The official launch of the annual Upperchurch-Drombane Historical Journal will be held in Upperchurch Hall on this Saturday, November 30th at 8.30 p.m.
This year the guest of honour will be Fr. Phil Barry from the local Palottine Novitiate in Thurles. Fr. Phil is a well known and popular local figure who has travelled widely in his missionary work and who represented the parish with distinction on the hurling field.
This year’s book is again filled with stories, poems and photographs of local interest. The disturbed days of the Tithe war are recalled in Eugene Shortt’s account of the shooting of Rev. John Going in 1829. On a more positive and prosperous note, Billy Clancy tells the story of Margaret Walsh who left Drombane over a hundred years ago and married a rich mining tycoon in Arizona.
One of the great attractions of the Upperchurch-Drombane area has always been the large number of colourful local pubs. Fifty years ago there were sixteen but this number has now fallen to six. Paddy Dwyer has compiled a short history of the sixteen which were operating in living memory. Some people also remember the Emergency years of World War 2 with rationing, compulsory tillage and local defence units figuring prominently in local life, and an outbreak of foot and mouth disease thrown in for good measure. Tom Quinlan reports on it all. Also from the 1940s, Diarmuid Breathnach remembers summer holidays spent in Upperchurch, as Gaeilge.
Canon William Corcoran, a parish priest of a hundred years ago, had a couple of controversial incidents in his life and these are recalled by Thomas Fogarty. Sticking with an account of parish priests, Joan Ryan traces all of those who held the office in the parish since the 1600s, as well as detailing the careers of some of the parishioners who entered the religious life.
Our everyday language is packed with words which have survived from the Irish and John Mason lists and discusses these. The blowing up of Drombane Hall and Ballyoughter bridge in 1920 is recalled by Maura Grant. Andy Byrne takes a nostalgic look at the events of fifty years ago and has also written a tribute to the friends and characters of his youth, both in prose and poetry, in collaboration with Billy Clancy.
Upperchurch is rich in ancient megalithic monuments and remains. Frankie Shortt has compiled a list of dozens of these, most of which are unknown even to the locals. There are also the usual local poems and photographs to provide an interesting and entertaining read. The book will be on sale at the usual outlets immediately after the launch, price €10.