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Taxpayers Buy Printer Too Big For Leinster House

Regularly we highlight the waste by our own Tipperary Co. Council and its senior officialdom, latter devoid of an actual workforce, with regard to wasting taxpayer’s money. The list includes; unnecessary expensive High Court actions; failures with regards to ever recurring Health & Safety issues; overall neglect of our town of Thurles, and double jobbing, overpaid, powerless councillors etc.; we will spare you the details, since we have already shared same in the past.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Who shall keep the keepers themselves?

One would assume that our present minority Fine Gael Government would have devised a proper system of cheques and balances to protect the taxpayer. However, governments down the years have successfully persuaded taxpayers that day to day spending comes gifted by that same government of the day and in no way should be associated with funding gifted by overburdened taxpayer.

How many people have read the report, today, by Irish Times newspaper journalist Mr Craig Hughes and were shocked by his revelations?

First rule of carpentry: Measure Twice – Cut once

Warning: Please be sure you are sitting down before you read further and Please Note: This is not a Joke.

According to Mr Hughes, the Houses of the Oireahteas (better known as the Irish Tax-Payer), spent €808.000 for a printer, before paying in excess of a further €236,000 to have it installed, because the original measurements forwarded to allow it to gain entry, were incorrect.

Because of these incorrectly measured dimensions, the Komori Corporation manufactured printer, (which has now been fitted), was unable to be installed for some 10 months, because the original measurements supplied failed to ensure that the machine had the necessary 3.1m (10.17ft) clearance required.

And no, the story doesn’t end there – There’s more!
Not surprisingly public servants are now refusing to be trained to operate this state-of-the-art equipment, until they receive a pay rise.

Stay seated, there’s more!
Due to the installation problems the printer was stored for free, initially, by Komori’s Irish agent, Portman Graphics, but eventually storage fees of €2,000 per month were charged. The printer could not be returned, because the purchase contract had already been signed.

The Houses of the Oireahteas, in May of last year, decided that the temporary removal of a door frame in Kildare House, should solve the issue, however the Office of Public Works informed them that a more substantial project was required in order to complete the installation.

Of course, we can’t truly blame our TD’s for this financial waste, same focus must now rest with the line management of public servants. In the private sector heads would roll, but in the public sector, tape-measure wielding employees are protected forever.

Well of course you could always accuse out elected representatives of being silent on the matter (Known in the Dáil as a ‘cover your arse exercise’).

One wonders will the Public Accounts Committee now become involved, embroiled even, in this inky mess and will this be followed by 50 Fine Gael apologies.

Surprisingly none of the government’s opposition TD’s were aware of this problem, obviously they hadn’t used their fobs to sign-in on that particular day.

Never mind, taxpayers are looking forward to getting an improved swanky calendar this year, after all they will have paid for it.

Now you also can understand why Thurles will not get its long promised ring-road before 2040 at the earliest.

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Eir Resolve 12 Hour Internet Outage

Eir offices at No. 6  Thurles Shopping Centre, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

Eir Group plc., trading as Eir and which provide an internet service nationally; this morning claim that they have now resolved their embarrassing internet outage that hit its service for over 12 hours yesterday.

Customers right across Ireland were affected by the issue from 2.30pm yesterday (Saturday), afternoon.

Eir has this morning apologised to customers for the inconvenience caused, confirming that the service they provide has now been restored to their customers, however in efforts to make contact with the Eir website, same continues to show a “timed out”  message, indicating their server at www.eir is taking to long to respond.

We understand that this outage was caused by a problem with an Eir Domain Name System (DNS) server.

While I cannot comment on internet service Eir; it is interesting to note that internet provider Virgin Media continues to charge customers for periods of outages, and consumers will only get their monthly bills reduced, by contacting Virgin’s loyalty department directly on Tel: 061-272190. Usually, however, they claim that unless their down time is more than 24 hours, they will not make any deductions from your account.

Perhaps the new Minister for Communications, Mr Richard Bruton, might take a look at this issue, which is similar to a consumer asking their local grocer for a loaf of bread, to be told he has none. The grocer then charges the consumer for that loaf of bread.Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

Könnten Wir Bitte Ihre Leere Plastikflaschen Und Dosen Haben?

Münster is an independent city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. The city is regarded as the cultural centre of the Westphalia Region and renowned as the bicycle capital of Germany. Recently a friend of mine visited that lovely city and returned with the following true story.

Leading a group of some 20 other persons in Münster; my friend became aware that they were being followed, from a distance, by two elderly and possibly homeless persons. My friends group paused for a while at a nearby recognised picnic site, to consume some snacks and drinks, before being approached by these gentlemen, who inquired formally in German, “Könnten wir bitte ihre leere Plastikflaschen und Dosen haben?”  One of the company who spoke the German language translated; “Please can we have your empty plastic bottles and cans”?

My friend explained that in Münster as indeed in Germany, a deposit refund system was in place, to repel the growing plastic waste crisis. Every drink can and plastic bottle collected, when returned to vendors, is rewarded by a payment of 15 cents each, which had been previously charged when the product was initially purchased. These two men would redeem €3.00, if 20 plastic or metal drink containers were returned to vendors.

The returned containers are then reused or recycled. This system of recycling has proven to be extremely effective in the recovering of up to 98% of all such containers.

Drink containers are the convenience packaging for products used for outdoor recreation.

