Hope you filled your Census correctly. Water comes uncontrolled from the Sky, thank God.
We were gathered in the Arch Bar in Liberty Square celebrating, having completed filling-up the Census form last weekend. There was myself and Mick; all two of us supping pints to beat the band, while discussing, reasonably I hasten to add, the all important political issues currently pertaining to our local Tipperary economy.
Discussions centred mainly around former Minister Alan Kelly and the unpaid €3 a week Irish Water invoices; the 1,432 pre-election jobs he promised to North & South Tipperary, which never appeared to actually materialise; the sudden jolt to people’s pockets as a €3.50 a week flat tax was seized in the Budget, through the implementation of an increase in tobacco costs; and the more than generous Labour Party donation of €3 per week, granted to old aged pensioners. It was not surprising then that the sticky issue of Kelly’s failure to provide that new era of faster Broadband to rural Tipperary; (promised in 2014), would raise its ugly head.
In relation to the latter topic, Paddy more than illustrated the overall devastating consequences to family life of this Alan Kelly broadband failure. In graphic detail he told me the heart breaking story of the local family, whose mother-in-law arrived home from Lidl, to find her son-in-law David rushing around in a steaming rage, hurriedly packing his few belongings.
“What’s happening David ?” she asks anxiously.
“What’s happening?, What’s happening? I’ll tell you what’s happened”, the obviously enraged David ranted. “I sent an email to my wife; yes your daughter Victoria, this very morning informing her I was coming home today from my fishing trip. I get home here and guess what I find? Yes, your daughter, my wife Victoria, naked with Francie Murphy in our marital bed! This behaviour is unforgivable; it’s the end of our marriage; I’m done with her – done with you – and I’m out of here forever!”
“Ah now, calm down, calm down David!” says his mother-in-law. “Sure there’s something very odd going on here. My daughter would never behave in such a manner! There must be a very simple explanation. I’ll phone her immediately and find out the truth of what really happened.”
Moments later, his mother-in-law comes back with a big, wide smile. “David” said she, “Didn’t I tell you there was a very simple explanation ….. sure she never got your feckin E-mail!”
I ask you is it any wonder that Alan Kelly’s Labour Constituency Office has closed suddenly on Slievenamon Road, as our much loved rural Tipperary is allowed to sinks further into deep decline.
Changes to the Tipperary Live Register figures for March 2016, compared against the previous month February, continue to remain modest.
In the North of the county the ‘Live Register’ figures actually increased by 12 persons, while in the South of the county same figures decreased by 76 persons, showing an overall decrease to the Live Register for Co. Tipperary of 64 persons.
Live Register figures for the first quarter of 2016 show an overall decrease of 182 for the three month period January through to March inclusive, and a long way from the 1,432 jobs promised by Fine Gael, leading up six months prior to the recent 2016 General Election.
The figures shown above also do not take in to account the recent announcement of 125 job losses at the 30 year old SunPharma Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals plant in Cashel. Same job losses were announced on the 31st of March, 2016 and are expected to come into effect at the end of April with the plant completely shutting down by the middle of May 2016.
Up to 125 jobs are to be lost in Co Tipperary, with the announced closure of the 30 years old SunPharma Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals plant in Cashel.
The facility which manufactured and packaged generic drugs is expected to cease its operations at the end of April and will completely shut down by the middle of May 2016.
Concerns were growing for the future of the workforce at the plant, situated on the Cahir road, in late 2015, when staff were called to a meeting with management to discuss the long term future of the site.
Last year the world’s fifth largest drugs producer Sun Pharma completed a merger with fellow Indian company Ranbaxy, which included the Cashel plant. The company then announced it was seeking to re-organise its global operations with a view to optimising its costs and overall capacity. The company then stated its intention to scale down or divest itself of certain operations worldwide.
In a statement Sun Pharma said it decided to cease operations at its Cashel unit as part of an ongoing operations network review. The company said it will now move certain laboratory roles to other facilities within Sun Pharma’s global operations network.
The company state that they will engage with trade unions and employee representatives in the coming months and at the end of this period, if necessary, the company may proceed with redundancies.
The recent February CSO Live Register Figures for February 2016; published for Co. Tipperary last week, like the previous month, continue to remain dismal reading, despite the outgoing Fine Gael / Labour pre-election job announcements over the last 10 months, to date.
We are aware that the ‘Live Register’ is not designed to measure unemployment solely, but figures provided here are most certainly a strong indication of Urban and Rural employment trends. See the figures shown hereunder or check for yourselves, by clicking on the highlighted following link:- http://www.cso.ie/px/pxeirestat/statire/SelectVarVal/Define.asp?Maintable=LRM07&PLanguage=0 taking care to use the search criteria; All Ages; Both Sexes; Welfare Office.
In all some 1432 jobs were publicly announced by the outgoing Fine Gael / Labour Coalition for the County of Tipperary, prior to the recent General Election held on February 27th, 2016 last.
These announcements came in the wake of a litany of job losses, 200 at Intellicom, 400 at Lisheen Mine, 50 at Grants and more at C & C, Gleeson’s, Abbott and Boston Scientific etc. Over the past five years Co. Tipperary has been completely unobserved by our current ‘caretaker government’, with 90% of all job creation announcements going to the east coast and the larger cities like Cork, Limerick and Galway.
This now unwanted coalition Government’s more recent regional jobs strategy further added insult to injury; in prioritising investment in named towns, e.g. Sligo, Tralee, Castlebar, Galway, Dundalk, Limerick, Athlone, Carlow and Waterford. Tipperary once again finding itself totally neglected with not one single Tipperary Town listed, for the building of any even one advance manufacturing base or office facility.
Strangely one, if not the only few advance office spaces that was available to attract job creation; to be found in the Tipperary Technology Park on Racecourse Road Thurles; same was quietly and surreptitiously hived off, before being announced as a replacement for the already existing Department of Social Protection’s new Intreo Centre.
Were the various 1432 jobs announced and loudly hailed by the outgoing Fine Gael / Labour Coalition in Tipperary over the past 10 months, purely a pre-election vote catching stunt? Tipperary people have very long memories, as two Fine Gael TD’s will most surely attest, following their complete annihilation in last February’s General Election.
The Department of Social Protection’s new Intreo Centre will open to customers in the Thurles area from Monday of next week.
Intreo is a new service from the Department of Social Protection, offering a single point of contact for all employment and income supports. This new service is designed to provide a more streamlined approach, offering practical, tailored employment services and supports for both Jobseekers and Employers alike.
Now based in the Tipperary Technology Park, with an address on the R498 at Racecourse Road in Thurles, this upgraded centre will open next Monday and operate from 9:15am to 5:00pm from Monday to Friday each week.
This Thurles Intreo Centre will replace the Department of Social Welfare’s former local offices based in Stradavoher, Thurles; the Community Welfare Services previously based in St. Mary’s Health Centre and the Employment Services Office, formerly located at Friar Street, in the town.
The Department of Social Protection maintain that this new Intreo service in Thurles will now significantly improve customer service and reduce waiting times for jobseeker payments. Sadly this service also offers customers personalised advice and expertise for those wishing to work in any other EEA countries without a work permit, both as a salaried employee or a self-employed individual.
Note: The contact number in operation for this new Intreo Centre on the Nenagh Road, will be Tel: 0504-67100.