Pictured right: Director General of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann, Dr Labhras O Murchu pictured with his wife, Una, and Mary Kelly, former Co. Kilkenny Fleadh Cheoil Queen in Johnstown. Labhras will lau
To mark launch of his fourth book, The Cuppa Sugar Days-warm hearted tales of a Newspaper man, well-known Thurles journalist, Tom Ryan, will hold a celebration night in Anner Hotel, Thurles, on May14 from8pm.
Dr Labhras O Murchu ,Director General of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann, will launch this fourth book about interesting Tipp people by Tom Ryan who has worked in the regional, national and international media for some 50 years. The 560 page tome which has been favourably received already by Tipp book lovers is a tribute to numerous Tipp folks from all strata of life in the Premier County - a slice of Tipp, as one newspaper has described it.
And Tom’s daughter, Brid Ryan has once again shown her artistry with her wonderful photos of Tipperary people. There is a somewhat poignant aspect attached to the launch of the book which is dedicated to Tom’s late wife, Ina who died in November 2020 and who was Tom’s writing partner for over 42years
Tom said: “This occasion is unique for a number of reasons. It is a night of celebration of all the wonderful Tipperary people featured in the work, a number of whom, including my wife, Ina, have gone ar Shli na firinne (RIP). These are the people whose lives we will celebrate in this unique way,” he said.
There will be a special brief poetry reading by celebrated poet, Cathy Conlon from Celbridge, Co Kildare, a long time friend of Tom. To honour the memory of Thurles- born author and poet, Geraldine Cummins, daughter of the late Martin and Mary Cummins Mitchel Street,Thurles, and a friend of Tom also, who died in March of this year, Cathy Conlon, originally from the Commons, will read the poem “Light” by Geraldine who had promised Tom Ryan shortly before she died that she would read her work , including one poem on Thurles.
At the launch, to coincide with her birthday celebration on May11, her family and Tom agreed to honour her memory on the night in this poetic manner.
Following the official launch a night of comedy, music, song, storytelling, and dance will follow. The popular Rathdowney poet, humourist, scriptwriter, actor, musician, singer, musician, Tour Guide at Donaghmore Workhouse and Agricultural Museum and farmer, Michael Creagh, will once again be MC for what is expected to be one of the highlights of the social year in Thurles.
The entertainers will include the ever popular and successful showbandman Kenny Ryder who had a charts hit with”Slowdown”in the seventies . Other entertainers will include Dermot Freeman of the famous Freeman Folk featured in the book. Dermot’s brother, John, died just before publication(RIP). The Bohernanave brothers were renowned for songs such as The Ballad of Bobby Kennedy which they played in person in Washington for members of the famous Kennedy dynasty; Mary Kelly, the former Co Kilkenny Fleadh Cheoil Queen in Johnstown, will be there with her harp with which she entertained QueenElizabeth 2 of England on the Rock of Cashel; Aggie Moloney on tin whistle will be there -she entertained every day of the Covid pandemic on the internet; global busker, Pat Cawley of Horse and Jockey, who worked with superstar, Barbra Streisand, will sing “The Isle of Innisfree” for his wife, Michelle, and Tom Ryan who both love this song.
Tim Curran from The Willows, Thurles, will bring us into the world of the modern standup comedian; multi talented author musician and ballad singer, John Lawlor Rahealty, formerly of the brilliant Three Counties Ceili Band and a neighbour of Tom, will also entertain .
MichaelCreagh will have a few funny tales to tell to get the laughter going. Michael is also a Tour Guide inDonaghmore Workhouse and Agricultural Museum in Laois. The attendance is expected to include poets, novelists, actors, singers and musicians from various parts of Ireland and goodwill for the night has come from people around the world, including PJ Gleeson in The United States, Denise Lanphier in Liverpool, the Ryan families in Katy, Texas. The renowned Charlotte Devenish of Virgin Limited Edition in Surrey England ( featured in the book with husband, Gavin), and from numerous folks on the Internet
In his wide ranging work, Tom Ryan features seven original short stories and numerous nostalgic pieces about a wide range of interesting people, including a Yukon gold prospector with Tipp links; an international tombstone tourist who is at home in graveyards; wren boys, scouts, newspaper folks, Postmen, railway personalities , a militaria collector, a records collector; an Inter Milan soccer player in Thurles; hurling heroes like Jimmy Doyle , John Doyle and Tony Wall; the Munster Final excitement in Thurles long ago.
The “Cuppa” Sugar Days “ is now on sale in Bookworm, Thurles, Holycross Abbey Gift Shop, Easons in Thurles and Nenagh, Nenagh Bookshop, Maynooth Bookshop and online .
MC, Michael Creagh, is farming down the road in Rathdowney Laois. He has written, directed and acted in their panto for the last 30 years. He was drummer and founder of The Last of thye Summer Winos who had many a great night, in The Anner. He is a past recipient of Laois Person of the Year award. He has also written three pageants about Donaghmore Workhouse where he is a Tour Guide.
He has published two books of poetry -. The Rhymes of a Rustic Boy, and The Return of The Rustic Boy. He is one of the organisers of the Slievebloom Storytelling Festival. One of his proudest moments was getting to play drums with his friends for a ceili in the film, Stella Days starring Martin Sheen who was quoted as saying how excited he was to work with Michael ! He has also spent time propping up the bar in McCoys on Fair City. Before covid he had his own one -man show on the road entitled Come ‘ere till I tell ya a good one.
He has become a great friend of Tom Ryan due to press coverage of Rathdowney Pantomime by Tom.
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