Cahir Social and Historical Society, List of Events

"The Russian Revolution and Ireland"

The second CSHS lecture of the 2017/18 season took place on Friday November 10th in Cahir House Hotel. Maurice Casey spoke about "The Russian Revolution and Ireland".

The Militarisation and Settlement of the South Tipperary landscape, 1500 - 1700

Cahir Social and Historical Society's first lecture of the 2017/18 season was held in the Great Hall of Cahir Castle on Friday, 6th October at 8pm.
Dr. David Butler gave this lecture on "The Militarisation and Settlement of the South Tipperary landscape, 1500 - 1700".

"The Rabbit Industry in Ireland"

Our last Spring 2017 lecture was held in Cahir Castle on Thursday, 27th April. It was given by Michael Conry on "The Rabbit Industry in Ireland".

"The Holy Wells of Ireland"

Cahir Social and Historical Society hosted a lecture by Seánie Lonergan on "The Holy Wells of Ireland" in Cahir House Hotel on Thursday, 23rd March, 2017. The videos used by Seánie during the lecture can be seen on his YouTube channel here.

"Brexit - the impact on Ireland"

on Thursday, 2nd March, 2017, in Cahir House Hotel, Denis O'Leary, former Irish Ambassador to the European Union, Brussels, gave a lecture titled "Brexit - the impact on Ireland".

"Frongoch and the rise of Sinn Féin: 1916-18"

A lecture by Noreen Higgins on "Frongoch and the rise of Sinn Féin: 1916-18" was held in Cahir House Hotel on Thursday, 9th February, 2017.

"Crops that changed World History and Civilisation"

John Ryan

Cahir Social and Historical Society held its first lecture of 2017 in Cahir House Hotel on Thursday, 19th January. Professor John Ryan spoke about "Crops that changed World History and Civilisation".

Ginchy: From the Somme battlefield to Cahir, 1916 - 2016

Paul Buckley

Cahir Social and Historical Society hosted a lecture by Paul Buckley on "Ginchy: From the Somme battlefield to Cahir, 1916 - 2016" on Thursday, 10th November, in Cahir House Hotel.

Sonny O'NeillDENIS (SONNY) O’NEILL; Cahir’s connection with Bealnabláth

John Flannery, President of the Ormonde Historical Society based in Nenagh, presented a lecture on this subject in Cahir House Hotel on Thursday 27th October.
Denis (Sonny) O’Neill, (1889-1950), RIC man, British Soldier and member of the IRA, played a key role in the events at Bealnabláth and subsequently in the Civil War in Tipperary. The talk will look at the extraordinary life of this man and his part in the events during a tumultuous time in our history. It will also examine his life in post civil war Tipperary and his involvement in local politics.


'From Cahir to Moscow, by Maurice Casey'

David Fitzgerald poster

Pat Burke and the heyday of the "Showband" scene in Cahir

On Thursday night, 12th May 2016, the Cahir Social and Historical Society hosted a very special occasion when the "Showband" great, Pat Burke, returned to his hometown to talk about the heyday of the "Showband" scene in Cahir and also perform some of his favourite songs. At 89 years of age, Pat is hale and hearty and still performs in Cork, Clare, Waterford and Tipperary. He was a brilliant saxophone player before he formed his own band, known far and wide,as "The Pat Burke Seven". A number of his band members, such as Liam McLoughlin, Bobby Johnson and Vincent Bray continue to live in Cahir. Pat saw it all from his vantage point on the stage and he has many stories to tell of ballrooms with mineral bars only and parish priests separating the men from the women!

Pat Burke

The War of Independence - The 1921 Garrymore Ambush and the Capture of D.I. Potter

Liam Roche gave a lecture in Cahir House Hotel on Thursday, April 7th 2016.
The title was "The War of Independence - The 1921 Garrymore Ambush and the Capture of D.I. Potter".

Garrymore Ambush

A Commemorative Evening to mark the Centenary of the 1916 Rising

Cahir Social and Historical Society held a commemorative evening to mark the centenary of the 1916 Rising on Thursday, 10th March, 2016, in Cahir House Hotel. We invited different musicians to perform some music relevant to the Rising and we heard lectures by Alice Mulcahy on The Irish Volunteers in the Cahir Area 1916 - 1919 and Paul Buckley on what life was like for the people of Cahir 100 years ago.

Laurence O’Brien – From Cahir to Connecticut

The Cahir Social and Historical Society lecture on Thursday, 25th February, 2016 was "Laurence O’Brien – From Cahir to Connecticut". Maura Kiely gave an overview on the life of this fascinating 19th century figure.

Laurence O'Brien

Tracing Your Roots in the Cahir Locality

Cahir Social and Historical Society hosted the lecture "Tracing Your Roots in the Cahir Locality" by the local historian, Tommy Hussey, in Cahir House Hotel, on Thursday, 4th February 2016. This lecture was of great interest and provided a lot of information to anyone seeking to research their family tree.

"The War In Syria: Religious, Cultural, Economic, and Political Dimensions."

Professor John Ryan gave the first Cahir Social and Historical Society lecture of 2016 in Cahir House Hotel on Thursday, 14th Janurary. His lecture addressed "The War In Syria: Religious, Cultural, Economic, and Political Dimensions." A native of Ardfinnan and past pupil of St. Joseph's College, John worked in the ancient Syrian city of Aleppo as a soil scientist, an educator and an agronomist for 20 years.

syria lecture
Michael Kelly, Éamonn Clohosey, John Ryan and PJ O'Meara

"Beneath the Ground - the pre-history of the Cahir area", a lecture by Rose Cleary

Cahir Social and Historical Society hosted a lecture by Rose Cleary (Burncourt and U.C.C. Archaeology Department) on Thursday, November 19th, 2015, in the Banqueting Hall of Cahir Castle. The title of this lecture was "Beneath the Ground - the pre-history of the Cahir area" and it focused on some of the artefacts uncovered during the Kinsale Gas Pipeline and National Roads Schemes that passed through Cahir.John Dempsey

“From Cahir to Connecticut: Governor John Dempsey 1915 – 2015”

The Cahir Social and Historical Society marked the centenary of the year of birth of Governor John Dempsey of Lower Abbey Street, Cahir and Putnam, Connecticut, with a hectic, yet highly enjoyable, programme of events over the weekend of September 18th to 21st, 2015. The Society's Committee and their American guests met for informal drinks on Thursday night. The following morning, Walt Woodward, State Historian of Connecticut, coming down with a heavy cold, was interviewed on Tipp FM's "Tipp Today" programme, after which he visited 5th and 6th Class of the Boys and Girls' Primary Schools. This was followed by an inspiring Mayoral reception in the Town Hall, Clonmel, hosted by Mayor Pat English and another talk to 80 students at the Coláiste! The Connecticut State flag pins brought by Walt and Marie, his wonderful wife, were given to every boy and girl. They also gave a beautiful volume of Connecticut photographs to each of the schools they visited. However, by late afternoon, Walt's cold was so severe that there was some doubt over his availability for the following day!

Miraculously, his determination saw him come through and, on Saturday morning, Walt received the first standing ovation in the recent history of our Society for his lecture on the life of John Noel Dempsey! While most of us were aware of the electoral achievements of this Son of Cahir, Walt argued that John Dempsey was one of the most effective Governors in the history of the "Constitution State" and that the core values that drove his political career could be traced to his upbringing and family roots in our town.
A recording of the lecture that our friend, Walt Woodward, gave in Cahir Castle in September 2015 to mark the centenary of the birth of Governor John Dempsey, Lower Abbey Street, Cahir, is available at the link below.

The night before, the Society had held a delicious welcome dinner for its American guests and local friends of the Dempsey family in the Upper Bistro of Cahir House Hotel. At this event, the Mayor of Putnam, Tony Falzarano, presented Committee members with "golden keys" to his town. The Mayor also read aloud a formal declaration, in the Banqueting Hall, from the current Governor of Connecticut, Daniel Molloy, that acknowledged the great contribution of John Dempsey to the State of Connecticut.   

On Saturday morning, Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister for Diaspora Affairs, formally opened a Photographic Exhibition containing material from the Dempsey family album and some given by generous local individuals. Jimmy said he was delighted to be back in Cahir Castle and how important it was for him to support events that developed closer links between Ireland and its American cousins. The exhibition contained some fantastic photographs of Governor Dempsey's 1965 visit to Cahir, his meetings with President Éamon de Valera and the strong friendship he enjoyed with President John F. Kennedy.

At this stage, Fr. Ed Dempsey, himself ordained as a deacon in St. Mary's Church in 1966, gave a moving talk about the influence of his grand-mother, Ellen Luby Dempsey, on his own identity and how much he felt he belonged to Cahir long before he ever visited our town for the first time in 1965.

In the afternoon, Joe Walsh took a large group on a most enjoyable Walking Tour of Cahir that visited sites which would have been very familiar to Governor Dempsey as a boy growing up in the town.  

Walt Woodward had really rallied by now so there was no doubt hanging over the delivery of his second lecture on the story of the Irish in Connecticut. Once again, he just blew the audience away with his brilliance. Walt showed how poorly the Irish Catholic emigrants were treated in Connecticut, initially, but their determination and political mobilisation resulted in Irish emigrants holding high office in this State within a matter of decades.

Saturday night's concert, entitled "A Celebration of Cahir and Connecticut", was held in a "balmy" Banqueting Hall.  The evening commenced with Michael Harty leading a wonderful group of young traditional musicians through a set of traditional jigs and reels. The audience marvelled at the dexterity of Cian Smith on the uilleann pipes. Cahir's own Margaret Galvin recited her original poem, commissioned by the Historical Society, that captured the excitement and expectations that surrounded Governor Dempsey's 1965 visit. She also recited poems from her own collection that recalled in sometimes poignant, sometimes humorous ways the Ireland of fifty years ago. Cahir Choral Society, under the leadership of Maureen Aherne, sang the local ballad, "Kate of Garnavilla", the great Irish-American ballad, "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling" and the "Sunset Poem" by Dylan Thomas. This beautifully sung set was followed by a couple of songs from the State Historian of Connecticut who had enjoyed a professional career, in country music, before he became an academic! Walt performed the State's Anthem, "Yankee Doodle Dandy" and a song written by himself about his beloved grandfather that charmed the audience greatly. The night finished on a rousing note with the two national anthems, a spirited rendition of "Slievenamon" by John Hickey and the charming "Tipperary's Own Cahir" by Eleanor Morrissey.

On the following day, Father Ed Dempsey celebrated 11.30 a.m. Mass in St. Mary's with an array of traditional musicians from "Tradfest". Wet conditions did not deter the Dempsey family from attending the re-dedication of Cahir Abbey's cemetery by Bishop Cullinane and paying their respects at the graves of their great-grandparents. Finally, the commemorations concluded, at 4pm, with the planting of an Irish oak, in the Inch Field, by Ed, Kevin and Lynn Dempsey and their close friends, Tim Oliver and John Brown and a rendition of "Auld Lang Syne" sung in memory of our absent friends and in contemplation of a blossoming friendship between Cahir and Connecticut.

Thanks to the staff at Cahir Castle, Cahir House Hotel, Billy Coffey for his assistance with tree-planting, the Principals, teachers and students of our primary and secondary schools, Mayor Pat English and his colleagues on the Municipal Council and everyone who supported our programme of events.

