Celebratory night to mark the launch of Cuppa Sugar Days by Thurles author Tom Ryan

To mark the launch of his fourth book, The Cuppa Sugar Days-heartfelt tales of a newspaper man, well-known Thurles journalist Tom Ryan will host a celebratory evening at the Anner Hotel, Thurles on May 14 at from 8 p.m.

Dr Labhras O Murchu, Managing Director of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann, will launch this fourth book on Tipp’s Interesting People by Tom Ryan who has worked in regional, national and international media for around 50 years. The 560-page tome that has already been well received by Tipp book lovers is a tribute to many Tipps from all walks of life in Premier County – a slice of Tipp, as one newspaper described it.

And Tom’s daughter, Brid Ryan, once again showed off her artistic talent with her stunning photos of the people of Tipperary. There is a somewhat poignant aspect attached to the launch of the book which is dedicated to Tom’s late wife, Ina, who died in November 2020 and was Tom’s writing partner for over 42 years.

Tom said: “This occasion is unique for a number of reasons. It’s a night of celebration for all the wonderful people of Tipperary featured in the work, a number of whom, including my wife, Ina, have become ar Shli na firinne (RIP). These are the people whose lives we will celebrate in this unique way,” he said.

There will be a special short poetry reading by renowned poet Cathy Conlon of Celbridge, Co Kildare, a longtime friend of Tom. To honor the memory of the Thurles-born author and poet, Geraldine Cummins, daughter of the late Martin and Mary Cummins Mitchel Street, Thurles, and a friend of Tom’s also, who died in March this year, Cathy Conlon, originally from House of the Commons, will read the poem “Light” by Géraldine who had promised Tom Ryan shortly before his death that she would read his work, including a poem on Thurles.

At the launch, to coincide with her birthday celebration on May 11, her family and Tom agreed to honor her memory that evening in this poetic way.

After the official launch, an evening of comedy, music, song, storytelling and dancing will follow. Famous poet, comedian, screenwriter, actor, musician, singer, musician, Donaghmore Workhouse and Agricultural Museum tour guide and Rathdowney farmer Michael Creagh will once again be MC for what is expected to be one of the highlights of the social year in Thurles.

Artists will include the ever-popular and successful showbandman Kenny Ryder who had chart success with “Slowdown” in the seventies. Other artists will include Dermot Freeman of the famous Freeman Folk featured in the book. Dermot’s brother John died just before publication (RIP). The Bohernanave brothers were renowned for songs such as The Ballad of Bobby Kennedy which they performed in person in Washington for members of the famous Kennedy dynasty; Mary Kelly, the former Co Kilkenny Fleadh Cheoil Queen in Johnstown, will be there with her harp with which she entertained QueenElizabeth 2 of England on the Rock of Cashel; Aggie Moloney on Tin Whistle will be there – she’s been entertaining every day of the Covid pandemic on the internet; World busker Pat Cawley of Horse and Jockey, who worked with superstar Barbra Streisand, will sing “The Isle of Innisfree” for his wife, Michelle, and Tom Ryan who both love the song.

Tim Curran of The Willows, Thurles, will take us into the world of the modern stand-up comedian; John Lawlor Rahealty, multi-talented songwriter and ballad singer, former member of the brilliant Three Counties Ceili Band and Tom’s neighbor, will also entertain.

MichaelCreagh will have some funny stories to tell to make you laugh. Michael is also a tour guide at Donaghmore Workhouse and Agricultural Museum in Laois. Attendance is expected to include poets, novelists, actors, singers and musicians from various parts of Ireland and goodwill for the night has come from people around the world including PJ Gleeson in the USA, Denise Lanphier in Liverpool, the Ryan families in Katy, Texas. The famous Charlotte Devenish of Virgin Limited Edition in Surrey England (featured in the book with her husband, Gavin), and many people on the internet

In his wide-ranging work, Tom Ryan features seven original short stories and numerous nostalgic pieces about a wide range of interesting people, including a Yukon gold digger with Tipp connections; an international tombstone tourist who is at home in cemeteries; troglodyte boys, scouts, journalists, postmen, railroad personalities, militaria collector, record collector; an Inter Milan footballer in Thurles; cast heroes like Jimmy Doyle, John Doyle and Tony Wall; the final Munster excitement at Thurles a long time ago.

The “Sugar Days” Cuppa are now on sale in Bookworm, Thurles, Holycross Abbey Gift Shop, Easons in Thurles and Nenagh, Nenagh Bookshop, Maynooth Bookshop and online.

MC, Michael Creagh, farms on the road at Rathdowney Laois. He has written, directed and starred in their panto for the past 30 years. He was drummer and founder of The Last of thye Summer Winos who spent many great nights at The Anner. He is a past recipient of the Laois Person of the Year Award. He has also written three contests on Donaghmore Workhouse where he is a tour guide.

He has published two books of poetry -. The Rhymes of a Rustic Boy and The Return of the Rustic Boy. He is one of the organizers of the Slievebloom Storytelling Festival. One of his proudest moments was playing drums with his friends for a ceili in the movie, Stella Days with Martin Sheen who was quoted as saying how excited he was to work with Michael! He also spent time supporting McCoys’ bar on Fair City. Before covid he had his own one-man show on the road called Come ‘ere until I told you a good one.

He became close friends with Tom Ryan through Tom’s media coverage of Rathdowney Pantomime.

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