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real feel: 20°C
wind speed: 8 m/s SW
sunrise: 5:07 am
sunset: 9:59 pm


Tipp. Co.Council Bottom Of Ireland’s Waste Ranking

We refer to our recent posts, published on June 8th last and June 18th respectively, which highlighted the failure by Tipperary Co. Council to protect our local environment.

For the past six months RTÉ Investigates have similarly reconnoitred the ever increasing problem of illegal dumping here in Ireland and how Co. Councils have set about regulating and prosecuting waste offenders.

Remember when illegal dumpers pollute our environment, the Irish taxpayer, solely, is left to shell out the associated cost of any future clean up. It follows therefore that we must rely on our Co. Councils to investigate and regulate our thriving waste industry, and to this end we fund their activities.

A documentary by RTÉ Investigates; entitled Ireland’s Wild Waste will be broadcast tonight, Monday 18th June on RTÉ One at 9.35pm, following the 9.00pm News

This programme will investigate and publish analysed environmental data from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Housing, to determine which councils take waste offences seriously and who are left seriously trailing behind.

By examining rates of inspections, enforcement action, prosecutions and staffing levels between 2014 and 2016.  RTÉ have created a ranking of the best (1) and worst (30) Councils at managing our waste industry. They have also compared how dynamic Councils have been, acting on our behalf, in these areas in relation to the number of waste permits held in 2016.

Towards the bottom of a page found by CLICKING HERE you can find an interactive map to see how Tipperary Co. Council compares on a similar scale with other local authorities.

Rank = Ranking per category. (1 = most active, 30 = least active)
Rate = Rate of activity per number of waste permits held.
Nat. Avg. = National average rate of activity per number of waste permits.

So, where is Tipperary currently positioned in Ireland’s Wild Waste rankings?

Alas, Tipperary Co. Council is ranked in a mere 28th place, of the 30 councils analysed by RTÉ; where 1 is ranked as the most active Co. Council for regulating and enforcing waste services per number of waste permits held in the local authority and 30 as the least active.

Between 2015 and 2016 Tipperary spent €10.64 per person on waste services, or €6.58 less than the national average of €17.22. [Note: Tipperary is one of just a few Irish counties, where our public representatives increased property tax by 10% for the coming year]

Tipperary is in the bottom 3 for non routine inspections, with the council conducting 294 inspections between 2014 and 2016, over 1,000 inspections less than the national average.

Highly recommended viewing for this evening.


Irish Water Services Personnel Send Harmless Report To EPA

Inspector Mr David O’ Connor, Inniscarra, Co. Cork, representing the Environmental Protection Agencies Water Enforcement Team [Waste Water (Southern Region)], has forwarded us a copy of their report received from |Irish Water, regarding the River Suir close to Barry’s Bridge here in Thurles.

The River Suir – Tipperary’s New Cesspit from George Willoughby on Vimeo.

Dear George,
Irish Water issued the following response in relation to your complaint, “Irish Water can confirm that the complaint was investigated and the complainant contacted. Weed growth in river Suir downstream of the storm water overflow (SWO), trapped some general river debris plus SWO material, making it more visually evident, than might normally occur. There had been rainfall in days prior to the complaint and SWO appears to have been functioning as normal. The litter and debris material have been removed from the river.”

Mr O’ Connor goes on to state that as a preventative action, Irish Water have committed to Water Services Personnel visually monitoring this storm water overflow and report / remedy the problem, should it arise again.

“As I mentioned to you during our first conversation, Irish Water is in the process of conducting an Area Drainage Plan on the Thurles network. The purpose of this assessment is to identify any issues and faults that require re-mediation within the network, including the SWOs. Any required rehabilitation works will be carried out following this assessment.”

The engineer responsible for forwarding the above report to Mr O’Connor at the EPA, is quite obviously not a reader of Thurles.Info and is not aware of the evidence forwarded to the EPA. No explanation whatsoever was given by Irish Water, as to the source and content of the chemical causing the thick, frothy, soapy, substance, which was being expelled into the water, early each morning.

