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8 Out Of 10 Rural Tipperary Towns Left Behind

In more recent decades a Census here in Ireland, as a general rule, takes place in every year that ends in 1 or 6, except in any year that experienced some kind of catastrophe, e.g. Foot and Mouth disease as in 2001, Famine, World Wars, etc.

Two years ago, in the 2016 census, the Irish population stood at 4,757,976 persons. Nationally, our birth rate was 13.7 births per 1,000 population while our death rate was 6.5 deaths per 1,000 population.

Our life expectancy averaged around 80.19 years [males 78 years – females 82.6 years].  Our infant mortality rate was 3.85 deaths per 1,000 live births. Our net population movement rate to a new area or country in order to find work or better living conditions averaged 0.86 migrants per 1,000 population.

The population of the entire county of Tipperary was calculated as being 160,441 in this same 2016 census, with the largest towns remaining identified as Clonmel, Nenagh and our own town of Thurles .

Data now recently assembled from a comparison between the 2016 Census and the Census of ten years previously, in 2006, now confirms; as if confirmation was needed, that the number of people at work, remains below pre economic crash levels in more than 70 towns across rural Ireland.

Despite political claims, new figures show how the economic recovery has left vast swathes of rural Ireland behind, with fewer people working, compared with the year 2006 when our economy was thriving.  Nationally, more than 40% of our towns and villages have not managed to secure any additional employment over this period, while revealing that job losses have not been regained in some of our cities, where a small recovery, at the very least, might have been expected.

In some 167 settlements the number of people seeking employment rose in just 96, disclosing a fall off in 71. Large towns such as Clonmel in Co Tipperary failed to recover during this period, showing a drastic reduction in real employment of some 751 persons, when compared.

These newly compiled figures do not summarise the number of workers who were forced to emigrated, migrate or retired. Neither do they take account of growth over the past two years in any one area, however they do confirm that many rural areas continue to be ignored and left behind because of demographics.

Comparing both these census figures we learn that almost 45% of Irish employment growth was, not surprisingly, in Dublin city and suburbs, with the numbers at work here rising by 34,209.  The cities of Dublin, Cork and Galway together saw some 53% of all jobs created within Ireland.

In the province of Munster, the numbers at work fell in 24 of 51 towns. Out of a total of ten Tipperary towns, despite Labour / Fine Gael promises and announcements, eight such towns experienced job losses during this same period examined.

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