One wonders if so called authorities in Brussels are fully aware that Ireland was financially destitute in recent years; having paid 42% of the total cost of the European banking crisis, at a cost of close to €9,000 per person, according to Eurostat.
My reasons for making this statement is because I read today that Europe’s environmental watchdogs are possibly taking Ireland to court over the pumping of raw sewage into rivers and the sea. Yes we are guilty, purely because we as a nation were forced to accept an €85 billion bailout from the EU/IMF/ECB troika in late 2010 to allow us regain access to financial markets, fix our broken banks and return to sustainable growth. This achieved by over burdened resident tax payers, now it is estimated that all sewage treatment plants delayed will in fact be upgraded in the next 4 years, by 2021, at a cost of some €1.25bn.
EU Inspectors claim that 38 towns and cities have inadequate treatment plants for waste water, and are putting human health at risk, while leaving the country potentially remaining liable for millions of Euro in anti-pollution fines. The European Commission is expected to take the case to the European Court of Justice, after the Government failed to meet deadlines set for sewage plants to be built or upgraded by the end of 2000 and 2005.
In particular Inspectors have identified inadequate sewage treatment plants found not suitable for the populations of Nenagh, Thurles, and Roscrea in Co. Tipperary; together with treatment plants in the popular tourist centres of Killarney and Tralee in Co. Kerry.
In Donegal, Gaoth Dobhair, Killybegs and the Ballybofey/Stranorlar areas same have been similarly identified, while Cavan; Clifden; Roscommon town; Shannon town; Tubbercurry in Co Sligo and Waterford city are also included.
Authorities in Brussels however claim that Ireland had until the end of 2000 to ensure all urban areas, with more than 15,000 residents, should have had adequate sewerage systems by the end of 2005, thus removing the risk of human defecation being discharged from medium-sized towns into our rivers, lakes and estuaries.
Now with the added danger of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union. (Widely known as Brexit, a portmanteau of “British” and “exit”), should Ireland be telling Europe’s environmental watchdogs to simply wait or more directly to piss-off?
A third case, here in Ireland, of the H5N8 bird flu has been detected near the village of Borrisokane, in North Co. Tipperary. Alas same was confirmed today by the Department of Agriculture.
While no outbreaks have been detected in poultry here in Tipperary or indeed Ireland so far; two previous cases of the avian influenza have been confirmed in migrating birds within the past two months; one in Co Galway, and one in Wexford.
We understand that the case identified was found in a migrating Whooper Swan. The Whooper Swan which normally breeds in Iceland, is a Winter visitor to Ireland’s wetlands, coastal inlets, estuaries and rivers, feeding on grasslands and stubble. Visiting from October to April each year; same are easily recognised via their vocal bugling or honking sound.
Following these confirmations of avian influenza, the Department of Agriculture has again emphasised the need for poultry flock owners to confine poultry and to remain vigilant; thus assisting in the prevention of this disease. Owners are also required to report any suspicious disease affecting their flocks; to their nearest Department Veterinary Office (Davis Street Tipperary – Tel: 062 80100).
The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has confirmed that although the H5N8 subtype flu can cause serious disease in poultry and other bird life, no human infections of this virus have as yet been reported world-wide and therefore risk to humans is considered to be extremely low. Warning however, the public, particularly curious children, are advised not to handle or seek to aid sick or dead birds, if located.
Are you back to work with your obsolete 2016 Christmas tree still clogging up your back yard?
Tempted to dump same after dark some evening in some isolated area of our picturesque Tipperary? Please don’t.
Take the opportunity this weekend to drop off your Christmas tree, ‘Free of Charge’, for recycling, no later than January 20th 2017, at any of the following locations here in Co. Tipperary.
Bottom of Parnell Street Car Park, here in Thurles.
Clonmel Recycling Centre, Carrigeen, Clonmel.
Waller’s-Lot Recycling Centre, Cashel.
