County Tipperary T.D, Mr Michael Lowry has welcomed the Government’s latest funding injection of over €4 million for Energy Efficiency Upgrades in Co. Tipperary.
In a statement yesterday, Mr Lowry said; “I heartily welcome an allocation of funding from the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Mr Denis Naughten, which will see €26 million being approved for some 44 community energy projects across Ireland; over €4 million of which, I am happy to state, will be received for identified projects here in Co. Tipperary”.
The funding is being released under this year’s ‘Better Energy Communities Schemes’ which is administered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, on behalf of the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment.
Deputy Lowry further stated, “The Better Energy Communities Schemes is intended to assist private and public buildings achieve energy efficiency upgrading. The identified Tipperary projects will see the installation and/or upgrading of energy efficient heating systems; energy efficient lighting, and solar heating. These successful projects in Tipperary will see the inclusion of energy upgrades to over 250 homes, along with works carried out to Public, Commercial and Retail Buildings. I also welcome the works to be carried out on Schools, Community Halls and GAA sport facilities, right across our county”.
Lowry continued, “Today’s total grant announcement heralds a very welcome and an important phase in the continued development of those at risk of energy poverty. This funding will continue to also assist in the development of the industry, both sustaining and developing employment in our local economy”.
Projects in Tipperary receiving funding will include:-
BEC/00633: This proposal is a collective one on behalf of a range of Eco-Merit member companies and organisations. These are a mix of commercial, public and not-for-profit entities, including registered charities with a common goal of improving their sustainability and energy efficiency. The non-domestic buildings involved in the project include: Waterford and South Tipperary Community Youth Services (WSTCYS). WSTCYS will share a grant offer of €170,586, along with other qualified projects in this section.
An early reminder, addressed in particular to all those residing in the Templemore – Thurles Municipal district, regarding recycling of electrical devices.
As most of us are aware, WEEE Ireland organise and promote public collection events of waste electrical devices, e.g. all types of batteries, farm fencing, automotive and portable batteries, torches, fridges, freezers, washing machines, electric ovens, PCs, TVs, Monitors, phones, lighting equipment, energy saving bulbs, power tools and other small electrical devices, in areas which do not have convenient access to civic amenity sites.
Remember WEEE material is anything with a plug normally attached and WEEE Ireland will be making collections on the following dates and from the following venues, in around three weeks to four weeks time:-
Dates – Venues – Times Saturday – May 20th – Mid-Tipperary Mart, Thurles – 10am – 4pm.
Saturday – May 27th – Car Park, Templemore – 10am – 4pm.
WEEE Ireland is a not for profit organisation, founded by the producers of electrical and electronic appliances, in order to comply with the legal obligations imposed by the WEEE Directive 2002/96/EC.
So here is your opportunity to bring along old redundant electrical appliances for recycling. Remember this is a completely FREE service, eliminating the temptation to dump illegally in our beautiful Tipperary countryside.
Fáilte Ireland announced that €11.5m is to be invested in the refurbishment of ten key OPW sites in Dublin and within Ireland’s Ancient East region. But then of course the OPW Heritage Services work in partnership with this same Fáilte Ireland, so no great surprises here. It was simply a case of tourism revenues earned by the OPW, being given back to the OPW.
It is not really the distribution of funding that actually bothers me, after all Co Tipperary got a share; Ormond Castle were granted €585,000, while the Rock of Cashel were granted €1.78m.
Gobán Saor’s cat rapidly eroding.
Of course, the area within a 33 miles radios of Dublin’s popular O’Connell street, as usual, got the majority of funding; yes over €8m in total. This included €3m towards a new museum and viewing platform in ‘The Record Tower’ at Dublin Castle; €300,000 towards a Phoenix Park tourism and amenity study. Twenty-five miles’ away the Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre got €2.58m; and thirty three miles away Newgrange got €1m and Knowth €1.4m.
This Fáilte Ireland funding announced earlier this month, when truly examined, certainly represents a true strategic partnership with the OPW, if you know what I mean. Plus, as Fáilte Ireland point out, our Irish tourism sector after all currently sustains 220,000 (minimum wage) jobs, while generating an estimated €6bn in economic value per year to the State.
As already stated, it is not really this unequal distribution of funding that actually bothers me, no my fear centres around the wanton destruction of our local unique history and culture, which provides that strong incentive in bringing people to our shores. To get to the crux of this matter perhaps I need to explain further.
Tourists who visit Ireland are not exactly attracted by our weather, rather a huge percentage of foreign visitors are incentivised to holiday on our island, because of our wild, unspoilt, scenic beauty and remarkable ancient history. While most of our history is protected in museums, much more remains totally unprotected.
Archer Tomb Date 1520. Present condition in 2017.
Here in Thurles town Co. Tipperary, alone, numerous pieces of our rich heritage lie unprotected from weather erosion. Year by year, with the passing of each season; rain, wind, frost, snow and even sunshine, all ploy and conspire to shorten and destroy the future life of centuries old rare historical artefacts. Private funding offered, to protect this heritage, are resolutely refused, however funding is being (alas to late), provided to carry out photogrammetry surveys. See HERE and HERE.
The world was outraged in May 2015 when ISIS militants destroyed some of the historic buildings in the ancient city of Palmyra, located in war-torn Syria; which in the past flourished as a Roman trading outpost around A.D. 200. While this similarity is perhaps extreme, the same situation is being allowed to happen to valuable history in rural Ireland.
Dublin not only get the employment opportunities now-a-days it would appear, but into the future, only within a 50 mile radius of our capital city, will limited history survive, courtesy of Fáilte Ireland’s neglect of rural Ireland.
We rightly worry about the disappearance of Banks, Post Offices, Garda Stations, Hospitals and Public Transport from rural Ireland, now our politicians can add tourist attractions to this ever-growing list; while into the future the actual visitor.
Incidentally, those of you who reside abroad and continue to retain close links with Thurles, Co. Tipperary, you can purchase a cast, (at reasonable cost), of the Thurles Goban Saor’s cat with two tails, shown above, from HERE. Same will ensures one hell of a talking point for visitors to your home, when hanging on your sitting-room wall.
We will be talking about this Gobán Saor’s cat in the coming days.
Irish President Mr Michael D. Higgins will officially visit North Tipperary to open the new Cloughjordan Community Amphitheatre.
The event is expected to take place at 4.00pm on Friday next, April 21st.
The amphitheatre, situated in Ireland’s first ever ecovillage, is sculpted from Tipperary subsoil, extracted during the initial infrastructural stage of the Cloughjordan eco-village, back in 2004-6.
This subsoil created a mound of settled earth some 8 meters in height, and covered an area of over 2 acres, which was too vast to re-use. Any disposal, off-site, of this earth was also obviously not an option for planning and environmental reasons, so the idea of sculpting an amphitheatre was muted, agreed and developed by Cloughjordan Arts CLG, a not-for-profit company.
The new venue which has a seating capacity for more than 250 people, incorporates a commemorative inscription to honour Cloughjordan native, poet, and signatory of the 1916 Proclamation, Thomas MacDonagh.
The amphitheatre, into the future, is expected to stage a diverse range of local social events, i.e. drama, concerts, debates, screenings and music recitals.
Junk Kouture is all about creating fashion from recyclable materials of every sort. Its purpose is to encourage young future designers, in second level education, to create striking couture designs and impressive works of wearable art, from everyday junk that would normally find its way into our rubbish dumps.
This year a number of young designers from Transition Year at the Ursuline Convent here in Thurles are taking part in the ‘National Junk Kouture Competition’, sponsored by Bank of Ireland (BOI).
It is no secret that the annual National Junk Kouture competition aims to inspire and ignite passion in young teenagers, while at the same time subtly educating them about the importance of recycling and the reusing of waste materials.
Over the last six years, Bank of Ireland’s Junk Kouture has established itself as the premier recycled fashion competition for teenagers throughout Ireland and Northern Ireland and in 2015 extended its creative platform, further afield, to the shores of Scotland.
This year the Ursuline Convent’s very imaginative, chosen, dress design, entitled “Kamuro”, was initially inspired by fireworks going off in our Thurles night sky. The firework explosion formation known as ‘Kamuro’, (Japanese for ‘boy’s haircut’) creates a tight cluster of silver or gold stars, with attendant glittery, cloudy trails, leaving the viewer hard-pressed not to see what appears to be a ‘haircut’ in the sky.
The dress, affected totally from recycled materials only, was contrived and manufactured over a seven month period by student designer’s M/s Winona Ryan, M/s Sarah Ryan and M/s Roisin Heffernan.
These Ursuline students would really appreciate if you could vote for their dress design in this national final. Voting was launched on Monday last 3rd April 2017 @ 9am and closes at midnight on Friday 14th April 2017.
You can greatly assist their efforts in this competition simply by clicking HERE and picking out their dress called KAMURO, then click on it to vote. See flashing “Click here to vote” at top of web page. (Above last year’s winner’s head.) Do not forget “Hit that share button also”.
Do remember you can vote once every 24 hours and every vote counts!
The Grand Final of Bank of Ireland Junk Kouture, for which tickets are available, takes place at the 3Arena, North Wall Quay, North Dock, Dublin 1, on Thursday 27th of April 2017, beginning at 7.00pm(19:00hrs) sharp.
Amongst the many valued prizes up for grabs on the night, the winning school can picks up €2,500 in cash and takes home the valued Junk Kouture Trophy.
“Super design and best of luck to all students taking part.”