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Five Tipperary Community Projects Awarded €15,000

Some 196 Community projects nationwide are set to benefit from grants just announced (2017) by the Heritage Council. Community Projects in Co. Tipperary which have been awarded Grants are listed hereunder, with total bestowed funding amounting to €15,000.

Tipperary LibrariesCarrick-on-Suir Library – Urban Wildlife Garden 2017.
Awarded €1,500 to convert the library garden into an Urban Wildlife Garden which will raise awareness while also providing habitat for small mammals, insects, birds and especially pollinators.

BirdWatch IrelandMaking nature accessible – “Wildlife outside your window”.
Awarded €4,000 to showcase less accessible natural heritage to a diverse audience through video productions to engage children and adults of all ages with the wonders of wildlife outside their window.

Commons Old SchoolThe Commons Past and Present.
Awarded €1,500 to provide a structured activity for young people living in the village to record/research/present past life of The Commons village, through different media of visual art, audio recordings and model Construction.

Burncourt Community Council Ltd.Repair of windows to a John Nash designed hunting lodge (Mountain Lodge).
Awarded 6,000 to restore Mountain Lodge and return to use as a niche accommodation facility, hill-walkers stop and seasonal café.

South Tipperary Beepkeepers’ AssociationPollinator Education in South Tipperary in line with the All Ireland Pollinator Plan.
Awarded €2,000 to increase awareness of the plight of native Irish pollinators. To encourage young adults to take on the responsibility of safeguarding our bee and pollinator population.

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Tipperary Co. Co. Call For Expressions of Interest

Town and Village Renewal Scheme 2017 – Call for Expressions of Interest

The Town and Village Renewal Scheme 2017 (an initiative under the Government’s Action Plan for Rural Development, Realising our Rural Potential) was recently launched by the Department of Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.

The scheme is specifically targeted at towns and villages with populations of less than 10,000. (Note: Census 2016 – Population of Thurles Urban 6,814 and Thurles Rural 2,314; Rural & Urban together 9,128 – Yes Thurles Town Qualifies.).  A National Fund of €20m will be made available on a competitive basis for projects developed at local level. The Department have indicated that they will approve nationally up to 300 projects, (or over 66,000 per project) to be commenced in 2017 and completed by mid 2018.

The focus of the Scheme is on rejuvenating Ireland’s rural towns and villages to make them more attractive places in which to live and work, and to increase their tourism potential.

Tipperary County Council is seeking Expressions of Interest from town/village groups who may have a suitable project for consideration under the scheme.

All expressions of interest will be assessed by the Council based on the priorities as contained in the Scheme Outline. A maximum of 15 proposals can be selected for County Tipperary, including those put forward by the Council itself, for development into detailed applications which will be submitted by the Council to the Department. It is the Department who will make the final selection and approval of projects to be funded by the Scheme.

Project proposals must include activities that will have clear positive impacts on the town or village making them more attractive places in which to live and work, and to increase their tourism potential. Extra priority will be given to projects which stimulate economic activity in the town/village and between it and neighbouring townlands.

Up to 80% of the total cost of a project can be provided for any individual project; 20% match-funding has to be provided. A town/village project application can include several linked components to support the rejuvenation of the town/village. The minimum grant which is available is €20,000 and the maximum, generally, is €100,000.

Please find ‘Expression of Interest Form’ etc linked HERE

Any interested town/village group must complete the ‘Expression of Interest Form’ and return it to the Community & Economic Development Section, Tipperary County Council, Ballingarrane House, Cahir Road, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary or email to townandvillage2017@tipperarycoco.ie no later than 12.00 noon on Friday 26th May 2017.

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Michael Lowry Welcomes €4m Energy Efficiency Funding

County Tipperary T.D, Mr Michael Lowry has welcomed the Government’s latest funding injection of over €4 million for Energy Efficiency Upgrades in Co. Tipperary.

In a statement yesterday, Mr Lowry said; “I heartily welcome an allocation of funding from the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Mr Denis Naughten, which will see €26 million being approved for some 44 community energy projects across Ireland; over €4 million of which, I am happy to state, will be received for identified projects here in Co. Tipperary”.

The funding is being released under this year’s ‘Better Energy Communities Schemes’ which is administered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, on behalf of the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment.

Deputy Lowry further stated, “The Better Energy Communities Schemes is intended to assist private and public buildings achieve energy efficiency upgrading. The identified Tipperary projects will see the installation and/or upgrading of energy efficient heating systems; energy efficient lighting, and solar heating. These successful projects in Tipperary will see the inclusion of energy upgrades to over 250 homes, along with works carried out to Public, Commercial and Retail Buildings. I also welcome the works to be carried out on Schools, Community Halls and GAA sport facilities, right across our county”.

Lowry continued, “Today’s total grant announcement heralds a very welcome and an important phase in the continued development of those at risk of energy poverty. This funding will continue to also assist in the development of the industry, both sustaining and developing employment in our local economy”.

