23 June 2021

Website Update!

Over the next few weeks we will be updating the information sections of the website. If you are involved in any of the clubs, groups, schools or businesses and would like to amend or change your information or contact details please email the updated information to info@borrisoleigh.ie

Appeal for News

This is an appeal to those of you who are involved in various activities (limited as they might be in the current circumstances), not to forget to send us an email with a few lines and maybe a photo or two publicising what you are doing. The regular users of this site (particularly those not on social media) would like to see them and it will help paint a fuller picture of what is taking place in and around Borrisoleigh. We rely on you, the local community, to send us your news.


Borrisoleigh Website Committee

New Single

Paudie and Saoirse Bourke recording their new single with Fran Curry recently


Borris-Ileigh Camogie Club Notes


Under 10 Blitz:

Our Under 10’s played in a hugely enjoyable four team blitz at Quinlan Park on Saturday morning last where we played host to the Templemore, Drom-Inch and Nenagh teams.


We had 21 players lining out in the club colours and they were divided into two teams. The standard on display over the course of the morning was an extremely encouraging sign for the future of all four clubs.


It will be destination Drom for our crew for the second blitz which will be held on Saturday 17th July.


Busy Week for Under 12’s:

Our Under 12’s had busy week just gone. Last Wednesday night we travelled to nearby Dolla for challenge matches against Silvermines and it proved to be a very worthwhile exercise. Both clubs fielded two teams and following two very entertaining matches, we came away with close but encouraging victories in both.


On Friday night, our white team fielded against Newport-Ballinahinch at home for the first round of the Championship. Our girls hit the ground running from an early stage and played impressively right through to the final whistle.


Goals from our forward line of Emma Bevans, Avril Bourke and Sinéad Cowan with a pointed free also from the later in the opening half were added to in the second half by captain on the night Isabel Treacy and a second by Emma Bevans to secure the overall victory.


Two from Three for Under 14’s:

Our Under 14’s made the trip to Portroe on Saturday afternoon last to play the host club in the third round of the Championship. Following on from their victory over Cashel a week earlier, the girls looked hungry from the first whistle to build on that performance and make it back to back victories.


Tara Fitzgerald and Abi Kelly dominated the middle third early on which laid down the perfect platform for the team as a whole to follow suit. Eve Maher spearheaded an excellent performance from our defending sextet while Therese Groome and Aisling Boyle led our impressive forward line with some really well taken scores.


The final score was Borris-Ileigh 5-05 Portroe 1-00.


Under 8’s Blitz Coming Soon:

Our Under 8’s are buzzing and ready to go. They will be counting down the days to July 3rd which is the day named for their opening blitz. This will be held in Borrisoleigh where their opposition will be Drom-Inch, Templemore and Nenagh Eire Og.


This Week’s Fixtures:

Tonight (Wednesday) sees our Under 16 team take to the field for the opening round of their Championship with an away match in Dolla against Silvermines at 7:30pm.


On Sunday night next, our Under 14’s make the journey down south to Monroe to play their fourth round of the Championship against the host club Moyle Rovers.


Coaches Development Programme:

On Thursday night last we held our opening night of our Coaches Development Programme where the tutor was our Club Development Officer Mikey Bevans. To say that it was a resounding success would be an understatement with the feedback from the attending coaches being hugely positive.


We will announce the date for the follow on session in the near future while the club will also be working with Mikey to put together a coaching dvd that will be circulated to our coaches once produced.


Club Info:

If you wish to keep up to speed on all our club activities and happenings, you can check out our Facebook page for daily updates.

Glenkeen Information Board

The information board at Glenkeen graveyard has been treated to a complete overhaul. The indexed map has been upgraded and will be a huge asset to the many visitors who come there tracing their family genealogy.



Friday 25th next, marks a sad centenary in the parish of Borrisoleigh. One hundred years ago, ex British soldier, Paddy Maher of Mountkinane, was taken from his home and shot dead under the most dubious of circumstances, close to Glenkeen graveyard. 

Link to a short video compiled last year to mark the 99th anniversary of the tragic event – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TdrdqBYkW0

The Sad Case of Patrick Maher – by John Connors

A grim discovery on the roadside at Glenkeen on the morning of 26 June 1921. 

The Kilkenny People newspaper of 2nd July 1921 carried the following brief report. 

