About the Town

Thurles is located in mid-County Tipperary and is surrounded by the Silvermine Mountains (to the northwest) and the Slieveardagh Hills (to the southeast). The town itself is built on a crossing of the River Suir.

The M8 motorway connects Thurles to Cork and Dublin via the N75 and N62 roads. The N62 also connects Thurles to the centre of Ireland (Athlone) via Templemore and Roscrea. The R498 links Thurles to Nenagh. Thurles railway station opened on 13 March 1848.

Thurles is a thriving commercial and business centre and a great place to live, work and visit. Thurles boasts many cultural, and recreational facilities. Here are some of the highlights;

Thurles boasts a fantastic third level educational centre, LIT Thurles which is located next to Thurles Enterprise Centre. Mary Immaculate College Teacher Trainiing College is also based in the town. As well as offering a number of full time academic courses, the campus serves as a centre for theological, pastoral and spiritual renewal in the region.  There is an excellent Racecourse and Greyhound Track as well as Semple Stadium for gaelic games. The Gaelic Athletic Association was originally founded in Thurles and visitors can find out all about the history of the GAA with a visit to Lár na Pairce musuem in the town centre.

The town of Thurles offers great value accommodation ranging from hotels to bed and breakfasts. There’s a great selection of cafes, bars and restaurants in the town to choose from. The Source Arts Centre in Thurles is a state of the art centre in Co. Tipperary which also hosts the public library and has an excellent schedule of comedy, theatre, concerts and workshops at the venue.

Further afield visitors to the Thurles area can go hiking and treking in the rolling hills of Upperchurch where there’s a choice of National Looped Walks, or try fishing in the River Suir, horse riding at one of the equestrian centres near Thurles, visit Holycross Abbey and stop off at Farney Castle.

Commerce

Thurles was originally an agricultural market town. It is now a retail town having chain stores like Dunnes Stores, Heatons, Aldi, Boots UK and Holland and Barrett. Thurles Shopping centre was recently extended.  Stakelum’s Hardware, which recently moved to the Nenagh road, is one of the biggest family owned business in the town. McKevitt’s “Costcutter” is another large family business that operates two supermarkets in the town. High technology industries have been established in the Thurles Technology Park and Thurles Chamber Enterprise Centre.

Amenities and features

Semple Stadium

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 GAA stadium in Ireland with a capacity of 53,500, second only to Croke Park in Dublin. The stadium is the “spiritual home” of Munster hurling and many famous matches, especially Munster Finals, have been played. In 1984 it hosted the All Ireland Hurling Final to celebrate 100 years since the founding of the GAA in Thurles.

Thurles Cathedral

The Cathedral of the Assumption is the mother church of the ecclesiastical province of Cashel and the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cashel and Emly. It is not in its original site of the Rock of Cashel. This is due to the assumption of certain ecclesiastical properties by the established Church of Ireland at the time of the English Reformation. Instead, following the relaxation of the Penal Laws, the Roman Catholic Archbishop chose to locate his cathedra and residence in nearby Thurles. The present Cathedral of the Assumption stands on the site of earlier chapels in the centre of the town. Work on the cathedral, with its Romanesque architectural style and its facade modelled on that of Pisa, commenced in 1865. It was consecrated by Archbishop Thomas Croke on 21/06/1879. The architect was J.J. McCarthy while Barry McMullen was the main builder. Mr. J.C Ashlin was responsible for the enclosing walls, railing and much of the finished work. The cathedral’s main features include a rose window, a free-standing baptistery and a magnificent altar. Particularly noteworthy is the tabernacle, the work of Giacomo della Porta, who was a pupil of Michelangelo.

The cathedral was extensively renovated and the sanctuary sympathetically remodeled on the occasion of its centenary in 1979.

Famine Museum

St. Mary’s church, belonging to the Church of Ireland, is built on the site of another pre-reformation church in Thurles. This structure was built by the Normans in the 12th century to provide them with a separate and more exclusive place of worship.

Library

Thurles Library is located in the arts centre.

Thurles Leisure Centre

In 2003, the county council demolished the old swimming pool and in 2007, a new state of the art swimming pool and gym was opened.