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Templemore Flood Relief Scheme Update

Progress Report On Templemore Flood Relief Scheme – Michael Lowry T.D.

Independent Deputy Mr Michael Lowry has today confirmed that “further to a number of meetings with Minister Boxer Moran concerning my desire to ensure that the Templemore Flood Relief Scheme is advanced as quickly as possible I have been informed by the Office of Public Works (OPW) that the main scheme is progressing. Also an engineering solution has been identified and agreed with the engineering staff of Tipperary County Council, to resolve the flooding problems at Blackcastle Road and Priory Demesne which have had a huge negative impact on residents of that area”.

Independent TD Mr Michael Lowry

Deputy Lowry stated:
• The Templemore flood relief scheme commenced construction in June 2017, being carried out directly by OPW staff, with specialist contractors engaged as necessary.

• The OPW have 10 directly employed staff committed to the scheme, active on 5 different sites across Templemore. If necessary an additional crew will be assigned to the site to keep within the completion time scale.

• Work has been progressing in several areas of Templemore, with 3 field bridges now complete, and 2 further bridges under construction.

• Over 130m of new channel has been excavated, with 320m of existing river downstream from the town having been widened.

• A structure on the Richmond road has been demolished successfully, and works on utilities diversions are also ongoing.

• OPW staff have been in ongoing discussions with landowners in the area, as well as with concerned bodies such as Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) and the local angling club.

• It is envisaged that, barring significant delays, works should be completed towards the end of 2019.

Deputy Lowry stated that he is very grateful for the support of Minister Boxer Moran and the commitment of the OPW to this project. “I am satisfied that all of the disappointments and setbacks of the past have been overcome with this scheme coming to fruition next year”, Deputy Lowry concluded.


Forty Two Immediate New Jobs For Co. Tipperary

Deputy Michael Lowry TD.

Today Deputy Michael Lowry TD, will welcome Minister Pat Breen (Fine Gael Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, since June 2017), to Co. Tipperary, where it is confirmed the Minister will announce 42 new jobs for the county.

Minister Breen is currently Chairman of the Oireachtas Foreign Affairs and Trade Committee and is deputy leader of the Irish Delegation to the Council of Europe.

These roles are based across three companies, in both the North and South of the county; with 21 jobs being created in Mack Engineering, Nenagh; 15 jobs in Horizon Offsite, Cahir, and 6 jobs in Phil Purcell Engineering, Upperchurch, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

In a statement Deputy Lowry has said;  “I am delighted that these new jobs have been supported by our Local Enterprise Office in their effort to support local indigenous business. I would like to complement these family owned businesses on the enterprise and initiatives they have shown and the great efforts they make, to sustain and grow their businesses and to develop local employment.”


Erin Foods, Thurles Set For Multi-Million Redevelopment

Former Erin Foods Site, Thurles, Set For Redevelopment With Multi-Million Investment.

Deputy Michael Lowry TD.,has confirmed that Lidl Ireland have agreed contracts with the owner of the former Erin foods site for the purchase of a 2.5 acre section of this prime property.

Lidl group architects Clarman have completed extensive pre planning consultations with Tipperary County council and are currently in the process of lodging a formal planning application.

The proposed planning application will include the demolition and removal of all existing buildings along with clearance of the entire 8.5 acre site. Lidl intend constructing a modern new store of approx. 22,000 sq. ft with associated car parking to be serviced by means of a new entrance.

Deputy Michael Lowry TD.

The project will take 2 years to complete and Lidl have committed where possible to use local material and trades suppliers.

The project will comprise 3 phases with:
Phase 1 of the project being the demolition of the existing buildings and full site clearance. This in itself is a very substantial contract requiring specialist contractors. It involves the removal of huge quantities of asbestos. This is a hazardous waste. There are stringent regulations governing its removal and disposal. I have been assured by Lidl that this sensitive material will be handled in full compliance with International standards.

Phase 2 will involve the construction of a new site entrance.
The site will be accessed by means of a proposed new roadway which will form the initial phase of the inner relief road for Thurles linking Slievenamon Road to the Mill Road. Also to be included as part of the development works are significant improvements to the River walkway at the rear of the site.

