Why North Tipperary: A History Lesson

Brian Boru, King of Munster

Brian Boru, King of Munster (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In a short than usual post this week, I’m going to have a quick look at how the County of Tipperary has got it’s name and furthermore maybe understand why there is a distinction between North Tipperary and South Tipperary. Hey, it must be the Celts in us to always be on the lookout for a bit of rivalry.

Anyway, my research tells me that before the devastating Norman invasion (from which most of our surnames are derived from, although history does state that the Normans became more Irish than the Irish themselves), well anyway, before the Norman invasion, the county of Tipperary was even divided back then, into the old North Munster kingdom of Thomond (includes parts of Clare and North Limerick), and the South Munster kingdom of Desmond. Now there were two clans that dominated this part of the country and these were the O’Brien’s and the McCarthy’s and it seems that Tipperary was where their endless battles would take place. This was, of course, until McCarthy’s were kicked out into Cork and so the McCarthy name became connected to Cork. The O’Brien’s though ruled supreme, with their most famous monarch being Brian Boru, the founder of the O’Brien dynasty and the High King of Ireland (Reigned: 1002 – 1014, , 1,000 year anniversary early next year, sure now there’s another reason to visit North Tipperary: site of original dominions). Now every Irish schoolboy and schoolgirl has heard of Brian Boru, but even if you haven’t, why not pay Brian Boru’s church, or his birthplace in Kincora, a visit at the border of North Tipperary and Clare at Ballina/Killaloe.

The Rock of Cashel.

The Rock of Cashel. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Looking moreso at this regal history of Tipperary, the Rock of Cashel, which is situated in the centre of the county, was the seat of the kings of Munster, but then the Normans arrived and decided to stay for a bit. On their arrival, the south of the county was granted to Philip de Worchester, while most of the north of the county was granted to Theobald Walter, whose family became the Butler’s or appointed servants to the King and so the Butler name was theirs. The Butlers were originally strong in the Nenagh area and indeed Nenagh castle was built by them. They became the Earls of Ormond and were a very strong voice in Irish affairs for three centuries.

Gramscis cousin 11:14, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

Gramscis cousin 11:14, 12 July 2006 (UTC) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The county of Tipperary was created and named after the small town of the same name in 1328 and some names that are connected to this great Irish county are the surnames Ryan, Maher, O’Meara, Gleeson, Hogan, O’Dwyer, Quirke, Macken, Moloney, Tracey, Kelly and of course O’Brien and O’Kennedy. In fact a good note of that last one, because another strong clan on the North Tipperary region and in fact the Nenagh area were the O’Kennedy’s, who would have been the ancestors of the late President of the United States of America, John F. Kennedy. And that’s not all when it comes to US presidents, there is also Ronald Reagan, who visited his ancestral home of Ballyporeen as President and also the existing President Barak, who of course hails from Moneygal, which is situated on the border of North Tipperary and Offaly and is just 13 miles from Nenagh town.

Now how about those for a number of reasons to visit North Tipperary. ‘The Well of Ara’, or Tipperary as we all know it today, is so packed with history, and we’re connected to our fair share of leaders through the ages, that all you need to do is take a deep breath and  taste it in the air. See y’all next time!

Posted by Michael ‘Charlie’ McGee

Charlie’s Sunday Quote

Charlie Chaplin & Douglas Fairbanks in NYCharlie Chaplin & Douglas Fairbanks in NY

The glamour of it all! New York! America!” ~ Charlie Chaplin

Friday Facts

Vanity Fair Frontispiece Facsimile

Vanity Fair Frontispiece Facsimile (Photo credit: Nils Geylen)

This week’s factual article was originally way back in 1921 in the publication titled Vanity Fair, no less. Written by Charles Hanson Towne, the article was called The Monstrous Movies and it looks at the growing new culture of Hollywood and film, but what it gives a modern audience is a forthright insight at what life was like way back in the silent era. This week I’ve the first of three parts of this fantastic article, with the following two parts appearing right here at Friday Facts over the coming weeks, so now, do enjoy:

 

Vanity Fair - August 2009Vanity Fair – August 2009

 

The Monstrous Movies

 

Caricature of Finley Peter Dunne (1867-1936). ...

