Thurles is a town of Ireland, which forms an integral part of the administrative county of North Tipperary. This vibrant and prosperous town is a civil parish in the historical barony of Eliogarty. In addition to being the site of the diocesan cathedral, Thurles is also an Ecclesiatical parish in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cashel and Emly.
After Nenagh, Thurles is the second largest town in North Tipperary. The name of the town is derived from the Irish word ‘Dúrlas Éile’, which denotes ‘the strong fort of Éile’. The Dúrlas Éile UÍ Fhogartaigh, from which it derives its name, was the fort of the O’Fogarty’s. The fort was built to commemorate the O’Fogarty stronghold on the regions of Templemore and Devils Bit. Thurles owes much of its early development to the Norman family of Butler.
Pre-historic inhabitants, called the Eli, bestowed the ancient territory with its name. The Cathedral town, Thurles, is nestled in the heart of the beautiful Suir Valley. Silvermines Mountains border the town towards the north-west, while the Slieveardagh Hills surrounds it in the south-east.
The beautiful Thurles Cathedral is testimony of the rich historical heritage of the town. Dr Patrick Leahy, archbishop of Cashel and Emly, was instrumental in the construction of this impressive Italianate Romanesque building. Reckoned as the Cathedral of the Assumption, it stands on the site of earlier chapels in the centre of the town. The alluring structure is adorned with a magnificent altar, a rose window and a free-standing baptistery.
Croke Memorial, the bronze life-sized monument, is another attraction of the town, which never fails to capture attention of visitors. Commissioned in the memory of Dr. Thomas Croke, archbishop of Cashel and Emly, the memorial was sculpted by F. Doyle Jones. The alluring architecture of the St. Mary’s Famine Church is largely attributed to its beautiful spire. Erected in 1820, the church stands on the site of the first Anglo-Norman parish church built at the end of the 12th century. Apart from being designated as a place of worship by the local Church of Ireland community, the church is also home to the Famine and War museums.
Farney Castle is the only Round Tower in Ireland, which is occupied as a family home. The castle boasts a fascinating structure, which was built in 1495 by Thomas Butler, the 7th Earl of Ormond. Strategically located, the castle served to boost the defensive system of the Butlers to protect the land in Tipperary.
Excellent day and night time entertainment options make Thurles a prominent socialising destination. Sports enthusiasts enjoy their visit to the Lar Na Pairce Visitor Centre, which is designed and equipped to tell the story of Gaelic Games from earliest times up to the present day. The exciting visitor centre entices the enthusiasts wishing to learn and experience Hurling, Gaelic Football, Camogie and Handball.
The town is also home to the Thurles Sarsfields, a local hurling club. This honoured and decorated club is reputed to have produced some of the finest hurlers in the country like Mickey Byrne and Jimmy Doyle. Thurles Golf Club has made a significant contribution to the golfing chronicles of Ireland. It is reputed to be one of the best parkland golf courses in Ireland. Besides, historic monuments, entertainment, sports and much more are present in the beautiful town of Thurles.
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All Imagery Courtesy of Panoramio
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