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Rural Neglect Or Just Plain Arrogance

The first photograph shown on the slide-show hereunder was taken on January 1st, 2000. I had waited, well wrapped up against the frosty darkness, at the entrance to the Lady’s Well pedestrian pathway for the first rays of sunlight to break the eastern horizon.  This, after all, was to be the dawning of the first day of a promising new millennium for Thurles; that interval of time consisting of one thousand years.

On that morning, the view before me reminded me of Robert Frost’s poem, “The Road Not Taken”.

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;”

Here for anyone with even a modicum of imagination was a blank canvas presented by Mother Nature; being offered to develop a footpath attraction, which would entice safely for those who wished, for an hour or two, to avoid the noise; the glower of insipid tarmac and characterless cement, not to mention the stench of petrol and diesel exhaust emissions.  Here was the perfect opportunity to scatter naturally occurring, wild, flower seeds; Meadowsweet, Oxeye Daisies, Montbretia, Lady’s Smock, Red Clovers, Poppies, etc, thus developing a retreat, nay a safe place, for sharing with our bees, butterflies, birds, moths and other precious Irish pollinators.

Here was an opportunity to update a protective railing; add a few more park-style benches along the riverbank, allowing the rambler to sit and view a wild flower spectacle, which in the words of poet W. Wordsworth; just like his daffodils, could later “flash upon that inward eye, which is the bliss of solitude”.

Here in Tipperary politicians talk consistently about the need for better mental health supports.  Humans are becoming less connected with nature, and in doing so are losing an essential health buffer.  Yes, there exists strong mounting evidence that contact with nature has major and significant positive impacts on our mental health.

Our second picture was taken on July 29th 2018 last. Eighteen years on and the area has become further deteriorated, with only a few families daring to traverse the subsiding river bank, latter being consistently washed away each winter by torrential flooding.

Still, I suppose the Lady’s Well pedestrian pathway is not necessary as an everyday public walkway, unlike the pedestrian crossing at Cathedral Street, Thurles, which also further highlights the neglect by Templemore/ Thurles Municipal District Council management.
Readers will be aware that modern pedestrian signals on such crossings incorporate countdown timers into their design, that display the signal for pedestrians to cross using a green light.

Article 14 of the Road Traffic (Signs) Regulations, 1962

14. Either of the following types of mechanical signals may be used to control the crossing of a road by pedestrians at a place where traffic is controlled by traffic lights as prescribed in Article 13 of these Regulations:—
(a) a single lamp, which shall comply with the following conditions:—
(i) it shall face the pedestrians whose movements it is intended to control;
(ii) it shall show, when lit:—
(A) a green light through the full area of the lens or,
(B) a figure of a pedestrian in green on a black ground or,
(C) a message (such as the words ” Cross Now”) in white on a black ground, indicating that pedestrians may cross the road.

On February 1st 2018, we highlighted the fact that these pedestrian crossing lights were pointed in the wrong direction and do notface the pedestrians whose movements it is intended to control“.

On July 16th 2018, we again highlighted the fact that pedestrian crossing lights remained pointed in the wrong direction.

While less than a dozen people will traverse the collapsing Lady’s Well pedestrian pathway in any one day; when our schools re-open at the end of August 2018; together with Mass goers, shoppers and secondary school pupils, the Cathedral Street, pedestrian controlled intersection will exceed some 1,500 crossings per day, all of whom will remain blind as to their right to cross.

From a vehicles point of view, Road traffic regulations state that “a pedestrian shall exercise care and take all reasonable precautions in order to avoid causing danger or inconvenience to traffic and other pedestrians”

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