"Bianconi 200” Saturday, 4th July 2015

The Cahir Social and Historical Society (CSHS) and Clonmel Historical and Archaeological Society (CHAS) came together on Saturday, July 4th, 2015 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the first “Bianconi Car” journey between Clonmel and Cahir in early July 1815 on the “old” Clonmel-Cahir road. At its peak, Charles Bianconi’s nationwide service carried passengers over 4,000 miles every day throughout Ireland.
Route: Hearns Hotel, Marlfield Lake, Loughtally, Garrintemple, Nicholastown, Cuckoohill, Loughloher, Cahir.
Photos courtesy of Fr. Éanna Condon.

Bianconi 200

Bianconi 200

Bianconi 200

Bianconi 200

Bianconi 200

Bianconi 200

Bianconi 200

Bianconi 200

Bianconi 200

Recent Event: Walking tour of Clogheen with John Tuohy

ClogheenCahir Social and Historical Society hosted a walking tour of Clogheen with John Tuohy on Thursday, 28th May, 2015.

"A Sense of Place" - an evening of poetry and song

Cahir Social and HIstorical Society hosted "A Sense of Place" - an evening of poetry and song with Margaret Galvin and "Zrazy" in Kilcoran Lodge at 8pm on Thursday, 14th May, 2015.
A native of Cahir, Margaret Galvin, Clogheen Road, has written a number of collections of poetry. Although she has lived in Wexford for most of her life, there are several references to familiar people and places in Margaret's poetry, something that added to our enjoyment of her readings. Another "daughter of Cahir", Maria Walsh, Tipperary Road, returned to perform in Cahir for this event. Resident in Dublin for many years, Maria is a member of "Zrazy", a two-member band that plays jazz and world music.

The Archaeology of Flour Milling in South Tipperary

Cahir Social and Historical Society hosted a lecture by Dr. Colin Rynne on ‘The archaeology of flour milling in south Tipperary, c. 1750-1930’ in the Galtee Suite, Cahir House Hotel, on Thursday, 12th March, 2015.
The well attended lecture was of particular interest to the families of those who were employed in our great Flour Mills.

Cahir Mills

John Lonergan

Harry Gleeson - the Final Days

On Wednesday, 18th February last in Cahir House Hotel, the Society hosted a lecture by John Lonergan, the former Governor of Mountjoy prison, on "Harry Gleeson - the Final Days".
There was considerable interest in this event given the recent announcement that Harry Gleeson is to be the first recipient of a  posthumous pardon from the State, almost three quarters of a century after he was executed for a murder in the locality that he did not commit.

Rare Books and Documents from the 4th Century to the 21st Century

The first Cahir Social and Historical Society Lecture of 2015 was given by Felix O'Neill, the well-known rare book specialist. A resident of Cahir, Felix spoke about "Rare Books and Documents from the 4th Century to the 21st Century". The lecture was held in Cahir House Hotel on Wednesday, 28th January.


Dr. William Hemphill and his photography around Co. Tipperary

On Tuesday, 25th November, at 8pm in Cahir House Hotel, Pat Holland gave a lecture on the photographic work of Doctor William Hemphill in Co Tipperary. He took the earliest photos of Cahir Castle and the Rock of Cashel etc.

"Their Name Liveth For Evermore" - Cahir & World War 1, 1914 - 2014

Photos of the very successful weekend event can be seen here

Summer Outing

On Saturday, June 14th, Cahir Social and Historical Society held its summer outing. Travelling in car pools, our first port of call was Dromana House, just outside Cappoquin. After lunch in the town of Youghal we were taken on a guided tour of the historic centre of Youghal.
Photos of the outing can be seen here

“Camino de Cahyr”

On the evening of Thursday May 29th, the Society travelled, in convoy, along a north-westerly route from Cahir. This roadtrip brought us to the ancient religious sites of Tobar Íosa, St. Peakauns, Berihert’s Kyle and Killaldriffe graveyard. There was a brief lecture at each stop.
Photos of the trip can be seen here.