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Christmas Music & Garda Vetting Improvements

Christmas Lights - Thurles Town Centre

It’s Monday afternoon and God knows we need a bit of good news at the start of the working week, here in Thurles.

From a Christmas point of view, I am happy to relate that so far today the signs are looking good.

Joan Pollard Carew, spokesperson for “Thurles Traders Unite,” informs me that the high streets of Thurles will soon ring out to the sounds of seasonal Christmas music.  This initative is due in no small way to the hard work and dedication of the members of ‘Thurles Traders Unite,’ a group of high street traders who formed their association, just a few short weeks ago. Shopkeepers have been more than generous in donating money to create a fund, thus in turn enabling this new task force to organise and provide this music and also to further promote high street shopping here in Thurles.

Thurles Town Council have generously given free parking in the towns car parks on the four Saturdays prior to Christmas. (Note: 3rd, 10th, 17th and 24th of December only)
Most retail outlets on the Thurles high streets are also offering parking refunds to their customers. (Another innovative idea from “Thurles Traders Unite.”)

Thurles town centre, again this year, boasts some of the best displays of Christmas lighting, anywhere in Ireland.  This fabulous display is paid for by all rate paying shops in the town centre.  Thurles Town Council took over the management of this project a number of years ago and have been doing such a wonderful job (Thanks John Ryan and Staff) to ensure that our town, in the words of a well known song, “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.”

Everywhere in the county, because of  the present economic situation, most consumers are spending less this year. However, from a consumers point of view, this is beneficial, with shops now on the high streets of Thurles, who incidentally, have a huge selection of retail goods on offer, offering super bargains on individual items. So do make an effort to drop into our town centre and have a good look around. By doing so you help to retain our traditional town centre, while at the same time maximising you own spending power.

On the employment front, some good news also.  Noel Coonan TD informs me this morning, that the average waiting time for Garda Vetting procedure, has now fallen from twelve to five weeks waiting time.  Justice Minister Alan Shatter has confirmed this reduction which was made possible by the appointment of 20 temporary staff to the Thurles Garda Vetting Unit.

People who were currently undergoing vetting were finding, up to now, this procedure to be a lengthy and delayed process for people who had applied for jobs and in some cases people had been unable to take up a working position, due to these long delays. In September of this year, Minister Shatter said in the Chamber of Leinster House, that he fully appreciated the importance of processing vetting applications within a reasonable time frame and he was determined to address this aspect of the process. The average processing time for applications has now been lessened to five weeks, which is a significant improvement on the average processing time of 12 weeks at the end of last year.

Garda Vetting is carried out by the Garda Central Vetting Unit which is based in Thurles, Co. Tipperary. The Unit processes requests from organisations that have been registered with it, to vet prospective employees including people working with children or vulnerable people.

All in all, not a bad day, let see what tomorrow brings.

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