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Draft Thurles Renewal Strategy Extended

Ms Sadbh Hanley (Planning, Policy and Projects Unit Tipperary County Council, Civic Offices, Limerick Rd., Nenagh, Co. Tipperary) reports:-

“Please note that the consultation period for the Draft Thurles Renewal Strategy has been extended to facilitate further engagement.
Note: The Draft is available at the link hereunder along with the feedback survey until November 2nd 2020.

Liberty Square, Thurles, Co Tipperary.

LUC and TCC are encouraging all members of the community to complete the survey and would welcome the involvement of schools and students. Submissions are accepted online at the above link and also are available in the Thurles MD office in paper form.

If you would like any further information regarding this project or would like to book a face to face meeting, please contact our partners at LUC via the engagement lead Ms Julie Hyslop Email: julie.hyslop@landuse.co.uk or Tel: 0161 537 5960.”


Using Green & Blue spaces Benefit Physical & Mental Health

Green and blue spaces should be protected, maintained and integrated in health, planning and other social and economic development policy.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Health Service Executive (HSE) will launch the key findings from jointly-funded research projects on the benefits of green and blue spaces to health and wellbeing in a joint Webinar today.

View of part of ‘The Galtees’ mountain range, Co. Tipperary

Ireland’s green and blue spaces are essential components of Ireland’s health infrastructure and include urban parks, coasts, lakes and rivers, forests and bogs. The research launched today has found that using green and blue spaces benefits people’s physical and mental health. Such benefits include increasing physical activity, enhancing mental wellbeing and providing spaces for social interaction.

Findings highlight that green and blue spaces should be protected, maintained and integrated in health, planning and other social and economic development policy.

Laura Burke (Director-General, Environmental Protection Agency) stated,
“Research has an important role to play in establishing how human health can be enhanced by a healthy environment. The research launched today is particularly relevant and timely during the on-going Covid-19 crisis as people focus on making the most of the natural environment in their local areas. It shows that access to green and blue spaces benefit people’s health and wellbeing. Establishing a knowledge base on the link between our health and our environment, can support the development of policies to protect our essential blue and green spaces.”

Dr. Stephanie O’Keefe (Health Service Executive) stated:
“Our health and our environment are hugely interconnected. COVID-19 has brought this reality into stark relief. These excellent research projects increase our understanding of the importance of green and blue space for our health and wellbeing. The research also highlights that access to good quality green and blue space is not equal for all. The HSE’s ongoing collaboration with the EPA is important as we strive to protect and improve human health and wellbeing, and therefore the spaces and places in which we live. Developing a strong evidence base to target improvements is part of this.”

Joint funding to a value of around €0.6 million was awarded to three research studies in 2016 to support the implementation of Healthy Ireland, the national framework for action to improve the health and wellbeing of the people of Ireland.

The following research reports were launched today:

  • GBI-Health: Green and Blue Spaces and Health: A Health-led Approach – Led by Dr Ronan Foley in Maynooth University – focusing on health-date aspects.
  • Eco-Health: Ecosystem Benefits of Greenspace for Health – Led by Professor Mark Foley in University College Dublin – focusing on Design/Planning aspects.
  • NEAR-Health: Nature and Environment to Attain and Restore Health – Led by Dr Caitriona Carlin in National University of Ireland, Galway – focusing on the relations between green & blue spaces, nature and communities

An additional project, also co-funded by the EPA and HSE, looking at evaluating health benefits derived from green and blue spaces, was carried out by the ESRI and its findings will be presented by Dr Gianluca Grilli during the Webinar.

Speaking at the Webinar today Dr Jonathan Derham, Environmental Protection Agency stated:
“Research is needed at a national and local level to provide evidence for decisions and investment by government and others to protect and develop green and blues spaces, so they can deliver for the health and wellbeing of the population. There is a high value in ongoing research and in providing insights and information that can better inform policy and planning. We need to monitor usage to improve data and understanding of the contribution to health and wellbeing. A well-managed network of green and blue spaces contributes to our quality of life and health, but also helps Ireland meet its European and international obligations and future-proof the country.”

Further EPA-HSE co-funded research (to a value of around €1.2 million) is currently on-going on the topics of linkages between Health and Air Quality and Noise, as well as on Antimicrobial Resistance. These projects are due for completion in 2021-2022.


