The joint Fine Gael / Labour government coalition who believed that the anti-water charge campaign had conveniently run out of steam, got a further ‘sharp poke in the ribs today’, when over 80,000 people took to the streets of Ireland’s capitol to protest for the first time this year, sending, yet again, a clear pre-election message.
Describing politely Irish Water as nothing more than a “toxic quango,” involved protesters from Tipperary sent Minister Alan Kelly and his senior officials and over-paid consultants the message that they ‘cannot and will not pay,’ what they describe as his “back of an envelope calculations.”
This successful protests today follows on from the unjustified jailing of protesters; the wasting of over €85m on private consultants; the €539m wasted on installing water meters; the latest spending of some €650,000 on current TV advertising campaigns, not to mention hundreds of unnecessary Garda hours, paid for by taxpayers, wasted needlessly on everyday policing of water meter installations.
This naive and unbelievably pubescent planning of ‘Irish Water’ by former Fine Gael Minister Phil Hogan is now recognised by those not as yet forced to emigrate from Ireland, as being tantamount to gross criminal misappropriation by those who were elected with a fiduciary duty to care for and protect our nation’s most basic of assets.
Campaigners, many from Thurles and broader Co. Tipperary will now continue protesting until this or a future alternative Government abolishes domestic water charges; takes steps to permanently enshrine our water in public ownership and returns to the drawing board to devise and implement a more ‘ability to pay, ‘fit-for-purpose’ policy, with regard to our countries natural, God given, water resources.
In the words of Cork born Thomas Davis, creator of the culture of modern Irish nationalism; organiser of the Young Ireland movement and editor of ‘The Nation’ newspaper in the 1840s; “Where Tipperary leads, Ireland follows.”
‘No Junk Mail’ stickers are being made available to householders across Tipperary in a bid to reduce the amount of waste generated locally by unsolicited mail, dropped through letterboxes.
The Southern Waste Regional Office, supported by the Environment Section of Tipperary County Council, has developed the initiative as part of its ‘Do One More Thing Campaign’ to encourage resource efficiency and waste prevention.
The campaign is a key element of a public consultation on a new plan that sets out a framework for waste management in 10 counties across the south of Ireland, including Tipperary, during the next six years.
Key targets outlined in the Draft Southern Region Waste Management Plan, which is one of three being developed in Ireland, include a 1% reduction per annum in the quantity of household waste generated per capita over the period of the plan, a recycling/preparing for reuse rate of 50% by 2020, and the elimination of the direct disposal of unprocessed residual waste to landfill from 2016.
“Junk mail is not only a great source of annoyance for many householders but it is also a huge generator of unnecessary waste,” explained Mary Carroll, Environment Section, Tipperary County Council.
“Unsolicited mail is mail you receive through your letter box and not via An Post. It generally comprises of items such as local take away menus, local taxi companies, and local companies advertising services such as house or garden maintenance. In Tipperary, especially around the larger towns, the problem is particularly bad and is a source of annoyance for many,” said Ms. Carroll.
“While junk mail can be recycled most householders when asked say they would prefer not to get it in the first place. The ‘No Junk Mail’ stickers we are making available are a polite way to request distributors not to give you the material,” she added.
No Junk Mail stickers are being made available from the offices of the Environment Section of Tipperary County Council. A number of local Tidy Towns Groups are also distributing the stickers.
A series of other ‘Do One More Thing Campaign’ measures are planned for the coming months, according to Pauline McDonogh, Regional Waste Prevention Co-ordinator, Southern Waste Region.
“Among the initiatives, which are funded by the EPA, is the repairing and bringing back into use of broken household items, improving the quality of recycling so less recyclable waste is contaminated, and reducing household food waste through smarter shopping, improved food storage and more efficient use of foodstuffs,” stated Ms. McDonogh.
Commenting on the public consultation process for the Draft Southern Region Waste Management Plan, Ms. McDonogh noted: “The draft plan aims to move our management of waste from a traditional disposal model to a circular economy model so that waste becomes a future resource or raw material. Householders, businesses and even schools can kick-start this process by visiting our website at wwww.southernwasteregion.ie and learning how they can directly play a role in boosting household and commercial recycling rates and reducing the level of waste sent to landfill.”
The Southern Region Waste Management Plan is expected to be finalised by mid-April 2015. The Southern Waste Region encompasses the local authorities in Tipperary, Carlow, Clare, Cork City, Cork County, Kerry, Kilkenny, Limerick City & County, Waterford City & County and Wexford.
On Monday morning last saw the formal signing of the contract for the new Thurles town park. Amongst those in attendance for the signing were Mr Joe MacGrath ( Chief Executive Tipperary County Council), Mr Michael Ryan (Thurles Administrator), Mr Michael Fitzgerald, (Cathaoirleach Tipperary County Council), Mr Pearse Ferguson (SIAC Construction Ltd.,) Mr Nicholas de Jong (Park Design Team), M/s Deirdre O’Shea (Council Administrative Staff Member), Tipperary Co Councillors; Mr Michael Smith, Mr John Hogan, Mr Jackie Cahill, Mr Seamus Hanafin, Mr Micheál Lowry, Mr David Doran and Mr Jim Ryan together with Mr Padraig Killeen, (SIAC Construction Ltd.), Mr Michael Tierney, Mr Matt Shortt (District Director for Templemore / Thurles Municipal Council) and Mr Ruairi Boland (Engineer).
L-R Seated, Front Row: Mr Joe MacGrath (C.E., Tipperary County Council), Mr Michael Fitzgerald (Cathaoirleach Tipperary County Council), Mr Pearse Ferguson (SIAC Construction Ltd.). L-R Standing, Back Row: Mr Michael Smith (North Tipperary County Councillor), M/s Deirdre O’Shea (Council Administrative Staff Member), Mr Nicholas de Jong (Design Team).
Work has already begun on this new exciting Thurles project, latter, for the benefit of non Thurles residents which is situated east of the town, behind the present Source complex.
The park, which has the full backing of both Thurles residents and businesses; was previously agreed through a process of full consultation, the end result of which is now the emergence of a modern well designed and much needed Town Park amenity.
As part of this new park amenity; a new footbridge is planned, same to be built over the river Suir running from the east bank of St Patrick’s college former grounds to the west bank joining Emmet Street (The Watery Mall) and Thomond Road, close to what locals call the “Swinging Gates.”
Click on image left to view larger picture of the overall proposed final park plan.
One of the entertaining features of this new amenity will be a new Skateboarding area which no doubt will be a source of attraction for many of our young people in the coming weeks. However to date no sporting shops in the town appear to be offering Skateboards for sale. Skateboards of course are not overly expensive to purchase and for those of you anxious to to get a handle on this sport simply click Skateboard here and browse to suit your pocket.
Congratulations to all those who, through their vision, financing and planning contributed to this now, soon to be realised, Thurles Town Park amenity.
Dáil Bar – any day at lunch time.
Exciting news today, with the as yet unconfirmed reports that Google, HSE and PayPal offices could be on the move out of Dublin, “lock, stock and laptop,” to provide jobs here in Thurles, Co Tipperary.
The rumour is supported by reports that Dublin Authorities have now advertised for a specialist company which will hopefully rid them of a colony of seagulls circling high rise buildings in the capital, mistaking the latter as erosion landforms or vertical cliffs.
To prevent this possible stampede of recent new Dublin jobs to rural Thurles, this same Dublin Authority are now seeking, quote; “a professional pest control company to provide a suitable deterrent system, or process, to eliminate the presence of birds and seagulls.”
“The seagulls here in Dublin have lost the run of themselves” said one Dáil Éireann TD. “Dive Bombing Seagulls drive at us through the open windows of the Dáil Bar at lunch time, like ancient Pterosaurs, he continued. (Latter ‘Pterosaurs’ is a type of flying reptile from the late Triassic and Cretaceous Period, living some 228 to 66 million years prior to the birth of EU commissioner Phil Hogan).
