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Tipperary (Irish: Tiobraid Árann, lit. "The well of Arra") is the name of a town in the south-west of County Tipperarymarker, Irelandmarker. The name "Tipperary" is derived from a well in the townland of Glenbane in the parish of Lattin and Cullen where the river "Arra" rises. Little is known of the historical significance of the well. Its population was 4,415 at the 2006 census.

The town is often believed to be the county seat, which has never been the case but it is home to Tipperary Racecourse [142898]. North Tipperary and South Tipperary, have their administrative centres of Nenaghmarker and Clonmelmarker respectively. However, it has a large agricultural catchment area in West County Tipperary and East County Limerick and was historically a market town of some significance. It still boasts an extensive butter-making and milk processing industry today.


In Irish, 'Tiobraid Árann' means 'Town On The Well Of The Arra', the river which flows through the town, outside The Abbey Boys Secondary School. The town is a medieval foundation and became a centre of population in the early 13th century. Its ancient fortifications have disappeared but its central area is characterized by a large built environment with wide streets radiating from the principal thoroughfare of Main Street. There are two impressive historical monuments in the Main Street, namely the bronze statue of Charles Kickham, poet and patriot and the 'Maid of Erin' statue erected to commemorate the Irish patriots, Allen, Larkin and O'Brien, historically known as the Manchester Martyrs.

The first engagement of the Irish War of Independence took place at nearby Solloghead Beg quarry on 19 January 1919 when Dan Breen and Seán Treacy led a group of volunteers in an attack on members of the Royal Irish Constabulary who were transporting gelignite.

The town was the site of a large military barracks of the British Army in the 50 years before Irish Independence and served as a military hospital during World War I. During the War of Independence, it played a pivotal role as a base from which the Black and Tans went on local sorties in their campaign of terror against the people of the town and district. On 30th September 2005, Her Excellency, Mary McAleese, President of Ireland, in a gesture of reconciliation, unveiled the newly refurbished Memorial Arch of the barracks in the presence of several ambassadors and foreign emissaries, military attaches and town dignitaries; a detachment of the Local Defence Force, the Number 1 Irish Army Band and various ex-service organisations paraded. In a rare appearance, the Royal Munster Fusiliers banner was carried to mark the occasion. However, given the notoriety of the place in the folk memory, there was only a small representation of townspeople in attendance. The Arch is the only remaining porch of what was the Officers mess and has panels mounted bearing the names of fallen members of the Irish Defence Forces (on United Nations service), and American, Australian and United Kingdom armed services. The area surrounding the edifice is beautifully landscaped.
Panoramic view of Tipperary and surroundings

In song

Welcoming signs on roads entering the town quip "You've come a long way..." in reference to the World War I-era song written by Harry Williams and Jack Judge (whose grandparents came from Tipperary) "It's a Long Way to Tipperary", which became popular among the British military as a marching song. The U.S. Army, also at this time, included a song by John Alden Carpenter called The Home Road in its official 1918 song book which includes the lyric, "For the long, long road to Tipperary is the road that leads me home." A song of remembrance is "Tipperary so far away" which commemorates one of its famous sons, Seán Treacy, who died in a shoot-out with British soldiers in Talbot Street, Dublinmarker in October, 1920. In an address to the people of Ballyporeenmarker on 3 June 1984, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, quoted a line from this famous song - " And I'll never more roam, from my own native home, in Tipperary so far away." There are other songs also with a Tipperary theme such as Tipperary On My Mind; Goodbye Mick;Galtee Mountain Boy; Katy Daly (actually an American song) and Forty Shades of Green, written by Johnny Cash.

Gary Moore's Song "Business as Usual" tells about him and his love: "I lost my virginity to a tipperary woman." On Seventy Six The Band's 2006 release Gone Is Winter, the song Carry On also states that it is "a long way to Tipperary."


The town is situated on the N24 route between Limerickmarker and Waterfordmarker and has a railway station on a line following the same route, but has an infrequent service. However, the nearby station of Limerick Junction has full services to Cork Citymarker and Dublinmarker in addition to Limerick and Waterford. Tipperary railway station opened 9 May 1848.

See also


  • Denis G. Marnane (1985) A History of West Tipperary from 1660 - Land and Violence.
  • Martin O'Dwyer (2001) Tipperary's Sons & Daughters - Biographies of Tipperary persons involved in the National struggle.
  • William Nolan & Thomas G. McGrath (1985) Tipperary History & Society
  • David J. Butler (2006) South Tipperary 1570-1841, Religion, Land and Rivalry.
  • Walter S. O'Shea (1998) A Short History of Tipperary Military Barracks (Infantry) 1874-1922

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