themselves on the understanding and mercy of the townspeople ..... The townpeople responded most gallantly and within 24 hours of the appeal being made, the debts of the tournament had been paid'. 

There's much more to this Yearbook including. messages from Archbishop Morris and county chairman, Michael Lowry, divisional reports, Bord na nÓg reports, Scór, handball, snippets from one hundred years of the GAA by Sean O'Driscoll which includes the information that Tom Semple won the Long Puck championship of Ireland in 1906 when he drove the 9 oz. ball 96 yards with a massive stroke. In the course of her reflections Liz Howard refers to the famous Justin McCarthy interview: "Generations of Tipperary hurlers were made little of. I can well remember the 'nameless one' being hurled off the field by Mick Roche, who had more class and style than half a dozen of the 'nameless one'. If anything spurs Tipperary hurling it will be the degrading remarks made by this person. He is now condemned to the wilderness, because he spoke about the shortcomings of his own team, not because he insulted Tipperary." 

It's impossible in a short review to give a true impression of the comprehensiveness and variety of this publication. I understand there is a print run of two thousand two hundred and I would advise everyone to go out immediately and get his copy which contains 130 pages for the meagre sum of £2.50. For so little expense it's a mighty read and a credit to the committee that produced it. 



Home Industries Fair Post Advertiser, Dec. 1985, Vol 1 No 10

Home Industries Fair

Post Advertiser, Dec. 1985, Vol 1 No 10


There was a fine response to the Cashel Lions Club Home Industries Fair at Grant's Castle Hotel, Cashel last Sunday. Hundreds of people turned up· to see over twenty exhibitors display their home-produced goods. At the end of a very enjoyable afternoon there was a fashion show by two of the exhibitors, Hazel Stapleton and Rita Thornton, which proved extremely popular with a very appreciative audience. 

This event is a new thing for the Cashel Lios Club. Under their very energetic President, Eamon Carew, the·club is seeking new ways in which they can fulfill their motto of service to the community. In a time of high unemployment the members want to highlight those people in the community who are exploiting their creative talents. And, for this show, they succeeded in discovering quite a lot of talent in the neighbourhood of Cashel. They don't for one moment claim that they assembled all the local talent on Sunday, In fact they believe tha there is quite a lot of talent out there that they didn't discover and hope to tap it all at some future exhibition. But this was a very good beginning.

Where can you get Cashel, Fethard and Ballingarry cheese? I didn't know until, last Sunday. These cheeses are being made by Louis and Jane Grubb of Fethard and are available at a selection of stores in Fethard, Cashel and Clonmel. It is interesting that the Ballingarry is a Caherphilly type of cheese, which is most appropriate since both are mining places. Having tasted the Cashel Blue I can recommend it highly. Across the way from the Grubb stall was another cheese display by Mrs. Sheila O'Sullivan of Ballinure. She got the idea of a semi-soft cream cheese a couple of years ago and through books, courses and experiment she produced the Derrynaflan Cheese which won the 1985 overall championship medal at the R.D.S. She now supplies top hotels and claims that the cheese is so filling that it isn't fattening: you get full before you get fat! 

Also in the food line were three German families from the Cahir area, Finkes, the Hulers and the Bordus who produce natural foods from their Ballybrado farm. Their Ballybrado bread is a health product and they also sell drug-free lamb and mutton. But the exhibition didn't cater only for the belly. There was also plenty of apparel to cover it. Rita Thornton had an exhibition of very fine leather goods. She works in leather, sheepskin and swede. Hazel Stapleton had a display of knitwear from her own designs. John Walsh had a fine display of Shanagarry tweeds which included blankets, tablecloths, scarves and other items. 

John's brother, Ned, of Rossa Pottery, who has been potting for about twenty years, had a fine range of his products on sale. Sarah Ryan of Rossmore, who is presently operating from Dundrum, specialises in miniature ceramics which are hand-painted. 

There was much more besides on display. Mrs. Littleton of Cahir displayed an impressive range of soft toys. Mrs Barry of Ardmayle, for long noted for her rushwork, displayed her skills at the fair. The Craft Centre from St. Patrick's Hospital had a fine presentation of their work. Mrs. Louise Spearman of Cashel displayed her floral artistry in arrangements, centre pieces and wreaths. Mary White of Clonmel displayed her Carrickrnacross Lace. Woodcraft Ltd. of Dundrum had a display of table-tennis' tables. 

The fair was a credit to the initiative of the Cashel Lions Club who will celebrate their 25th anniversary next year. It is a fine tribute to their desire to serve the community of Cashel better. In holding this exhibition they were satisfying a great need for home producers, a place to show their goods. It is hoped that as a result of their efforts more people will know of their existence and where their goods can be got. The Cashel Lions Club will also be happy if some people have been inspired by what they saw on Sunday to take the plunge and plumb their own creative depths. That would be the greatest possible result from Sunday's Home Industries Fair.



The G.A.A. History of Cashel and Rosegreen Post Advertiser, Nov. 1985, Vol 1 No 9

The G.A.A. History of Cashel and Rosegreen

Post Advertiser, Nov. 1985, Vol 1 No 9


One of the major events of the year took place at Grant's Castle Hotel recently with the launching of the 'GAA History of Cashel and Rosegreen'. The book is a massive contribution to the history of the parish over the past hundred years and is a tribute to the author, Seamus J. King, who is a teacher at Rockwell College. Seamus hails fram Lorrha and wrote a history of his home club, which appeared early in 1984. He has been living in Cashel for twenty years. 

The book is a handsome hardback volume of 567 pages and covers in great detail the history of the many clubs that have existed in the parish of Cashel and Rosegreen since 1984. In all there have been no fewer than twelve clubs, surely a record. Equally impressive with the extent of the research is the number of photographs contained in the book, over two hundred in all. As the author said at the launching it was a hard two years slog of research and writing. 

The book was launched by Michael Lowry, chairman of the Tipp. County Board, before a representative gathering of the Gaels of Cashel and some from outside. Among the visitors were Willie Corbett, chairman of Tipperary Remembers Weekend, Liz Howard, County P.R.O., Brendan Ryan, chairman of the West Board and others. Among the local luminaries present were Dean C. Lee, Patron of the Club, Willie Ryan, President, former greats like Jim Devitt, Mickey Murphy, Michael Burke, Paddy O'Brien and Jim Devitt. 

Social History

The book is more than a G.A.A. affair. It is no mere reciter of games and scores and teams. It is much more. A very comprehensive introduction gives a picture of Cashel during the last quarter of the 19th Century. This information was gleaned from the numerous travel books of the period as well as the local newspapers. Generally, the picture that comes across is not very flattering to the town. 

The chapter on the foundation of the club in the town makes most interesting reading: it took a long time to get a club going and three attempts failed before a final successful one was made under the chairmanship of Dr. Richard Wood, grandfather of the present Councillor Tom Wood. The book covers the coming of the railway to the town. It quotes a report from the 'Cashel Sentinel' of June 20, 1904: 'For the second time the labourers engaged in working on the new railway works from Gouldscross to Cashel have gone out on strike for higher wages. In the previous strike their wages were increased from three pence to three and a half pence an hour. It was hoped, that this would have brought peace but, on Wed. June 17, they struck again for another halfpence and invaded the streets of Cashel. Over one hundred and fifty men were involved and they grumbled that the work was too hard and the pay too little'. 

They gained their extra half-penny and went ahead to finish the work. Such little vignettes. are to be found in the book and they give it a social as well as a sporting connection. The author also tries to give a picture of G.A.A. affairs in the county and division in so far as they impinged on the life of the parish. 

