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Launch of Tom Semple & The Thurles Blues

posted 16 Jun 2015, 15:59 by Brodersen Ridgley


By Liam Ó Donnchú

The long-awaited biography of Tom Semple and his legendary Thurles Blues, was launched to a thronged main hall in Thurles Sarsfields Centre, beside Semple Stadium, on Saturday June 13th. Performing the launch was Tom Semple’s son, Martin, who had travelled with his wife, Jo Ann, from Denver, Colorado, to attend the event. Other speakers on the occasion included: -Robert Frost, Munster Council Chairman, John Devane, vice-Chairman of Tipperary County Board, Archbishop Emeritus Dermot Clifford, Alan Kelly, Minister for the Environment, Michael Maher, Chairman Thurles Sarsfields and the author Liam Ó Donnchú. Michael Dundon, former editor of the Tipperary Star was an efficient M.C.

Tom Semple, the GAA icon, whose name is immortalised at Semple Stadium, is synonymous with the game of hurling, since he led the Thurles Blues to All-Ireland glory in 1906 and 1908. The book details the exploits of these earlier heroes of the camán and of Tom Semple’s training regime and tactics.

The reader can follow the Blues on their amazing tour to Brussels and historic Fontenoy in 1910. Find out about the fascinating story of the early years of Thurles Sportsfield, renamed Semple Stadium in Tom’s memory, and how it developed into today’s ‘Field of Legends’.

The role Semple and others played in the War of Independence is also detailed in this hardback publication, which contains more than 400 pages. The book is illustrated throughout and offers new insights into the life and times of yesteryear.

Books costing €30 are available from local bookshops or online from

Books may also be ordered by post (€35) from: Liam Ó Donnchú, Lár na Páirce, Thurles Co. Tipperary.