The launch of this year’s Upperchurch-Drombane Historical Journal will be held in Drombane Hall on this Saturday night, Dec. 15th starting at 7.30 p.m. This is the third annual offering and is well up to the standard of the previous two with a wealth of informative articles, photos, poems and information about the locality.
The guest of honour this year, who will officially launch the book, is Mrs Maura Armstrong, well known for her active lifestyle and local historical knowledge. There will also be a short talk on GAA history and local history by Mr. P.J. Maxwell of Nenagh, who has undertaken detailed research into both interrelated subjects. The historical group are pleased that they will have on display an exhibition of old photographs from the Moyaliffe estate by kind permission of the Glucksman Library at the University of Limerick and Tipperary Libraries.
One of the articles which has benefitted from Mr. Maxwell’s research is Tom Quinlan’s account of the Riordan brothers of Rosmult, early GAA stars. This article is probably the most detailed and comprehensive account of their lives ever put together. Another parishioner whose life took a different direction was Edmund Corbett from Knockmehill, who fought all through WW1, winning a D.S.M. in the process. His story is recounted by his grandson Frederick, and reminds us of the many Irishmen who were caught up in the events of the the time and whose sacrifices have only been recognised in recent years in this country.
Another young man who fought bravely in the War of Independence but did not survive was Thomas Brett of Moyaliffe. His story is told by Maura Carey.
Paddy Walsh, or Paddy Breathnach, was a native of Camus, Boherlahan who also fought in WW1 before joining in the War of Independence in the Upperchurch and Kilcommon area. A programme about his life “An Oíche a Gineadh m’Athair” will be broadcast on TG4 on Jan 1st at 9.05 p.m. An extract from his writings and some biographical details are included in the 2012 Journal.
The new Thurles Water Scheme, currently under construction, will result in the decommissioning of the Knockalough Waterworks. Thomas Fogarty, with the kind assistance of Mr. Michael Ryan of Thurles Town Council, has written an account of the early years of the scheme. Sporting events of fifty years ago are recalled by Andy Byrne and John Ryan (C), the former detailing events on and off the hurling field while the latter recalls the glory days of Drombane Gymkhana. Going farther back in time, Frankie Shortt writes about the surprisingly large number of hedge schools which existed in the locality before the establishment of the National School system.
Religion has always been important in local life. Joan Ryan tells of Br. Bruno Ryan and Br. Vincent Stapleton who helped build up New Melleray Abbey in Dubuque, Iowa. Eugene Shortt has researched the building of the Sacred Heart Church, Upperchurch and presents his findings. This is still one of the finest rural churches in the country and was probably the largest building project ever undertaken in the parish, and in poor times at that.
The local poetry tradition is represented by poems from the late Bridie Corbett, Frank Shanahan and Paddy Shaw, and from one local poet who is very much alive but prefers to remain anonymous! A list of local interments is also included along with some interesting photos.
All are welcome to the launch on Saturday night and the 2012 Journal will be on sale at the usual outlets immediately afterwards. Readers from outside Ireland may order the book online at www.upperchurch.ie