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wind speed: 3 m/s SW
sunrise: 6:14 am
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Can Spring Be Far Behind?

“SPRING”

(© Author & Poet Tom Ryan.)

Under the far and flickering stars
On this bright and lovely night of Spring
In that children’s place of memories
By the river down the Mall .
Tell me it isn’t beautiful.

That place where street lights magically
Trace their pale and orange shimmering shapes
On the ever flowing river
Serenading each life’s journey.
Tell me it isn’t beautiful,

In secret silence swans
From out the mysterious mist of night,
Play with the lighted patterns on the water.
Buds on bare boughs breast the air.
On grassy banks crisp frost appears.
Oh tell me it isn’t beautiful.

And in those hours when magic fails,
And worldliness can faith assail,
I then envision swans of Spring.
Solemn and splendid hearkening
To the language of each living thing.
Oh, tell me it isn’t beautiful.

Tom Ryan, “Iona,” Rahealty, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

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“Story Of Your Stuff” A Competition For Secondary Schools

Teenagers are invited to create video stories about the stuff they consume – The EPA launches “The Story of Your Stuff” competition for secondary schools

Following the success of last year’s competition, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is pleased to launch the 2018 “The Story of Your Stuff” competition for secondary schools. This year the EPA is teaming up with big-wave surfer and marine social scientist Easkey Britton to promote “The Story of Your Stuff”.

The competition invites students to choose an everyday object – perhaps a pen, a mobile phone, a banana, a jumper or a water bottle – and use a visual medium to illustrate its life-cycle.

Speaking about the competition, the EPA’s Helen Bruen said, “We want students to unleash their creativity to tell us the story of their stuff. Perhaps a pencil started its story as a tree in another continent or maybe a water bottle was created from oil originating as far away as the Middle East. Students can tell us about where it came from, how they use it, and more importantly, where it’s going to end up!
By becoming more aware of the story of stuff, we can all begin to understand why sustainable consumption behaviours, including recycling and using recyclable materials, are so important in protecting our beautiful environment.”

The competition is open to secondary school students up to and including 18 years of age. The prize is: €500 for the winning entry and €500 plus an inspiring talk from Dr Easkey Britton for your school. All information about the competition can be found on www.thestoryofyourstuff.ie. Here students can view a sample video, last year’s winning videos and some tips on how to get started.

On teaming up with Dr Easkey Britton of NUIG, Helen Bruen said, “We are delighted to have Easkey Britton on-board as our ambassador for the competition this year, especially given the ongoing concern for our beautiful coastline and waterways that are often affected by pollution from material we discard after use. Easkey is a five-time Irish national surf champion, holds a Ph.D. in Marine Environment & Society and works to promote a healthy relationship between people and the environment, particularly the sea.”

Dr Easkey Britton said, “Surfing the waves is my passion and the ocean is my second home. I can’t imagine my life without the sea. I feel a responsibility to protect it and it breaks my heart to see how our actions and behaviours damage and pollute our seas, shores and waterways. Every plastic bottle, every coffee cup and plastic bag that enters the ocean causes damage to the life that lives and breathes within the ocean. Ultimately we all lose out by this harm to our environment and equally we can all do our part to protect our environment in some small way and collectively make a difference. The Story of Your Stuff inspires us to think about how we might do that and that’s why I’m thrilled to be part of this great campaign”.

The EPA’s web resource provides the best source of information for students to research their entry.

Entering the competition
Entering the competition couldn’t be easier. Simply fill out the short application form via www.thestoryofyourstuff.ie, upload the entry and click send before the 23rd March 2018.

The competition website also includes a section for teachers with a lesson plan outlining the educational as well as fun elements of this campaign.
Students are advised to keep their videos short, ideally 60 seconds and not more than 90 seconds long.

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EPA Publishes National Priority Sites Enforcement List

The EPA has published their latest ‘National Priority Sites List for Enforcement’. The National Priority Sites for Enforcement system was launched by the EPA in July 2017 to drive further environmental compliance at industrial and waste facilities.

Four sites have been removed from the previous National Priority Sites List for Enforcement, following the necessary improvements in their compliance. These are:-
P0791-02 – Arrabawn Co-operative Society Limited, Tipperary.
W0147-01 – Ashgrove Recycling, Cork.
P0390-04 – Carbery Food Ingredients Limited, Cork.
P0403-03 – Dairygold Co-Operative Society Limited (Mallow), Cork.

