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Have You A Vision For Our River Suir?

 Descriptive extract below from that wonderful children’s book, “The Wind in the Willows”, by Kenneth Grahame (1859-1952).

The River Bank

“He thought his happiness was complete when, as he meandered aimlessly along, suddenly he stood by the edge of a full-fed river. Never in his life had he seen a river before, this sleek, sinuous, full-bodied animal, chasing and chuckling, gripping things with a gurgle and leaving them with a laugh, to fling itself on fresh playmates that shook themselves free, and were caught and held again. All was a shake and a shiver, glints and gleams and sparkles, rustle and swirl, chatter and bubble. The Mole was bewitched, entranced, fascinated.”

The Source

Rising on the slopes of Devil’s Bit Mountain, just north of Templemore in County Tipperary, the River Suir flows south through Loughmore, Thurles, Holycross, Golden and Knockgraffon. It merges with the river Aherlow at Kilmoyler and further on with the river Tar, before turning east at the Comeragh Mountains, thus forming the border between Co. Waterford and Co. Tipperary. The Suir then passes through Cahir, Clonmel and Carrick-on-Suir before reaching the sea at Waterford.

Important Workshops
Over the coming weeks the Local Authority Waters and Communities Office are holding a series of important public workshops to discuss the future potential of the River Suir and its tributaries; possible management options; funding for various projects, culminating it is hoped, in a shared vision for its long term future.

Initially at these now selected meetings there will be no agenda other than to get an important conversation under way, and see, as a community, where open, shared debate can take us into the future. The meetings will start at around 7.00pm; lasting for about one hour at the stated venues listed hereunder.

Selected Meeting Venues

Note: Shown below are the dates of upcoming meetings and their selected venues in relation to various district catchment areas:-

Tuesday, 19th July 2016, Newcastle Community Hall, Newcastle Village, Co. Waterford.
Wednesday, 20th July 2016, Golden Community Hall, Golden Village, Co. Tipperary.
Thursday, 21st July 2016, Anner Hotel, Dublin Road, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.
Tuesday, 26th July 2016, Cahir House Hotel, The Square Cahir, Co. Tipperary.
Wednesday, 27th July 2016, Fethard Community Hall, Fethard, Co. Tipperary.
Thursday, 28th July 2016, Kildalton College, Piltown, Co. Kilkenny.

Dr Fran Igoe, Regional Co-ordinator, who has a wealth of knowledge and expertise in river based projects and his colleagues, together with a representative from Tipperary County Council, will be on hand to help develop a shared vision and provide practical advice based on past experiences.

On the River Suir the existing built heritage, historic weirs, navigation tow-paths, angling pools and boating traditions will illustrate just how important the river Suir has been over the centuries. Today, this importance continues in the form of Angling, Tourism, Kayaking and many other recreational pursuits. The importance of a plentiful supply of clean water is self-explanatory whether it is for drinking, provisioning for livestock or for bathing.

It is well known that the River Suir holds the Irish record for a salmon caught on ‘rod and line’ weighing in at a massive 57 lbs. More over this river remains an internationally important Brown Trout fishery and is recognized internationally for its habitats supporting a large range of rare mammals, fish, birds and invertebrates.

The evening meetings have been organised to compliment the Office of Public Works (OPW) Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management (CFRAM) public consultation days, which are being held to get the public’s view on potential flood management options being considered for areas at risk of flooding.

The ‘Waters and Communities River Suir’ meetings will be held immediately after the OPW Public Consultation meetings, with the aim of exploring how we see the river in our local area; what we want from it, and how we might best manage it in the best interests of the common good.

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” – Dr. Seuss, “The Lorax”.

Need more information?  Click HERE.

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Govt To Freeze Bin Charges

Waste

Waste Operators showing Telephone No’s and E-mail Addresses who offer services in Co. Tipperary.

