Local Weather

Partly cloudy
real feel: 9°C
wind speed: 3 m/s WSW
sunrise: 6:20 am
sunset: 8:48 pm


Heritage Week In Thurles

By Alfred Joyce Kilmer (1886–1918),
[Latter killed by sniper fire near Muercy Farm, beside the Ourcq River, near the village of Seringes-et-Nesles, in France during WW1]

I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day, and lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear a nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain; who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me, but only God can make a tree.”

One of the events taking place in Co. Tipperary during Heritage Week will be an illustrative and informative talk by Author and historian Mr George Cunningham, entitled “Trees at Home and Abroad”.

The event will take place on Monday next, August 21st, beginning 7:30pm9.00pm, courtesy of Tipperary County Council Library Service, in The Source building, Cathedral Street, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

Mr Cunningham will take his audience to such places as the redwoods and protected Bristlecone Pines Forest area, latter high in the White Mountains in Inyo County in eastern California, as well to many other such places here at home, which remain a ‘tree treasury’.

Mr Cunningham has had, and continues to strongly retain, a lifelong interest in trees; building up a significant tree library and travelled to many world-famous places adorned by trees and rich forests.

He is a director of ‘Crann(Translated from the Irish – ‘Tree’), formed in 1986; latter an organisation which it attempting to re-leaf Ireland.  Crann is Ireland’s leading voluntary tree organisation dedicated to the promotion, protection and awareness of the importance of our trees, hedgerows and woodlands. It is a membership-based, non-profit registered charity, uniting people with a love of trees.

Admission to this Heritage Week event is free of charge.

You can find other events taking place throughout Co. Tipperary, during Heritage Week, by simply clicking HERE.


EPA Threaten Tipperary Industrial Site With Sanctions

One Tipperary industrial site is included in the list of five nationally, which have been warned by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to improve its environmental performance or face further sanction.

The Tipperary site named is Tipperary Co-operative Creamery Ltd., Station Rd, Tipperary Town, Co. Tipperary; latter an independent creamery located approximately 500m from Tipperary Town Centre and adjacent to the River Ara.  The site has compliance issues with how waste water and run-off from its site is being managed, resulting in a potential risk to the River Ara.

The four other named industrial sites are Arrow Group Limited Co. Kildare, latter which operates as a subsidiary of the Queally Group and owns subsidiaries including Dawn Farms; Irish Cement Limited (Limerick) Co. Limerick and Rosderra Irish Meats Group (Edenderry) Co. Offaly, and T & J Standish (Roscrea) Limited, The Leap, Roscrea, on the Tipperary / Offaly border. This latter site had soil and groundwater contamination due to the use of timber treatment preservative in the past. Compliance issues also in this case relate to the failure of the company to manage a remediation system and to provide for the clean-up costs.

Commenting on the National Priority Sites system, Mr. Gerard O’Leary, Director of the EPA’s Office of Environmental Enforcement, stated, “A small number of sites have significant compliance issues and we consider them to be National Priority Sites for enforcement. The EPA will escalate enforcement action against companies, and their directors, if necessary, if compliance does not improve.”

The EPA Industrial and Waste Licence Enforcement Report 2016, also released, gives details of compliance levels and enforcement activities across the 800 licensed facilities in 2016.

Key findings are:
€178,000 in fines and costs were paid from 11 prosecutions concluded in 2016.
Over 1500 site inspections were completed; 95% of which were unannounced.
Over 1000 complaints were received about licensed facilities; 66% related to odour nuisance.
The top 5 sites most visited were facilities in the Waste Sector.
The highest level of non-complaince were facilities in the Food & Drink sector.

Ms. Mary Gurrie, Programme Manager, EPA’s Office of Environmental Enforcement, commented: “The report shows that the EPA targets its enforcement efforts at the most non-compliant facilties. It is not acceptable for licensed sites to cause nuisance, or to cause an impact on the environment. These operators face further enforcement action.”

The EPA is also reminding members of the public that they can now easily access enforcement information such as site visit and monitoring reports for licensed sites on the EPA website.

Complaints about licensed sites can be made online or by contacting the EPA at Tel: (053) 9160600.


Thurles Sky’s Hide Strawberry Moon

Thurles Sky watchers should have had a chance to catch a glimpse of the full “strawberry moon” tonight Friday, June 9th;  the sixth full moon on the 2017 lunar calendar and the last full moon of the spring season in the northern hemisphere.