Donohill Recycling Centre, Donohill, Tipperary.
Fair Green Car Park, Carrick-on-Suir.
Nenagh Recycling Centre, Nenagh.
Roscrea Recycling Centre, Roscrea.
Templemore Town Park, Templemore.
Cahir Business Park, Cahir.
You know it makes sense.
Tipperary County Council’s Winter Maintenance Schedule 2016/17.
Priority 1 Routes (Red) – Priority 2 Routes (Blue).
The winter maintenance period lasts from mid October to the end of April each year. Tipperary County Council are constantly striving to improve its winter maintenance service; however, neither the local authority nor Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) (formerly the NRA) has a statutory obligation to pre-salt roads. The aim, however, is to keep priority roads safe and as free as possible from wintry hazards.
Having regard to the Council’s resources in terms of finance, equipment and staffing levels and to maximise benefit to road users, winter maintenance of roads in Tipperary is prioritised on the following basis:-
Priority 1: M7 Motorway, M8 Motorway, National Roads, and Regional Roads of strategic importance, e.g. Expressway Bus routes, access to Train and Bus Depots, Hospitals, Ambulance routes, and Fire Stations.
Priority 2: Regional Roads with high volume of traffic using the road and access to major schools and industries.
Priority 3: Other regional roads, town streets and local county roads are on a priority basis.
(In extreme weather events Priority 1 routes will take precedence over Priority 2 routes in terms of allocation of available resources).
The Council has a quid pro quo agreements with Waterford, Limerick, and Kilkenny County Councils to treat routes in each other’s areas to increase efficiency of treatment routes and have three storage barns with a total capacity of approx 2,700 tonnes of salt, which is sufficient to treat a 5 day snow event. Eleven crews are rostered to pre-salt Priority 1 and Priority 2 Routes (approx. 1,010 Km) before the onset of expected icy conditions. These spreaders can have snow blades fitted in the event of snow.
It is common for a variance in road temperatures to occur across the county, which may result in only some of the routes being pre-treated on any particular night.
In the event of dangerous road conditions i.e. black ice, white frost, snow, flooding, muck or any other unscheduled and therefore hazardous condition, the responsibility remains for the road user to drive at an appropriate speed with all due care and attention and in accordance with all prevailing conditions.
Remember Tipperary County Council are not responsible for any accidents that may occur as a result of poor driving conditions.
With Irish Water intending to brief TD’s and Senators today, in Dublin’s Buswell’s Hotel, on their final details of its €1.2 billion project to pipe water from the river Shannon to Dublin; there is likely to be intense local opposition to the plans from rural farming groups and local residents.
Oireachtas members have today been invited to a presentation on the final preferred route, understood to stretch from the Parteen Basin through counties Tipperary and Offaly to Peamount in South Co. Dublin. The project to pipe water from the river Shannon to Dublin is aimed at supplying some 330 million litres to our capital city. Irish Water confirm this same supply on a daily basis would be the equivalent in size to the capacity of 125 Olympic size swimming pools, with same including not just a drinking supply, but also water for necessary industrial requirements.
Calls to repair the existing leakages to conserve water, estimated at 40% of Dublin’s current existing supplies within the city’s existing infrastructure, have being dismissed as being insufficient to meet future need, with the population of the greater Dublin area expected to rise from 1.5 million presently, to an estimated 2.1 million by 2050.
Compensation to the ESB is expected to cost the State about €1 million a year for their lost generating capacity, while compensation to land owners; required to grant a 50m wide way-leave for construction, to in future become a 20m way-leave when completed, has not been fully estimated, but will be negotiated with representative organisations, including angling bodies, tourism interests, the Irish Farmers Association and the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association, using the existing methodology which currently applies when compensating those inconvenienced by gas pipeline construction.
Those opposed to the project claim that construction of this project is simply the building of a piece of infrastructure which, in the future, developed as a State asset, will be sold off to yet another foreign ‘Vulture Fund’.