Various reports today claim that new rules, recently introduced by former Tipperary Labour Minister Alan Kelly, on new bin charge legislation are set to be frozen, as the present Government investigate massive price hikes in the industry and as yet unsubstantiated claims of companies operating cartels, (Cartel – An association of  suppliers coming together with their sole purpose to maintain prices at a high level, thus restricting competition).

Claims made today appear to confirm that  the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Mr Simon Coveney is all set to freeze the charges in his bid to give his department yet more time to further examine these earlier allegations.

Mr  Coveney met with Waste Management companies in Athlone on Friday last, to further discuss plans to implement pay by weight charges, which were set to come into effect from July 1st 2016 next.

Meanwhile the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission is also set to examine this pricing controversy after numerous consumers complained they had received notifications indicating massive price hikes of between 200% and 300% introduced as a result of these new regulations.

With just 12 days to go; as yet no notifications have been received from some 10 registered waste collection agencies, operating within Thurles and Co. Tipperary, as to any new or future pricing regulations. One suspects that these agencies were hoping that if details were left too late then everybody would simply accept the inevitable and lie down; as is a previous attitude, thankfully changing here in Ireland.

Already we are aware of people using public litter bins in our town’s streets, daily, to dispose of their basic household waste. Soon, if this system is not satisfactorily regulated, forgotten rural areas will experience a new kind of tourism; as visitors arrive to dump waste product in our lanes and hedgerows.

With regard to these newly introduced pay-by-weight bin charges and customers using waste and recycling service; one must ask the following questions?
(1) Do we weigh the waste product ourselves, agreeing scales readings prior to collection?
(2) Do we wait patiently beside our waste bins for our chosen collection service to call, before agreeing and signing for the actual weight being charged?
(3) Do we simply accept the weight recorded by our collection service agency as being gospel truth?
(4) Will invoices detailing actual waste weight be pushed through our letter boxes on each collection date?

Minister Coveney is understood to be meeting with waste companies again early next week and one hopes that the proposed system and the various service agencies will be forced to become more transparent in their dealings.

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Urgent Constructive Debate On Rural Ireland

Lowry calls on 32nd Dáil to engage in urgent constructive debate on rural Ireland

Independent TD Michael Lowry has called for an immediate, focused and balanced debate by all elected TD’s, with regard to planning a future for rural Ireland. Commenting on recent radical proposals for Ireland’s development by Mr John Moran (Former Secretary-General at the Department of Finance), Deputy Lowry stated that he disagreed with many of the views expressed by Mr Moran, with regard to his future vision for rural Ireland.

Tipp

Using the comparative example of Ireland versus France; Mr Moran had declared that France was “pulling back services from less efficient parts of their country and encouraging those areas to develop a different business model.”

“How can rural Ireland attract a ‘different business model’, when such areas have been totally stripped of infrastructure and investment, with little attempt at supporting regional development. To advance a ‘different business model’ would entail a modern rural road network as part of other required infrastructure. Mr Moran appears to be unaware that the National Roads Fund decreased from €608 million in 2008 to a current figure of €294 million in 2015. In 2011 Tipperary received €45 million for roads. In 2016 this had fallen to €25 million. Also in 2015 some €439 million was made available to the semi-State utility Irish Water; taken from motor tax payment and local property tax.”

Deputy Lowry continued: “The IDA must immediately begin to invest in advance industrial infrastructure in places like Co. Tipperary; providing ready-to-go turnkey facilities with access to high-speed broadband being a priority. Neglect of infrastructure and investment in turn has had a domino effect in relation to the lack of job opportunities for a highly skilled and well educated workforce. The previous government and national agencies have done little or nothing to correct this current urban / rural imbalance. Young people are being forced to leave their homes, families and communities daily. Emigration has also had a massive impact on close local communities; particularly on sports clubs, who are suffering from decimation by the forced flight of its younger membership.

