Category: News

Letterkenny museum puts farmers’ gold find on display

Tullydonnell Gold Hoard which dates from the Bronze Age.

The heaviest intact prehistoric gold hoard ever found in Ireland has gone on public display at the Donegal County Museum in Letterkenny.

The four large gold rings were found last year by farmers in Tullydonnell lower in east Donegal.

One of the farmers, Norman Witherow, said they were just finishing up working on drainage in a field when they discovered the rings beneath a stone.

He said he did not think much of them at first and put them aside, but showed them to a goldsmith friend some days later. He was advised to contact the National Museum in Dublin and the rings were brought to the capital that night.

Now, Donegal County Museum has brought the Tullydonnell Lower Gold Hoard back home to Donegal, where it will be on display until Saturday, 30 November.

A spokesperson for Donegal County Museum said: “This exceptional gold hoard, dating from the Late Bronze Age (1200 to 800BC), was discovered by chance in June 2018, when farmers took the opportunity of a dry summer to improve drainage at the base of a field at Tullydonnell Lower in East Donegal. They uncovered a small pit covered by a boulder which contained four solid gold overlapping rings. Together these objects weigh over 4kg (8.8lbs). They are the heaviest intact prehistoric gold hoard ever found in Ireland.”


The museum is encouraging people to take the opportunity to view these national treasures. Admission is free and all are welcome.

Ireland’s biggest pothole strikes again

 

 

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The latest victim of Ireland’s biggest pothole, outside Midleton in County Cork, is this huge Murphy’s delivery truck. Pic: Kevin Heffernan

Remember how we brought you the story of Ireland’s biggest pothole swallowing a Renault Clio on 29 December? Read it here The story went viral on social media.

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On December 29, the same pothole swallowed up a Clio. 

Well, now the giant pothole has upped its game, by devouring a massive Murphy’s beer delivery truck.

The truck was on its way yesterday to deliver to local pub Poc Ar Buile, which has been cut off in recent weeks by both flooding and potholes, when the giant pothole, hidden under flood waters, captured the vehicle.

Poc Ar Buile owner Michael Murphy said: “I pity the poor driver, the shock of what happened to him. Three axels buried. Tractors tried to pull him out and failed. A crane was called to get him out.”

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Michael Murphy at his pub, Poc Ar Buile in Ballinrostig, East Cork, which has been cut off by giant potholes and flood waters for weeks now. 

A passerby, local man Kevin Heffernan, shared the photo of the truck on social media. He said: “At first, I thought a truck was fixing the huge pothole. On closer inspection, I realised the truck was in the fecking pothole!”

Large sections of road around the area are now impassable, following the recent storms, with more heavy rains forecast from today. Locals have been pitching in, helping to clear flood waters and tow cars stuck in what remains of their roads.

Local woman Mary Hickey said: “Large sections of road at Glanturkin, Whitegate are impassable for cars and not safe for Jeeps either as they have very deep mud holes. My family have assisted to tow 30 vehicles out of holes in the last few days.”

There was a bright side to the story. Yes, the Murphy’s did eventually get delivered to Poc Ar Buile. The only problem now is, you’ll probably need a tractor to get through those roads to enjoy a pint of it.

Road in glanturkin Pic: Mary Hickey
This stretch of road in Glanturkin has been trapping vehicles, which a local family have helped to tow to safety. Pic: Mary Hickey 

 

Tara House lost

ALL hope is now lost that Tara House, headquarters of the Queensland Irish Association (QIA) since 1919, can continue as the home of the Irish community in Queensland.

The QIA Steering Committee has confirmed that lease negotiations with the new owner of Tara House have not been successful.

Angela Laylee of the QIA Steering Committee said: “The rent that the owner has been offered from another tenant was too high for us to be able to match on a responsible and reasonable assessment of potential future trading figures.”

She added: “I cannot express how devastating it is for me to bring this news to you.”

Tara House is a heritage-listed former club house at 179 Elizabeth Street, Brisbane. It was designed by legendary Donegal architect Richard Gailey. Building began in 1878 and the Irish Club owned and operated the building from 1919.

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Lead light panels depicting the four provinces of Ireland in the Tara Ballroom.

The Queensland Irish Association is the longest continuously operating national association in Queensland. Tara House has been visited by Irish presidents, including Eamon de Valera and Mary Robinson, and Ambassadors. In 2003, the QIA celebrated its centenary, with then-Irish President Mary McAleese making the celebrations the centrepiece of her state visit that year.

The association had suffered major setbacks with financial problems and declining membership during the First World War and the Depression but always pulled through. Yet, despite a huge influx of Irish immigrants into Brisbane in recent years, the club had been struggling financially and was placed into administration in January after accumulating a large amount of debt.

Arrangements are being made by the liquidator to remove and store all the QIA’s possessions of cultural and historical significance. 


The Steering Committee and sub-committees of QIA hope to call a meeting of former members in the new year to present proposals for the future operations of the QIA. 

 

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The Tara Ballroom’s arched ceiling with shamrock mouldings and stained glass panels. 

Lions pay tribute at Australian War Memorial

A delegation from the British & Irish Lions visited the Australian War Memorial to pay their respects and recognise the fallen from Britain and Australia yesterday.

From a rugby perspective, a tribute was paid to Blair Swannell and Tom Richards, who represented both the British Isles and Australia during their rugby careers.

Blair Swannell was English-born and played international rugby for the British Isles (as the British and Irish Lions team was then called) on their 1899 tour of Australia and 1904 tour of Australia and New Zealand. After settling in Australia, he played a single game for the Australian national team. He died in 1915 serving the Australian Imperial Force during the First World War.

Thomas Richards was born in Australia to a family who had emigrated from Cornwall. He grew up in the gold mining town of  Charters Towers in Northern Queensland. He too played rugby for both Australia and the British Isles and fought in the First World War. The Tom Richards Trophy, the trophy that is played for between Australia and the British and Irish Lions,  is named in his honour.  

A British & Irish Lions delegation visiting the Australian War Memorial yesterday,  from left, Rory Best from Ireland, Scotland's Richie Gray, Lions Captain Sam Warburton from Wales and England's Tom Croft.
A British & Irish Lions delegation visiting the Australian War Memorial yesterday, from left, Rory Best from Ireland, Scotland’s Richie Gray, Lions Captain Sam Warburton from Wales and England’s Tom Croft.

I did nothing!

I did nothing!

Irish Queenslander is proud to announce that my photo is the state winner for Queensland in the taxback.com GAA photo competition, on behalf of the Brisbane Shamrocks GFC. The prize is an event for the club to either watch a Lions game together or can be used as part of an existing club event/fundraiser. Very glad to be supporting Gaelic Games in Queensland, on their 40th anniversary year.