written by:

Cuilan Loughnane​

Templemore Legends

The Banker

Brendan Bracken was born in Templemore, County Tipperary,
His father was one of the seven founders of the GAA, Mr. J.K Bracken
He was Winston Churchill’s right hand made during World War 2. He is best remembered for opposing the Bank of England’s co-operation with Adolf Hitler, and for subsequently supporting Winston Churchill’s prosecution of World War II against Hitler.
Brendan Bracken was the founder of the Financial News newspaper, which later merged with the Financial Times. He was also the founding editor of “The Banker” a monthly trade magazine owned by the Financial Times, started in 1926 and is still in production today.

Old Smoke

John Morrissey was born in Templemore, County Tipperary, Ireland in 1831. Also known as Old Smoke, was an Irish American bare-knuckle boxer
During a fight with a gang that quickly set upon him led by William Poole, or Bill the Butcher. A member of the gang pinned Morrissey on his back atop burning coals from a stove that had been overturned. Morrissey endured the pain as his flesh burned, fought off the gang member, and got back on his feet. Enraged, Morrissey beat McCann senseless as smoke from his burning flesh rose up from his back. The event earned him the nickname “Old Smoke,” which stuck with him through the rest of his life.
It was also during this time that Morrissey appeared for the first time in a professional prize fighting ring. He knocked out George Thompson in the 11th round, earning $5,000. This success encouraged him to return to New York to fight the American Champion, Yankee Sullivan.
Morrissey returned to New York and challenged Sullivan repeatedly until the latter finally agreed.
Sullivan dominated the match for most of the fight, but Morrissey held his own, and the tough Irishman would not quit, though his face became distorted and unrecognizable. In the 37th round, more than an hour after the start of the fight, Morrissey won and was crowned Boxing Champion.
Morrissey became involved in Democratic politics in New York City and a rivalry with William Poole, also known as “Bill the Butcher”. Poole was an enforcer for the Know-Nothing Party, leader of the Bowery Boys, and a boxer. In 1854, Morrissey was hired to prevent Poole and his gang from seizing ballot boxes and rigging an election. As a reward for having stopped the ballot rigging, Morrissey and his gang, the Dead Rabbits, were permitted by Tammany Hall to open a gambling house without police interference.
Morrissey’s biggest rival was William Poole also known as “Bill the Butcher”. Though the two men were of differing ethnic backgrounds and political parties, the initial grounds for their dispute may have arisen from an earlier bet by Poole on a boxing match at Boston Corners on October 12, 1853, in which Poole had placed his bet on Morrissey’s opponent, “Yankee Sullivan”.
The results of the boxing match were disputed, and Poole was against Morrissey being paid.
Morrissey plotted revenge and on February 25, 1855, Lew Baker and Jim Turner, friends of Morrissey, shot Poole dead
After establishing a successful gaming house in Saratoga Springs, New York, Morrissey created the Saratoga Race Course
In 1996 he was elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame.


John Rutter Carden was born on February 5th, 1811 in Oxford, the eldest son of parents John Carden and his wife Ann Rutter. His parents took up residence in Barnane Castle outside Templemore, Co Tipperary in or about the year 1815. In 1822, when John was just 11 years old, his father died. John’s mother Ann then continued to run the large Estate at Barnane until John himself came of age some ten years later.
On inheriting a somewhat run-down Estate, John Rutter Carden set about demanding that tenants on his lands should now pay rent. Under his mother’s management these Irish tenants had paid little or no rent in the past and would now greatly resent being requested to do so under their new landlord, into the future. The inevitable result of this action was that John Carden then began proceedings to evict up to 100 families from their homes on his estate. Because of these evictions Carden’s tenants tried repeatedly to kill him. However, all attempts failed, earning him the nickname ‘The Woodcock Carden’ because as any lover of gun sports will confirm, Woodcock, when startled, fly with great speed in an erratic and twisting movement, making them difficult to kill while airborne.

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