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Save Liberty Square Thurles

‘Stop the Move – Save our Square’

They began gathering from 10.00am this morning, one hour before the start; the elderly, the retired, local councillors and politicians past and present, the unemployed, business owners and their staff, non-examination year students; all protesting at the decision by An Post, to move its current offices out of Liberty Square to the Thurles Shopping Centre.

They gathered in brilliant, warm, sunshine; most certainly the largest protest group ever to assemble in this rural town in the last 30 year; attracting both local and national media attention, through the attendance of radio, TV and press personnel.

Speaking to many who attended the protest rally, much criticism was being heaped on the present Fine Gael government, with individuals privately and publicly singling out the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Mr Richard Bruton for his failure to intervene in An Post’s Dublin decision.

But most blame seemed to be directed to the doorstep of Tipperary Co. Council, the latter blamed for initially driving small and medium sized retailers from Liberty Square, by introducing parking charges, while three large global discount supermarkets on the very outskirts of Thurles, remained in a position to offer large scale free parking spaces.

Many were also critical of the removal of the once thriving Liberty Square market, latter removed to new trading areas at the entrance to Parnell Street carpark.

Meanwhile, the organisers of today’s protest rally, confirmed that they will continue the battle to save Liberty Square, and if at all possible, try to keep An Post and their services, within the very heart of Thurles town.

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Public Rally To Save Existing Footfall On Liberty Square

New premises to which An Post is expected to set up shop.

The ‘Stop the Move – Save our Square’ action committee here in Thurles have announced their intention to hold a public rally; same to take place on Friday morning, March 29th next.

The rally will start at 11.00am on Friday morning; with protesters first assembling in the area of the Parnell Street Car Park. Those attending will then make their way out onto Liberty Square, following a route around the Square, before halting outside the current An Post offices.

An Post has repeatedly proclaimed their now existing work premises in Liberty Square as not being ‘fit for purpose’ and also that it would not be financially cost effective to undertake any necessary renovation.

An Post representatives also informed the ‘Stop the Move – Save our Square’ action committee, on Wednesday last, at what was described by the latter as “a disappointing meeting”, that a lease agreement had already been signed to rent their new premises; same having been already selected 500 metres away in the Thurles shopping centre.

The organisers are encouraging as many people as possible to come out in force for this rally, thus sending a message to An Post officials that remaining businesses wish the An Post office to remain at its present location, attracting continued footfall in the town centre area.

A post of Minister for Posts and Telegraphs initially took on the responsibility for Ireland’s postal and telecommunications services for some 60 years, from 1924 right up until 1984. One of the largest civil service departments in the Irish State at its apex; attempts to reform this sector were began in 1978, with the creation of a Posts and Telegraphs Review Group.

Following the delivery of a report from the latter in 1979, same then led to the creation of An Bord Poist, then chaired by Mr Feargal Quinn, and An Bord Telecom, then chaired by Mr Michael Smurfit. Both entities continued to trade until they were replaced in 1984, as state-sponsored agencies.

Its powers and responsibilities were transferred to the newly created Department of Communications. This was one of the largest reorganisations of the civil service in modern times, the old department having had a workforce of some 30,000 employees prior to its dissolution. With the transfer of personnel to the new agencies, the number of civil service employees were almost halved overnight.

Thus An Post, our Irish postal administration, first came into being in 1984 when, under the terms of the Postal & Telecommunications Services Act of 1983, the Post Office services of the Department of Posts and Telegraphs (P&T) were divided between An Post and Telecom Eireann; with the telecommunications operator today known as Eir.

Thurles Post Office moved once before, previously having existed on the south side or ‘Money Side’ in that building known today (2019) as The County Bar, before moving across the road to the north side; where it is presently located on the ‘Sunny Side’.

The positioning of Thurles Post Office during the latter half of the 1800’s, in the then Main Street of Thurles, now renamed Liberty Square.

