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wind speed: 3 m/s SW
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sunset: 9:42 pm


Cost Of Postage Increases From Today

The cost of a postage stamp has increased from today, with the standard domestic letter rate for items weighing up to 100g, within our green isle, increasing from €0.72c to €1.00. The standard ‘International Letter Rate’ for weights up to 100g will also increase from €1.10 to €1.35. 

An Post state that these increases of between 12% and 39% right across the full range of Irish mail services are now necessary for them to continue to meet their Universal Service Obligations. They also claim that

Mr David McRedmond (An Post CEO) has stated recently that this present price increase represents the average price across Europe, and their new domestic stamp rate of €1.00 is still well below the EU Average of €1.10, surely the accuracy of his statement must remain questionable. The price of an Irish stamp today remains the forth highest in Europe (See above); with the average price of a stamp in Europe standing at around the 75 cent mark.


Thurles Civil Registration Office To Reopen

Public Representation on Civil Registration Department successful.

A definite date for the resumption of services at the now closed Civil Registration Office in Thurles, has at last been confirmed.

This response follows strong ongoing representations by Deputy Michael Lowry on this issue, which was being interpreted by the public in the greater Thurles area, as yet a further lessening of already diminishing rural services.

In a letter addressed yesterday to Deputy Michael Lowry from Mr Bernard Gloster; latter Chief Officer, HSE Mid West Community Healthcare, it has now been confirmed that the Civil Registration Office will re-open to the public on Monday 15th May, 2017, operating on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The public will now be able to resume using St Mary’s Health Centre in Castlemeadows, Thurles, to obtain birth, death and marriage certificates.

Correspondence to Mr Lowry reads:-

Private and Confidential
Mr Michael Lowry, T.D. Constituency Office Abbey Road, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

10th April 2017 

Re: Public Representation – Civil Registration Department, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

Dear Deputy Lowry,
I wish to refer to your representation received in relation to above and to advise the following:

The HR Department, HSE Mid West Community Healthcare is in the process of filling the position of Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages at the Civil Registration Department, Thurles. This Department will re-open to the public on Monday 15th May, 2017, operating on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

I trust this addresses the issues raised in your representation.

Yours sincerely
Bernard Gloster
Príomhoifigeach Cúraim Sláinte Phobail FSS an Mheán Iarthair.
Chief Officer, HSE Mid-West Community Healthcare.


School Bus Drivers & Teachers Set For Industrial Action

Bus Éireann Strike
Drivers of school buses are to be balloted on joining the Bus Éireann strike, now in its 11th day. This strike follows cost-cutting measures already introduced by Bus Éireann.

The Services, Industrial, Professional and Technical Union (SIPTU) have confirmed that the ballot could be concluded within three weeks.

This new development comes ahead of a recent announcement by the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) that it may be prepared to intervene in this lengthening dispute, over the coming days.

However, SIPTU have stated that even if their members do enter into talks at the WRC, it will not call off its present industrial action.

Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland to Ballot Membership
Meanwhile the Association of Secondary Teachers of Ireland (ASTI) are set to also ballot their members for industrial action in the coming weeks, over redundancy fears.

The ASTI, who are not party to the Lansdowne Road Agreement, have stated that a number of redundancies are being threatened by the Department of Education, due to their continuing Government dispute. Threats of redundancies, if carried out, would make them the first public sector workers to be made jobless since the start of the economic crash.


Minister Mary M. O’Connor To Send Op-Eds To Regional Papers Again

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Ms Mary Mitchell O’Connor will most certainly want articles and pictures taken of her at last years ploughing championships to be most definitely sent once again to all Tipperary rural newspapers, after the announcement yesterday of over 200 job losses in Nenagh, Co Tipperary. Here once again she is being slammed over her complete failure to create even one job in rural Tipperary.

[Remember this is the same “Minister for Jobs Lady” who suggested that tax incentives be given to Irish people who ran out of this country to find employment; in an effort to encourage them to return home. If you are from Tipperary and are reasonably happy abroad, stay where you are folks, there is certainly nothing on the employment front for you in rural Tipperary. Watch ‘Leaders Questions’; sure even our TD’s are failing to turn up for work in Dáil Éireann at present.]

