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.
Deadline for Waste Management Plan public consultation draws near.
Householders and businesses across County Tipperary are being asked to “Do One More Thing” in 2015 to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill, to boost recycling rates and to prevent food waste.
The call has been made as part 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.
The Southern Region Waste Management Plan, which is one of three being developed in Ireland, seeks to assist and support the community and local business sector to develop resource efficiency and waste prevention initiatives.
Key targets outlined in the Plan 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.
As well as encouraging the public to engage in the public consultation process, the Southern Waste Regional Office is also urging the wider public to “Do One More Thing” to help reduce the amount of household waste that is generated and to promote waste prevention initiatives in the workplace.
“What we do with our waste will become increasingly important in years to come. As natural resources deplete we will have to reuse, repair and recycle more,” explained Pauline McDonogh, Regional Waste Prevention Co-ordinator, Southern Waste Region.
“The draft waste management plan for the Southern Region 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. Among the ‘Do One More Thing’ measures being promoted 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.
The preparation of new regional waste management plans for the regions has been underway since late 2013 following an evaluation of the previous plans which covered ten regions nationally.
Ms. McDonogh noted that “significant progress” has already been made in relation to waste prevention throughout the southern region.
Since the last waste management plans were published between 2004 and 2006, a southern region network of 770 Bottle bank sites and 50 Civic Amenity Sites accepting more than 25 categories of waste have been maintained, while a household recovery/recycling rate of 63% and a commercial recovery / recycling rate of 61% have been achieved. Nationally, a packaging recovery rate of 87% was achieved while an average of 7.3 kg of WEEE was collected per person from private households.
“We want to hear the public’s views on these achievements and about what more needs to be done,” stated Ms. McDonogh, who added: “We would ask people to have their say on the future of waste management by telling us their views before the deadline of January 30th 2015. The more feedback we receive the greater the potential for improving Ireland’s environment into the future. Feedback forms and the full plan are available on www.southernwasteregion.ie.”
“There are other forces at work here. They may not be political forces – I don’t know where they’re coming from, but they’re there and they’re active and they have influence.” – Remark made by Thurles born Fergus O’Dowd Fine Gael TD, – formerly the Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources and Environment, Community & Local Govt, with responsibility for the NewEra Project.
Tipperary TD and Minister Alan Kelly is about to give away the exemption Ireland holds from directly charging for domestic water under EU Law. Unless he desists and renews Ireland’s water exemption by Jan 1st 2015, it will lapse. This ‘give away’ will make it more difficult for future governments to abolish direct charges for domestic water.
Mr Seamus Healy TD, in a recent Parliamentary Question, has called on Minister Kelly to immediately renew this exemption, so that the power to charge or not to charge for domestic water will remain with the Irish people and Dáil Éireann, into the future.
A copy of Seamus Healy’s request in a Parliamentary Question to Minister Kelly is carried here below.
Mr Healy stated; “Former MEP, Kathy Sinnott explained in a recent opinion piece in the Irish Times (Nov 21, 2014): “In 2000, the Irish government brokered this exemption and the inclusion of article 9.4 which formally and legally absolves Ireland and only Ireland from the requirement to charge for domestic water.” As an MEP I brought this to the public’s attention in 2008 when the last government was introducing water charges for schools. On April 17th of that year minister John Gormley stated in the Dáil that “The only exemption available to Ireland, and availed of, is contained in article 9.4 and relates to dwelling houses using water for ordinary household purposes.”
This government has no mandate to give away our exemption from domestic water charges. The Labour Party promised in the last election that it would prevent Fine Gael from introducing domestic water charges. Now a Labour Minister is not only introducing the charges, but is giving away the power of our parliament to abolish them in future. Irish democracy is being undermined by Minister Kelly and his government,” he stated.
“I call on all Oireachtas members from Co Tipperary including Senator Landy (Lab) and Minister Tom Hayes to stop this national betrayal now,” said Mr Healy!
Question for Written Answer by Seamus Healy TD
To ask the Minister for Environment and Local Government, Alan Kelly TD,
“If he will confirm that there is, at present in 2014, no requirement for charges to be imposed on domestic dwellings for the use of water from public mains for domestic purposes under the EU Water Framework Directive and that article 9.4 formally and legally absolves Ireland from the requirement to charge for domestic water.”
Also “If he will ensure on behalf of the Irish Government that this exemption is renewed before Jan 1,2015 so that Irish governments will retain the power to charge or not to charge for the use of water for domestic purposes into the future and if he will make a statement on the matter?”
Signed: Seamus Healy TD – 087-2802199.
For those of you who feel strongly about this issue; you should email (Copy & Paste) this “Parliamentary Question” directly to Mr Kelly (email@example.com ), however, from my own experience dealing with his Tipperary office, do not expect to receive a reply, as Mr Kelly and his staff are shy and highly unlikely to respond.
Following strong concerns over the condition of the R498 road, linking Thurles to Nenagh at Latteragh, Templederry, and the safety of those using it, notice has been given by Tipperary County Council to make an emergency road closure order, under the Roads Act 1993 – 2007 (Section 75 of the roads Act 1993,) Roads Regulations 1994.
The period of closure will come into effect from 8.30 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. from Monday December 8th to Friday December 12th 2014.
Motorists must now use the following alternative routes; with all R498 North Bound traffic diverted Currabaha Cross via the L2261, L2124, L2122, R497, R499 to re-join the R498 at Ballinamona Cross.
The R498 south bound traffic will divert at Ballinamona Cross via the R499, R497, L2122, L2124, L2261 to re-join R498 at Currabaha Cross. Heavy Goods Vehicles are well advised to use the R501 and N62 via Templemore and Roscrea as their chosen alternative diversion routes.
Note: Diversions will be fully in place and clearly sign-posted for all those travelling this route and Tipperary County Council sincerely regrets any inconvenience caused as a result of this unforeseen yet very necessary road closure, brought about as a result of serious recent flood damage.