Be assured, however, that we like our Irish Water Services Personnel, will be visually monitoring this storm water overflow and will be reporting back to the Environmental Protection Agency, and, if deemed necessary, we will also be taking water samples for analysis.

We now ask that those elected to represent us at Municipal District level raise this matter at their next meeting.


The River Suir – Tipperary’s New Cesspit

It is June 8th 2018, and 6 months later the 2017 Christmas decorations still hang from the sky above Thurles. This week a well meaning group contacted me.  “Can you describe Thurles in a very few words; perhaps 3 or 4 in a tag-line to summarise the Thurles experience?”  “Does Thurles have a unique selling point for visitors/business investors”? they ask.

It would appear that yet another talking shop, “Thurles Town Centre Forum” are working towards creating a ‘Thurles Brand’ and will implement this brand in a new dedicated website for Thurles.

Note: Our last website “Thurles.ie”, was being cybersquatted by Mardukas Technologies Limited, latter who were a Swedish casino site when Tipperary Co. Council forgot to pay for the host name.

Note however, if “Thurles.ie” is presently typed into a Google search, it redirects to Tipperary Co. Council, implying that it may have been re-purchased and is now back in our Municipal district hands. (This being the case, one wonders what was the financial cost of this transaction, to our local taxpayers).

Anyway, if you have viewed our video above, we do have a couple of suggestions for “Thurles Town Centre Forum”.  How’s about; “It’s Christmas Everyday In Thurles” or instead of the Southern Italian town of Naples, let’s substitute Thurles instead, as in “Smell Thurles And Die”, for here also we have a rubbish-clogged river walk and a river into which we allow storm type drains to dispose of raw sewage and other as yet unidentified chemicals, which with the hot weather and the low river levels has the potential to cause serious damage and health issues.

Added to the current Crayfish Plague, last Wednesday marked the third fish kill here in North Tipperary rivers over the past 14 days. During the month of May, over 100 trout and juvenile salmon stocks died, when a greyish coloured foul smelling substance entered the Mill River in Ballina. Just last week there was yet another fish kill on the Ballintotty River, which left the entire trout and salmon population wiped out for a long stretch of the river. The latest incident, which occurred on Wednesday evening last, happened at Ballycrinode, Ballinalough, when supposedly slurry accidentally spilled into the river.

Three of Dublin’s best known beaches have also been closed, due to a sewage spill, with bathers being ordered to keep away from Dollymount, Sandymount and Merrion beaches. This water become polluted after an issue emerged at the Spencer Dock pumping station, resulting in sewage also leaking into the River Liffey.

Back to Thurles and the River Suir
Back to Thurles and the River Suir; can anyone explain what is the thick, frothy, soapy, substance being expelled into the water early each morning, same which clings to the moss-like algae growth in the Suir river?

Last week, having highlighted the problem of sewage many times, first back in 2013 I contacted the Environmental Protection Agency, who in turn contacted Tipperary Co. Council’s Irish Water. Within two days men were sent in to clean up the mess.
I now await a copy of the detailed report or at least an explanation from the EPA, which should have been sent by the examining engineer.

Town Centre Forum
Meanwhile, we are requested to ask; Do you find Thurles to be “Warm and Welcoming, Spirited, Sporting, Creative, Ancestral” Are there other aspects of the town that need to be highlighted?

Yet another failed Thurles logo must now be developed as part of this work.  “Are there colours/fonts/style – descriptive or abstract that you prefer for this representation of Thurles” ?

If you are interested,  please attend at any time between 3pm 7pm in the Source Arts Centre Building on June 12th.  Members of the Town Centre Forum will be on hand to give further details about the project and the agency undertaking this work will have a representative present from 6pm7pm.  So if you can stand the current aroma, rising from the river water, do take this opportunity to contribute your opinion about your town.