“A man named Patrick Maher was reported to be found dead at Glenkeen with a card around his neck”. 

The Patrick Maher in question was born to Thomas and Ellen Maher (nee Bevans) in the townland of Gortnaboul on  28th September 1878. Part of a family of six, he had one older brother, James and four brothers, Thomas, Michael,  John and William who were younger. The year 1901, see the family living in Mountkinane. These townlands lie to the  north east of the village of Borrisoleigh. 

Maher enlisted in the Royal Irish Rifles at Manchester on the 4th of September 1901 and assigned the regiment  number, 6460. Described as being 139 lbs in weight, a little over 5’ 8” in height, chest measurement 35” to 39”, with  dark brown hair, fresh complexion and grey eyes. His service takes him to the African continent and to South Africa,  where he is a combatant in the Boer War. After twelve years of service, on September 3rd, 1913, he is discharged from  the army at Belfast. 

On the fair day of Borris, 27th November 1916, before Fr P.W. Ryan P.P. and in the presence of witnesses Thomas  Hogan and Margaret M Ryan, Patrick Maher and Bridget Butler are married. The brides address is given as Fantane  and occupation as that of “servant”. Maher’s occupation is given as “labourer”. 

The June of 1921 experienced the highest temperatures in over twenty-five years. On the political front, temperatures  were also at an all-time high. By then, the system of administration of justice had completely broken down with police  mostly confined to well-fortified barracks. Borrisoleigh was not immune from the violent events that had now gripped  the country. Indeed, by early June, plans were well underway to attack the local barracks. At 10.00 pm on the last day  of the month, these plans came to fruition, in an intense attack that lasted for four hours. 

At about 11.30pm on Saturday the 25th June 1921 a number of visitors called to the Maher home at Mountkinane. At  the subsequent inquiry into the ex-soldier’s killing, his brother John, proffered the following brief testimony. 

“At about 6.00am on Sunday 26th of June, my mother told me that my brother Patrick had been called out of the house  about 11.30 pm the previous night and had not returned. I went out to go to Mass around 7.30 am and found my  brother lying on the road about half a mile from the house. He was dead”. 

Dr Gerald Mitchell, M.D. Templemore, gave the following evidence. 

Dr. Mitchell’s report also contained graphic details of injuries on Maher’s body, consistent with violent assault prior  to being killed. “The skin over both testicles was contused. Obviously, some ante mortem violence was used. A  contused wound was also visible on right forearm. This wound was ante mortem”. In the doctor’s belief, death was  instantaneous. 

Sinn Féin councillor, Denis Treacy of Knocksharoon had this to contribute to the inquiry. 

“He was universally popular in the area and I do not know that he had many enemies. He used at times have  refreshments with the police in Borrisoleigh”. 

The court of military enquiry recorded the death as “wilful murder” and also noted that Maher was not involved in  politics. 

The Nenagh Guardian of the time give a slightly different version as regards detail. That newspaper’s report says  about strangers calling to the house around 1.00 am and they wanted Maher to show them the way to Glenkeen  graveyard. 

Was Patrick Maher shot dead because it was believed by the local I.R.A. that he was a spy or an informer, that he was  somehow supplying information to the police with who he fraternised with in the village’s public houses?  

In the troublesome period of the War of Independence, many ex-soldiers were subjected to intimidation, and  oftentimes worse, simply because of a certain uniform that they happened to wear at one particular time in their lives.  To instil fear and maintain control over the population, both sides had their various means and approaches. The  reprisals, both official and unofficial, employed by the British were highly effective in this regard. Equally, the  discovery of a corpse on a roadside, with a label attached branding the person as a spy or informer, would have a 

similar effect. All of these forms of “justice”, dispensed by either side, were arbitrarily administered without trial,  judge, jury, right to appeal or petition. All sides were equally culpable in this regard. 

If Patrick Maher was an informer, it would seem strange that his association with the police in Borrisoleigh was  conducted openly and with local common knowledge. 

A statement to the Bureau of Military History, given by Jimmy Leahy, O.C. Mid Tipperary Command of the IRA,  contained the following; 

“Just a short time before the attack on Borrisoleigh, a labouring man named Patrick Maher who lived in a labourer’s  cottage in Mount Kinnane, 1 1/2 miles from the former place, was taken from his home at night by a party of I.R.A.  men under the local company captain, Tommy Kirwan, and shot as a spy. Kirwan was in charge of the firing party.  

