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Lowry Turns Sod On Major €25m Thurles Development

Independent TD, Deputy Michael Lowry turned the first sod, on Monday of this week, (January 27th, 2020) on a major new development that will mark the dawn of a bright new future for Thurles.

The derelict Erin Foods factory is about to become a hive of activity as demolition work starts to level the site; same which will house a new high-end model flagship store for Lidl Ireland, as well as two 30,000 square foot buildings that will form the Thurles Business and Innovation Centre.

The project will also facilitate the future development of the town as a whole, by providing the first phase of the much anticipated Thurles Inner Relief Road that will link Slievenamon Road to Mill Road. The total value of the project is €25million and Deputy Lowry says that it is the start of a new beginning for Thurles.

The Business and Innovation Centre project, which has full Planning Permission now in place, is a joint partnership between Wesley Quirke of Baycross Developments Ltd., and Castletown Capital Ltd.

Lidl Ireland unlocked the potential of the site, recognising its strategic location in close proximity to the town centre and its suitability to develop a flagship store on a 2.5 acre area of the site. This led to further interest in the site and a decision by this joint partnership to come on board to build the two 30,000 square foot buildings, creating an amazing opportunity to attract new business into the town.

The Centre will be fully equipped with all the services required and will be appealing to companies involved in Research and Development, science, pharmaceuticals, technology, call centres or as a Headquarters for a Public Service office, indeed the potential is vast.

The developers themselves have identified a very lucrative tenant for a part of the building with the potential for job creation and are in discussions with other potential businesses.

Deputy Lowry has confirmed that IDA Ireland has visited this fully serviced site and have listed the Business and Innovation Centre on their books and will actively pursue future tenants for the high-spec premises. The IDA is very impressed with its potential to attract inward investment from businesses seeking centrally located ready-to-go premises in the heart of Ireland.

“Up to now one of the main challenges for job creation in Thurles was the lack of suitable accommodation. This new development addresses that challenge and marks a major progression for the town. It’s a big vote of confidence in Thurles and it would not have happened if Lidl had not made the first move to secure part of the site for their new store”.

Mr Lowry stated that the event on Monday was a hugely significant day for Thurles. He added that it is wonderful to see the former Erin Foods site active again, having lain idle for so long.

Wesley Quirke, Baycross Developments, said “The project will rejuvenate Thurles, which is one of the best known towns in Ireland”. He further stated “The Business and Innovation Centre will guarantee additional jobs for Thurles and will be a major boost to the local economy”.

Ms. Laura Mateo from Castletown Capital said that they are very pleased to be involved in such an innovative project for Thurles, which opens up huge potential for the town in terms of attracting new business and creating jobs. She also stated “It is a pleasure to work on the Business and Innovation Centre project, in partnership with the Quirke family, as it is a development that will have a big impact on Thurles well into the future”.

Demolition of the former Erin Foods site is set to get underway immediately. Local business, Premier Engineering, who employ 40 people, will carry out this work with Company Director Adrian O’Keefe saying that they are really proud to be involved in this local project.

The old building contains a large amount of asbestos, hence the engagement of reputable specialist contractors, who will carry out the demolition and disposal of these materials to the highest International standards.

Completion of demolition work
The completion of demolition work is expected to take up to 12 weeks, followed by site preparation works and the commencement of construction of a new site entrance, forming the initial phase of the Inner Relief Road. As an additional feature of the project, significant improvement to the river walkway at the rear of the site will be carried out.


Clonmel 40 Bed Modular Unit Handed Over To South Tipperary Hospital

It took just 11 months; from the arrival of builders on site to the point where the finished 40 bed Medical Modular unit at South Tipperary General Hospital in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, was officially handed over on January 16th, 2020.

The now completed project cost approximately €20m, with construction costs coming in at almost €10m.

“The reality is that seeing is believing”, commented Prof. Mr Peter Murchan, (Consultant General Surgeon) at South Tipperary General Hospital, as he proudly led a tour of this new 40 bed facility within the hospital on Monday last.

Acknowledging that many had stated publicly that the project could not be achieved, Professor Murchan was quick to emphasise that this new state-of-the-art facility is due mostly to the ‘enormous hands-on commitment’ of Independent TD Mr Michael Lowry, latter who networked via the Departments of Health & Finance, to push this particular project forward to full and total fulfilment.


Contract Signed To Build Ten New Houses At Templetuohy, Thurles

Pound Street, Templetuohy, Thurles, Co. Tipperary

On Wednesday last Tipperary Co. Council signed a contract for the development of ten new homes to be constructed in the vicinity of Pound Street, Templetuohy. This new scheme will comprise of six three bedroomed and four two bedroomed dwellings and will have a construction value of €2 million (On average €200,000 each).

Upon completion this new construction scheme will be identified as “Longorchard Park”.

Working with the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, this new housing scheme will deliver high-quality homes to persons currently waiting on Tipperary Co. Council’s housing list.

The design team for this development is being led by Kenneth Hennessy Architects, Anglesea House, Anglesea St, Raheen, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, working closely with J. Davis Construction Ltd. Dublin.

We understand that further schemes are planned for Thurles and Borrisokane, here in north Tipperary, with similar schemes planned for Cahir and Tipperary Town in the south of the county; all to commence initial construction in the first quarter of 2020.


127 Full Time Jobs Could Be Lost At Thurles Shopping Centre

“A house divided against itself, cannot stand”

Excerpt from a speech made by Abraham Lincoln (Later to become President of the United States of America), on June 16th, 1858.

Thurles Shopping Centre in Co. Tipperary could be under threat of closure by January 1st, 2020.

Once again Tipperary Co. Council has ‘bounced’ the town of Thurles into the national spotlight and again for all the wrong reasons. Previously it was six new uninhabited ‘state of the art’ houses erected for members of the Travelling Community; latter costing in excess of €2 million, when High Court costs are added.

Now the High Court is involved yet again and the future of Thurles Shopping Centre in Co. Tipperary could be under threat of closure. That is according to its owners GL Ireland ICAV, latter who purchased the shopping centre at Slievenamon Road, here in the town, just some four years ago.

Owners GL Ireland claim that the Thurles Shopping Centre will have to close if it is forced to comply with three enforcement notices issued against it by Tipperary County Council, in respect of conditions attached to the planning permission already granted to the shopping centre’s previous owners back in 2007.

From what we can gather the enforcement notices received relate to, (1) the undertaking of landscaping works on lands the current owners claim is not their property; (2) the removal and repositioning of external windows and doors, and the construction of significant structures including a maintenance building and a bicycle park; and finally (3) the closure of the only entrance which the shopping centre currently uses and has used for the past 12 years, in the delivery of goods and services.

Same notices have now resulted in a challenge being brought by the owners before the High Court. Permission to bring this challenge against Tipperary Co. Council was granted on an ex-parte application basis, by Mr Justice Seamus Noonan. [An ex parte application is a request made to a court where only the party making the request is represented and the other side is not given any notice.]

Mr Justice Seamus Noonan has now placed a stay on Tipperary Co. Council officials, from taking any further steps in respect of their enforcement notices; pending the outcome of this expected High Court action, which is understood will be heard during the month of December next.

Thurles residents are at pains to understand why the owners paid possibly €10 – €15million Euros in 2015, for a building containing several nationally recognised retail stores e.g. Elverys, Boots, Carraig Donn, Dunnes Stores, Easons, Paul Byron, Costa, Specsavers, etc, a Multiplex Cinema and had also recently attracted Thurles Post Office; without first checking that all planning was in keeping with the requirements of Tipperary Co. Councillors, prior to their purchase.