Projects in Tipperary receiving funding will include:-

BEC/00633: This proposal is a collective one on behalf of a range of Eco-Merit member companies and organisations. These are a mix of commercial, public and not-for-profit entities, including registered charities with a common goal of improving their sustainability and energy efficiency. The non-domestic buildings involved in the project include: Waterford and South Tipperary Community Youth Services (WSTCYS). WSTCYS will share a grant offer of €170,586, along with other qualified projects in this section.

Continue reading Michael Lowry Welcomes €4m Energy Efficiency Funding

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Recycle Your Worn Out Electrical Devices

An early reminder, addressed in particular to all those residing in the Templemore – Thurles Municipal district, regarding recycling of electrical devices.

As most of us are aware, WEEE Ireland organise and promote public collection events of waste electrical devices, e.g. all types of batteries, farm fencing, automotive and portable batteries, torches, fridges, freezers, washing machines, electric ovens, PCs, TVs, Monitors, phones, lighting equipment, energy saving bulbs, power tools and other small electrical devices, in areas which do not have convenient access to civic amenity sites.

Remember WEEE material is anything with a plug normally attached and WEEE Ireland will be making collections on the following dates and from the following venues, in around three weeks to four weeks time:-

Dates – Venues – Times
Saturday – May 20th 2017 – Mid-Tipperary Mart, Thurles – 10am – 4pm.
Saturday – May 27th 2017 – Car Park, Templemore – 10am – 4pm.

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.

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 Tipperary countryside.

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Wanton Destruction Of Rural Unique History & Culture

Fáilte Ireland announced that €11.5m is to be invested in the refurbishment of ten key OPW sites in Dublin and within Ireland’s Ancient East region. But then of course the OPW Heritage Services work in partnership with this same Fáilte Ireland, so no great surprises here. It was simply a case of tourism revenues earned by the OPW, being given back to the OPW.

It is not really the distribution of funding that actually bothers me, after all Co Tipperary got a share; Ormond Castle were granted €585,000, while the Rock of Cashel were granted €1.78m.

Gobán Saor’s cat rapidly eroding.

Of course, the area within a 33 miles radios of Dublin’s popular O’Connell street, as usual, got the majority of funding; yes over €8m in total.  This included €3m towards a new museum and viewing platform in ‘The Record Tower’ at Dublin Castle; €300,000 towards a Phoenix Park tourism and amenity study. Twenty-five miles’ away the Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre got €2.58m; and thirty three miles away Newgrange got €1m and Knowth €1.4m.

This Fáilte Ireland funding announced earlier this month, when truly examined, certainly represents a true strategic partnership with the OPW, if you know what I mean. Plus, as Fáilte Ireland point out, our Irish tourism sector after all currently sustains 220,000 (minimum wage) jobs, while generating an estimated €6bn in economic value per year to the State.

As already stated, it is not really this unequal distribution of funding that actually bothers me, no my fear centres around the wanton destruction of our local unique history and culture, which provides that strong incentive in bringing people to our shores. To get to the crux of this matter perhaps I need to explain further.

Tourists who visit Ireland are not exactly attracted by our weather, rather a huge percentage of foreign visitors are incentivised to holiday on our island, because of our wild, unspoilt, scenic beauty and remarkable ancient history. While most of our history is protected in museums, much more remains totally unprotected.

Archer Tomb Date 1520. Present condition in 2017.

Here in Thurles town Co. Tipperary, alone, numerous pieces of our rich heritage lie unprotected from weather erosion. Year by year, with the passing of each season; rain, wind, frost, snow and even sunshine, all ploy and conspire to shorten and destroy the future life of centuries old rare historical artefacts. Private funding offered, to protect this heritage, are resolutely refused, however funding is being (alas to late), provided to carry out photogrammetry surveys. See HERE and HERE.

The world was outraged in May 2015 when ISIS militants destroyed some of the historic buildings in the ancient city of Palmyra, located in war-torn Syria; which in the past flourished as a Roman trading outpost around A.D. 200. While this similarity is perhaps extreme, the same situation is being allowed to happen to valuable history in rural Ireland.

Dublin not only get the employment opportunities now-a-days it would appear, but into the future, only within a 50 mile radius of our capital city, will limited history survive, courtesy of Fáilte Ireland’s neglect of rural Ireland.

We rightly worry about the disappearance of Banks, Post Offices, Garda Stations, Hospitals and Public Transport from rural Ireland, now our politicians can add tourist attractions to this ever-growing list; while into the future the actual visitor.

Incidentally, those of you who reside abroad and continue to retain close links with Thurles, Co. Tipperary, you can purchase a cast, (at reasonable cost), of the Thurles Goban Saor’s cat with two tails, shown above, from HERE. Same will ensures one hell of a talking point for visitors to your home, when hanging on your sitting-room wall.

We will be talking about this Gobán Saor’s cat in the coming days.

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