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Need For Thurles Ring-Road Debated

“I’d say we’ll get that Thurles Ring-Road before the next General Election”, said I to Mikey Ryan last night. We were above in the Arch Bar, Liberty Square, supping a couple of pints, when, during a sudden lull I overheard criticism being attributed to the engineer who had designed the new junction, joining the Slievenamon Road with the Clongour Road.

“A bit like Gardaí, they’re leaving engineering school much too early”, said some vehement unknown agitator sitting at the next table. “Sure, them long lorries, heading for Thurles mart, can’t even get around the feckin corners any more without mounting the kerbing, in their attempts to avoid causing a two-way traffic jam”.

“More bloody grass for no one to cut”, said I, “Then again, sure you don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes in that bloody Tipperary Council.”

“It reminds me of back many years ago when the elected Labour Party Mayor of Thurles, Mr Pajoe Aloysius Ryan, was officially selected by the then local Thurles Town Council to present his credentials to his counterpart, the Labour Party’s Mayor of Clonmel, Mr Archibald Cummins”, said Mikey, latter still retaining the use of his eyes to lip-read the ongoing remarks made by this same drink fuelled individual.

“Oh yeah I remember him”, said I, “One of the Ryan ‘Rawballs’, if I am not mistaken.

“The very man”, Mikey continued, “On arrival in Clonmel the Thurles Mayor couldn’t get over the palatial mansion afforded to his Labour Party colleague, especially when he compared it to his own rather humble thatched abode.  Bejasus, didn’t Archibald ask the Clonmel Mayor how in the name of all things good and holy, could he afford his fabulous dwelling house.

“Well, sure, strictly between you and I, Pajoe, said he, do you see that bridge over there, pointing in the direction of the river Suir”, continued Mikey.  “Sure, the EU gave us a grant to build a four-lane bridge, but taking advantage of the situation, what with flood plain problems etc, didn’t I built a single lane bridge with simple traffic lights at either end and used the extra bit of funding to build meself this fine house, the Clonmel Mayer explained in lowish tones”.

“You’re joking me surely”, said I.

“Not a bit of it”, said Mikey, “But sure that is only the half of it. It must have been one year later, possibly on St. Patrick’s Day, when the Mayor of Clonmel, Mr Archibald Cummins, paid a return visit to Thurles; to be awestruck by Mayor Pajoe Aloysius Ryan’s brand new house. It was at least twice the size of his own previously admired Clonmel abode, displaying electric gates front and rear; wall to wall marble floors; together with gold taps and heated toilet seats in the six on-suite bathrooms”.

According to Mikey, Clonmel’s Mayor now quizzed his opposite number on how a small Thurles town Mayor, like himself, could afford such modern splendour.

“Do you see a six-lane, 250-foot-long bridge that was funded by the EU over there?” said Mayor Pajoe Aloysius, grinning, pointing east towards the river Suir.

“The puzzled Mayor of Clonmel scanned the horizon several times before replying, “No.”, said Mikey, with his usual all knowing nod.

“I don’t believe it; still”, said I, “Do you know that Garret Ahern individual, who had the honour of being selected as Fine Gael’s latest political candidate for the next General Election?”

“I do well”, said Mikey, “Played marbles with him in primary school.  Sure, in his recent Thurles election brochure wasn’t he pictured with his hands in prayerful mode; inviting Thurles locals; using the words recorded in St. Matthew’s Gospel , inviting us to “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”.  “Begob”, Mikey reflected, “you don’t think he was trying to attract Labour Party voters do you; sure, all of them must surely have joined Sinn Féin by now.”

“The same again Pat, two more pints when you get a chance”, said I.

“In the words of Worf, latter a well known Star Trek, Klingon warrior”, said Mikey, “jang vIDa je due luq, ach ghotvam’e’ QI’yaH devolve qaS”, which when translated means, “The minister will reply in due course. However, this is a non-devolved matter.”

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