Work Progression On Draft Thurles Town Centre Renewal Strategy

We kindly received an email this afternoon from Sadbh Hanley, (Planning, Policy and Projects Unit, Tipperary Co. Council).

Sadbh Hanley reports:-
“Tipperary County Council have recently been progressing work on the Draft Thurles Town Centre Renewal Strategy.

The aim of the strategy is to create a thriving and vibrant town centre which will support the future growth of the town and the needs of its residents, visitors and businesses.

You have been involved in the first stage of consultation in early 2020 where we asked for some baseline feedback on how you felt about Thurles Town Centre; what the issues were, and what you think the opportunities might be. This feedback has been summarised into a short video, and can be viewed above.

Baseline information, analysis and ensuing recommendations have been summarised within a Renewal Strategy Report which can be viewed in full on the Tipperary County Council Website HERE.

We would very much appreciate your time in responding to a short survey on recommendations from the Renewal Strategy. This should take no longer than 10 minutes to complete.

See Survey Link HERE.

“We would also like to take this opportunity to invite you to pop in to view a temporary display of the Renewal Strategy information running from Monday 5th October until Monday 26th October at The Source, Cathedral Street, Thurles, E41 A4E8 and in the entrance foyer of Tipperary County Council Municipal District Office, Castle Avenue, Thurles, E41 KA44.

There will be opportunity to feedback via a paper survey if you prefer. Please only fill in either the online survey OR the paper survey – you do not need to fill in both.”

If you would like any further information regarding this project, please contact our partners at LUC via the engagement lead Julie Hyslop E: julie.hyslop@landuse.co.uk or Tel: 0161 537 5960.


Aerial View Of Thurles Great Famine Double Ditch Project

Dublin City Council is investigating the circumstances surrounding the demolition of the former home of a 1916 leader. View RTÉ report HERE
Meanwhile, here in Thurles Co. Tipperary, the scene is one of similar deception by Tipperary Co. Council.

Our readers will be aware of the reply we received from Tipperary County Council officials Ms Janice Gardiner or Mr. Eamon Lonergan, (we are unsure of the actual author – View HERE ) that, quote “Tipperary County Council has reviewed all documentation relating to the planning aspects of the Thurles Inner Relief Road Project and can find no reference to the existence of the feature/path/monument you describe.”

In relation to the word’s “feature” and “path”, we here at Thurles.Info decided to check.
Despite massive expense incurred, we flew a Drone over the area.

Low and behold, as agreed by Google Maps, we discovered the Double Ditch has not moved, and 175 years later, it still exists in exactly the same spot; operating as a Thurles right-of-way and a Mass path, despite the reports by An Bord Pleanala Report (PL79.JP0024); the 2013 EIA Screening Report and the 2013 Archaeological Impact Statement, and so on and so on.

Very soon we will prove without doubt that deceitful or misinformed Tipperary County Council officials and prevaricating elected representatives are attempting, through subterfuge, to destroy valuable Thurles Heritage.


Thurles Double Ditch – Tipperary County Council Continue In Their Silence

We welcome the anticipated new Thurles Tourism Office to the building once known as the old National Bank building and gifted to Thurles by Shannon Development under the governance of Thurles Development Association, Shannon Development and Tipperary County Board G.A.A..

Thurles has, it now appears, two Tourist Offices, one new office on Slievenamon road and one other, some 100 metres away in Bookworm on Liberty Square.

Same is being opened at a time when Liberty Square is desolate, being redeveloped/upgraded; at a time when even the Swifts and Swallows have returned back to Africa; in the middle of a COVID-19 virus pandemic; and of course at a time when Tipperary County Council has decided to destroy much of Thurles Town’s valuable heritage, namely the Great Famine Double Ditch monument.
Nevertheless we wish those involved, in the Thurles Tourism Office, every good wish for the future.

Thurles To Open A Second Tourist Office.

For those of our readers following our efforts to preserve and retain our heritage, please read HERE to refresh your memories before reading content hereunder.

My reply to Mr David Coleman, (Ethics Registrar, Corporate Services, Tipperary Co. Council.)

I thank you for your communication of the 23rd instant.

Let me deal with the first part of your communication. You stated: “The appropriate response in the case of your queries should come from the Thurles Municipal District Executive, i.e. the District Manager or the District Administrator. I understand that you have received a reply to your queries from the Acting District Manager.

Allow me to remind you of the original question asked two months ago: “Will the planned Thurles inner relief road impinge, in a negative way, on the 1846 Thurles “Double Ditch”, which has been a right of way and a Mass Path for almost 175 years and which is the property of the people of Thurles and a national monument?

The reply which came from Ms Janice Gardiner (Acting District Manager) stated:- “Tipperary County Council has reviewed all documentation relating to the planning aspects of the Thurles Inner Relief Road Project and can find no reference to the existence of the feature/path/monument you describe.”

Do you now, Mr Coleman, believe that the above reply from Ms Gardiner (Acting District Manager), answers the original question asked 6 weeks previously?

See link  http://www.thurles.info/2020/09/17/even-more-news-on-efforts-to-destroy-thurles-heritage-by-tipperary-co-co/
Were Ms Gardiner to arise from her desk and travel a mere 1610 metres from her office, she can physically view the same “feature/path/monument” that I described, which looms exceedingly large on the local Mill Road, landscape.

As you can see from the link HERE, I have requested (on September 17th 2020) from Ms Gardiner, (and referring to the An Bord Pleanala Report PL79.JP00242013; Archaeological Impact Statement; and the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Screening Report 2013), quote, “I now request copies of all 3 reports to be sent directly to me, in the knowledge that there is a charge for such copies, which I will pay for, immediately on receipt.”

Mr Coleman, I first made contact with you via Mr Ger Walsh in my effort to obtain answers to questions which seven of nine elected Councillors refused to answer over a then seven week period. The nature of the questions, numbering 1 & 2, were urgent, as developers were already in place, beginning their contractual commitments.

Note: The Standards in Public Office Commission which promotes transparency and accountability in Irish public life, (SIPO) correctly informed me via their Complaints Shared Mailbox on 28th August 2020, at 11:49 : –
“Dear Mr Willoughby,
Our most up to date records state that the Ethics Registrar for Tipperary County Council is Mr Ger Walsh. This position is one which is required by statute to change frequently however, so it may be prudent to check with the Council who holds the position currently. The Oireachtas should be able to advise you on when a new Committee will be established, the Standards in Public Office Commission has no role in considering Ethics complaints concerning TDs.” 

So that there now remains no misunderstanding, having checked with a telephonist at Tipperary Co. Council, (Tel: 0761 065000), I was Informed that Mr Ger Walsh remained the Ethics Registrar.

The functions of any local authority are to provide a forum for the democratic representation of the local community and to provide civic leadership for that community. It is also charged under the Local Government Act, 2001 (section 64)to promote interest among young people in democracy and local government and in community and civic affairs generally”

Do you believe therefore that it is in keeping that one elected Council member, namely Mr Michaél Lowry should ask me, 7 weeks after addressing my questions to him twice, quote Who the f..k do you think you are?”

Since we now learn that Ms Janice Gardener is the only person that can be approached with queries, why do we need County Councillors on huge salaries at all, latter who hold already alternative 9 to 5 full-time employment, thus wasting taxpayer’s money?

I get the impression from your reply that perhaps you and some of your Council colleagues, see me as some kind of asinine, doltish and meaningless, time waster and while I thank you for having contacted 7 of our 9 councillors in terms of their having no regard to and not being guided by the Council’s Code of Conduct, the question remains, have you also contacted senior officials employed on Tipperary County Council’s workforce, from whom replies were also sought and remain unanswered?.

I trust you have familiarized yourself fully with the Local Government Act of 2001 [ Section 174 (i) ] regarding your dealings with Elected Councillors and Council officials. To date 5 councillors and 3 Tipperary Co. Council. officials have failed to reply to me in writing.

Suffice to state that to date, shamefully, two months after the questions were initially asked, I still, today, together with my readers, await even one satisfactory, honest or candid answer, in my dealings regarding this unpalatable matter.

There now appear to be no single person within Tipperary Co. Council, led by Mr Joe MacGrath CE that can conduct, with any real authority, the moral principles that should govern the behaviour or activity of Council officials or Locally Elected Representatives.

But Ladies and Gentlemen, answer you will!

Yours sincerely.
George Willoughby