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Thurles Liberty Square Redevelopment Project

We read in our local newspaper, “The Tipperary Star”, that our Director of Services Mr Matt Shortt, (Director of Roads, Transportation and Health & Safety), recently informed the members of our local authority that it was the excellence of their presentation and other proposals submitted, which had guaranteed that the Liberty Square redevelopment project received some €1.35 million from “Project Ireland 2040”. This ‘snail paced’ Liberty Square redevelopment project is expected to begin in 2019 or some other year, not far into our misty future.

Alas, unfortunately similar earlier presentations and accepted planning have proven less than excellent when the actual construction work had been finally concluded.

See the junction of the Clongower / Slievenamon Road today, (Pictures 1 & 2 above), then focus on (Picture 3 above) the pedestrian crossing lights outside Thurles Cathedral also today, latter which every three weeks have to be readjusted, due to the actions of large high sided, vehicles knocking against it, in their attempts to pass other oncoming lorries.  [Again, no mention of the long awaited Thurles Ring Road.]

On February 1st 2018, we highlighted the fact that these pedestrian crossing lights were pointed in the wrong direction and did nothing to protect, in particular, elderly pedestrians.

Again, on July 16th 2018, we highlighted the fact that these same pedestrian crossing lights were pointed in the wrong direction. We further pointed out that this same Cathedral Street pedestrian crossing, will see some 1,500 crossings per day, servicing Mass goers, shoppers and secondary school pupils, all of whom currently must remain blind in their efforts to cross a busy Cathedral Street.

It would be interesting to find out, in the interests of “Municipal District transparency”, how much money was wasted on the continuous repair of these same lights, in 2018. Then again people could be undertaking this work for nothing.

This self-congratulatory back slapping in relation to the long-awaited Liberty Square, project, reminds me of a story recounted by a former US president, possibly 38th US President Gerald Rudolph Ford. I may stand corrected, but I believe it was he that requested Canadian-born economist, public official, diplomat, and a leading proponent of 20th-century American liberalism, Mr John Kenneth Galbraith, to write formers upcoming economic ‘State of The Nation’ address. Mr Galbraith turned up sometime later in the oval office and invited the US President, to read his submission.

Always proud of his work, and having been dismissed, Mr Galbraith halted before asking the President as to what he thought of his submitted presentation. The President replied in words to the effect that, “It’s like pissing down your own leg, Mr Galbraith, to you it’s hot”.

Here in Thurles we now wait patiently and watch as the 18-wheeler trucks manoeuvre through our 18 century streets, and once thriving businesses fold their tents and vanish.

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