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Michael Lowry Welcomes Latest Developments For Lisheen Mines

Lisheen Mine Site, near Moyne, Thurles, Co. Tipperary

Deputy Michael Lowry TD has welcomed the announcement, by Minister Heather Humphreys, that the site known as Lisheen Mines, which closed with the loss of some 400 employees at its peak in 2015/16, has now been chosen as the site of a National Bio-economy Centre.

This is an exciting development with the Government having agreed to allocate €4.5 Million Euro from the Regional Enterprise Development Fund for the former mining location situated near the village of Moyne, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. This initiative is in line with present Government policy to invest and devolve enterprise and jobs into the Mid-Tipperary region.

Deputy Lowry stated, “The site at Lisheen is one of the best and most strategic sites in the country. I am delighted that painstaking and time-consuming research, together with detailed planning has now converged to give the county a major project with enormous potential into the future. It combines the particular interests of the 5 publicly funded partners to the project and the private interests they involve.”

“The partnership of Enterprise Ireland, L.I.T., U.C.D., T.C.D. and Tipperary County Council is a premium package with attractive synergies which will guarantee a very exciting project. The State funding for this project, sanctioned by the Government to increase investment and job opportunities in Tipperary is most welcome. It will bring renewed life and reinvigorate the closed Lisheen site, to become a flagship technological innovation centre that will offer enormous opportunities for the future”, the Deputy continued.

In all over €14 million Euro has been approved for projects in the Southern Region, with more than 11 million Euro in all for identified projects in the Eastern and Midlands Region, and a welcome €5 million Euro approved for the Northern and Western regions.

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ETB Invite Expressions Of Interest For Accommodation Provision

Tipperary Education and Training Centre (ETB) will be opening a new Further Education and Training Centre in the Archerstown Business Park, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.  Same venue will provide training for Apprenticeship Learners in the form of training courses of durations of between 20-22 weeks, with several student intakes per year.  Their accommodation needs will vary from 4 nights to 7 nights a week while these training programmes are running.

Tipperary ETB are now inviting expressions of interest from accommodation providers within the Thurles locality, which can be included on the Tipperary ETB accommodation list for those involved in Apprenticeship courses.

If interested please contact Mr Tony Perez on Tel: (051) 640745 or Email tperez@tipperaryetb for an application form. This form can also be downloaded from HERE.

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Nenagh Girl Injured In Australian Packing Shed

The packing company, Kalafatis Packing, appeared before Shepparton Magistrate’s Court, Victoria in south-eastern Australia, yesterday on charges in relation to an incident in 2015, at its packing shed in Shepparton East.

The incident involved related to causing extensive injuries to Irish native, Miss Annie Dunne, Kilkeary, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary.  Miss Dunne suffered severe injuries to her scalp and to one ear when her hair got caught in a mechanical conveyor belt, situated at a packing shed in Shepparton Victoria, back in November of 2015.

The company Kalafatis Packing, which ran the business, initially faced ten charges, however same have since been reduced to two, for which the company are expected to plead guilty.

It is understood Miss Dunne, on the date in question, was working to fulfil the 89 days of regional work required to extend her working holiday visa. Local news reports state Miss Dunne was cleaning a pear distribution conveyor belt, when her hair became entangled in a rotating drive shaft. It is reported that interlock guards had been removed and had not been replaced at the time of the accident.

A further plea and sentencing is expected to take place on January 11th 2018 at Shepparton Magistrate’s Court, and the work-site will be inspected prior to that date, to observe all safety upgrades installed.

The packing company were fined €42,000 and had to pay another €5,150 in legal costs.

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ASTI Reject Public Service Pay Deal

Education

While as yet there is no immediate prospect of disruption to second level education; the Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland (ASTI) today have rejected the new public service pay agreement, by a narrow margin of 51.5% against and 48.5% in favour.

The voting turnout was 64%, and the result is understood to reflect concerns over the failure to address the issue of pay for staff recruited since 2011, latter understood to be losing up to €6,000 annually when compared to their longer-serving colleagues.

The Union’s 180 strong Central Executive Committee is now expected to meet early in November 2017, to decide their next move, which will undoubtedly include a possibility of the resumption of industrial action, latter suspended earlier this year pending the outcome of the ballot result today.

The Irish National Teacher’s Organisation and the Teacher’s Union of Ireland have similarly rejected this agreement, but continue to participate in a new process, aimed in principal to address pay inequality.

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100 Jobs Lost At ‘French Frillies’ In Thurles

I fool you not readers, when I state that figures in relation to those under the age of 25 years, in receipt of Social Welfare in Thurles, have actually increased.  If you don’t believe me, check CSO figures HERE yourself; yes, and also check that when the categories ‘Both Sexes’ and ‘All Ages’ are represented, note currently 2,169 persons are in receipt of Social Assistance. Yes indeed, Tipperary The Place, The Time.

The last two to be laid off this week and who found themselves drawn to the Thurles unemployment office, were Paddy McGann and Peter Hackett, both who had worked in the town for the last 10 years.

When asked his occupation by the Social Welfare officer, Paddy said he was, “A Panty Stitcher. Up until yesterday I used to sew the elastic onto ladie’s cotton panties and thongs, in the recently closed branch of ‘French Frillies’, latter a knickers factory, situated in the Archerstown Industrial Estate here in Thurles.”

The diligent Social Welfare officer looked up ‘Panty Stitcher’ on his computer to find it classified as ‘Unskilled Labour’, before awarding Paddy the miserable sum of €80 per week in unemployment benefit.

Peter Hackett was next in the line, and when asked his occupation, he stated he was occupied as a ‘Diesel Fitter’. The diligent Social Welfare officer again checked his computer to confirm that a ‘Diesel Fitter’ was indeed a skilled job, and Peter was therefore awarded unemployment benefit of €160 a week.

When Paddy heard about Peter’s awarded benefit he was absolutely furious. He stormed back into the Thurles Social Welfare office the following morning, to ascertain why his friend and co-worker was collecting a double benefit.

The Social Welfare officer explained, “Panty Stitchers are regarded as unskilled labour, while Diesel Fitters are considered highly skilled labour.”

“What feckin skill?” yelled Paddy. “I sewed the damn elastic on the panties and the thongs. Peter was employed to simply eye-up prospective customers, before holding the required garment up to the shop assistants, yelling: “These’ll fit her!”

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