Local Weather

Thurles
Cloudy
5°C
real feel: 3°C
wind speed: 3 m/s SE
sunrise: 7:58 am
sunset: 4:33 pm
 

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Track Storm Lorenzo From Here

To those of you worried or just curious about ‘Storm Lorenzo’, latter due to visit our shores tomorrow; you can view the storm’s progress by clicking on line HERE.

Note: Viewers using the above link can change date and times at the bottom of the viewing panel for estimates of where the storm will be in the hours ahead and see estimates of windspeeds expected.

While the exact impact of this storm has yet to be fully determined, it makes for good sense to take all necessary safety steps in advance, rather than when expected high winds and heavy rain actually arrive.

Members of the farming community, costal fishermen and persons living in rural areas are warned to be extra vigilant and take all necessary precautions as Storm Lorenzo approaches the country.

Secure all loose objects around your home. Do wait until the storm abates to check on livestock and property, wear a high visibility jacket, bring a fully charged mobile phone and make sure someone in your home knows where you are going and when you intend to return.

Please do stay safe.

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Challenges To Environment & Public Health Require Aggressive, Coherent Action.

Ireland is living beyond its carbon and environmental means. If we begin to start the necessary change now, we can also start to imagine a better future.

Section of River Suir, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, as observed on September 19th 2019.

EPA’s body of scientific evidence serves as a national asset for the public good.

Ms Laura Burke, [Director General of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)], informed the 15th Annual Environment Ireland Conference today that Ireland is living beyond its carbon and environmental means. Ms Burke also said that the climate emergency we face is something that has been well flagged by evidence from scientists worldwide, including the EPA.

“It is now accepted globally that we are facing a climate emergency but it has not arrived suddenly or without warning. The build-up of pollutants in our atmosphere and waters, the gradual loss of biodiversity, the contamination of land – these are insidious, incremental challenges to our environment and health that have been borne out by scientific evidence, including that of the EPA, for many years. What we now need is urgent transformational change based on what the evidence is telling us.”

Section of River Suir, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, as observed on September 19th 2019.

Opening the conference, the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Mr Richard Bruton T.D. stated,
“The Climate Action Plan is our roadmap to step up our response to climate disruption. It will ensure we meet our 2030 climate commitments. It will mean warmer homes, cleaner air and healthier lives. It will put our economy on a more sustainable path for future generations. We must now take urgent action and implement the policies we have committed to. It is a rolling plan, designed to integrate best practice as it emerges and adapt to emerging new technologies.”

Ms Burke challenged both the public and policy-makers to step up to the challenge and take action, saying by doing so we can imagine a better future.
“It is up to us – as individuals – to take ownership of environmental issues and take action, both in our personal and business lives. Actions on a personal level to reduce carbon consumption have the associated benefits of healthier lives, better air quality and more local connection and engagement. We need to use our power as individuals to ask questions, and to support those who are addressing issues and genuinely trying to make a difference.”

On the importance of strong evidence, Ms Burke continued:
“One of the EPA’s primary functions is using scientific evidence to protect and improve our natural environment and human health – this knowledge is a key national resource. The EPA recognises the significant responsibility for producing such evidence. There are real implications for environmental, human health and economic outcomes determined through such responsibilities. Not least of which is our role is providing evidence-based contributions to national policy making. The EPA has, over the last 25 years, built up critical national data, which now serves as a national asset for the public good.”

Ms Burke also cautioned that the challenges remain substantial and could be considered overwhelming. She noted an enduring risk of eco-fatigue, and more worrying, a growing eco-anxiety in our youth. She challenged those in attendance to find ways to match the uncomfortable evidence with optimism for the future.
“All of us have a responsibility to not alone bring forward the uncomfortable evidence, but to also build optimism through the identification of solutions, the celebration of successes, the embracing of necessary change, and delivering on commitments. And if we can use this power to propel the change necessary, we can begin to imagine a better future for ourselves, our children and generations to come.”

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Thurles Tidy Towns Competition Results 2019

Liberty Pharmacy, No 34 Liberty Square, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

Congratulations to those who took the time, in 2019, to tidy up our town each day, be they the voluntary members of Thurles Tidy towns (Refresh Thurles); Residence Associations; Council Workers; Thurles Men’s Sheds, Scouts, Schools or just that ‘Solitary Resident’; latter who demonstrated singular civic pride in their home; their garden or their business premises.

The only business premises highlighted favourably in the Thurles 2019 report was Liberty Pharmacy, not surprisingly, (Kate Kennedy Prop., see picture on left, her premises also the recent winner of an AIB Retail Excellence Award). For those complaining about lack of footfall to businesses on Liberty Square; here must surely be the perfect example on how to achieve same.

The ruin that once boasted being the Munster Hotel, (thank God judges did not view it from the rear); a so-called ‘Mural’, (Quote from report; “with all due respect there are parts of the mural that look as if they were done by a graffiti artist”), and a house on Mitchell Street, all met, correctly, with unfavourable comments, as did some of our would-be politicians and local councillors, latter who failed to refrain from sticking up photoshopped posters, during local elections.

To the many individuals, local councillors, elected politicians and the numerous organisations who failed to become involved to assist in revitalising our town; please do feel free to blush, to experience total embarrassment, accompanied by no little shame.

Do begin to realise, please, that the world’s 7.6 billion living humans actually only represent 0.01% of all living things. Yet, since the dawn of civilisation, humanity has brought about the loss of over 83% of all wild mammals and half of our now devoid plant life. Farmed poultry now makes up 70% of the existing bird life on our planet, with only 30% of once wild bird life left to run free. Some 60% of all mammals on our earth are livestock, mostly cattle, sheep and pigs; 36% are humans and a mere 4%, and reducing, are animals living in the wild.

Time now to ditch our shame and resolve, in this coming year, to genuinely repent and attempt to repair the severe damage caused by our deliberate neglect and greed, especially in “our neck of the woods” Tipperary; while we still have a place to pass on to future generations.

The most recent Thurles Tidy Towns report (2019) makes for sad, depressive reading. It is imperative that our followers / readers do click HERE and read the 2019 report and more importantly, read between the lines.

Having read this 2019 adjudicator’s report, latter which attempts to bear all the attributes associated with the understanding; gentleness; helpfulness and neighbourliness of adjudicators; rather than their being outright and critical of our obvious neglect, greed and inability as a community; let us now look at the marking sheets for Thurles Tidy Towns over the past five years, inclusive, beginning in 2015 and displayed hereunder.

CentreThurles: CountyTipperary (North): CategoryE: Ref 627

While each of the reports hereunder, demonstrates judging criteria; e.g. Planning and Involvement; Streetscape & Public Places; Green Spaces and Landscaping; Localised Nature and Biodiversity; Sustainability; Tidiness and Litter Control; Streets & Housing Areas; Approach Roads, and finally, Streets & Lanes; we are going to examine the marks allocated under ‘Tidiness and Litter Control’ and ‘Sustainability’. Yes, in each case just one mark has been allocated each year, in the sad hope that our community will feel enthusiastic and empowered to reach greater heights in the years ahead.

Thurles Tidy Towns Results in 2015.

Overall Marks 280; Tidiness and Litter Control – Marks 52; Sustainability – Marks 14.

Thurles Tidy Towns Results in 2016.

Overall Marks 285; Tidiness and Litter Control – Marks 53; Sustainability – Marks 15.

Thurles Tidy Towns Results in 2017.

Overall Marks 293; Tidiness and Litter Control – Marks 54; Sustainability – Marks 16.

Thurles Tidy Towns Results in 2018.

Overall Marks 298. Tidiness and Litter Control – Marks 55; Sustainability – Marks 17.

Thurles Tidy Towns Results in 2019.

Overall Marks 306. Tidiness and Litter Control Marks 56. Sustainability – Marks 18.

While Thurles received 306 marks this year (2019); two other towns in North Tipperary, each in the same category (E), have now jumped well ahead on the judges marking sheet, with Roscrea achieving 322 marks, followed by Nenagh achieving 321 marks.

Nevertheless, other villages and towns in Tipperary, not surprisingly, did achieved high accolades, with Birdhill Tidy Towns (North Tipperary) joint winners of the Tree Project Award; with Ballyboy (North Tipperary) and Gortnahoe (South Tipperary) picking up Endeavour Awards.

In the ‘Waters and Communities‘ category, it was Lattin (South Tipperary) who took the honours, while Terryglass (North Tipperary) took the national honours in Category A.

Gold Award winners in Tipperary were Terryglass, Emly, Kilsheelan and Clonmel; with Silver Award winners being Birdhill and Silvermines. The towns of Cahir, Roscrea and Nenagh all won Bronze Awards.

Surely, these results relate something, as regards our failures in developing community effort here in Thurles.

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Air Quality Report On World Lung Day

World Lung Day 2019

Today, September 25th, 2019, marks World Lung Day, a day for advocacy and action, and an opportunity for everyone to promote better lung health globally.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has today launched its annual Air Quality report, on World Lung Day. The report shows that while air quality complied with the legal limits, the World Health Organization’s health-related guideline values were not being met.

Air quality impacts people’s health and there are an estimated 1,180 premature deaths here in Ireland, per year, due to air pollution. Levels of particulate matter (fine particles) in our air remains a growing concern.

Levels of this pollutant are particularly high during the winter months when people’s use of solid fuels, such as coal, peat and wood impacts negatively on air quality, especially in small towns and villages.

The EPA report notes that any movement along the spectrum of home heating choices and solid fuel choices towards cleaner modes will have a subsequent improvement on air quality.

In urban areas, transport related emissions of nitrogen dioxide are increasing, and it looks probable that Ireland will exceed the EU annual legal limit value for nitrogen dioxide in the near future.

In launching the report, ‘Air Quality in Ireland 2018’, Dr Micheál Lehane, Director of the EPA’s Office of Radiation Protection & Environmental Monitoring, has stated;

“We all expect that the air we breathe is clean, but we cannot take this for granted. Air pollution is a major environmental risk to health, so it is now time to tackle the two key issues that impact negatively on air quality in Ireland – transport emissions in large urban areas and emissions from burning of solid fuels. The choices we make affect the levels of pollution in the air we breathe. We need to decarbonise our public transport system and in general reduce our reliance on internal combustion vehicles. Moving to cleaner ways of heating our homes will also significantly improve air quality in our towns and cities.”

Dr Ciara McMahon, EPA Programme Manager has stated;

“The EPA’s air quality monitoring has shown that, while Ireland’s air quality complied with the EU legal standards in 2018, the levels of fine particles in the air we breathe did not meet the World Health Organization’s guideline values. Our monitoring also showed that in urban areas, the impact of traffic-related nitrogen dioxide pollution is increasing. These pollutants have a negative impact on people’s health and that is why we are continuing to install more monitoring stations across the country under the National Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Programme. This programme has now more than doubled the number of real-time monitoring stations providing air quality data across Ireland since 2017.”

The EU has introduced and implemented a range of legal instruments to improve air quality, these standards are still not in line with the tighter WHO air quality guidelines. The EPA has previously called for movement towards the adoption of these stricter guidelines, as legal and enforceable standards across Europe and in Ireland.

The Air Quality in Ireland 2018 report is available on the EPA website. The EPA continually monitors air quality across Ireland and provides the air quality index for health and real-time results online at www.airquality.epa.ie. Results are updated hourly on the website, and people can log on at any time to check whether the current air quality is good, fair or poor.

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Reminder – The Climate is Changing – How Can We?

Ms Margaret Ryan (Asst. Librarian), Tipperary Co. Council Library Services, Nenagh is anxious to remind all residents of Co. Tipperary and in particular persons charged with responsibility, [i.e. Elected Municipal District Councillors, politicians and those who take on the task of accountability for our environment, e.g. members of the farming community & Tidy Towns groups etc.], of an event taking place on Thursday evening next, September 26th, 2019 in Nenagh Library.

As many of you are already aware, Nenagh Library is the Europe Direct Information Centre (EDIC) for the counties of Tipperary, Limerick, Cork and Kerry.

On Thursday next, September 26th, 2019, at 7:00pm, Nenagh Library will hold a Citizens Dialogue on ‘Climate Change & Sustainability’, as part of their 2019 ‘Programme of Events’.

The title of this talk will be ‘The Climate is Changing; How Can We?’, with keynote speakers on the night, Ms Cara Augustenborg, (Environmental scientist), and Mr Gerard Kiely, (Head of the European Commission Representation in Ireland).

There will also be a panel discussion afterwards, with panellists Mr Paul Kenny (CEO Tipperary Energy Agency) and Mr Gregg Allen (Project Manager, Community Power, Templederry), which will be chaired by Mr Fran Curry of Tipp FM Radio.

As many people as possible are expected to support this event.

Science is quite clear in stating that, currently, the very future of today’s children and their future offspring’s remain at stake. Homes are being swallowed up by the ocean, with rising sea levels threatening entire island states and coastal regions. We are experiencing dangerous floods, droughts, heatwaves and other extreme weather events. We therefore cannot allow climate change to spiral totally out of control.

This talk is a major opportunity for people to find out what they can do to make a significant difference; to gain answers to questions; to learn educated facts on climate change, and more importantly to make their voices heard on what is undoubtedly the single greatest challenge of our generation.

Remember please: Thursday evening next, September 26th, 2019, at 7:00pm, Nenagh Library. We hope to see you there.

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