Here in Ireland our metal cans and plastic drink containers are to be found dumped in every nook and cranny. “Tidy Towns” judges, together with the “Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL)”, regularly highlight the issue within towns and villages, but rural country areas remain ignored with same items dropped to roll around on our streets; to be thrown into our gardens and unto our road sides by passers-by and motorists; while also being dumped into our rivers and onto the 7,000km of our golden beaches, to become the flotsam and jetsam of “God knows where,” depending on the currents and Tides.

The “Repak Model” of recycling is seen as being adequate by a short sighted Irish Department of the Environment. However, while it may be profitable for Repak; do take a look around our streets and you will see Ireland operates a “one use and then litter” model, with immediate change now fundamentally crucial. It would appear that our appointed legislators are possibly under pressure, from waste collection business operators, latter who only manage to recycle about 39% of our cans and plastic bottles (given to them for free), leaving 61% (43,000 tonnes) to decorate our green landscape.

But imagine the difference it would make to our unspoiled coastal regions; our rural countryside, our villages, towns and cities, if a deposit refund system were to be put in place, in a state that is growing more and more dependent on regular foreign Tourism.

The Netherlands, Germany and Denmark have operated successful ‘deposit refund systems’ for years. The UK have just announced they are about to introduce a similar deposit refund scheme, while Ireland continues to drown in its own litter, dependent on individuals to come out, voluntarily, to pick up and clean up after those who dump their unwanted garbage.

God be with the late 50’s, when my friends and I would rush down to the village with our empty ‘Taylor Keith’ cochineal reddened, fizzy, lemonade bottles and with the refund, buy a few Peggy’s Legs or a few strawberry flavoured Bubble Gum Balls, [latter banned in my house because same were seen to be ‘dirty’ and ‘unmannerly’, according to my grandmother, especially “in front of other respectable visiting adults.”].

Here in Ireland we will probably have to wait until the EU make ‘deposit refund systems’ compulsory, and the sooner the better. Understandably reverse vending machines operating a deposit-and-return drinks container regime, is not as popular with our elected County Councillors, as are Parking Metres in our town centres.Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

Storm Emma Halts LIT Thurles Games Fleadh 2018

LIT Thurles Campus

Games Fleadh 2018, which was schedules to take place at LIT Thurles Campus tomorrow, (Wednesday, February 28th, 2018), has been postponed until Thursday March 22nd, 2018, courtesy of expected blizzard “Storm Emma”.

The organisers of this popular all-island games design and development event, have reviewed the weather forecasts over the past 24 hours, and have decided to postpone the 15th Games Fleadh in the interest of commuter safety. A Yellow weather warning for several counties, including Tipperary, has now come into effect with Met Éireann expected to issue a Red weather warning in the next days or two.

Game Design and Development degree lecturer at LIT, Dr Liam Noonan stated, “The key issue for the committee is ensuring that all visiting teams, judges, sponsors, schools etc can make it safely to Thurles for the 15th Games Fleadh. The weather warnings over the last few days left us with concerns as to the well being of those travelling to this popular  event. We therefore have taken the decision to postpone the event for a few weeks until March 22nd, when we look forward to welcoming once again students, parents and those with an interest in game design and development, to this free event.”

Weather experts have predicted a polar vortex will blitz Ireland with its worst snowfall in 36 years; to materialise over the coming days, with up to 65cm of snowfall expected to fall on higher ground across the county between Tuesday night and Friday.

If you would like to track the expected “Storm Emma” blizzard over the coming days simply click HERE courtesy windy.com.Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

Busiest Year Yet At LIT Thurles Games Fleadh 2017

LIT Thurles Campus

Some fifteen LIT Thurles students in total have been recognised for their achievements in game design and development at Games Fleadh 2017.

The Games Fleadh is an annual all-island games design and development competition for third-level students. Same took place on March 8th last on LIT’s Thurles campus; latter home to a B.Sc in Computing in Games Design and Development.

The 14th annual Games Fleadh event was once again supported by Microsoft Ireland; EA Games; First Data; Game Sparks; Game Stop and the Irish Computer Society.

With over 30 teams taking part in various game design and development competitions, the event organisers are happy to report 2017 as their busiest year yet. All entries were viewed, played and tested by over 400 members of the general public, who flocked to the event.

Judges included representatives from EA Games, Game Sparks, and First Data, who each reviewed the individual entries; scoring the students on their game creations.

Fourth year Game Development students Declan Cordial, James Walsh and Shane Hayes with their entry ‘Fragments of the Damned’ won ‘Best in Original Audio Music’.

Third year Game Development students Joe O’Regan, Sean Horgan and Brian Ryan won ‘Best Windows Game’ with their entry ‘AntiBody’.  Another 3rd year Game Development team made up of visiting Canadian students Christopher Law, Noah Petrides, and Settimio Falsetto, were awarded ‘Best in Team Performance’ for their game ‘LightWave’.

Second year Game Development students Alex McAllister, Eoghain McGrath, Luke O’Brien and Nathan Dunne, were awarded ‘Best in Game Design’ for their game ‘I Wanna Be A Racing Game’.

First years LIT’s Robocode Team comprising of students Ciaran Bent, Rory Ryan and Owen O’Dea were placed 3rd in the national Robocode Competition, which involved programming software tanks using the programming language Java.

Congratulations to all those competing.Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail