In the words of Captain Blackadder: “We (Thurles Town that is,) are in the stickiest situation since Sticky the stick insect got stuck on a sticky bun,” and I prophesise we are about to experience the worst piece of planning since “Olaf the Hairy, High Chief of the Viking Nation, accidentally ordered 80,000 battle helmets, with the horns positioned pointing outwards on the inside.”
No, I am not referring to past Government Ministers overseeing the spending €40m in planning and designing a Dublin underground railway line that never was built and never had planning permission in the first place. I am not even referring to the hailed Dublin Metro North which incurred costs of €135m or indeed the recent bailout resulting in other Capital Spending having to be deferred, with CIE non-core assets to be sold, just to fund a new €36m Government bailout, which will only benefit CIE’s Dublin transport system. I have even chosen to forget the recent Leap Card made available to all commuters in Dublin and the €55m spent to roll it out, while Iarnród Éireann raised their on line train ticket prices from Thurles to Monasterevin by over 100%, to subsidise these same Dublin commuters.
What I am of course talking about is Thurles Bridge (Barry’s Bridge), latter obviously not part of any previous “Lowry Secret Support Deal,” where work is now set to commence, (God willing,) on Tuesday August 7th. The bridge is to be reduced to one-lane traffic during the day and occasionally to close entirely during the night, over an expected 3 month period, well that is if water levels remain low.
Barry’s bridge and Turtulla bridge, both the only direct routes into the market town of Thurles from the east, began visibly disintegrating at least 3 years ago, with engineers threatening weight restrictions and single lane restrictions, way back as far as 2009.
A promised 8-kilometre by-pass which could have greatly alleviated the total chaos expected to kill off the centre of Thurles over the next 3 months, was eventually chosen after 10 years of planning, but alas, those of us who had hoped never again to witness the daily chaos caused by HGVs manoeuvring around Liberty Square from the town’s narrow side streets, were quickly to learn, that Thurles was between nowhere and less in Ireland’s grand scheme of National Road’s Authority planning.
This rehabilitation of our disintegrating bridges, is being carried out by a contractor working for the National Roads Authority & work will continue each week from Monday – Saturday, water levels permitting. Remedial works will also be carried out on the Archerstown and Drish bridges which will include waterproofing, repair of parapets and resurfacing.
With the Standardised Unemployment Rate (SUR) in June 2012 up nationally from 14.7% in May 2012 to 14.9% in June, and unemployment rising in the Mid-West region (Clare, Limerick City, Limerick County, North Tipperary), from 37,406 in May 2012 to 38,849 in June 2012, (an increase of 1,443,) God save Thurles Town centre businesses & their staff from our current useless elected greedy government representatives.
Let us have your comments please.