Skehan's Bar - History
This landmark property which is steeped in in local tradition and folklore is also well known as Kickham House due to its connection with the famed Irish historian and author Charles J Kickham. It boasts a proud tradition and long association with many of Thurles clubs and societies based in and around the town.
The names of many Irish buildings and architectural features have historical connections and are associated with famous names from the past. However many historical connections can be tenuous to say the least. Not so with Kickham House, one of the Landmark public houses in Thurles and known far and wide as Skehan's.
The Connection - Charles Joseph Kickham
Born 9th May 1828 - Died 22nd August 1882
Charles J. Kickham the great Irish Fenian and writer, born in Mullenahone, Co Tipperary. He was the author of many books, ballads and poems. His writings include "Knocknagow" and "Sally Kavanagh", while he also composed the ballad "The Irish Peasant Girl"
After his death in 1882, it was intended that his funeral cortege from Dublin to Mullinahone would rest overnight in the Cathedral in Thurles. However, because of his Fenian connections, permission was not granted to allow his coffin into the Cathedral. The dilemma was solved when his coffin was brought to the premises of Thomas Kirwin (now Skehan's) where it reposed overnight on Sunday 27th August. A huge crowd had assembled in Thurles when the cortege left Kirwins at 11.30 a.m on the following day for funeral service in Mullinahone.
It was for the penning of "Sliabh na mBan" the Tipperary county Anthem, that Charles J Kickham holds a special place in Tipperary folklore, where his memory is cherished and revered.