Thurles (pronounced /θɜɹlɛs/, or locally /tɜrləs/; Dúrlas Éile) is a town in County Tipperary, Ireland, situated on the River Suir, with a population of around 8,000. It is twinned with Bollington in England and Salt Lake City, Utah, United States.


Geographically, Thurles is the largest town in North Tipperary and is surrounded by the Silvermines which are mountains to the north-west and the Slieveardagh Hills to the south-east. The town itself nestles in the heart of the beautiful Suir Valley. The mild climate and the waters of the River Suir have combined to produce some of the finest agricultural land in the world.


The many castles and monastic settlements, which surround Thurles, bear lasting evidence to the area's rich and colourful history.

The town itself owes its development to the Norman Butlers and particularly to James Butler, who was created Earl of Ormond by Edward III in 1328. Two of the original family fortresses still remain in Thurles today.


Gaelic games

Thurles is the birthplace of the Gaelic Athletic Association, founded in 1884 in Hayes' Hotel. Semple Stadium, where the centenary All-Ireland hurling final was played, is the second largest Gaelic Athletic Association stadium in Ireland, second only to Croke Park. In addition, Lar na Pairce, a museum devoted to the Gaelic Athletic Association, is located in the town. Semple Stadium in Thurles is Ireland's second largest sports arena with a capacity of 55,000. It is the spiritual home of Munster hurling and many famous matches, especially Munster Finals, have been played there. It was also the site of the Féile rock festival during the 1990s.


There are numerous schools in Thurles. The Ursuline Convent was founded in 1737, the Presentation Convent in 1817, the CBS in 1818, St. Patrick's College in 1837, the Pallottine College in 1907 and Thurles Vocational School in 1928. A third-level college, the Tipperary Institute (formerly TRBDI), was established in 1998. A new arts centre & library, the Source, was completed in 2006.


Thurles has a well-developed industrial sector originally based on the traditional agri-based sector. It has also successfully attracted modern high technology industries to the area, with the establishment of the Thurles Technology Park.


Thurles railway station opened on 13 March 1848.


Thurles was the location for the Feile festival which ran for a number of years. Acts that played included Something Happens, Rage Against the Machine, Deacon Blue, Happy Mondays and Christy Moore

See also

External links


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