Back during the emergence of our Irish State; using our then fiscal capabilities, we established one industry after another. Ensuring not to make new developments simply localized affairs; we spread new factories as wide as possible throughout the State. This was done to avoid the problems of the over-centralization of industry; becoming part of a plan to make industry conform to the general well-being of rural areas. Same industries were predominantly placed in agricultural based areas, sharing in an industrial revival, offering work to those who otherwise would have departed via an emigrant ship. During this same period our Irish economy saw the net value of industrial products increased from over €18.25 million to over €28.25 million; while wages paid to production workers increased by €4.25 million and placed eighty thousand additional workers into steady regular employment.

Year after year, small shops, post offices and Garda Stations are shrinking. Fewer homes are being constructed, resulting in no work for builders and associated trades. Fewer children are being born; school numbers and teachers are reduced leading to inevitable school closures. The shortage of priests is leading to parishes becoming clustered with grave implications for church communities.

Urban centres must not forget that our valuable agricultural exports continue to emanate from a currently neglected rural Ireland” concluded Deputy Lowry

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Thurles Free WEEE Collection May 14th 2016

Electrical and Battery Recycling

Electrical and Battery Recycling

A reminder to all regarding the recycling of old electrical appliances via WEEE Ireland.

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.

Remember WEEE material is anything with a plug normally attached and WEEE Ireland will be making collections from 10.00am until 4.00pm, on Saturday 14th of May 2016, from the following Venues:- Town Car Park, Main Square, Templemore and the Mid-Tipperary Mart Yard, Stradavoher, here in Thurles Town.

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 countryside.

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Thurles Town Park Officially Opened

Official-Town-Park-Open
Today April 27th 2016, Thurles Town Park was officially opened by Councillor Mr Seamus Hanafin, Cathaoirleach (English Trans. – Chairperson) of Tipperary County Council and Councillor Mr John Hogan, latter Cathaoirleach of the local Templemore-Thurles, Municipal District.

Proceedings began, in splendid sunshine, with the officially blessing of the park by His Grace Archdiocese, Kieran O’Reilly, SMA, (Archbishop of Cashel & Emly). Following the official unveiling of a plaque to mark the occasion, those in attendance then retired to the ‘The Source’ exhibition centre, to address all those in attendance.

Speaking at the event, Councillor Mr Hanafin praised the ‘tremendous foresight’ of all involved down through the years, in ensuring that this dream for Thurles truly became a reality. In particular he thanked St Patrick’s College, through college custodians His Grace, Archdiocese, Kieran O’Reilly and Fr. Tom Fogarty (St Patrick’s College President), for ensuring that the site was made available. He was also strong in his praise of Templemore/ Thurles Administrator Mr Michael Ryan and former Thurles U.D.C. Manager Mr Tom Barry, who ensured that the necessary funding was kept securely in place to support this overall planning project going forward to completion.

Click HERE for HD Quality Video

Councillor Hanafin pointed out the various modern amenities now being made available to everyone; Play and Sporting areas; Seating areas; Free Exercise facilities; New Bridge offering pedestrian only access to the town centre / Short-cut to the south of the town and not least, an area retained for natural flora/ fauna and other naturally occurring insect & wild life.

Councillor Mr John Hogan spoke of his strong past memories of the old car-park area as a schoolboy; again pointing out the huge benefits that this new amenity now afforded the people of Thurles; not just our youth but also our elderly; our parents with young children; our visitors of all ages, entering into our local community.

In attendance also Mr Joe MacGrath (C.E. Tipperary Co. Council), congratulated his staff on their professional leadership, in bringing to full fruition, this newly completed project. He also hinted that the revitalisation of Liberty Square in the town could begin as soon as the end of this year or very early in 2017, subject to agreement by all relevant stake holders.

Speaking on his Facebook tonight, Mr Michael Lowry TD, who also attended the official opening, concurred with remarks made by Councillor Hanafin, stating;  “A huge debt of gratitude is due to all the businesses of Thurles; their support body Thurles Chamber; former and present Town Councillors and their officials, in making this tremendous park amenity a reality.”

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