In the words of William Shakespere “Ay, there’s the rub” – Thurles Post Office

Blame for the possible loss of the 127 full time jobs currently enjoyed in the Thurles Shopping Centre, is now being blamed, rightly or wrongly, on 3 local factions – Thurles Chamber of Commerce; local Municipal District Councillors and those involved in the recent S.O.S (Save Our Square) Campaign. This latter unsuccessful campaign, which also came to national attention this year, saw some Liberty Square retailers attempting to prevent Thurles Post Office from moving to the Thurles Shopping Centre.

Speaking to some consumers today, same were critical of retailers operating in Liberty Square, whom they stated, “closed their premises during lunch hour (1:00pm – 2:00pm) forcing same consumers to shop outside the town”.

When asked regarding the loss of foot fall due to the absence of An Post from Liberty Square, one housewife stated “Liberty Square, Thurles contains 3 banks and within another 30 metres, on Parnell Street, one busy Credit Union office. Some 6,000 students attending schools alight on this square daily, and yet the shop keepers appear to be caught in a 19th century time warp, protected by a Chamber of Commerce, who for the last 20 years have totally failed each and every business. How many of you men ever tried to push a buggy containing a child through the doors of the old An Post offices, I wonder? If they had they might have understood why An Post moved”, she concluded.

One elderly gentleman waiting on a train to Limerick Junction wisely remarked to me on this issue, “The Chamber and local Councillors have successfully divided Thurles town into two halves. People fail to understand that when you remove one or more main components from a body, it dies. Tipperary Co. Councillors permitted the introduction of parking charges, resulting in the extermination of footfall on Liberty Square. This in turn lead to the destruction of Liberty Square retailing. Now, if permitted same individuals will destroy Thurles Shopping Centre also. A house divided against itself, cannot stand and Councillors responsible should resign”, he concluded.


Plans For Thurles Erin Foods Site Formally Confirmed

Go Ahead Granted For Erin Food Site Development.

Independent TD Mr Michael Lowry has confirmed that the time period to appeal against Tipperary County Council’s decision to the granting of planning on the former Erin Foods Site, for a new Retail Outlet, has now closed without objection. Planning is therefore formally confirmed by An Board Pleanala for this site, together with a 60,000 sq.ft. ‘Business and Innovation Centre’.

Lidl’s New Retail Outlet

Lidl, latter who had submitted the planning application last December, will now immediately commence the demolition phase of their initial proposal, which will involve a 10-12 week program. This will be followed by construction in the coming months.

Business and Innovation Centre

Mr Lowry, speaking to Thurles.Info today, welcomed the news, which he stated “Heralded a bright and progressive future for the town. This investment and state of the art development will generate jobs, wealth and create a massive boost to the local economy.”

He further added, “The Erin Foods site project will also facilitate the future development of the town providing the first phase of the long-awaited Thurles Inner Relief road, which will link Slievenamon Road to the Mill Road. This link road will afford the opportunity to access lands for commercial and residential development while also facilitating the proposed future expansion of Mary Immaculate College. (Note: latter formally St. Patricks College).

New accommodation and facilities in Thurles to attract business and Industry

Deputy Lowry also confirmed to Thurles.Info that Tipperary County Council have reached agreement, exchanged contracts and are about to close on the purchase of land in excess of 20 acres at Clongour, Thurles for a Business Development Campus.

These lands will be then be serviced with sewerage, water, telecommunications and road infrastructure. The lands will be developed by Tipperary County Council, as serviced sites and available for marketing by the Council, Enterprise Ireland and I.D.A.

Thurles had lost out on inward investment because it did not have accommodation and facilities to attract business and Industry.

The combination of these projects should now have a formative impact on the economy of Thurles. It will create opportunities to attract business / enterprise and during the process deliver much needed jobs and economic regeneration within the town.

After a period of stagnation these developments should now herald a new bright beginning and positive future for Thurles.

“We can now look forward with optimism and with greater confidence in the future of Thurles”, the Deputy concluded.