It was at its present location that, in 1902, the great, late General Richard (Dick) Mulcahy joined the post office’s engineering department, working first here in Thurles. Elected to the First Dáil in the 1918 General Election for Dublin / Clontarf, Mulcahy was appointed Minister for Defence in the new (alternative) government and later to the post of Assistant Minister for Defence. In March 1919 he became IRA chief of staff, a position he held until January 1922. It was he, who together with Michael Collins, was instrumental in developing IRA military strategy against the British, during the War of Independence.
General Richard Mulcahy of course was buried following his death (16th December 1971) in Ballymoreen Cemetery, Littleton, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

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Lowry & Humphries Visit €30 Million Glanbia Biorefinery In Tipp

Follow-up visit by TD Michael Lowry and Minister Heather Humphries to €30 Million Glanbia Biorefinery at Lisheen, Moyne, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

On Wednesday last, Independent Deputy Mr Michael Lowry TD, together with Minister for Business, Enterprise & Innovation, Ms Heather Humphreys TD, visited Lisheen, Moyne, Thurles where an industrial scale biorefinery is now planned.

Deputy Lowry had welcomed a major announcement in December 2017 by Minister Humphreys, when Lisheen Mines, which had closed with 400 job losses, was chosen as the site for this national bio-economy centre. Mr Lowry also welcomed the Regional Enterprise Development’s allocation decision of €4.5 million to the project in December 2017.

Following on from this Deputy Lowry took part in discussions with EU Commissioner Mr Phil Hogan, in April 2018, upon the announcement of a substantial further €22 million of EU funding for this identified Biorefinery.

Deputy Lowry said, “State funding of €4.5 million for this Tipperary project will renew and reinvigorate the local and wider economy here as Lisheen; latter set to become a world-renowned innovation centre, offering enormous job opportunities into the future”.

Led by Glanbia Plc, the project involves the building of a processing plant which will transform over 25,000 tonnes of excess agricultural food waste per annum, converting same to bio-based fertilizers.

Deputy Lowry TD, who has been central to all stages of these discussions and plans from the outset, stated on Wednesday last “Environmental sustainability is a huge issue worldwide. This new project will now place Ireland and Co. Tipperary firmly on the world map as being at the centre for future technology research and the development of further sustainable agricultural processes.”

“Here employment potential as well as overall economic growth for Tipperary and the surrounding area will prove to be hugely significant”, concluded the Deputy.Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

Funding Sanctioned For Sth. Tipp. General Hospital

“Funding Sanctioned For Additional Staffing of 40 Bed Unit – Fantastic News For South Tipperary General Hospital.” – Deputy M. Lowry.

Announcing the news this morning, Independent TD Deputy Michael Lowry stated, “I am delighted to announce that Minister Simon Harris and the HSE have confirmed to me that approval has been granted for the funds required to staff the new 40 Bed Unit at South Tipperary General Hospital, same which will open towards the end of 2019. It is estimated to cost an additional €7.5 million per year to run the new facility

A national/international recruitment campaign will commence immediately. The Director of Nursing is looking forward to the challenge and is confident that sufficient nurses will be attracted to join the hospital group.

I made the decision to support and facilitate the formation of a government in the national interest after the last general election. I immediately made it my priority to address the bed capacity problems at South Tipperary General Hospital. For years the problems at the hospital were ignored and neglected. I secured a commitment for a 40 Bed Modular Unit to address the overcrowding at the hospital and to ease the burden of pressure on the nurses and staff at the hospital. Despite the negativity and constant effort by others to undermine the project it has now progressed to delivery and will become a reality towards the end of 2019.

I wish to commend the management of the hospital for their unrelenting commitment and their support for my endeavours. This is fantastic news for everybody involved with the hospital and for the people of Tipperary who rely on the hospital for delivery of health care. I would like to thank Minister Harris for his personal interest and his support for this novel initiative.

University Hospital Limerick

Questioned regarding the status of the proposed Modular Ward Block for University Hospital Limerick, which services North Tipperary, Mr Lowry stated, “Minister Simon Harris has also confirmed to me that the Department of Health and the Health Service Executive, are currently engaged in a process to finalise the HSE Capital Plan for 2019. The Minister has committed that the new UHL 60 Bed modular ward block will be included and funded in the 2019 Capital Plan.