As Independent.ie made us aware, the Jobs Minister instructed her advisers, on September 22nd 2016 last, by email at 5.39am, sending them the first paragraph of a story that appeared in our own Tipperary Star newspaper.

Photo Ms Mary Mitchell O’Connor, courtesy Independent.ie

To quote Independent.ie “It stated that Fianna Fáil TD Jackie Cahill slammed the minister for continuing to allow a two-tier Ireland take hold.

He quoted jobs figures from the previous government, saying almost half of IDA-supported jobs were in the greater Dublin area.

Four minutes after sending her first email, Ms Mitchell O’Connor wrote to her advisers: “I want Op-Eds [comment articles] going into local papers all over country.” She added: “Get a pic of me at ploughing and with Kerrygold. Agri food, artisan food and farming will need to be referenced.”
A spokeswoman for the minister last night said that “following further discussion” it was decided that all communications with regional newspapers “would be done around the regional action plan for jobs”.

On a previous occasion, Ms Mitchell O’Connor sent her advisers a link to an RTÉ story headlined “Minister criticised over Roche job losses”. The job losses were in Clare, Fine Gael TD Joe Carey’s constituency, and he called on the minister to travel to the company’s HQ in Switzerland to try to save the jobs. Ms Mitchell O’Connor asked her advisers to get her contact details for the pharmaceutical firm’s boss in Co Clare and to get an update from the IDA on replacing the facility.

She also asked: “What about a trip to Swiss HQ?”

A spokeswoman confirmed that the minister didn’t travel to Switzerland as it became clear that Roche’s decision was final and such a trip “would not have changed the outcome”.  She said last night that: “All regions have seen an increase in employment.”

No Minister O’Connor, “All regions have not seen an increase in employment.”

Where are the jobs promised prior to the last General Election, held on 26th February 2016?

We can confirm that the 1,432 jobs announced, highlighted and published in mid to late 2015, by former Tipperary Labour Minister Mr Alan Kelly, (700 for Nth Tipp. & 692 for Sth Tipp.), same promised employment prospects have not as yet materialised in 2017.


Fears For Over 200 Jobs In Nenagh Tipperary

Staff at the Coty plant situated in Nenagh, County Tipperary have been called to a meeting at midday today, fueling fears for the future of over 200 jobs.

Following a briefing after a Tipperary County Council monthly meeting yesterday, members were informed to expect the worst scenario.

In 2015 the Coty cosmetics manufacturing company, which boasts revenues of over €9 billion and is one of the biggest beauty companies in the world, took over the Proctor and Gamble facility, which had been in operation, since 1978, at the Gortlandroe Industrial Estate, situated in Nenagh.

The take over deal worth €11.3 billion, saw Coty acquire the brands Hugo Boss, Gucci and Max Factor, also hair and fragrance brands such as Calvin Klein, Clairol, Wella, and Rimmel are all part of its product range.

There were a number of concerns then about the takeover last year, including pension rights and last year the Labour Court recommended that the staff receive a once off loyalty payment.

Today’s midday meeting is likely to announce that all production at the plant in Nenagh will cease over an 18 months period, with all jobs moving from the area to the UK.

Worst scenario; staff at the Nenagh plant will receive redundancy payments under the terms previously available from Procter & Gamble, which amounts to six weeks pay per each year of service, plus two weeks statutory redundancy.


Coty this afternoon have confirmed that its plant, situated in Nenagh, Co Tipperary, will close by the end of 2018 with the loss of around 200 jobs.

The company confirmed it had carried out a detailed study of its global manufacturing and had decided to consolidate its total cosmetics operations, resulting in the complete closure of their Nenagh plant.

This decision came about following the merger of the Proctor & Gamble Speciality Beauty brands with Coty, and is reminiscent of so many other company mergers and take overs in recent years in Tipperary towns like Nenagh, Clonmel and Thurles.

The plant had been one of the biggest employers in Tipperary, with a workforce of over 500 persons since 1970.