Johnny Leahy

There was a great love affair between Cashel and Boherlahan. Initially it was with Tubberadora. It is difficult to explain. The normal result of proximity is irritation and jealousy. But no such feelings obtained in relations between Cashel and the neighbouring parish. In fact Cashel supported the men from the Boherlahan parish every step of the way. The Brass Band followed them to matches. The people of the town lit bonfires when the men from Boherlahan won. In 1901 the people of Cashel presented the victorious, three-in-a-row Tubberadora All-Ireland team with a set of 'silver medals'. There was a major function at the City Hall and this book faithfully records these events. 

According to the book Johnny Leahy played his first hurling with Cashel. Tubberadora were gone and Boherlahan hadn't yet arrived. The year was 1908 and the parish had two teams, in the county championship that year, Cashel and Racecourse. Cashel were in the mid and Racecourse in the south. Cashel were beaten in the mid final by Thurles and Johnny Leahy was a newcomer to the Cashel team that year at the age of sixteen years. 

But the book covers so much it is impossible to do it justice in a short review. As well as the history there are twenty-one appendices that fill out certain areas in greater detail. Here are to be found extensive accounts of the games in local post-primary schools, of camogie and handball and athletics in the parish. There are profiles of the greats like Jack Gleeson, Michael Burke, Mickey Murphy, Jim Devitt and Peter O'Sullivan. Even the exiles aren't forgotten. Paddy Doheny writes from New York and there's a final piece called 'English Memories'.

A massive and comprehensive work! 

Cashel Urban District Council Meeting Open to Public Post Advertiser, Nov. 1985, Vol 1, No. 9

Cashel Urban District Council Meeting Open to Public

Post Advertiser, Nov. 1985, Vol 1, No. 9


History was made in a quiet and unobtrusive way at the November meeting of the Cashel Urban District Council: for the time since the thirties the public were allowed in to listen to the proceedings. 

Mind you, there was no way that they could participate. Four conditions had been laid down for public attendance: 1) the member who invited you to attend MUST accompany you to the Council Chamber; 2) you must be in time from the start of the meeting, 7.30; 3) you may not participate IN ANY WAY in the meeting; 4) you must leave the meeting after all the notices of motion have been dealt with. 

According to the agreement, worked out by the councillors and the Co. Manager, only nine of the public could be invited, one to each member. The seating restrictions made it impossible to invite any more. One might have expected a great demand for the nine places available especially in view of the high turnout in Cashel at election time. But such was not the case. A mere three voters turned up to see how their elected representatives conduct themselves. They were John Fogarty, Seamus King and Conor O'Driscoll. 

The Man Responsible

The man responsible for opening up the Council Chamber to the public is Cllr. Michael Browne (to distinguish him from the Cllr Martln Browne of the Joint County Libraries Committee). It was his motion at an earlier Council meeting that changed the existing practice of excluding the public. Nobody quite knows when the public were excluded; they used to be admitted in the past, but it is generally believed to have been some time in the thirties. 

The public was in attendance for the discussion of motions and were excluded for correspondence. There was a wide variety of motions up for debate and the discussion was of a high level. One motion from Cllr. Thomas Wood that the Rock of Cashel ought to be restored was backed up by a well-researched speech. He argued that the restoration should happen over a period of ten to fifteen years, that the EEC would match pound for pound put up by the Dublin Government, that large corporations in the U.S. would be willing to get involved for tax reasons, that the materials used would be all native produced, that the job would be labour intensive and good for local employment and that the restored monument could be a museum which would add to the interest of the place and so attract even more people. The motion was passed. 


A motion from Cllr Mattie Finnerty that the meeting condemn the government for its failure to pay the recent Arbitration Award was opposed by Cllr. Dick Wood, who argued that the money was simply not there. Cllr. Wood has the happy knack of being able to make the most cogent points without any notes to draw on. Cllr. Tom Wood had some reservations and when the matter came to a vote he abstained. The motion was passed by six votes to one with the one abstention. The absent Councillor was Labour member, Maureen O'Donoghue who was unable to attend. 

Chairman, Dr. Sean McCarthy, found himself in sole opposition to another motion that practicing ministers and T.D.s not receive pensions: The general consensus was that it was a disgrace that ministers and T.D.s who were receiving salaries should also be receiving pensions. Cllr. McCarthy argued that a T.D. loses out by becoming a member of the Oireachtas and that it was only fair that they should be compensated for the loss. 


There was a motion from Cllr. Michael Browne condemning extradition to Northern Ireland after the debacle of the McGlinchey affair. There was a general consensus among the members on this motion with the exception of the Fine Gael members who opposed it. 

Cllr. Sean Hill, in a discussion on employment, expressed disappointment with the town's IDA factory, Rima Pharmaceuticals. He said that a lot of Cashel's young people were disheartened and disappointed at their failure to get jobs there. He requested that the Council be informed by Rima of their job creation programme and the potential for full-time, long-term employment. 

Turkey Markets

Cllr William Mclnerney opposed the abandoment of Cashel's Turkey Markets. Acting Town Clerk told the members that it cost £280 to advertise the markets and only three of the thirty suppliers turned up last year. Cllr. Mclnerney said he would be very much in favour of continuing the markets. It would be a retrograde step to do away with them he said. 

There was much more, all of a fairly high level with the exception of a few deviations into party bashing and the resurrection of the ghosts of the past. However, there was always the feeling of the debating society in which the outcome wasn't that important. Above all there was the belief that the amount of power wielded was very miniscule indeed. Having said that the whole experience was revealing and it is one that is open to all the citizens now. 

All you have to do is get an invitation from your local friendly Councillor. If you are successful you can enjoy the evening in the comfort of the Council Chamber and find out how your representative is acquitting himself. 


California Girls' Choir Post Advertiser, October 1985, Vol 1 no 7

California Girls' Choir

Post Advertiser, October 1985, Vol 1 no 7


Most unusual visitors to Cashel in June 1986 will be the California Girls Choir. The visit will be part of an international tour that will take the choir to England, Wales, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Switzerland ·and France. It will be the choir's fourteenth tour and the members will spend about a week in Ireland. As well as Cashel they will perform in Dublin, Limerick, Cork, Dungarvan and Wexford. 

The California Girls' Choir's story began in 1959-60 when it was founded by its music director, John Vaznaian. They made their first European tour in 1961. The choir is an independent and self-sustaining enterprise and the tours are financed by the individual members. 

The choir's primary purpose is to promote goodwill, better understanding and to provide European audiences with a musical window into the California world while, at the same time, educating choir members to the cultures and customs of the different overseas countries. 

During their tour the members of the choir stay in homes with host families. This will be the case in Cashel where host families will be required to look after the members of the choir during their stay. This practice fosters friendships which endure long after the music fades, sustained by letters and renewed by exchange visits.

The girls in the choir number about twenty-seven and are of high school age. Their ages range from fourteen, fifteen to some sixteen or seventeen year aids. There are about fifteen adults also in the choir group. 

It is a great distinction for Cashel to be chosen as one of the stop-off points of the choir's Irish tour. The members will put on a concert during their stay and the event will be organised by the Cashel Lions Club. Part of the concert will be devoted to some local group, who will put on Irish dancing. Between now and June next the Lions Club will be looking for host families to look after members of the choir for one night. 

The choir's stopover in the town should be an interesting evening for the people of Cashel. The choir's repertoire is varied and consists mostly of songs associated with America such as folk songs, negro spirituals and numbers from popular musicals.



Cashel Urban District Council Post Advertiser, Sept. 18, 1985, Vol. 1 No. 5

Cashel Urban District Council

Post Advertiser, Sept. 18, 1985, Vol. 1 No. 5


The Cashel Urban District Council have, produced a most interesting report on its work over the period 1979-85. The review was compiled by acting Town Clerk, David Coleman, and its outline and comprehensiveness are a credit to him. (The Town Clerk, Mr. C. Connolly, has been absent on sick leave for about two years as a result of a road accident) The work extends to thirty six pages and costs £1.25. Every citizen of the town of Cashel should have a copy. 


The early part of the book gives an historical account of the Ancient Corporation of Cashel and of the buildings of historical interest within the town. The account of the Corporation might have been more detailed and reference might have been made to the reasons for the parliamentary disfranctiisement of the town in 1870. In this section there is a footnote on the Croke memorial, 'which will be of interest to those interested in monuments restoration. On 9-2-82 the Croke Memorial was hit by a truck and a trailer, causing serious damage. The Council proceeded to recoup the cost of replacing the Memorial from the truck owner's insurers and the work of recreating the Monument was placed with Roe and O'Neill Ltd., Sculptors, Co. Dubl!n. An experienced sculptor, Cliodhna Cussen, is in charge of the work and it is expected that the new Croke Memorial will be re-erected in approximately its former position this year.


The extent of the Council's housing stock is impressive. !n all the Council has two hundred and, three rented houses and eighty one under tenant purchase agreement. Interestingly, in Cathal Brugha Street twenty houses are rented and fourteen are under tenant purchase. The corresponding figures for Oliver Plunkett Park are forty-eight and twelve respectively. Under Road Transportation and Safety we are told that the total road milage in Cashel is approximately 10.7K, including all main roads, side streets, laneways, etc. Would you believe it. The new carpark at the Rock cost £60,000 in 1980 while the second one off Friar Street cost £167,000. No breakdown of the latter figure is given.


Like all financial reports this one is a bit difficult to make out. With the trees of different headings it is hard to make out the wood of total income and expenditure. How much does it cost to run the services provided by the Council? How much does it cost to pay its staff of fourteen and to run its offices? Where does it get its income? The nearest we get to answers to these questions is in the income and expenditure diagrams on page thirty two. According to it the Council gets 72% of its income from central Government, 22% from local charges and 6% from rates. However, on page six, we are told that the total rateable valuation in the town is £10,086.65 and the rate in the £ for 1985 is £20.60. This should amount to an income of over £200,000, which in turn must be more than 6% of Council incomel It is this kind of unclearness that makes the information in the report inadequate. Also, whereas the report states that the people have been good in paying the local charges we are not told what percentage has paid. 

Civic Receptions 

Under Miscellaneous the review tells us about, the reconstruction of the City Hall between 1978-80. A pity that piece didn't tell us something of the history of the building and its development from the old Shambles. Also, under this heading we are told that the Council gave seven Civic Receptions since 1980, when the President of the Federal Republic' of West Germany, Dr. Carstens, was given one. 

In a final Section the report lists the chairmen of the U.D.C. since 1900. In that year Michael Devitt was elected and he was elected eight times altogether. Far and away the most impressive record is that of Francis Phillips, who was first elected to the chair in 1922 and lastly in 1949. In all he was chairman on twenty one occasions and that figure included eight times in a row between 1922-29 and nine times in a row between 1935 and 1943. Bringing up second place for the number of times he held the office is Paddy O'Brien with nine and that included four in a row between 1957-60. In all there have been thirty different chairmen between 1900 and1985. 


In addition to the above mentioned criticisms there are a, couple of more of this report. There are too many printer's errors, which are obviously the result of sloppy proof reading. The quality of the pictures leaves a lot to be desired. Part of the blame may rest with the printer, whose name isn't given. But overall, it is an attractive production with the Arms of Cashel on the cover. The report is a good beginning and we look forward to an improved edition when the life of the present Council comes to an end.

Cashel for Africa Post Advertiser, Aug. 85, Vol. 1, No. 4

Cashel for Africa

Post Advertiser, Aug. 1985, Vol. 1, No. 4


A group of young people in Cashel concerned about the plight of the famine victims in Africa, have got together to help raise funds.

On Saturday August 17th they intend to do in miniature in Cashel, what Bob Geldof did so successfully recently on television. They hope to raise a quota of £500 from this musical event. This seems a very mod­est quota and it is hoped that the traditional generosity of the people of the town and district will help the organisers to exceed this quota. And, of course, every single penny that is collected on the day will go directly to the starving victims. What can people expect on Saturday 17th? They will get eight hours of live music in the open air from 11a.m. to 7 p.m. The organisers have already got promises from many groups, who are giving their services free on the day but they would welcome anyone who is prepared to sing, play or dance on the occasion.

In order to cater for every taste the organisers are offering a variety of music from traditional to rock. It will be the first time ever that such an event will be organised and everyone can expect the greatest feast of music in the town since the famous "Fleadh Ceol of 1969.

The following groups have promised their services to date. The Cashel Brass Band, the Dxies, Blackthorn, The Slatterys, Nancy McDonnell's School of Dancing, Comhlthas, Moon Shadow, The Bleeding Poets, Space Space Related, Sean Gl-eeson and Band, Paddy Cummins, Francis Curry of the Bards, Honesty, the Dead Beats. Naturally the day will not finish at 7p.m. The formal may come to an end but the informal will be only beginning. All of the county will be welcome.


Cashel Local Elections 1979 Post Advertiser, 1985, Vol 1, No 2

Cashel Local Elections 1979

Post Advertiser, 1985, Vol 1, No 2


The total number of valid votes cast in the 1979 local elections in Cashel was 1,251. The number of members elected to the Urban District Council was nine and the quota was 126. Two candidates exceeded the quota on the first count and three candidates were eventually elected without reaching the quota. 

There were twenty candidates for election. Fianna Fáil had six, James Doyle, Donal G. Feehan, Kieran Fitzgerald, Kevin G. Henderson, William Hickey and William Mclnerney. Fine Gael had the next highest number with five candidates, Patrick Duane, Louise Farrell, Gus McDonnell, Richard Wood and Thomas Wood. 

Labour had four candidates Maureen Donoghue-Morrissey, Paul Flynn, Michael Thomas Holmes, and Denis O'Brien. There were five Independents, Michael Browne, Pakie Leahy, Dr. Sean J. McCarthy, Paddy O'Brien and Labhrás O'Murchu. 


The six Fianna Fail candidates got 356 votes or 28.5% of the total valid poll. One of the party candidates, William Mclnerney, got 157 votes or about 1.25 quotes. The party's backmarker, Kevin G. Henderson, had the doubtful distinction of bringing up the polling rear with 4 votes. In between William Hickey came third overall with 89 votes. The remaining candidates Donal Feehan, Kieran Fitzgerald and James Doyle, got 67, 20 and 19 votes respectively. 

The Fine Gael candidates polled 291 votes or a little over 23% . No candidate reached the quota. The party's frontrunner, Louise Farrell, got 86 first preference votes or a little more than two thirds of a quota. Following fairly closely behind were the two Woods, with Thomas getting 77 and Richard 68 votes. The remaining two candidates, Gus McDonnell and Paddy Duane, got 31 and 29 votes respectively. 

With a total poll of 108 votes the Labour party got less than 9% of the total valid poll. Front runner for the party was Denis O'Brien, who got 61 first preference votes. He was followed by Maureen O'Donoghue-Morrissey with 27 votes and then came Paul Flynn and Michael Holmes with 13 and 7 votes respectively.

The Independents got just short of 40% of the vote, with a poll of 496 votes. Away ahead of the others and of the field in general was Sean McCarthy with 282 voptes, or approximately 2.25 quotas. The remaining Independents did reasonably impressive, coming wighth, tenth, eleventh and twelfth respectively. The foremost among them was Labhrás O'Murchú with 62 votes. After him came paddy O'Brien with 59 and Pakie Leahy with 40 votes.


The second count was taken up with the transfer of Sean McCarthy's surplus. He had 147 transferable votes and their distribution is extremely interesting.. The biggest number went to Labhrás Ó Murchú, who got 37 of them. Next came Louise Farrell with 24 and Richard Wood with 22. Next came Donie Feehan with 13, Denis O'Brien with 12, Thomas Wood with 11, and William Hickey with 10. The remaining 18 votes were distributed between eight candidates. Four candidates James Doyle, Kieran Fitzgerald and William Mclnerney of Fianna Fail, and Paul Flynn of Labour got no transfers. 


The third count dealt with William McInerney's surplus. Then came the eliminations in the following order: Kevin Henderson, Michael Holmes, Paul Flynn, James Doyle, Paddy Duane, Maureen Donoghue - Morrissey, Kieran Fitzgerald, Gus McDonnell and Pakie Leahy, the first; of the Independents to be eliminated. He had 39 transferable votes and the biggest transfer, 13, went to Paddy O'Brien. Michael Browne, with 65 votes, was eleminated in the 13th count and that left four candidates still in the field, Richard Wood with 116, Thomas Wood with 116, Donie Feehan with 110 and Paddy O'Brien with 92 votes. There were three seats to . be filled and the first three were elected without reaching the quota after Paddy O'Brien was excluded and not transferred. 

The first six seats had been filled as follows: Sean McCarthy in the 1st count, William Mclnerney in the 2nd , Louise Farrell in the 3rd, Denis O'Brien in the 4th William Hickey in the 5th and Labhrás Ó Murchú in the 6th. The state of the parties in the new council was F.F. 3, F. G. 3, Labour 1, Ind. 2



1985 Local Elections Roundup in Cashel Post Advertiser, June 1985, Vol 1 No 2

1985 Local Elections Roundup in Cashel

Post Advertiser, June 1985, Vol 1 No 2


There are twenty candidates contesting the nine seats in the Cashel Urban District Council in the forthcoming Local Elections. Fianna Fail have six candidates, including outgoing Councillors Sean McCarthy, William Mclnerney and Donie Feehan. Fine Gael have four candidates, including out going Councillors Dick Wood and Richard Wood. Labour have two candidates, Mrs. Maureen O'Dongohue and John O'Byrne. Sean Hill is contesting the election for the Workers Party. Michael Browne is going forward for Sinn Fein. There are six Independents including Dinny O'Brien, who was elected in the last election on the Labour ticket and his uncle, Paddy O'Brien, who was elected in the past on the Labour ticket also. Pakie Leahy is travelling for a second time as a socialist candidate. The other Independents are John O'Dwyer, Tom Maher and Milo Fogarty. 

Fianna Fáil 

Ten of the candidates are standing for election for the first time. One of them is Eddie O'Riordan, who is on the FF ticket. Eddie lives in Deerpark and is a married man with two daughters. He was born in the Green as was his wife, the former Mary Ryan. Eddie has been a member of the Cashel Cumann for nearly three years and is a faithful party man. 

Another FF candidate travelling for the first time is Mattie Finnerty. Mattie is a secondary teacher from Tuam and lives in the Green with his wife Rosalie. He's been in Cashel for ten years and has been a member of the local Cumann since he arrived. He's also a member of the Comhairle Ceanntair. Mattie's interests include hurling and he has been largely responsible for the succsses of the C.B.S. over the past number of years. He's also a member of Cashel King Cormac's. Another interest is in the affairs of his own union, the A.S.T.I. He is a former chairman of the Tipperary branch and a member of· the Central Executive Council. Mattie is interested in youth and unemployment and is concerned that the town is often passed over when it comes to job creation. He's hoping to see many Cashel people employed in the building of the new three million Community School in the town. 

The third FF first time runner is Martin Browne. Martin lives in Windmill and is married with a young family of four. His wife is the former Annette O'Connor from the Green. Martin himself was born in Mockler's Hill in the same house as Charles J. Kickham. He came into Cashel in 1973 and has been a member of the local Cumann since. He is also a member of the Comhairle Ceanntair and of the prestigious Dail Ceanntair committee, which was set up to re organise the party in South Tipperary. Martin's interests include horses and cars. A garage owner by occupation, he was a founder member of Tipperary Raceway.

Fine Gael

The Fine Gael party have got two new candidates in the field, John Cahill and Dick Corrigan. John is an out and out Fine Gael man 'indoctrinated in party politics since birth', as he puts it himself. Presently a member of the Cashel branch of the party he belonged to. branches in Dublin and Golden formerly. He is maried to Angela O'Meara from Golden and they have four children. John has a lot of lively ideas. The protection of tourism is his biggest aim. According to him the Rock is not money for the town. He wants to get the tourist traffic down to the town so that visitors will have to walk by local shops. As well, he believes that commercial and public bodies are not properly exploiting Government projects available for employment schemes. Another priority of his is to see a footpath built to the cemetery and Leahy Park. Trained as an accountant John's long term aim is to set up an office in the Green where he was born. At present he is fully occupied developing the Folk Village, which is a logical occupation for a man who was a founder member and secretary of the Cashel Heritage Society. 

Dick Corrigan is a Kildare man, who is relatively new to Cashel, though not to Co. Tipperary because he lived for nine years in Ballytarsna, before moving into the town. A party man all his life he was 'born into Fine Gael in a place where Gerry Sweetman was God'. He was a member of the Boherlahan branch before becoming active in the Cashel branch about a year ago. As a manager with Roadstone Ltd., his big priority is the attraction of industry to the town of Cashel. He is married with three children and is presently managing the Roadstone Plant at Cahir Abbey. 


New on the Labour ticket is John O'Byrne formerly of the Rock and now living in Oliver Plunkett Park. He is maried to the former Marianne Fogarty of the Green and they have two children. John's father was twenty five years in local politics and John himself has been a member of the Cashel branch of the Labour party since 1963. He is a vice chairman of the Cashel Town Tenants and has worked hard for people who wanted repairs to their houses. Unemployed himself he knows the hardship of that position and he will work hard for the alleviation of the lot of the unemployed. Because there are so many youth unemployed he would like to see more amenities for them. He would like to see work distributed on the basis of merit and to have big families given priority on local ventures. Because he was born ouside the present town boundaries he has no vote and will work to have the town boundary extended. He would like to see a well balanced Council with all sections of the town fairly represented. 

The Workers Party

This is the first time for the Workers Party to run a candidate in Cashel and the party's standard bearer is Sean Hill, a teacher at Ferry house Clonmel. A native of the town Sean spent some years in England and married Angela Luen from Maidstone, Kent, who is of French Dutch Welsh decent. They have five children. 

Sean has the interests of all working people at heart; whether they are white collar or blue collar all who are in the PAYE net. He is also interested in all the workers who are unemployed and will work for a more active creation of jobs in Cashel. In this connection he would like to see a more active roll for the Local Authority, using local resourses for job creation. Already the party has established an Advice Centre in the town to look after the interests of working people. This meets once a week in Holy Family Hall, on Friday evenings from 7.30 to 8.30. This work would be given greater impetus if the party had an elected representative. The Advice Centre helps people on such matters as rent, rates, entitlements, taxation, etc.


There are a number of Independents standing for the first time. One of the most colourful is Tom Maher of Thurlesbeg. Tom has no previous electoral experience, no party affiliation and no wife. He is a farmer, He has one priority: the youth. He calls them the lonely youth. They are lonely and isolated because of lack of communication between them and public officials and ordinary citizens. He will try to bridge that communications gap by getting more youth in control of local affairs. Otherwise, he believes, there will be alienation and possibly violence between the ages. According to him 'the red tape of bureaucracy has left the majority of youth totally bewildered.' He is convinced that commonsense rather than experience is more important in political matters. Tom is doing a personal canvass rather than relying on political literature.

John O'Dwyer of Dominick Street is disillusioned with Fine Gael and is going as Independent party. He is for the old style Fine' Gael and his heroes are Liam Cosgrove and James Dillon. He believes that the party has left the raising of moral issues like divorce and contraception. According to him there is too much confrontation with the church and he doesn't like the way ministers contradict bishops. John has never been a member of the Cashel branch of the Fine Gael party but he is proud of the tradition within the party that went to Spain in the thirties. His father fought there with General Eoin O'Duffy and the Irish Brigade from November 1936 to June 1937. John is unmarried and unemployed and has been involved in the catering industry. He is doing voluntary work for the Social Services at the moment and has a Social and Scientific education from Kilroy's College. He sees his future in that area. John O'Dwyer is for Local progress for the young and the old and the unemployed. 

Milo Fogarty is a well known figure in the town of Cashel, especially in music circles. Born on Camas Road he lived in Oliver Plunkett Park until recently when he moved across to Spafield Crescent. A married man with seven children Milo is concerned about the erosion of the rights of house occupiers and the recent imposition of local charges. These charges have made life difficult for many young families and his avowed intention is to fight them. He believes that these charges will increase in the future unless something is done about them. 



1920 Local Elections Post Advertiser, May 15, 1985, Vol 1, No 1

1920 Local Elections

Post Advertiser, May 15, 1985, Vol 1, No 1


With the Local Elections around the corner it is of interest to look at the results in Cashel in 1920. The War of Independence was in full sming and elections took place in January of that year. Polling Day was on Thursday, January 14 and 18 councillors were elected to the Cashel Urban Council. The town was divided into three electoral areas, East, North-West and South-West, and to each area were allotted six seats.


Nominations closed two weeks beforehand and the following were the candidates. In the East Ward were Patrick Casey, Clerk, of Friar Street for Labour, John Conroy, Labourer, of Main Street for Labour, William Darmody, Farmer, Clonmel Road, Independent Patrick Hogan, Draper's Assistant, Farmer, Friar St., for Sinn Fein, Patrick Looby, Farmer, Friar Street, for Sinn Fein, Richard Looby, Baker,. Canopy Street for Sinn Fein, Thomas Moloney, Labourer, Quirke's Lane for Labour and Christopher O'Connor, Cattle dealer, Bohermore, Independent.

In the North-West ward the following were candidates: John Cahill, Victualler, Bank Place, Independent, John Dunne, Shoemaker, Dublin Road for Labour, Richard Fahie, Tailor, Bank Place, Independent, Francis Kennedy, Baker, Main Street, for Labour, Paul Leamy, Baker, Lower Gate Street for Labour, Joseph Louth, Grocer's Assistant, Main Street for Sinn Fein, Seamus O'Neill, Teacher, Bank Place for Sinn Fein, Francis Phillips, Clerk, Ladyswell Street for Sinn Fein, Joseph Ryan, Corn Merchant, Main Street, Independent, Michael Ryan, Sadleir, Ladyswell Street, Independent. 

The candidates in the South-West Ward· were as followes: Martin Coleman, Labourer, The Green for Labour John Corcoran, Labourer, William Street, Independent, John Downey, Grocer, Main Street for Sinn Fein, Patick English, Farmer ,The Green, Independent. Matthew M. Hanly, farmer, Main Street, Independent, John Hickey, Labourer, Boherclough Street, Independent, John Murphy, Labourer, Boherclough Street for Labour, Stephen Ryan, Bootmaker, Lowergate Street, for Sinn Fein, John Taylor, Labourer, John Street for Labour, Patrick Thornton, Carpenter and Joiner, John Street, for Labour Lawrence J. Walsh, Compositor, Canopy Street for Labour. 

The Elections

Polling passed off without any untoward incident. In fact there was an absence of excitement and the visits to the different stations went on methodically. The polling stations for the East Area were in the Temperance hall, for the North-West Area in the City Hall and for the South West Area in the late Commercial Club premises. (An interesting contrast to the proliferation of polling stations since then for a smaller population!) 

The arrangements were admirably attended to by the Returning Officer, Mr. John O'Leary, the Town Clerk. Great praise was extended to him and his staff for their mastery of the varying complexities of the P.R. system and for arriving at the results in such a thorough fashion. The counting of the votes began on Friday morning and, with the exception of an hour's interval for lunch, contined until 5 o'clock, when the last return was declared. 


The following shows the results of the first count and the order in which they were elected under the Proportional Representation System, the first time for this system of election to be used in Local Elections.

Wast Area (Elected)

Christopher Connors (I) 63; Patrick Casey (L) 45; Patrick Looby (SF) 33; William Darmody (I) 15; John Conroy (L) 10; Patrick Hogan (SF), 22. Not Elected: Richard Looby (SF) 8, Thomas Moloney (L) 5.

North-West Area (Elected)

Francis Phillips (SF) 44; J. P. Ryan (I) 39; Seamus O'Neill (SF) 23; Michael Ryan (I) 18; Paul Leamy (L) 10; John Cahill (I), 25. Not elected: John Dunne (L)13; Richard Fahie (L), 16; Kennedy (L), 16; Joseph Louth (SF), 6. 

South-West Area (Elected) 

John Corcoran , (L), 40; Lawrence J. Walsh (I), 34; Matthew M. Hanly (I), 33; Patrick English (I), 32; John Murphy (L). 9; John Hickey (I), 9; Not elected: John Downey (SF), 5; Stephen Ryan (SF), 5; Patrick Thornton (L), 10; John Taylor (L), 5. 

At the conclusion of the polling a vote of thanks was proposed to. the returning officer and his staff 'for the capable and satisfactory way in which they had accomplished their difficult task. Mr. L. J. Walsh, U.C. proposed the vote of thanks and Mr. John Corcoran U.C. seconded. The Town Clerk briefly replied. 


A simple analysis of the results will reveal the over whelming success of the Independents and the poorshowing of Sinn Fein. The Independents got the most votes in the three electoral areas and overall polled 284 votes as against a .combined total of 309 for Labour and Sinn Fein. AIso nine Independents,or fifty percent of those elected, were Independents. The poll topper in the three areas was Independent, Christopher Connors. In i contrast Sinn Fein did poorly, getting only 146 first preference votes and getting only four candidates elected. In fact no Sinn Fein candidate was elected in the South-East Area, where the party got only ten first preference votes. 

Labour performed better, getting 163 first preferance votes and having five candidates elected. The party did poorest in the North-East Area, getting only one candidate elected and polling only 39 first preference votes.

When the nominations closed two weeks before polling day the following, who had been nominated, withdrew their names: Michael dargan, Michael Leamy and patrick Leamy for the North-West Area and William Looby for the East Area. 



Cashel Potter’s Decision to Quit The Post, Cahir, January 21, 1984

Cashel Potter’s Decision to Quit

The Post, Cahir, January 21, 1984


Heading off to the south of France this month is Sarah Ryan of Ladyswell Street, Cashel. Many people will envy her the opportunity to live in such a desirable location because it's to take up residence she intends. However Sarah does not see it as a desirable choice. Instead she is being forced to move from the place she has chosen to work and in which she preferred to live.
Sarah Ryan is a ceramicist, who has been potting away in Ladyswell Street since July 1982. Originally from Rossmore she chose Cashel as the best place to work after quite a lot of travelling in Europe and North America in pursuit of her craft. For the past year and a half she has turned out a very distinctive and personal style of porcelain and stoneware that has won critical recognition.


In school she was discouraged from doing art so after her Leaving Certificate Sarah spent two years doing a laboratory technician's course at U.C.G. After that period the artistic 'bug' took possession of her and she decided to pursue an art course at Limerick College of Art. She applied to Tipperary S.R. County Council for a grant but was turned down because the application hadn't been made in the year she did her Leaving Certificate. But, she got over that setback by working during the summer in London and Europe and paying her way through college.
When she finished in Limerick she really had only one choice, teaching, which did not attract her. Instead she went to Europe and spent a good while working and travelling around especially in Denmark, studying what was being done in the various fields. Eventually she decided that ceramics was her forte and she came back to Dublin where she did a year in the National College of Art studying the subject.

Having completed her year she went back to Europe to earn money and to study the practical side of ceramics. This was a very important time for her as she was able to absorb all that was new in the field. She continued this learning progress by going to Canada, the U.S. and Mexico and studying both contemporary and native Indian ceramics there.


She returned to Ireland in the summer of 1981 and spent a year looking for a suitable premises. She eventually chose Cashel. It was as near as possible her home town. It had a central location and, above all, from the point of view of the artist/craftsperson, it had potential, she thought, as a tourist centre. For these reasons Cashel was the only centre she could choose outside Dublin. There was also an element of urgency in her decision: she had been invited to exhibit at the Tulfarris Gallery, Wicklow in August and needed a proper workplace immediately. She rented a premises in Ladyswell Street at £30 per week.


Every single piece of work that Sarah Ryan produces is unique. She never repeats a piece because every one is handmade by a combination of 'coiling' and 'pinching' as distinct from wheel-thrown. These hand-building techniques are very old but are being used more and more in contemporary ceramics as they allow so many possibilities. As the aim is to achieve natural organic forms, mechanical processes such as the wheel or slip-casting are not suitable.

She describes her work as a synthesis of of many different natural forms and processes. Growing living things are a rich source of ideas – inspiration being drawn especially from the marine and botanical world: e.g. fungi, gourds, shells, seed-pods, buds, fruits, etc. She tries to capture something of the essence rather than direct copying of nature.

There is a lot of emphasis on texture and pattern and natural colour is achieved by mixing various ceramic stains and metal oxides. Red earthenware clay, which can be found in many parts of the country, is not suitable because of the dark colour and the fact that it cannot be high-fired. High-firing (to 1260C) is important because it gives extra strength to the very thin-walled, which also gives greater scope to build on. These clays almost never occur naturally in a workable state, so they have to be refined and blended with materials from other sources to give clay bodies of the required texture, colour, composition, etc. As there is nowhere in Ireland where where this process is carried out they have to be imported from England. The ubiquitous V.A.T. Rate on all raw materials is 38% as it is on all the equipment Sarah uses.

Long Hours

To keep the wolf from the door and pay rent, ESB, telephone bills, etc, Sarah was forced to work very long hours. Her normal day has been 9 am to midnight, six/seven days per week. Her only break was when she went away on business.

However, this was something she was quite prepared to accept for the first couple of years until she had become fully organised and more established. When one sets up it is vital to become known and the only way to do this is to sell one's work. Apart from exhibitions, for which she makes some quite large pieces, most of her work has been on a small scale and thus quite low prices so as to advertise as widely as possible. Eventually she would like to have time to make very large, more sculptural pieces. It is necessary to sell as much as possible ex-studio as other outlets have to add a huge mark-up plus 38% V.A.T.


The best way a craftsman or artist can advertise his work is through exhibitions. Although established only a shot time, Sarah's work has already got some recognition. The Ulster Museum bought three pieces at the 'Potters 83' exhibition at Dublin. The Crafts Council of Ireland has also purchased some of her work. At the moment her work is on display at the Caldwell Gallery, Belfast and the Forrester gallery, Bandon. She has been invited to exhibit in other areas.

All For Nought

During her period in Cashel, Sarah has succeeded in selling her work and getting recognition for her craft. Why then should she decide to up and go to the South of France?

The answer is simple and sickening. A combination of many things – the huge electricity bill, telephone, postal and transport charges, V.A.T., the unavailability of suitable workplaces, the general inefficiency and unreliability one has to cope with and the decline in the tourist industry, etc., make it very difficult and discouraging for people to establish their own business, especially anything of a creative nature, which doesn't show an instant profit.

For Sarah the last straw was a demand for rates for £245 on her rented premises, which she could not afford to pay at the present time. Anything she managed to save after rent, work and living expenses went to repay people from whom she had borrowed in the spring, and to tide her over the off-peak season.

At the beginning of summer she offered to pay £20 down and so much at intervals if business wasn't as good as anticipated. Due to the bad location in the town and the fact that there wasn't even a proper footpath leading to her studio, she missed out on the majority of tourists. Most of her customers were direct contacts of her own, or potters, artists or collectors themselves, who particularly sought her out. The last of the tourists had gone by the end of September and she had to dip into her savings for the first week's rent in October.

However, the county manager would not relent. He wanted £50 down and £8 per week, which Sarah says she could not pay on top of her £30 rent. He gave her until December 31 to pay up or be summoned. She realised there was no option but to quit and start anew in some more desirable place. She paid £40 and offered the rent in kind but it wasn't acceptable. As she has had to close her studio, she was obliged to return to the I.D.A. the £402 she managed to get a year after she started.

Shattered Dream

So, Sarah Ryan of Glenough, Rossmore, a much-travelled girl, is to begin her travels again. But this time, in contrast with her previous peregrinations, it is against her will. Her dream was to make it in her home town and, with that end in view, she shook the dust of many countries off her feet. She has the consolation of knowing that there will be many material benefits from her move. She will be financially much better off in the south of France. She will be able to enjoy the good life. She won't have to do fifteen hours a day to survive. She'll have plenty of customers and they'll be well able to pay. But none of this will compensate for a shattered dream.




Dr John Lanigan Post Advertiser, 1985, Vol. 1 No. 16

Dr John Lanigan

Post Advertiser, 1985, Vol. 1 No. 16


Fr. Christy O'Dwyer's otherwise excellent Outline History of the Archdiocese of Cashel and Emly for schools contains one glaring omission - there is no mention of Dr. John Lanigan, the famous ecclesiastical historian from Cashel who lived between 1758 and 1828. 

He was born in the Moor Lane-Chapel Lane area of Cashel, where his father Thomas Lanigan, who had been evicted from his mother's farm near Dundrum by the notorious landlord, Sir Thomas Maude, reared sixteen children. Of the four girls in the family, Catherine, was considered the belle of Cashel and Ann, Mrs. Ann Kennedy, died in. Clonmel on October 30, 1860. The mother of this large family was Mary Anne Dorkan from Beakstown, Holycross, She was a very superior woman whose mind was as original as her appearance was beautiful. 

Thomas Lanigan had as a boy intended to be a priest but family circumstances prevented. it. However, with that intention he had received a tolerably good classical education. After arriving in Cashel, therefore, he started a school and instructed son, John, in the rudiments of general knowledge. Later, in order thoroughly to cultivate his son's high talents, he placed him under the care of Rev. Patrick Hare, a Protestant clergyman who for many years kept an academy of considerable repute in John St.,Cashel.

The Hare Academy

Hare of O'Hehir was a most interesting character. From Corofin, Co. Clare he went to Trinity College where he obtained college honours and distinctions. He finally became,a clergyman, having converted to Protestantism. He became Vicar-General of the Diocese of Cashel under Archbishop Agar but threw up the office under his successor and started a school. 

There is an anecdote about Lanigan from his time at the Hare Academy. Mrs. Hare had a son and the Reverend was so delighted he brought the squalling babe into the classroom. 'I have to introduce you to a new scholar,' he said, 'but I am sorry to say he has not as yet got a name. '

'Call the young Hare, Leveret,' exclaimed Lanigan with a flash of impulsive humour that occasionally characterised him in later life. Hare was awed and the boys amused and for some time after he enjoyed the name of Leveret Lanigan. 

From what we read Lanigan possessed a solidity of intellect and, a steadiness in the pursuit of excellence as a student. He used to read books at night by the light of the moon which, probably accounts for the fact that in later life he was nearly blind. But, we also hear that he learned to dance the Irish reel 

Journey to Rome 

He decided to become a priest and in 1776 he went to Rome with letters of introduction from the Most Rev. Dr. James Butler, Archbishop of Cashel and Emly. He sailed from Cork and befriended a passenger on the journey. They got on well and Lanigan revealed the purpose of his journey. He was informed that, his friend was also going, to Calais. They stayed in the same hotel near St. Pauls and in the same roam. When Lanigan woke in the morning he, found his 'friend' gone and the hour of sailing past. He was informed by the waiter that.he had to pay the bill. He put his hand in his pocket to discover his money was taken during the night. In great distress he, cntacted ,the Administrator of the diocese, who came to the hotel and befriended Lanigan. He paid the bill and brought him to his house, where he remained 'until a remittance came from home. 

Interestingly the vessel on which· his 'friend' had gone was wrecked. soon after sailing. The administrator put Lanigan in touch with a party of priests on their way to Rome and finally he arrived at his destination. 

He started his studies at the Irish College and his progress in theological and philosophical studies was brilliant and rapid. One Bishop Black said of his stay in the College - I can say with certainty that his talents and extraordinary acquirements as welI as his amiable, natural disposion gained for him the love and admiration of all who knew him. By a special dispensation he was ordained to the priesthood before the canonical age.



The extraordinary. reputation for learning and ability he had acquired brought him, soon after his ordination, the Professorship in Hebrew, Eccclesiastical History and Divinity at the University of Paris. In 1794, in recognition of his character, writings, and learning he was granted a doctorate by the University of Sacred Theology and Canonical Jurisprudence. On one occasion the Emperor, Joseph II attended a Latin oration by Lanigan, which was received with unbounded applause. The Emperor remarked that so young and so enlightened a professor reflected new lustre on the Irish nation and reminded him of the ancient literary glory of that people. A sign of his fame was that he received the freedom of the city during his stay in Paris. 

Lanigans sojourn in Paris came to an end after nine years with the dispersal of the university which followed the arrival of Napoleon in the city in 1796. Lanigan fled to Ireland, leaving behind many valuable books. Plundered and penniless, haggard and hungry he arrived in Cork to a cold reception from the Bishop of Cork, who suspected him of Jansenism. That suspicion was to prevent him from getting the Professorship of Sacred Scripture and Hebrew at the new Seminary of Maynooth. 

Unable to get a parish in the Archdiocese of Cashel and Emly he proceeded to Dublin where he became attached to the old Francis St. Chapel. Here his rooms were searched by Major Sirr in 1798. Through the influence of General Vallancey,  whom he had  known in Italy and who had been sent to Ireland as an architect and engineer to erect fortifications around the coast, Lanigan got a job  as an assistant librarian in the Royal Dublin Society. First appointed for three months he was to stay for 20 years. His  job involved the translation of speciaist papers from other languages into English.  His pay was thirty shillings a week and this was raised to three pounds in 1808 when he was appointed  librarian. 

Church History

This job was a blessing in disguise and gave Dr. Lanigan the time to write and to engage in the controvercies of the period. The latter he did with relish and the former with erudition. His greatest work is undoubtedly the Ecclesiastical History of Ireland, published in 1822 in four volumes. This is a work of immense scholarship which Rev. J. Brennan claimed to have placed the ecclesiastical antiquities of Ireland on a solid and imperishable basis. But, it is impossible to do justice to a man  of the stature of Dr. John Lanigan in this short letter.  

Among his other claims to fame was his belief in a pagan origin for the Round Towers of Ireland. He was an ecumenist before the word was thought of. In one place he wrote: '..and were I ambitious of having my tomb distinguished by any peculiar epitaph, I should prefer' Here lies an advocate for the union of Christians. He took a lively interest in the Gaelic Society of Dublin, established in 1808, not only for the investigation and revival of ancient Irish literature, but also for the development of the history and literature of this island. 

As well as intellectual and spiritual  delights Dr. Lanigan was also fond of the pleasures of the table. He was a rigid observer of the fasts and abstinences from flesh meats on fast days. He loved fish.  One account has this to say of his love of  the finny tribe - 'I knew Lanigan in later  life - a great wall-faced, overgrown mass of antiquarian erudition, who moved on his course as if he had fins. I saw him eat more fish on a Friday in Lent than probably any other Christian could  devour during the whole. seven weeks. Cod, eels, haddock, sole  - all were masked on his plate with mustard,  vinegar, red - very red pepper, catsup, oil and soy, and this he  seemed to get through at the rate of a hundred weight an hour, if he could have held out. Daniel Maclise celebrated etching of old Fr. Prout, devouring the endless succession  of fish dishes in Lent, might well pass, for a portrait of Lanigan.  


Premonitions of insanity in Dr. Lanigan appeared first in 1813 and though he recovered somewhat as a result of a three-month stay with his sister in Cashel the softening of the brain continued and he ultimately became a permanent patient at Dr. Harty's asylum at Finglas. The Rev. P.J. O'Hanlon gives a very sad picture of this great man during this period. Calling on him one day Dr. Lanigan said to him - 'I know not what I had for breakfast and except that I feel no craving, I do not even know what I have breakfasted. I, who could formerly grasp any course of study, how obstruse soever, cannot now apply my mind to a recollection of the simplist event of yesterday: I know that I am now you but in ten minutes, after you have left the house, 1 shall have no remembrance of our conversation or of you. 

And so this man of many talents and undoubted genius passed away on July7, 1828. He had been so long out of the world that even his friends seemed to forget him. He got no obituary notices. Two days later he was buried and for 33 years not even a headstone marked his grave. He was buried in the old churchyard of Finglas. Not until 1861 as a result of a national collection was a monument erected over his grave. A twelve foot high cross in Tullamore imestone designed by Petrie, rescued Dr. Lanigan from obscurity. 

I hope that this information will rescue him from the obscurity that Fr. O'Dwyer's account would commit him. Otherwise a grave injustice would have been done to a man who used to style himself Joannes Lanigan, Hibernus Cassiliensis.



Tommie Ryan - The Runner 1900 The Post, 5th June, 1980

Tommie Ryan - The Runner 1900

The Post, 5th June, 1980


One of the sprightliest walkers up and down the streets of Cashel these days is Tommie Ryan, He looks so lively, so fresh in the face and his hair is still very much there, that it is difficult to believe his age. . Tommie Ryan was eighty years of age on January 18th last:
‘People have remarked on the fact,’ says Tommie. ‘It’s not that my life was easy. But I have the health and I’m glad of it.’

Tommie was born in Doorish, Rossmore and the family name was ‘Dalton’, to distinguish them from all the other Ryans. He was one of six children. His mother was a dressmaker and his father a handyman. Tommie’s memories of his early days include family involvement in the National Movement and their house was a refuge for men on the run.

He remembers walking the eight miles to Cashel to get his shoes made: ‘Ah, there were great tradesmen out in those days. A trade was a great thing – much better than it is today.’
Cutting turf in the bog is an abiding memory. ‘The neighbours collected to give you a hand and the work was tough. The bog was a great place for the feet. It hardened them. I never had trouble with my feet when I was running and I put it down to working in the bog in the bare feet.’

Sometime around sixteen years, Tommie met the great runner, Tim Crowe. ‘He was a very competitive man. He cycled to Cork and he cycled to Dublin and of you walked to a match with him he was always a yard in front of you.’ Tim Crowe took him on his first race from Templemore to Milestone and Tommie performed reasonable well. Following that he took up running in a big way, running five mile and ten mile races, as well as marathons. At that time there were just two kind of races, unxder-16 and over-16.

Tommie’s first job was cheese-making in the co-operative creamery in Rossmore. Later he worked in a bar in Dungarvan and eventually he got a job in a bar in Dublin in 1923, where he was to spend seven years..

