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Helleborus argutifolius – Ideal For Any Winter Garden

Helleborus argutifolius

Here in Thurles, the Helleborus argutifolius or Corsican hellebore, a rather handsome, long-flowering perennial plant, ideal for our often drab winter Irish gardens; is quickly forming its blossoms in time for its flowering period, normally February to April of each year.

The plant [See image above.] is best described by garden centres as being a medium-sized, clump-forming, evergreen perennial with leathery, deep green leaves divided into three toothed holly-like leaflets, offering the plant lover, clusters of apple-green cup-shaped flowers, and possibly more importantly it grants an invaluable early nectar source for pollinators.

Fully hardy, but unlike other hellebores, [And there are many varieties,] the Corsican hellebore is content in full sunlight, so long as the soil is moisture-retentive, and humus rich, but will also enjoy half shade on a sheltered site.

Demanding little maintenance, all Helleborus argutifolius plants require is that any damaged leaves be cut back in late winter, together with all flowering stems after the flowers have gone. This pruning-out is required to encourage blooming for the following year.

Free Competition

Thurles.Info are offering free to our first two commenters, 1 potted perennial Lupine plant, one each only, to the first two readers who comment under this same report.

Winners will receive notification via their email address, as to where both plants can be collected here in Thurles.
[Note: Your website requested in “Leave a comment”, under this report, can be left blank and is not essential to complete.]

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Lowry Unveils Plans For €5M Fethard Town Park

Fethard is set to become the envy of towns across the country with the announcement this week that funding is now fully in place for a €5million Town Park with an amazing package of facilities.

Deputy Michael Lowry secured the sum of €2.6m under the Governments Regeneration Fund, the largest allocation of funding ever granted under this scheme.

This funding is being matched by Mr. John Magnier, who wishes to leave a legacy project to the town he loves and where his world renowned Coolmore Stud is based. Groundworks will commence in June of this year and the projected completion of Phase 1 will be January 2022.

Locals gathered in the Town Hall to hear details of the 22 acre project, which received full Planning Permission in July of last year, and there were ripples of excitement as they heard details of the Town Park, which will be a community recreational facility in the very heart of the town with a particular focus on health and wellbeing.

It will include a 2.5km perimeter walkway/running track, a Community Pavilion that includes a multi-use community hub with intergenerational hall, a community-commercial gym and café, health consultation rooms, changing rooms, showers etc. A popular inclusion is a much needed routeway for pedestrians and cyclists through the Town Park from the residential area at Strylea to the education facilities at Rocklow Road.

A very popular inclusion is a full-sized All-Weather Pitch that incorporates multidimensional playing fields for all codes and recreational uses. The amenity facilities include a variety of community amenity resources including an Adventure Playground, Sensory Garden, outdoor classroom, dog park, outdoor fitness equipment and there will also be an Open Parkland and Public Space with grassland and natural landscaping including seating and lighting.

Addressing the gathering at the announcement of the details of the project, Deputy Michael Lowry said that it is a truly amazing project, the scale and scope of which is unmatched in any part of Ireland, and he was delighted to have secured €2.6million in funding for it. He praised and thanked the Magnier family for their generosity and for leaving this legacy to the town, which became home to John Magnier in 1975.

“As soon as John Magnier heard about the Government funding he wanted to be involved. He wanted to be involved and put his stamp on it to make sure this project would be a centre of excellence for Fethard and all the surrounding communities. Nothing has been spared or overlooked. Everyone in the town has bought into the project by having their say in what was wanted and needed, it has full Planning Permission and the support of Tipperary County Council”, stated Lowry

Recalling the meetings he had with Government on securing funding, Deputy Lowry said “Negotiations went from no hope, to possible, to over the line”.

He recalled the day that Minister Michael Ring came to Fethard to announce the funding and the anticipation it created. He also acknowledged the incredible support he has received from Maurice Moloney at Coolmore Stud and the amazing work carried out by Caroline Madden, Strategic Planning and Project Consultant who designed the plan for the Town Park.

