Poet Paddy Moran
Paddy Moran is from Templetuohy. His fourth poetry collection, RECKONINGS, will be launched in Skehan’s bar, Thurles on Saturday, October 12 at 8pm. RECKONINGS will be available to purchase at The Bookworm, Thurles.
What's your idea of a perfect day, or perfect weekend in Tipperary?
I’m seldom tempted to leave my native village. Among Templetuohy’s notable features are the grotto and the green; a striking Catholic church; and state-of-the-art GAA facilities. However, I like to revisit parts of the county I’m not overly familiar with. Cahir is an attractive heritage town: I love to walk in Glengarra wood; and the Swiss Cottage is always worth exploring.
St Patrick’s Well near the village of Marlfield is a hidden gem. And the Glen of Aherlow is justly acclaimed.
Who has made the greatest contribution to Tipperary in your lifetime - and why?
Canon John Hayes , who founded Muintir na Tíre. This organisation, whose guiding principles were neighbourliness, self-help and self-sufficiency, helped to revive rural Ireland during a period of economic stagnation and mass emigration.
What's your first Tipperary memory?
Hurling with my brothers in our humpy, dung-specked pasture, imagining I was Jimmy Doyle!
What's your favourite part of the county - and why?
Probably Garrykennedy. I cannot think of a better way to spend a summer Sunday than in this quaint village. Take a walk out the quiet country road until you reach the boathouse on the shore of Lough Derg.
Relish the lake water shimmering in the sunlight. Absorb the tranquillity. And then, to cap a perfect day, stroll back to Larkin’s for a drink, a bit of grub and the traditional music session.
What do you think gives Tipperary its unique identity?
Hurling. The national game is an intrinsic part of our identity. Nothing gives us greater pride than the success of the county’s hurlers. To join in the singing of Slievenamon after an All-Ireland victory at Croke Park is, arguably, the ultimate Tipperary experience.
Do you have a favourite local writer or author?
Many contemporary Tipperary writers celebrate the county’s heritage and beauty: Michael Coady and Liam Ryan in their poetry; Mark O’Sullivan in his fiction; and Leo Cullen in his contributions to Sunday Miscellany. Dennis O’Driscoll is another favourite: not only for his poems, but also for his marvellous critical prose.
What's the biggest challenge facing the county today?
To revitalise our ailing towns and villages. Town centres, which have been undermined by the siting of supermarkets on the outskirts, need to be upgraded. Moreover, there should be a legally enforceable requirement that vacated houses and business premises be properly maintained and not allowed to become eyesores.
If you had the power to change one thing in, or about Tipperary, what would it be?
I’d love to see our hurlers achieve what has eluded them for over 50 years: retain the Liam MacCarthy cup... and, preferably, by defeating our bitter rivals, the Kilkenny Cats!