Alas, our Tipperary skys are clouded over and presently, to use the old Irish phrase describing heavy rain showers, “Tá sé ag caitheamh sceana gréasaí,” or translated from the Irish to English: “It’s throwing cobblers knives.”

Tonight’s moon should have been the smallest looking moon of 2017, as it will be the furthest distance from the Earth when it reaches its fullest phase.

Often referred to as the strawberry moon in warmer climates, because June in some areas is the prime month for harvesting strawberries. Here in Ireland, my late Granny always referred to this moon as the ‘Rose Moon’, viewing with such pleasure her climbing, rambler ‘American Pillar’ roses which she had nailed, over the years with leather straps to the stables south facing timber wall. She would smile when asked where she had acquired it; replying, “I borrowed a slip from a friend.”

Perhaps, if you don’t get a chance to see this full strawberry or rose moon tonight, do check it out tomorrow night (Saturday June 10th), when the potential clouded sky’s over Thurles may be more revealing.


EPA Summoned To Dublin Incinerator Plant

Health & Safety

The challenge, in 2003, by the South Tipperary Anti-Incinerator Campaign, and the further High Court challenge by horse trainer Mr Aidan O’Brien and the Magnier family, strongly opposing the development of a €25 million incinerator in South Tipperary, may indeed have been truly merited.

We learn today that eleven people were taken to hospital at around 10.45pm last night at Dublin’s new incinerator plant. The workers were taken to hospital after they were cloaked in a cloud of particles, following the breach of a pipe.

We understand that the workers were dismantling scaffolding at the multi-million Euro plant, when they became surrounded by lime that was accidentally released inside a flue gas treatment area.  This incident occurred during a commissioning and testing exercise.

Incinerator plant operators, the US waste firm Covanta, which were expected to start full waste burning this week after 20 years of opposition, state that the workforce, complained of nausea, breathing difficulties and blurred vision. These complaints, as a precaution, resulted in 11 workers, being sent to St Vincent’s Hospital.  Nine of those sent have since been released, while two were detained overnight and remain in hospital this morning.

It is also claimed that the lime in Combustion Unit No.1 was contained within the building and did not escape into the local environment, resulting in the incident having no impact outside the plant.

Several of the company’s facilities have been cited for air emission violations in the past. In 2001, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection fined Covanta Energy (formerly Ogden Corporation), for two mercury-pollution violations at the Okahumpka plant in 1998 and 1999.

In 2006, the Hawaii Department of Health and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection both fined the company for exceeded emissions limits for dioxin, furan, lead and knickle during 2005/6.

Since 2008 New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and Pennsylvania cited and fined Covanta for exceeding the allowable emissions rate by nearly 350%. These cited exceeded emissions of sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrogen chloride and nitrogen oxide at Lancaster, South Central Pennsylvania.

The Irish Health & Safety Authority and the Irish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have been notified of the incident.

Certainly makes one glad that the Irish prevailing winds traverse Co. Tipperary from a South Westerly direction.


Enhancement and Painting Schemes 2017

Liberty Square, Thurles.

Thurles & Templemore Town Enhancement and Painting Scheme 2017

Tipperary County Council are seeking to improve the streetscapes of the towns of Templemore and Thurles. This is being done by supporting the owners of properties through improving and enhancing their premises and public areas generally; through painting or undertaking other general improvements to the fronts of Commercial and Residential buildings, e.g. Erection of planters; floral hanging baskets, or indeed other environmental improvements.

Generous Maximum Grants:
Up to 50% of the approved cost of any such work undertaken (subject to a maximum of €500.00), will be grant aided.  Note: Priority will be given to applications by owners of property that are visibly in dire need of maintenance, in order to further prevent them from becoming and or indeed continuing to remain derelict.

Grant Application forms are available to download from www.tipperarycoco.ie.  Further queries can be directed to Mr Noel McCormack, Tipperary County Council, by email to noel.mccormack@tipperarycoco.ie or by Telephoning (0761) 066062.

Completed Applications should be clearly marked “Thurles/Templemore Town Enhancement & Painting Scheme 2017” and returned to Ms Deirdre O’Shea, Acting District Administrator, Tipperary County Council, Templemore / Thurles Municipal District, Castle Avenue, Thurles, Co. Tipperary by 4.30pm on Friday 30th June, 2017.