For further details please contact Ms Kathleen Prendergast at the Community & Economic Development Department of Tipperary County Council.


Thurles Car Park Development Making Progress

The opening of the proposed new car park to the rear of Jackie Griffin’s shop, here in Thurles central, moves yet another step closer, as a steel hoarding is erected to the front of the building on Liberty Square.

The erection of the hoarding began at 8.15am this morning.

The demolition of the shop building behind the protective barrier is expected to take place over the coming days, creating an opening into the new proposed car park, from the Liberty Square side.

Same, it is hoped, will bring new life to the businesses within the centre of Thurles town, and further progress the long promised revitalisation of the Liberty Square area.

More on the background to this news during the week.


World Bee Day – Today Sunday 20th May 2018

Today, Sunday 20th May, marks the first ever global “World Bee Day”, and Bee experts are expected to highlight the need for an EU ban on certain insecticides, same which are knowingly, together with other avoidable factors, linked to a drastic decline in our Bee populations.

Why is our Honey Bee so important?

Honey bees collect pollen and nectar from a variety of wild and garden flowering plants and trees. These plants and trees, include Milkweed, Dandelion, Clover, Goldenrod, Sunflowers, Roses, Catmint, etc. together with Buddleja, and a variety of garden fruit trees.

Only workers in the colony forage for food, and while consuming as much nectar from each flower as they can, they then return to the hive and pass collected nectar to others. The worker holds this nectar on its tongue until the liquid evaporates, thus creating honey. The honey is then stored within the colony for winter consumption.

Pollen remains one of the purest and richest natural foods, containing all of the nutritional requirements for a Honey Bee, i.e. sugar, carbohydrates, protein, enzymes, vitamins and minerals.
These same Bees become the pollinators vital to our own food chain.  Imagine that at least one third () of the food we eat today would not remain available, were it not for the existence of these, our busy Bees.

Today these flying insects, who are closely related to wasps and ants are in serious danger of disappearing completely from our environment. Farming practices continue to disturb their natural habitats, and over of our Irish Bee species are being threatened with extinction, with the Bumblebee population also continuing to decline each year.

This drop in population is due mainly to three factors; the unnecessary removal of ditches and hedgerows; the use of pesticides (Used In the killing of insects, small animals, unwanted plants, fungi, bacteria and viruses), and insecticides (latter includes snail bait, ant killer and wasp killer), and lastly through climate change, also attributed to mankind. Bees require food all year round, and this means we are required to allow a diversity of flowering plants to grow on our landscape.

Our farming community can help Bees and their own crops by intervention through good husbandry, by simply allowing space for a diversity of wild flowers to grow and more importantly to flower. This can happen when:-

  • Field margins can be fenced off from livestock, then allowed to either be cut or grazed after flowering.
  • Do not use fertilisers or sprays on non-farmed areas around the farmyard, e.g. in field corners, along farm roadways.  Again here, do not consider cutting until after the period of flowering.
  • If you are spraying Pesticides or Insecticides, consider spraying in the early morning or late evening, when our Honey and Bumble Bee populations are less active. Such spraying can kill Bees quickly or slowly through carrying contaminated pollen back to their particular colony, (Latter which could hold 45,000 to 75,000 individual bees), where it will becomes entered into the food chain to slowly kill the assembled insects.
  • Plant Whitethorn and Blackthorn hedging, whose early blooms are valuable to Bees, and stop removing natural hedgerows.
  • Our Government, our Local Authorities (Ministers, TD’s, Councillors take note), and we as home owners, can also assist by planting Bee-friendly bulbs and plants, in our gardens, including Snowdrops, Crocuses (or Croci), Wallflowers and Lavender etc. etc..

Our present attitude to our environment must needs be changed and our new growing generations of humans, through our schools, must be educated on the value of Bees and the unnecessary threat currently to their very existence.