The executed man had been associating for a good while before with the R.I.C. He generally left his home at night and  met the police in Borrisoleigh where he drank with them in the pubs. A number of warnings had been given him that  consorting with the enemy might have fatal consequences for him but he ignored these warnings. Maher’s home was  in a locality that was much used by “wanted” I.R.A. men where they received food and shelter. Raids made by the  enemy on houses frequented by I.R.A. men indicated that information was coming to the police from some person  residing in the neighbourhood. The finger of suspicion naturally pointed at Maher and, when he declined to desist  from associating with the police after having been warned to do so, I had no hesitation in approving of the sentence of  death which had been passed on him by the local I.R.A. officer.” 

It is patently obvious that a fondness for alcohol played a major part in the demise of Paddy Maher. Such a case would  not be an exception with many who returned from various theatres of war, as did Maher, bringing with them an  insatiable appetite for alcohol. In an era when post traumatic stress disorder was unheard of, alcohol was the only  means of relief available to many veterans of haunting battlefields. In conversations with people now long dead, that  this author had with people who knew Maher and were familiar with the story of his killing, phrases such as, “it was  wrong what was done to that man, or “Paddy Maher was harmless, he should never have been shot”, kept on  repeating. The general feeling being one of sympathy towards Maher and his family. 

Towards the end of the War of Independence, John M McCarthy of the East Limerick Brigade, gained possession of  “the weekly intelligence summary”, compiled by General Strickland, the British Army Commander in Cork. The  dossier, thought heavily laden with propaganda, did contain some curious observations on a number of Brigades  throughout the Munster region. In relation to the Mid Tipperary Brigade, the report had this to say; 

“The Mid Tipperary Brigade though inactive are certainly in and around Thurles. James Leahy has been seen in  Thurles during the past week, it appears that he has taken to drink and last time he took charge of an operation was not  in a fit state to give an order. James Larkin, Roskeen, James Stapleton and Patrick Kinnane of Upperchurch have left  for Kilcommon”. 

Embellished and exaggerated in the extreme perhaps, – but it would be true to say however, that once the guns  finally fell silent, many participants of that troubled period went on to live lives, that could be best described as  dysfunctional.  

As to who was involved in the abduction and execution of Maher, some documentary proof exists. Leahy in  his BMH statement says that the sentence was pass by the local I.R.A. officer. That officer was Capt. Thomas Kirwan  from Curraghleigh. Kirwan gave no statement to the BMH but he did however make an application for a military  pension. In his submission to the pensions board, he said that he was involved in the execution of four spies. It would  be indeed reasonable to surmise, that the misfortunate Patrick Maher was one of those. Michael Droney from  Killamoyne, who incidentally joined the newly formed Garda Síochána in 1924, also admitted in his military pension  application, to having a central role in Maher’s execution. Droney also claimed involvement in the execution of  another man accused of spying but in that instant, revealed no name or identity.


 Borrisoleigh Active Social Club

Free Dementia Awareness Programme will take place on Tuesday 22nd and Tuesday 29th June online.

These meetings will be hosted by Tipperary County Council and provided through the Alzheimer Society’s online platform.

For more information and to secure your place, please e-mail learninganddevelopment@alzeimer.ie


We are very fortunate to have such a wonderful amenity as The Sandtrap in our Parish. The Sandtrap has brought great joy and created wonderful memories for people throughout the years. 

A concerned reader has asked us again to ask people to take their rubbish home with them. On their recent visit they collected a bag of rubbish, mainly bottles and cans (pictured below). Sadly there was a lot of broken glass around the place which they were unable to collect due to safety concerns. The reason people go there is because it’s a place of beauty. Why destroy such a place?

The excuse that there are no bins there is no excuse, there are no shops or off licences either. If people can bring stuff there, they can take it away. There is no excuse. 

Pic of the Past

Bishop Quinlan Park
Back: John Young, P.J. Purcell, Jody Boyle,
Michael Stapleton, Michael Hogan and Joe Loughnane
Front: Shane Tierney and Tom Stakelum

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Committee: Enda Ryan, Noreen Fahy, Marie McGrath, Derry O’Donnell

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