Caricature of Finley Peter Dunne (1867-1936). Caption read “Mr Dooley”. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“There is a delightful story to the effect that when a young woman disappeared from New York some years ago, and every corner of the earth, seemingly, had been searched for her, Finley Peter Dunne suggested: Has anyone thought of looking in the gallery of the Century Theatre?'”

 

“Certain actor friends of mine have similarly disappeared from time to time. A deep, abysmal silence has followed their strange absence from the usual haunts of the metropolis. But now, at last, the mystery is solved. I know where they all are. They are in the movies – and most of them are in California, in a spot called Hollywood. I have prepared, on my first visit to the Coast, for the giant trees, the giant flowers, the colossal foliage and fruit that cause one to think he is living in a fairy-tale; I was certain of the great, wide-open hospitality – the big hearts and the abundant beauty I should see. But I was not prepared for the giant fungus growth, the monstrous mushroom that has sprung up overnight, as it were, in California – the most amazing and startling manifestation of the age: the movies.”

 

“Nothing can be small in California. Everything is magnified ten-fold or more; but the motion-picture industry has gone Nature one better; and the overwhelming scale on which it is run is something that the imagination cannot grasp at once.”

 

 

The New El Dorado

 

English: Nestor Studios, the first film studio...

English: Nestor Studios, the first film studio in Hollywood, 1913. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“As the old Forty-niners rushed to the gold fields in search of El Dorado, so now actors, actresses and managers, cameraman and directors, writers, artists and continuity folk, flock to that same section of the country; and they have built cities overnight, just as the gold-seekers did, and camped on the Coast. But with this definite difference: they have gone there to stay. They may rear a Spanish town this afternoon and demolish it next week; but something else will take its place within another twenty-four hours. A pavilion which is an exact replica of the one in Italy, let us say, may be erected for one scene in a play, and be absolutely valueless tomorrow. Money is thrown away as chaff before the wind. Almost it would seem that it would be more sensible to send a whole company to Italy than thus to toss gold into the Pacific. But no – all the paraphernalia is here – including the light that Nature has so thoughtfully and lavishly bestowed. Instead of actors being transported to Italy, therefore, Italy is brought to America – for a week or two; and nothing is thought of the miracle. next to it, a Greek village may be in the process of construction.”

 

Hollywood Studios 1922

Hollywood Studios 1922 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“‘The world is too much with us.’ one might say of Hollywood; and indeed the whole world seems literally to be here, concentrated in one tiny corner of the Earth. So many assortments are here that it reminds one of those ingenious prisoners who, with nothing else to do, crowd the words of the Lord’s Prayer on a pin-head. Hollywood is a contracted dance floor, on which everyone in the world is dancing; and the jazz goes on incessantly. There seems no rhyme or reason here, no method, no system, no direction; it appears a madhouse – as it is, and isn’t; and a visitor finds it difficult to adjust himself at first, to fall into step on the crowded, nervous floor.”

 

“Is it any wonder? For hodge-podge is Hollywood’s first, middle and last name. Confusion is the god that in some mysterious way runs this crazy universe.”

 

A Night at the Movies (film)

A Night at the Movies (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“What shall be said of a judgement that exploits the so-called “personalities” of little girls with weak chins but big black  eyes that “film” well, in stories dashed off like penny-dreadfuls, with ungrammatical captions and incoherent “continuity?” Of actors who care only for the money that they earn, and wouldn’t give tuppence for the studios unless their pay-envelope bulged at the end of the week and they could ride back and forth in a ten-thousand-dollar car? Of the younger group of perfect cameo-like profiles who leave shops and offices to go into the films, with no knowledge of the technique of acting, and who, when they have a priceless opportunity to watch a really great artist before the camera (for there are such), sit behind clumps of scenery and smoke innumerable cigarettes?”

 

And that’s that from Friday Facts for this week; See ya next week for part two of this wonderful article, so adios amigo!

 

Posted by Michael ‘Charlie’ McGee