Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Tenth Letter

Dearest Ireland,

I'm spending my summer in Thurles which is pronounced "turless" because your people don't use the "th" sound in pronunciation. I understand that's because there is no "th" sound in the Irish language, and spoken English in Ireland still reflects that influence. It makes for some good-natured teasing, though, when someone is talking about a "third" of something. Use your imagination.....i.e. "I'm dividing this pizza into "tirds".

To quote a guide book, "the origins of Thurles go back to the latter part of the first millennium, when it was the Durlas or strong fort of the O'Fogartys, the dominant clan in the region at that period." It is surrounded by the Silvermine Mountains to the NW and the Slieveardagh Hills to the SE. The River Suir , pronounced "sure",  runs through it. Don't those sound like names from Middle Earth? 

Thurles is a town of about 5-7 thousand residents, depending on what you read. It has a main street and a town square, called Liberty Square, much like any small American town. Of course the traffic speeds around the square in a clockwise motion, which still confuses me. I don't know when I'll ever learn to drive here.

Thurles is in County Tipperary, right in your heart.  One can see from the map, that it's a great location, being just a half day's drive or less from anywhere. I really didn't realize until I got here that you, dear Ireland, are only about the size of Indiana.  If I climb a tall tree, I can see from coast to coast.

I'm devoting this post to photos I've taken around Thurles. It may seem boring to my Irish readers, but I think it will give my American friends a better feel for a typical Irish town.  I am so "tankful" to be here.

Here's Thurles

Liberty Square, the middle of town

Which way to Florida?
O'Gorman's Pub. aka The spot is just inside the door to the right.
The medieval Bridge Castle...I wish St. Pete had a bridge castle.
Old Liberty Square
De Burca's Pub, the coziest place in town.
Ireland has the BEST ice cream!
St. Mary's Church of Ireland (Protestant)
Want to learn to sing or play?
St. Patrick's Teacher's College used to be a monastery
The mall has a butcher shop. Buy a wool sweater and a lamb chop.
Cathedral of the Assumption (Catholic)
Let's go!
Hurley maker mural
The River Suir has great trout fishing
Friends share a story on the street
Pheasant Island. They raise them here.

I love the doors in Ireland
Country Fun
Busking on the foot path
The Queen's logo on this mail drop, remnant of the occupation.
Cute Irish cottage on the edge of town
Hurling Match .....Up Tipp!

I am so full of potatoes.

Skehan's Pub

Train station....Call me when you get here.


  1. Tanks! A nice photo shoot of your home away from home!

  2. Tanks! A nice photo shoot of your home away from home!