Phase 3 is the construction of the new state of the art retail store.
The Lidl decision to locate a new store on the Erin Foods site enables the entire site to be redeveloped. The very substantial investment by Lidl in their new store including infrastructure such as roadways, car parking, water, waste water, power supply and high end IT capability makes the remainder of the site extremely attractive to other potential investors. It creates an exciting opportunity to revitalise a prime site which has been dormant for years.

Deputy Lowry has stated that he has already been in contact with the IDA and Enterprise Ireland to highlight the enormous potential and attractiveness of the remaining 6 acres to companies in need of a fully serviced site.

When the Lidl contract is complete it is the intention of the owner of the remainder of this landmark site to make it publicly available and marketed as an ideal location for office accommodation / research and development facility or manufacturing base. This site will once again be a centre of economic activity and in due course create significant job opportunities.


8 Out Of 10 Rural Tipperary Towns Left Behind

In more recent decades a Census here in Ireland, as a general rule, takes place in every year that ends in 1 or 6, except in any year that experienced some kind of catastrophe, e.g. Foot and Mouth disease as in 2001, Famine, World Wars, etc.

Two years ago, in the 2016 census, the Irish population stood at 4,757,976 persons. Nationally, our birth rate was 13.7 births per 1,000 population while our death rate was 6.5 deaths per 1,000 population.

Our life expectancy averaged around 80.19 years [males 78 years – females 82.6 years].  Our infant mortality rate was 3.85 deaths per 1,000 live births. Our net population movement rate to a new area or country in order to find work or better living conditions averaged 0.86 migrants per 1,000 population.

The population of the entire county of Tipperary was calculated as being 160,441 in this same 2016 census, with the largest towns remaining identified as Clonmel, Nenagh and our own town of Thurles .

Data now recently assembled from a comparison between the 2016 Census and the Census of ten years previously, in 2006, now confirms; as if confirmation was needed, that the number of people at work, remains below pre economic crash levels in more than 70 towns across rural Ireland.

Despite political claims, new figures show how the economic recovery has left vast swathes of rural Ireland behind, with fewer people working, compared with the year 2006 when our economy was thriving.  Nationally, more than 40% of our towns and villages have not managed to secure any additional employment over this period, while revealing that job losses have not been regained in some of our cities, where a small recovery, at the very least, might have been expected.

In some 167 settlements the number of people seeking employment rose in just 96, disclosing a fall off in 71. Large towns such as Clonmel in Co Tipperary failed to recover during this period, showing a drastic reduction in real employment of some 751 persons, when compared.

These newly compiled figures do not summarise the number of workers who were forced to emigrated, migrate or retired. Neither do they take account of growth over the past two years in any one area, however they do confirm that many rural areas continue to be ignored and left behind because of demographics.

Comparing both these census figures we learn that almost 45% of Irish employment growth was, not surprisingly, in Dublin city and suburbs, with the numbers at work here rising by 34,209.  The cities of Dublin, Cork and Galway together saw some 53% of all jobs created within Ireland.

In the province of Munster, the numbers at work fell in 24 of 51 towns. Out of a total of ten Tipperary towns, despite Labour / Fine Gael promises and announcements, eight such towns experienced job losses during this same period examined.


Eight Rural Post Offices Close In Co. Tipperary

Some eight rural post offices here in Co. Tipperary, part of more than 150 around the 26 counties of Ireland, are now set to close. The closures are part of a deal reached between An Post, latter the state-owned provider of postal services and the Irish Postmasters’ Union.

The Tipperary post offices listed to close are named as:-  Ballingarry (SR), Clogheen, Coolbawn, Gurtnahoe, Littleton, Newcastle, Templetuohy and Upperchurch.

This arrangement will see 159 postmasters retire and their offices shut their doors, with 16 such post offices already vacated. All offices due to close are within 15km of at least one other post office, and all are to be closed within locations where populations of less than 500 people currently reside.

Whilst we understand that this is a voluntary retirement scheme backed by the Irish Postmasters Union, the current ruling minority Government of Fine Gael; supported by some 19 Independent TD’s, have shown totally no interest in keeping the rural post office network alive and viably profitable.

Remember our Ministers, TD’s and their under performing, protected, civil servants no longer address our rural population as ‘citizens’;  citizens are simply categorised as ‘customers’.

Time to reconsider and review decentralisation out of Dublin, latter shelved when a former Fine Gael/Labour Party coalition took office in 1981.