Tipperariana Book of the Year goes to the Boherlahan-Dualla Historical Journal

At a ceremony in the Abymill Theatre, Fethard, on Friday last, January 26, the organisers of the upcoming Tipperariana Book Fair, that takes place in Fethard Ballroom on Sunday, February 11, presented their ‘Book of the Year’ for 2017 to the editors and committee of the Boherlahan-Dualla Historical Journal. The year 2017 saw Volume 20 of the Journal coming out and all 192 pages of it are again filled with detailed information and observations on all matters of life and folklore from the Boherlahan, Dualla and Ardmayle area.

The Boherlahan-Dualla Historical Journal Society, publishers of the annual journal, consist of a committee of eleven hard-working individuals who achieve wonders in gathering together up to twenty articles every year. The articles come both from among themselves and also from a wide range of individuals who come forward – or are coaxed – to contribute to this wonderful publication year after year.

Many of the Journal committee and some family and supporters came to Fethard on Friday night last to partake in the award presentation ceremony and to be acknowledged and complemented for a job, ‘very well done’.

Origin of the Tipperariana Book of the Year award

The chairperson of Fethard Historical Society, Terry Cunningham, outlined both the origins of the Tipperariana Book Fair twenty-three years ago and also the genesis of the related Book of the Year award which is now in its 16th year. He outlined how, as Book Fair organisers, they noticed that between twenty and thirty books were produced every year in the county and that the 2002 publication of the huge, three volume history of ‘Moyne-Templetuohy’ prompted the Book Fair committee to inaugurate the ‘Tipperariana Book of the Year’ award. The award is thus given to a book that is about Tipperary or, as Terry said, “a book that is out of Tipperary”, and that captures that sense of ‘home place’ which is so important to people in Ireland and also, of course, important to people everywhere in the world.

Mary Hanrahan, MC for the evening, then asked John Cooney to outline why the Boherlahan-Dualla journal was chosen as their 2017 book of the year by the Tipperariana Book Fair committee. John, in a very erudite and succinct contribution, noted the special qualities of the Boherlahan-Dualla Historical Journal and especially the quality of the articles and the longevity of the whole effort over the past 20 years. He noted the article in this, the twentieth issue, by Alice Coman and Clare Wallace which outlined the importance of the journal to the people of the parish. He quoted again the motto of the Journal – which appears on the back cover of every volume – “lest notable acts should perish with time and pass out of memory of future generations”. This is a very significant quote indeed, as it is from the pen and diary of Friar John Clyn in 1349 Kilkenny – then in the midst of the Black Death plaque – who left the best first-hand account in Ireland of that huge calamity that took away a quarter or more of the people of Europe at that time.


A specially commissioned art piece by local artist and potter Dóirín Saurus was then presented by her to the chairman of the journal committee, Tom Ryan.

Tom Ryan emphasised that he accepted the award on behalf of a multitude of people who have contributed to the undoubted success of the Boherlahan-Dualla Historical Journal. These included the Journal Committee, the contributors of the articles and the people who buy all 600 copies every year. He also mentioned the people of the parish who give every encouragement and support and he especially thanked the present editors, Marian Ryan and Paddy O’Dwyer, and founding editor, Peter Meskell, whose work is central to the ongoing success of their journal.

The evening was finished off with refreshments, but not before local singer Holly Williamson and her partner in JW Productions, Stefan Jordan, from county Wexford, entertained the assembly by singing four wonderful songs.

Pride of Place at Book Fair on Sunday, February 11

As usual, the winning book and authors, will take pride of place at the 23rd Annual Tipperariana Book Fair in Fethard Ballroom, between 2pm and 6pm, on Sunday, February 11. Any inquiries regarding the fair, including donations of books to the fair, can be got by emailing: or by texting 087 930 52 32 / 087 900 72 22. Information also available on

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