Mr Lowry continued, “A project of this magnitude could not happen without partnership and this project shows partnership at its best”.
He complimented Fethard Regional Community Sport and Recreational Campus CLG, which is the Development Company and Operator, along with their partners Tipperary County Council, Coolmore Ireland, Cashel and Emly Diocese, Healthy Ireland, local schools and clubs and groups and the community of Fethard.

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Lowry – “New Proposals Could See Major Cuts To Special Education”

“Closure of special schools; special classes and cuts in SNA allocations will hurt pupils of all abilities, especially those with complex needs”. – Michael Lowry TD. (Election Launch, Friday January 24th, 2020).

There are 516 candidates running for just 159 seats, in 39 constituencies, in this upcoming Irish General Election.

Yet, to date, only a few outgoing TD’s appear to be aware of disastrous new policies for special education proposed by the National Council for Special Education.

Last night, at a packed election launch by Tipperary Independent TD Mr. Michael Lowry, some startling facts were publicly highlighted by Ms Lorraine Lowry (Principal of Scoil Chormaic, Cashel); same facts which Deputy Lowry stated he will strenuously oppose.

Ms Lorraine Lowry explained in detail to the large assembled gathering, what we the public, can expect with regard to the future of special education in Ireland, if the National Council for Special Education get their way.

New ideas suggesting the future of special education in Ireland have been detailed in a recent National Council for Special Education (NCSE) progress report.

Firstly Note: The NCSE were set up in 2003, by the then Minister for Education and Science. Their purpose; to ‘improve the delivery of Education Services to persons with special educational needs’.
Their recent progress report and the new model for special education, that they suggest should be put in place, have many in the field of education questioning whether or not it is the Department of Finance that is actively involving itself in prescribing our Education system, rather than those charged to do so within the National Council for Special Education itself.
Read what the NCSE are promising our children at the following link: – https://ncse.ie/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/NCSE-An-Inclusive-Education-A5-Proof-07WEB.pdf

Plans are afoot to close Irish Special Schools and Special Needs Classes.

The new ideas proposed by the NCSE, include the complete closure of (A) Special classes, (B) Special schools and (C) a reduction in Special Needs Assistants (SNA’s) as part of the introduction to Ireland of ‘The New Brunswick Model’.

The ‘New Brunswick Model’ comes from Canada and as part of their system, there are no special schools or classes for pupils with special needs. The NCSE argue that the ‘New Brunswick Model’ is superior, with students getting access to therapists and psychologists in their schools and teachers getting more training and support from outside agencies.

Those directly responsible in the day to day running of schools, however, argue that the ‘New Brunswick Model’ would be a total disaster if introduced. As it stands, children with special needs sit on waiting lists for months if not years for access to therapies and assessments. It is worth noting that as highlighted in a recent Irish Times article, the Premier of New Brunswick Blaine Higgs, has also called the educational system in New Brunswick ‘a disaster’.
See link: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/education/is-ireland-ready-for-a-total-inclusion-approach-for-special-education-1.4109360

Read also attached CBC link : Inclusion model a ‘race to the bottom,’ says policy expert

Plans to cut SNA jobs.
The government cannot justify taking away SNA’s, special schools and special classes until it addresses the lack of therapists and services available to schools and pupils with special needs. The reduction in SNA’s will come through a new ‘front-loaded model’ of SNA allocation, already expected to begin in September 2020.

The government will use a profiling system, involving ‘algorithms’ and ‘statistics’ to estimate what a school should get.
If introduced, this will spell disaster for all schools and in particular small schools and the rural and minority populations they represent.

Regrettably, a profiling system has already been introduced for the allocation of special education teaching hours and pupils and schools are not benefiting; with small schools among the worst affected. Why can’t the government allocate resources and SNA’s based on actual need, rather than algorithms and statistics? Are educational decisions being totally motivated by budget constriction?

Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics.

The government will try to convince you that since 2011 they have increased investment in ‘Special Education’. That is technically true, but what the government neglects to mention is that from 2008 to 2010, during the recession, there were shameful cuts in funding for special education.

Our children need better – stop covering up our budget limitations.

Our educational system is not perfect, but what we have we understand and up until now they were attempting to move in the right direction. Ireland is known internationally for its high-quality educationalists and its traditions around family and local community. Parents and teachers work closely together here in Tipperary and other counties, in order to supplement the lack of educational funding. Go down to Dunnes Stores here in Thurles Shopping Centre any weekend and you will most likely see parents and teachers fundraising together, ‘bag packing’ for their schools and their children. We all know that money is not there for everything, but stop covering this fact up with ‘algorithms’ for estimates, new idiotic ‘models’ and other ‘ideology’. Let us talk about reality and let us talk directly to parents and teachers and grant our children and our schools, what they actually need.

Talk to your local TD’s – the very few who are truly listening.

Ahead of this 2020 General Election start talking to your public representatives. Awaken them to the knowledge regarding these cuts and inform them that we the electorate will not be fooled by ‘models’ and ‘algorithms’. Ask them why they are supporting the cutting of funding to special education; closing special schools; special classes and cutting SNA jobs? Ask them what they intend to do to stop this threatened outrage?

We are aware from Michael Lowry’s election launch last night, that we can expect his support and strong voice, loudly opposing any such cuts, as he consistently listens to what his constituents, on the ground, are stating.

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Death Of Michael O’Donnell, Thurles, Co. Tipperary

It was with sadness that we learned of the death yesterday, Friday 24th January 2020, of Mr Michael O’Donnell, Cleragh, Killenaule, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

Mr O’Donnell passed away peacefully, while in the care of Waterford University Hospital.

His passing is most deeply regretted by his loving wife Marie; sisters Siovan, Marie and Madeleine; nephew Kari; parents-in-law; brothers-in-law; sisters-in-law; extended relatives; neighbours and friends.

Requiescat in Pace.

Funeral Arrangements

The earthly remains of Mr O’Donnell will lie in repose at Devitt’s Funeral Parlour, The Green, Cashel, Co. Tipperary, on tomorrow evening, Sunday January 26th, from 5:00pm, with removal at 7:00pm to St. Mary’s Church, Killenaule, Thurles.
Requiem Mass will be held on Monday at 11.30am, followed by interment in St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church Cemetery, Gammonsfield, Kilsheelan, Co.Tipperary.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

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Death Of Julianne Rooney, Thurles, Co. Tipperary

It was with sadness that we learned of the death yesterday, Thursday 23rd January 2020, of Mrs Julianne Rooney (née Nolan), Ballinastick, Thurles, Co. Tipperary and late of Rathfarnham, Co. Dublin; Maynooth, Co. Kildare and Sacred Heart Nursing Home, Crosspatrick, Co. Kilkenny.

Predeceased by her husband Peter, sister Mary and brother Tom; Mrs Rooney passed away at St. Luke’s Hospital, Co. Kilkenny.

Her passing is most deeply regretted by her family; sons Peter and Eugene daughter Nicola; daughter-in-law Caroline; son-in-law John Corcoran; grandchildren Mary Kate and Brian Rooney; brothers Michael and Willie Nolan; nieces; nephews; extended relatives neighbours and friends.

Requiescat in Pace.

Funeral Arrangements

The earthly remains of Mrs Rooney will lie in repose at O’Connell’s Funeral Home, Killenaule, Thurles, Co. Tipperary tomorrow evening, Saturday January 25th from 4:00pm to 6:00pm, to arrive at the Church of St. Patrick & St. Oliver, Glengoole, Thurles at 6:15pm.
Funeral Mass will be held on Sunday morning at 10:00am, followed by interment immediately afterwards in the adjoining Cemetery.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a h-anam dílis.

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