They snatch from our hands Gourmet Burgers, Decadence D’Or Cupcakes and in the ensuing turmoil of fighting them off, overturn large glasses filled with Henri Jayer Richebourg Grand Cru and Cote de Nuits, latter to be soaked up in expensive chair and floor coverings,” said another disgusted female visiting Senator.
The hallowed corridors of our parliament building were awash yesterday, with rumours that a bag of traditional hard boiled sweets (large ‘Black & White Mint Humbugs,’ I understand), latter purchased from the cut price Dáil Tuck-Shop for use in the Dáil Chamber, had been snatched by one of these same vicious winged marauders.
The TD and Senator referred too, who both wish to remain anonymous, have now called for the Environment Minister and Tipperary native, Mr Alan Kelly to take immediate remedial action.
The raucous and anti-social behaviour caused by these seagulls may also give us a clue as to why our Irish elected representatives made such a ‘hames’ of certain policy decisions, over the past four or five years. It is not widely known, but it would appear that these noisy seagulls are keeping our politicians, senior civil servants and their vast array of consultants awake at night; latter all attempting to slumber in these same high-rise Dublin cliff-like apartments.
Is it any wonder therefore that what should have been a relatively easy solution to many of our countries problems, (e.g. the nation’s crippling bank bailout, – the granting to Irish Water of over €424.5 million to install water metres instead of plugging leaks – and of course the latest refusal by Fine Gael and Labour TD’s to “rock off ” on the Vincent Brown / TV3 proposed late night ‘people debates’ programmes) are now observed by the Irish electorate as being unmitigated full-blown national catastrophes.
The good news for Thurles however could be that senior management and staff at the offices of Google, HSE and PayPal have all had their fill of these seagulls and are now looking for ‘gull free territory’. If truth be known they are sick to death of these swooping cheeky birds, squawking from their nests at ‘cock crow’ every morning, from the elevation of these new man-made cliffs.
Management and staff are rightly afraid of these birds, who in scenes reminiscent of the Alfred Hitchcock movie “The Birds,” attack their young children; dispossessing them of their lollipops and gourmet French Fries (‘Chips’ to rural dwellers), not to mention the continuous squirting of eliminated liquids and solids, falling while in flight from their digestive tracts, via their ani, before landing to splatter on new shiny metallic Mercedes-Benz auto-mobiles, during a time of great urban water shortages.
Result for Thurles however would be a massive reduction in current unemployment for the first time in over 25 years and all thanks to good old Mother Nature and Dublin’s sardine famished seagull population.
A 26 year old man, who was injured while kayaking yesterday with a group of friends in the Clare Glens area near Newport in Tipperary, has been treated in Limerick University Hospital for non-life threatening injuries, following a rescue operation which lasted some three and a half hours.
The rescue efforts were supported by the South Eastern Mountain Rescue Association (S.E.M.R.A), the Coast Guard Helicopter service from Waterford, together with the Newport Fire Service, the Killaloe Coast Guard, HSE Ambulance Staff and members of the Gardaí.
It is understood that the man ran into difficulties in a very inaccessible area, while attempting to traverse the river Clare. Latter river flows through a naturally occurring dense wooded area which is situated on both sides by a red sandstone gorge, known to visitors as the Clare Glens and which in turn displays numerous natural waterfalls, rock pools and rapids.
This extremely picturesque location has become a very popular visitor attraction for walkers, due to its sheer natural beauty and its offer of some wonderful photographic opportunities.
Mr Jimmy Barry, Deputy PRO for the Clonmel based S.E.M.R.A. stated that rescuers needed all the resources they could access to get the man and his friends to safety. Having assessing the overall situation it had been decided to lower a stretcher and mountain rescue volunteers to the casualty site.
This operation was the first call out for the S.E.M.R.A team in 2015, the last being on St Stephen’s Day 2014.