One of his great memories from that period is running and particularly one marathon race from Navan to the Phoenix Park. An ambulance man accompanied each runner on a bicycle to ensure he obeyed the rules. ‘After about eighteen miles I was ahead of my man and I came to this house, very hot and thirsty. It was a bar. I put my head in over the door and asked for a drink. ‘Do you want some brandy?. ‘No! A tumbler of water.’

As I drank it the smell of bacon and cabbage came to my nose. I looked at my man and the place the smell came from. ‘Would you like a bit?’ he asked. ‘I would’. So, he made me a huge bacon and cabbage sandwich.

In the meantime my watcher was catching up. ‘What have you got there?’ he shouted. ‘Nothing!’ I said. ‘I took off running and by the time he caught up with me I had it eaten’.

Soon after this the sole came off my shoe and I  had to run the remaining miles in my bare feet. I never got a blister!. I think I came in third.
Dr. John Ryan, a Tipperary man in charge of  some of the runners, head about the sandwich. ‘It could have killed you,’ he said. ‘I’m the man who ate it,’ I replied.

Tommie never drank and instead of getting the usual bottle from the bar owner at Christmas, he used to get a five-pound note. He played hurling with Young Irelands and won a Dublin county intermediate title with them in 1927. He got the name, the Electric Hare, from his speed on the hurling field. Of small build, Tommie made up for his lack of physique by the speed of his feet.

Everybody has heard of the famous race between Tommie and the Irish marathon champion, David McKeon from Gouldscross to Cashel in 1929. A cup was put up by the New Ireland Assurance for the winner. The man who immortalised it in song was Willie Quinlan from Donohill, who worked in the Irish Press. It is not commonly known that Quinlan didn’t see the race at all: he was somewhere else that day.  The poem was first published in the Cork Weekly Examiner. One verse of it went like this:

Then comes the final struggle
‘Tis the grandest sight of all
As mid the cheering thousands
Raced the wee man and the tall.
With scarce a yard between them
Hats in the air were thrown
When gallant little Tommie
Beat the champion, D. McKeon.

‘A very funny incident happened in that famous race. I was coming up the Kiln Road and there was an enormous crowd. I was leading and McKeon was at my heels. There was a man in the crowd who wasn’t too aware of what was going on and when I passed and the cheers went up, he kept looking to see when Tommie ‘Dalton’ was coming: he had come to cheer HIM.’

That race saw the end of Tommie as a runner: his legs were never the same again.

By now Tommie had returned from Dublin to live in Cashel, where he helped his sister set up a dressmaking business in Canopy Street. He got a job in the local cinema and started to organise the N.A.C.A. in Tipperary. ‘There were great men everywhere; all that was necessary was to contact them. He started a club called the Galteemore, which became outstanding in a few years. Other Tipperary clubs developed as a result. Tommie was elected secretary of the Tipperary N.A.C.A. and was responsible for getting the organisation to stage the National Championships outside of Dublin. ‘They were held in Clonmel. There was such a crowd that the gates were broken down. We took in £500 whereas not more than £100 was ever taken in Dublin..

Later Tommie started a cycle shop in Canopy Street but, with the outbreak of the war, there was a shortage of spare parts and Tommie, now married with two daughters, went to England. He went first to Birmingham and later to London, where he worked in the railways until he retired in 1965.

He was one of those responsible for forming the Tipperarymen’s Association. His wife had a dancing school and his children danced at the London Palladium and the Royal Albert Hall. He liked the English and has many happy memories of his residence there. He supported all things Irish. He played hurling until he was 49 years of age. He was secretary of the Provincial Council of the G.A.A. in Britain. When he retired he got another job and didn’t return to Ireland until 1975.

Tommie has been a ramblin’ man since he was 18 years old. He has travelled widely in Ireland and England and met many people, made many friends. He has returned to live in Boherclough Street, Cashel, quite close to where he set out on his first journey. He likes Cashel and continues to make friends because he is still a very much involved in society.


Bill 'Bob' O'Dwyer (1896-1982) The Post on 29th May, 1980

Bill 'Bob' O'Dwyer (1896-1982)

The Post on 29th May, 1980


The time was June 1916 and the place a field hospital in France. The Great War was nearly two years old and Cashel man, Bill 'Bob' O'Dwyer, was lying on his back suffering from dysentery. Doing the rounds of the wards was a Canadian doctor, whose task it was to boost numbers for the impending Battle of the Somme.. He came to Bill:
'What's your name?'         'O'Dwyer'.
'From where?'                 'Co. Tipperary'.
'What part?'                    'Cashel'.
'Are you a native of the town?'       'No! I'm from Kilshenane'.
'So was my father and his name was O'Dwyer!'.

Bill 'Bob' didn't get a clean bill of health from his first cousin and so escaped the Battle of the Somme, where total British losses amounted to 419,654 men! Had Bill 'Bob' taken part in that battle his chances of being alive today would be slim.

In fact he is alive and well and amazingly hale and hearty for a man of 84 years. Perhaps his health is due to hard work which he began in the home place at Kilshenane. In 1913 he was working for a local farmer at 24 shillings a quarter! Imagine what it would get for you today, three and a half loaves of bread or two and a half pints, whichever way you're inclined! But, at that time Bill 'Bob' was able to spare a few shillings to send to is father, who had hit on poor times through a series of misfortunes on the farm.

When the local Volunters split in 1914, on whether to support England in the war, the majority sided with John Redmond. Two didn't, Mick Davern and Bill 'Bob'. Bill later changed his mind, joined up and was shipped out from Queenstown to Palestine.

He spent some time there until he was shipped back to France. He remembers the sand, the malaria and the dysentery. But, during all the time until he was demobbed in 1919, he was never wounded. The pay was a shilling a day but increased to £1 per week. His brother, Mick, was in the Dublin Fusiliers and after he was demobbed, went to Australia and hasn't been heard about since.

Bill 'Bob's' attitude to the North was formed at that time. 'The I.R.A. will never be beaten but you'll never get the Orangemen to come into a United Ireland.' He is rather vague on the actual date but on one occasion in 1916 or 1917 there was close to a mutiny in his regiment when a number of Orangemen raised the Union Jack in provocation after hearing of an event in Ireland. The quick action of some general prevented a free-for-all. Nothing was ever made public of the episode.

Back in Ireland in 1919 was not a great place to be. Thre was a depression and too many men chasing too few jobs. A good man got six or seven shillings a week. Bill 'Bob' worked on the buildings, cycling as far as Bansha for work. He worked at Rockwell and in the building of Cathal Brugha Street. He wroked in Feehans for £1 per week, hauling stuff from the railway station. Times were tough but he got married and reared a family of eight and is very proud of how they turned out,

The thirties were an exciting time in Ireland at large but particularly in Cashel. The Blueshirts were very strong in Cashel. Bill 'Bob' decided to wear one after falling out with Mick Davern. He was working on Cathal Brugha Street when he was let go because he lived outside the urban boundaries. He went to Mick Davern with his complaint but Mick told him he was powerless to do anything. However, another councillor came to his aid as a result of which he got his job back. So he put on the 'shirt' to get his own back on Mick!

Bill 'Bob' worked until he was 70 years. He enjoyed working and is concerned today with the way machines are taking away jobs and leaving the young unemployed.

He's very sorry they don't have (Church) Missions anymore: 'They were great for getting people together. Sure, there's no religion now!'

The Government should do something about keeping prices down. Rising prices don't give the poor people a chance.

Bill 'Bob's' wife died five years ago. His faithful dog, Shane, is seventeen years old and on his last legs. He's no longer able to go down town but he still growls at strangers, who may wander near his master's door. He bought him for £5.

Bill 'Bob' has no regrets in his life. He has a comfortable house, built by the British Army over fifty years ago. The latter body looks after old soldiers well in ensuring that they are in need of nothing. He retires about 10.30 at night and his only prayer is that God leaves him his legs to walk up and down to the town and do a few jobs around the house.