This major development will assist in alleviating the bed capacity problems at this hospital. I am very pleased with the Governments commitment to this project as many people from North Tipperary have endured distressing delays in accessing the hospital’s facilities.Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

Regina Doherty In Tipp. To Support Election Hopefuls

Firstly, remember that despite the constant, daily bungling by the current Fine Gael minority Irish Government, the next Irish general election will be held no later than on or before Monday, April 12th 2021.

There should be 159 of the current 160 Dáil seats being contested, with the outgoing Ceann Comhairle being re-elected automatically, unless of course he should opt to take retirement.

Yesterday FG Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection Ms Regina Doherty, attended a “Jobs Expo” in Tipperary Town, Co. Tipperary.

A Vanishing Rural Tipperary

Minister Doherty, despite her party being in government for a second term since 2011, (laughably propped up presently by a party who claims to be in full opposition), insisted that her visit yesterday and her personal number one priority, is to create a thriving Tipperary town. However, having stated same, said she wasn’t going to make any promises that same could be orchestrated any day in the near future. This is what happens when rural towns and villages get passed over and are allowed to rot for decades; excluded, even ostracised financially, in favour of job creation in overcrowded capital cities.

For this very reason, our readers will well remember that Tipperary rid itself of Fine Gael representation on February 26th 2016. It is highly unlikely that new, unknown FG election hopefuls; poised waiting and ready, with their tongues hanging out in the hope of collecting large salaries and pensions, and who personally have achieved nothing to date in their careers, are going to be elected in 2021.

With the supposed aim of getting unemployed people, in the region, back to work; over nine hundred job-seekers from the Tipperary area had been instructed to attend the Excel Arts & Cultural Centre, situated in Mitchell Street, in the town. The attendance by Minister Regina Doherty was seen as a marketing ploy by these local political hopefuls, in their attempt to indication how seriously this same minority Fine Gael government and a Taoiseach, latter seen only as representing Dublin’s interests, was tackling the dire neglect of a rural forgotten Tipperary town.

Minister Doherty was quick to deny that yesterday’s ‘Job’s Expo’; same hurriedly orchestrated in conjunction with Tipperary Enterprise Board, was simply a publicity stunt for the rural unwashed residents of a South / West county town; to promote these afore mentioned new FG election candidates. However, many known hardcore disillusioned Fine Gael voters, were privately admitting that indeed this was truly the case.

A Show for the TV Cameras
However, a number of local resident activists were far from pleased with this orchestrated event. Protesters from the March 4 Tipp (#march4tipp) group, congregated outside the meeting venue yesterday morning, understandably venting their anger at what they called “coercive means used to force unemployed people to attend the event). To this group past memories of a similar Co. Council and FG government event, was seen as yet another reflection of that costly now failed Tipperary-The Place-The Time stunt; with yesterday’s exercise viewed as yet one other “Show for the selfie phone still & the personal video”.

This #March4Tipp action group have already announced their plans for further action, which is scheduled for Friday February 22nd next, same aimed at disrupting traffic on the N24, latter in support of what the group claim are a number of negative developments foisted on the town in recent years.

It is doubtful, however, that would-be Fine Gael election candidates, reminded FG’s Minister Doherty, that more than half of all new jobs in the last 12 months were generated in Dublin city and county, with the number of people working in the capital expanding to a colossal 34,000 people.

With limited employment here in Tipperary; local workers earning €28,000 to €35,000 per annum are obliged to commute the average four hour, 300km daily return journey between Thurles and Dublin. With motoring fuel costs exceeding over €140 per week; same employees are unable to afford the limited rental accommodation on offer in the city, latter costing on average €18,000 per annum, so in order to work, they are left with no alternative.

According to Central Statistics Office (CSO), the rate of employment growth in Dublin is now 66% higher than the figure for the Irish State as a whole.

Dublin’s existing infrastructure, of course is now, also, no longer sufficiently adequate to meet present demographic requirements. Because of rural Ireland’s abandonment and neglect by this government, over the past 8 years in office; through lack of broadband; rural transport; funding & development etc. Brexit should now offer further growth opportunities to Dublin.  To this end, be assured that weighty funding for projects such as MetroLink and DART expansion, not to mention Water Supply Projects are, if you pardon the pun, ‘in the Dublin pipeline’, as rural Ireland continues to be ignored and totally rejected.Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail