Local Weather

real feel: 10°C
wind speed: 5 m/s SW
sunrise: 7:32 am
sunset: 5:58 pm


M. Lowry – Templemore Flood Relief Scheme News

Cost overrun on the National Children’s Hospital project will not delay the Templemore Flood Relief Scheme; same being currently undertaken by the Office of Public Works (OPW).

Tipperary Independent TD Deputy Michael Lowry has confirmed today that further to a number of meetings with Minister Boxer Moran, concerning the Templemore Flood Relief Scheme, he has received assurance that the main scheme in Templemore is progressing and will not be further delayed. This follows the Government decision, [on Tuesday February 12th 2019], in relation to capital reallocations, brought about by the cost overrun on the National Children’s Hospital project.

Bridge Construction, part of the Templemore Flood Relief Scheme, currently being undertaken by the OPW.

As our readers will be aware; the town of Templemore, Co. Tipperary, part of the Templemore / Thurles Municipal district, lies on the River Mall, which drains a catchment area that includes parts of the Kilduff and Devilsbit Mountains, before flowing into the River Suir further downstream.

The town has had a long history of flooding; the most momentous of these having occurred back in December 1968 and even more recently in November 2000, December 2015 and January 2016, with flood waters submerging and overwhelming, in total, some 40 properties.

Deputy Lowry stated: “Following discussion with Minister Kevin Boxer Moran I have been informed by the Minister and the OPW that construction of the River Mall (Templemore) Flood Relief Scheme is currently ongoing. To date, approximately 35% of the works have been completed, which include 450m of new channel excavation, 4 field bridges completed at various locations with another bridge substantially complete, and demolition and site clearance of a commercial property on the Richmond Road. Liaison is ongoing with relevant stakeholders, including local landowners, Inland Fisheries Ireland, the ESB, and Tipperary County Council. It is hoped to have the scheme works substantially completed by the end of 2019”.

Concluding Deputy Lowry stated: “I am very grateful for the support of Minister Boxer Moran and the commitment of the OPW to this project. It is hoped that the scheme of works will be substantially completed by the end of 2019”.


Sen. Grace O’Sullivan – Climate Action Event For South East

Creating a Local Sustainable Future – Practical actions for your community

National and local networks have come together to host a solution-based approach to creating a sustainable future within both rural and urban communities.

Kilkenny is set to hold an interactive cross-county event, to explore how local communities can create a sustainable future against the backdrop of the growing impacts of climate change.

This free event, organised by the Public Participation Networks (PPN) of counties Tipperary, Kilkenny, Carlow, Wexford and Waterford and the Irish Environmental Network, will take place at the Ormonde Hotel on Saturday February 23rd. Senator O’Sullivan will deliver the keynote address at this event that comes in response to growing demand for local solutions to an impending threat of climate change.
The event will concentrate on actions that can be replicated in any local area, whether at home or in the community, and aims to deliver action-focused outcomes for all participants.

Each workshop is delivered by an expert in their field, with the overall event facilitated by Davie Phillip of Cultivate, a Tipperary-based environmental NGO based in the Cloughjordan eco-village.

The event will focus on four key themes, including how to work towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and how to expand the conversation of climate action, through community initiatives.

The other key themes are how to develop local responses to climate action in water catchment areas, and developing actions for biodiversity protection across a range of habitats found across the five counties.

During the day there will be four breakout sessions, each focusing on an important issue that we face today, including biodiversity loss, with wildlife populations down 60% in the last 40 years.

Pádraic Fogarty, leading Irish ecologist and vocal spokesperson for reversing biodiversity loss, will lead a workshop to explore solutions to this crisis.

There will also be interactive workshop to explore the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, as well as the practical side of applying them to the work of community groups. Davie Phillip, who for the last 20 years has helped to create sustainable communities and locally led initiatives, will lead this community orientated workshop.

Individuals around Ireland are becoming more vocal about the need for climate action. Ray McGrath, who has been working within communities in Waterford to bring climate actions to a wider audience, will lead an action focused workshop set to expand the conversation to all community groups, and identify a range of environmental actions that they can take.

With floods and droughts increasingly impacting rural farming communities and set to become more severe over the next few years, it is important that we work now to protect our water sources.

For this reason, the final workshop will explore initiatives that are being taken to protect water quality and look at what can be done within communities to help nurture healthy rivers and lakes. Fran Igoe, the southern regional coordinator for the Local Authority Waters Programme, will lead this workshop. Mr Igoe has worked on large scale locally led conservation projects, which will be explored during the workshop.

The event will end with a Q&A panel including all facilitators and speakers, and time over lunch to browse the information stands from local and regional environmental groups.

Senator Grace O’Sullivan said: “The importance of ‘Think Global, Act Local’ has never been more evident than at the moment. The evidence for strong government and international action goes hand-in-hand with the need to include communities. We need to give citizens a feeling of agency and improve support for and awareness of environmental initiatives designed to tackle the ecological crisis we face.”

Pádraic Fogarty of the Irish Wildlife Trust said: “The extinction crisis is happening in parallel with the climate crisis and it is important that communities can appreciate how this is affecting the places in which they live and work. Addressing both crises in tandem can bring enormous opportunities for local people when the right initiatives are put in place.”

Annette Dupuy, Wexford PPN Support Officer said: “From this event we want to give attendees three things; evidence based actions that they can replicate in their own areas, an opportunity to make new connections, and most of all inspiration to continue their work in creating a local sustainable future. We are very excited to bring this event to the South East and to share the great work that is being done in the area.”


