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Death Of Packie Phelan Late Of Upperchurch, Thurles, Co. Tipp.

It is with sadness that we learned of the death today, Wednesday 13th February 2019, of Mr Patrick (Packie) Phelan, Garryduff, Campile, New Ross, Co. Wexford and late of Upperchurch, Thurles, Co Tipperary.

Predeceased by his brothers Larry, Tony, Rogie, his sisters Sally, Ciss, Teresa and Mary; the passing of Mr Phelan is most deeply regretted by his loving wife Mary (nee Caul): daughters Berine (Hennessy, The Rower), Teresa (Kennedy, Tullogher); Pat brother of Rita; sons-in-law Seamus and Michael; grandchildren; nieces; nephews; extended relatives; neighbours and many friends.

Funeral Arrangements
The earthly remains of Mr Phelan will lie in repose at Doyle’s Funeral Home, The Old Rectory, Thomastown Rd, Rosbercon, New Ross, Co. Wexford, [Y34 PX56], from 5.00pm on Friday, February 15th, to conclude with Rosary at 8.00pm.

Removal to the Church of the Holy Spirit, Saintleonard’s, (Ballycullane) Co. Wexford, on Saturday, February 16th, for 12.00 noon Requiem Mass, followed by interment immediately afterwards in the adjoining Cemetery.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.


National Children’s Hospital – Misuse of Irish Taxpayers Money

Today, during ‘Leader’s Questions’ in Dáil Éireann, Tipperary Independent Deputy Mr Michael Lowry directed very pertinent questions at the Fine Gael Taoiseach Mr Leo Varadkar, regarding the ongoing controversy surrounding the National Children’s Hospital’s cost overrun, which he rightly stated, has the ordinary working Irish person questioning what they observe as the misappropriation and total misuse of public funding.

Independent TD Mr Michael Lowry addressed Taoiseach Varadkar as follows: “Taoiseach, the most recent controversy regarding the National Children’s Hospital cost overrun has the ordinary working Irish person questioning the misuse of public monies.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has been engaged by the Government to explain this gross miscalculation. I am curious to understand what procurement procedure was followed to appoint this firm. You could argue that a conflict of interest exists because of the fact that PwC received in excess of €30 million in fees over the last 9 years for audit and related work with BAM. Taoiseach could you explain why the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General (C & AG) was not utilised as the watchdog to carry out this function considering their statutory remit is to improve the use of public money and resources and strengthen public accountability.

Is it the case that the C & AG is not adequately staffed to provide this resource?  Why are we farming out so much of our Public Service work to a small select group of accountancy and legal firms? Is it accurate to contend that the Public Service no longer has the talent and expertise to conduct such onerous exercises?

At a time when many Irish households struggle with every day costs like childcare, mortgages, rent and insurance; there is a strongly held sentiment on the ground that public monies are being squandered with unnecessary layers of bureaucracy. Growing numbers of quangos and committees of review are established, yet no one is held responsible for costly decisions.

In 2011 both Fine Gael and Labour separately promised to abolish or merge many dozens of what they described as wasteful State agencies. Fine Gael listed 145 quangos, which would be terminated when they came to power. While a total of 62 were terminated from 2011-2017, as many as 40 new agencies have been created, 14 of which involve the merger of old agencies. We now have an estimated 257 quangos in existence, at enormous cost to the exchequer. It is ironic that their existence creates further distance between the Minister or Department in question when policy issues, controversy or blame arises. The quango culture is very much alive and thriving…at a growing cost to the Irish Taxpayer, while at the same time, diminishing even more, the responsibility of the Minister or the Department involved.

In regard to review and due diligence case load, the State should look beyond the top companies in the Services Sector. Lucrative engagement contracts should be extended to less well known firms who have the competence to conduct the work.

Proper due diligence carried out on the allocation of public monies would result in substantial and genuine market competition and would safeguard taxpayers’ money. The nurse’s strike and the widespread support it’s receiving further evidence a growing dissatisfaction amongst front-line public sector workers. Middle Ireland continues to be squeezed financially.

We have money to spend on the top professional accounting and legal firms; money to spend on creating quangos and agencies; money to spend on ever changing costs of new builds; yet we had nurses taking to the picket lines last week, causing huge backlogs in our already overburdened health service.

The cost of administering the State together with so much unaccountable allocations of public monies, is infuriating for a hard pressed workforce.

Taoiseach what measures will you take to reign in the excessive cost of public administration. What measures will you take to eliminate any potential conflicts of interest arising between bodies under scrutiny and those being engaged to carry out the due diligence. Middle Ireland needs to feel that they are getting value for money, but, in reality the fear is that huge amounts of our hard earned money is being spent on the existence of ineffective agencies and quangos.”

You can watch HERE, Deputy Lowry’s questions and An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s reply.


Meet The Wagtails Of Liberty Square, Thurles, Co. Tipperary

“Little trotty wagtail, he waddled in the mud,
And left his little footmarks, trample where he would.
He waddled in the water-pudge, and waggle went his tail,
And chirrupt up his wings to dry upon the garden rail.”

Extract from the poem “Little Trotty Wagtail”, by John Clare

London’s Trafalgar Square is famous for its daytime congregation of Pigeons. Dublin city’s Parnell Square, according to Dublin City Council, is famous for its congregation of daytime, marauding, chip snatching seagulls. Here in rural Liberty Square, Thurles, Co. Tipperary; practically unnoticed by the frequenters of our pubs, clubs, and other nightly entertainment venues, we remain secretly renowned for our congregation of nightly, urban roosting Pied Wagtails.

Hundreds of roosting Pied Wagtails congregate nightly all year round, unnoticed in Liberty Square, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

To the night reveller, they go mostly unnoticed, perched on the very summit of three mature trees on the ‘money side’ of Liberty Square, close to the entrance into Westgate and Friar Street. Best not to stand too long directly under these trees at night; lest your unprotected bag of chips, or expensive hair-do, should inevitable fall foul to occasional falling defecation.

Bearing various allocated rural names; like ‘Penny wagtail’, ‘Willy Wagtail’ and ‘Water Wagtail’, in truth no one actually knows why Wagtails wag their tails, however, especially during the cold winter months, and indeed right through the year here in Thurles, large numbers of these inoffensive, 18cm long birds, join together and roost communally in our town.

In Ireland pairs of pied wagtails will nest favouring holes in walls, gaps under roof tiles and similar spaces, and particularly enjoy the use of farmyard areas, where they will nest two or three times during the summer season.

Haters of cold weather and not great dawn singers, these birds are exclusively insectivorous and choose towns possibly because same are always a couple of degrees warmer. Undeterred by noisy traffic, bright moving lights and loud night revellers; these birds enjoy the security of roosting in flocks, after all several hundred pairs of eyes are better than two in the case of any possible danger.

Not a protected species here in Ireland; one wonders what will become of this Thurles Wagtail colony, should work eventually begin on the constantly delayed revitalisation of Liberty Square. Will Tipperary Co. Council continue in the practice of eradicating mature trees, as seen previously in Fethard village and other Tipperary areas, thus leaving them homeless?

We trust that Tipperary Co. Council has learnt by now that the life of another creature is in no way less precious than their own.


Charity Speed Dating – Restart Your Heart

“I love it when strangers smile at me and I smile back, and we have that nice stranger smiling moment.”

“If there’s no love in the world,… let’s make some.”

“So, things are not good on ‘the romantic front’ presently, I hear you say?”  Well, fear not, all is not totally lost; as Mr Gerard Fogarty (Deputy Officer in charge – Order of Malta Ireland Ambulance Corps, Thurles),  now reports.

Allow us to Restart Your Heart”, with our charity speed-dating event in Hickey’s Bar, Cathedral Street, Thurles on Friday, February 15th.

Get that ‘loving feeling’ with kick-off at 7.30pm.

Note: Spread the “St. Valentine’s Weekend Cheer” by inviting all of your single friends. Register online to restartomac@gmail.com to ensure your place.

Let Friday night next, take you into those early hours with an exciting live music line-up, from local talent’s Niall O’Shaughnessy, Barry MacLoughlin, JP Dempsey, Philly Purcell and Eddie MacCormac.

Music will start at 9.30pm.

Admission for dating and music €15. Admission for music only €10.

Total proceeds will go to Order of Malta Ireland Ambulance Corps Thurles, whose volunteers provide patient transport, first aid courses, and first-aid for events all across Mid-Tipperary.

Of course this event raises the inevitable, important, question, “If love is blind, why are gifts of lingerie so popular on St. Valentine’s day?”


Death Of Séamus Bourke, Formerly Thurles, Co. Tipperary

It is with sadness that we learned of the death today, Monday 11th February 2019, of Mr Séamus Bourke, No. 8 Clover Hill, Monaghan Town, Co. Monaghan(H18 TD62) – and formerly of Monadreen, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

Mr Bourke passed away peacefully, while at Cavan General Hospital, surrounded by his loving family.

His passing is most deeply regretted by his wife and best friend May; sons Kieran and Tom; daughter Máire; grandchildren Thomas, James and Hannah; daughter-in-law Claire; nephew; nieces; extended relatives, neighbours and friends.

Funeral Arrangements
The earthly remains of Mr Bourke will lie in repose at his residence tomorrow, Tuesday February 12th, from 12.00 noon until 9.00pm.

His remains will arrive at St. Macartan’s Cathedral, Old Armagh Rd, Latlorcan, Monaghan Town, Co. Monaghan on Wednesday morning, February 13th, for Requiem Mass at 11.00am, followed by cremation at Lakelands Crematorium, Dublin Rd, Tullymongan Upper, Cavan, Co. Cavan.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.