Launch of 2020 Upperchurch-Drombane Historical Journal

The latest edition of the ever popular Upperchurch-Drombane Historical Journal is now on sale. It contains 168 pages of local history along with photos and an account of the happenings of note in the last year.

The book was intended to be launched this year by local man Fr. Con Ryan of Atshanboy who has spent most of his life as a missionary in Kenya and who has always been a popular and welcome figure during his returns on holiday to the locality. Fr. Con has contributed an eye opening article on his efforts in foreign fields where he faced difficulties nearly impossible for us to believe in our relatively comfortable surroundings.

Launch of 2020 Upperchurch-Drombane Historical Journal In a similar vein, Aengus Ryan has been working for many years as an engineer for the International Red Cross and other development agencies. His work has taken him to countries as diverse as Indonesia, North Korea, Pakistan, Ethiopia and many more and he gives a comprehensive account in the Journal.

Staying nearer home, there is the story of Drombane Group Water Scheme which has served the area for forty years and the story of Thurles Sugar Factory from the perspective of a former local worker. Many locals left school at an early age in the 1950s and 1960s and Andy Byrne tells of his experiences in different employments at that time.

The extraordinary numbers of vocations to the religious life in former times continues to be documented. The Ryans of Foilnamon contributed four priests and three nuns from one family to the Catholic Church at home and overseas and a short account of their careers is included.

Paddy Kinane and Colonel Jerry Ryan were both prominent in politics in the middle of the last century. While their efforts in the War of Independence were well documented by the Bureau of Military History and other publications, their later personal and political achievements have not been given the same prominence. Con Ryan tells of the later career of Paddy Kinane and Anne Ryan gives the story of Col. Jerry.

Going back a bit further in time Frankie Shortt writes about the Night of the Big Wind in 1839 from a local perspective which makes recent storms look relatively tame. One of the oldest people ever to have lived in Co. Tipperary was Bríd Ní Bhriain, reputedly 117 years old when she died in 1905. She spent most of her life in Upperchurch and was eventually buried there. Bob McCormack, of Graniera ancestry, has researched her life and describes it in the book.

Most people who live in rural areas take their surrounding landscape for granted, never asking themselves who created the field patterns, built the ditches and walls, dug the drains, planted the old trees or erected the standing stones and other ancient landmarks. The countryside between Upperchurch and Borrisoleigh is especially rich in traces of ancient human activity. Clare Leon runs a pony trekking business in the area and she gives her descriptions based on years of observation and research, as well as speaking to knowledgeable locals and expert visitors. The book also contains a list of deaths and burials from 2007 to 2019.

A new addition this year is the Yearbook section which outlines many of the local events of 2019. There were five book launches in the parish, successes for the ballad group in Scór, for Peter Ryan in the Council elections and Golden Jubilee celebrations for Sr. Anne O’Rourke and Fr. Phil Barry. Other events included the Parish Mission, development of the bog walk lighting and the closure of Upperchurch Post Office, while the Active Retirement Group continues to have a busy schedule. Finally the local Baptisms and Marriages are listed.

The book is available in the local outlets from, price €10.

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