Meet The Wagtails Of Liberty Square, Thurles, Co. Tipperary

“Little trotty wagtail, he waddled in the mud,
And left his little footmarks, trample where he would.
He waddled in the water-pudge, and waggle went his tail,
And chirrupt up his wings to dry upon the garden rail.”

Extract from the poem “Little Trotty Wagtail”, by John Clare

London’s Trafalgar Square is famous for its daytime congregation of Pigeons. Dublin city’s Parnell Square, according to Dublin City Council, is famous for its congregation of daytime, marauding, chip snatching seagulls. Here in rural Liberty Square, Thurles, Co. Tipperary; practically unnoticed by the frequenters of our pubs, clubs, and other nightly entertainment venues, we remain secretly renowned for our congregation of nightly, urban roosting Pied Wagtails.

Hundreds of roosting Pied Wagtails congregate nightly all year round, unnoticed in Liberty Square, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

To the night reveller, they go mostly unnoticed, perched on the very summit of three mature trees on the ‘money side’ of Liberty Square, close to the entrance into Westgate and Friar Street. Best not to stand too long directly under these trees at night; lest your unprotected bag of chips, or expensive hair-do, should inevitable fall foul to occasional falling defecation.

Bearing various allocated rural names; like ‘Penny wagtail’, ‘Willy Wagtail’ and ‘Water Wagtail’, in truth no one actually knows why Wagtails wag their tails, however, especially during the cold winter months, and indeed right through the year here in Thurles, large numbers of these inoffensive, 18cm long birds, join together and roost communally in our town.

In Ireland pairs of pied wagtails will nest favouring holes in walls, gaps under roof tiles and similar spaces, and particularly enjoy the use of farmyard areas, where they will nest two or three times during the summer season.

Haters of cold weather and not great dawn singers, these birds are exclusively insectivorous and choose towns possibly because same are always a couple of degrees warmer. Undeterred by noisy traffic, bright moving lights and loud night revellers; these birds enjoy the security of roosting in flocks, after all several hundred pairs of eyes are better than two in the case of any possible danger.

Not a protected species here in Ireland; one wonders what will become of this Thurles Wagtail colony, should work eventually begin on the constantly delayed revitalisation of Liberty Square. Will Tipperary Co. Council continue in the practice of eradicating mature trees, as seen previously in Fethard village and other Tipperary areas, thus leaving them homeless?

We trust that Tipperary Co. Council has learnt by now that the life of another creature is in no way less precious than their own.


One Man’s Trash – Another Man’s Treasure

Second Level Students Ms Emer O’Donnell & Ms Sarah Ryan.

Borrisoleigh Students Create Innovative Uses For Discarded Fishing nets.

Something that one person considers worthless, may be considered valuable by someone else. So say two students from St. Joseph’s College, Borrisoleigh, who have come up with some most innovative ways of turning plastic waste into useful commodities.

As part of their ‘Business Studies Course’, the two students, Ms Emer O’Donnell and Ms Sarah Ryan, have created a Mini Company called “ES REUSE”; same which specialises in the creation of sought after products, manufactured from throw away waste materials / rubbish.

The students have created a simple but effective all-in-one wall hanging ideal for holding hurleys, garden tools and a host of other items. The hanger makes use of old abandoned fishing netting, recovered from the sea shore, partnered with recycled timber.  ‘Ghost Nets’, as they are called by environmentalists, are fishing nets that have been left behind or lost in the ocean by fishing craft. These nets, often nearly invisible in the dim light, can be left tangled on a rocky reef or drifting in the open sea. Sea creatures, e.g Seals, Dolphins, Turtles etc. most often become entangled in these nets, resulting in most cases in their slow, often painful death.

The girls also have a number of other products, such as a key holder and wardrobe hangers made from old tennis balls.

Products can be bought online via their website www.esreuse.com and a percentage of their profits will be donated to the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group.

Please do give them your full support.


Cygnus Slows Thurles Traffic On Barry’s Bridge

A female Mute Swan slowed traffic down on Barry’s Bridge, for a short time, here in Thurles today, February 4th 2019.

We understand the unfortunate bird was blinded by the sun, as she glided southwards towards the waters of the River Suir, clipping its wings on unseen overhead Christmas illuminations.

The Mute Swan, despite being badly shaken by the ordeal, remained ‘mute’, and having once more recovered her bearings; allowed herself to be escorted back to the river by sympathetic locals. [Tipperary Co. Council could be in for yet another compensation claim, should she decide to visit her ‘Fowl Advocate’.]

But why are Christmas Lights, Reindeer, Snowmen, Santa Clauses and religious paraphernalia left, still hanging; strung across the Thurles skyline, 6 weeks after Santa Clause has come and gone, I hear you say. Especially since only half of same truly functioned during this last festive season.

I regret to communicate that this seems to be the new policy, being initiated by the Templemore / Thurles Municipal District Council, for the past two years. Indeed, last year (2018) quite a few of our aerial embellishments were not removed until March, while lights on Barry’s Bridge remained up until July, and others on Cathedral Street and on Thurles Castle; same were not removed at all.

Still, remember you can register your dissatisfaction on May 19th 2019; as Councillors now begin to come, once more, out of the woodwork, highlighting ‘dog poo’, and the funding of ‘Thurles entry roads signs’, left out-of-date for 10 years.