However eight further industrial sites are on the current EPA National Priority Site List for enforcement. Four of these sites are from the agri-food sector.
Six of the sites account for more than half of all complaints received in 2017. The complaints were made about odour, noise or dust. The EPA is continuing to focus its enforcement effort to ensure that sites do not cause nuisance. The current eight sites licensed by the EPA are on the list for failing to meet the necessary environmental standards. These companies face further enforcement action.

The following are the National Priority Sites for Quarter 4 2017.  The EPA will update the National Priority Sites list on a quarterly basis.

Reg. No.      Licence Name          County
P0812-01      Arrow Group    Kildare.
W0178-02    East Galway Residual Landfill Site    Galway.
P0960-01     Green Pasture Meat Processors Limited    Longford.
P0029-05     Irish Cement Limited (Limerick)    Limerick. *
P0792-02     Nutricia Infant Nutrition Limited    Cork.
P0180-02     Rosderra Irish Meats Group (Edenderry)   Offaly. *
P0738-03     Shell E&P Ireland Limited    Mayo.
P0320-02     T & J Standish (Roscrea) Limited    Offaly.

* Note: Two sites have come back on to the list following further compliance issues. These are Irish Cement, Limerick and Rosderra Irish Meats Group, Edenderry.

Further details of the National Priority Sites scoring system and the list of sites can be found HERE on the EPA website.  Enforcement information on all sites can be found under the Licence Search pages on the EPA website.
Complaints about licensed sites can be made on-line or by contacting the EPA at Tel: 053-9160600.

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Where Can I Dispose Of My Christmas Tree?

As the Christmas decorations come down, it remains a question that many people will be asking; both here in Thurles and county wide today,“Where can I dispose of my Christmas Tree?”

Fear not, for we bring you good tidings of great joy, yes Tipperary County Council, as is their usual practise, will be taking Christmas trees for recycling, free of charge, at each of the following sites:-

In the Templemore /Thurles Municipal District:
Parnell Street Car Park, Thurles.
Templemore Town Park, Templemore.

Elsewhere in the County:
Donohill Recycling Centre, Donohill.
Cashel Civic Amenity Site, Cashel.
Fair Green, Carrick-on-Suir.
Nenagh Recycling Centre, Nenagh.
Roscrea Recycling Centre, Roscrea.

Same unwanted trees can be freely disposed of from January 6th until  January 14th 2018.

Remember also, those of you with empty bottles to dispose of here in Thurles; same may also be recycled at the Parnell Street Car Park, thus taking advantage of our excellent glass recycling facility.

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Status Orange Low Temperature Warning For Tipp.

An ‘Status ORANGE’ low temperature warning has been forecast by Met Éireann from 9.00pm tonight until 10.00am tomorrow morning (Monday) for Tipperary.

A Status / Category ORANGE level weather warning is for weather conditions which have the capacity to impact significantly on people in their affected areas, and implies that all recipients in the affected areas should prepare themselves in an appropriate way for the anticipated conditions.

It will be dry with clear skies resulting with severe air and ground frost tonight. Lowest temperatures will range -3o, as is presently, to -6o, with light winds travelling from the east and south-east.

Most main roads in Tipperary are expected to be gritted by the local authority, however motorists are advised to travel, exercising extreme caution.

Tomorrow, Monday, will remain dry with the severe frost clearing in non-sheltered areas by mid-day due to the bright sunshine. Cloudy skies will increase from the south and west through the course of the day with a few outbreaks of rain and drizzle expected to appear along southern coasts in the afternoon. Weather will become milder with highest temperatures reaching 4o to 7o degrees.

Possible outlook up to and including Friday next.
Monday: Overnight the county will remain dry throughout.

Tuesday: We will see a mostly cloudy day, becoming slightly milder in a freshening southerly wind. Expect a band of rain to cross the country from the west as the day goes on.

Wednesday: A colder day with a mix of sunny spells and scattered passing showers. The showers will affect mainly the west and a longer spell of rain may affect south-eastern areas. Winds no more than moderate.

Thursday: Will be cool and mainly dry with frost early and late. However, rain and freshening winds will spread countrywide on Friday next.

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