Irish Phrase Of The Day

"Cad atá ar súil agat ?" - What are you doing?



October 2014
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Recycle Your Christmas Tree

All Christmas trees for recycling will be accepted free of charge at the following venues here in North Tipperary from next week onwards.

(A) Parnell Street Carpark, Thurles, in specified areas on Saturday, January 11th and Saturday January 18th.

(B) Recycling Centre, Nenagh, during opening hours from Tuesday January 7th to Saturday January 25th inclusive.

(C) Civic Amenity Site, Roscrea, during opening hours from Thursday January 9th to Saturday January 25th inclusive.

(D) Town Park, Templemore, in specified areas on Saturday, January, 18th.

New Proposed Thurles Town Park Reviewed

In March 2013 Thurles Town Council (Comhairle Baile Ceanntar Dhurlas) announced the welcome news that it had at last purchased eight acres of land from St Patrick’s College for the provision of a new Thurles Town Park.

The land purchased, which partially bounds the east bank of the River Suir and partially backs onto the more recently constructed easterly Thurles Civic & Leisure Centre have now produced a preliminary design via some excellent planning work undertaken by Malachy Walsh & Partners, latter whose proposals went on public display in the past few weeks to a very small audience.

Thurles-ParkLocal interested readers however can now view this proposed design here.

Having reviewed these excellent plans in detail I personally however would love to see perhaps three changes to the agreed overall designs. These changes come under the headings; Shelter Belt, Skateboard Park and River Suir and are discussed hereunder.

Shelter Belt

Local residents will be aware from weather conditions over the past few weeks that the annual prevailing wind blowing across Thurles arrives mainly from a South Westerly direction. This plan therefore begs the question has a sufficient shelter belt been provided in this plan for the Autumn /Winter months, thus ensuring the most frequent and maximum use of this needed public amenity?

To my mind planners should now review the East and West banks of the river Suir, together with the sites eastern boundary with St Patrick’s College, to ensure that a suitable shelter belt is put in place. The ideal tree for the outer ring of a shelter belt is of course evergreen because same provides protection all year round. Suitable fast growing evergreen trees would perhaps include Scots Pine, Monterey Pine, Evergreen Oak or Bay Tree. Suitable inner ring fast growing hedge plants could include Olearia traversii, Olearia macrodonta, Olearia paniculata, Olearia x virgata, Escallonia macrantha, Elaeagnus x ebbingei or Griselinia littoralis, all of which offers excellent boundary shelter to protect the winter walker.

Skateboard Park or Tennis Courts?

Skate boarding as a sport, began in the 1960’s developed by surfers as an activity when the ocean waves were too calm. It spread across here to Ireland much later.  Today the sport for the vast majority of participants has taken the road of the now deceased but then popular Hula Hoop, invented in the late 1950’s. Skateboarding as a sport is profoundly difficult and technical and this fact leads many skaters to quickly quit. Worldwide the first skateboard magazine, “Quarterly Skateboarder,” which was published in 1964 ceased to exist five years later and although revived again as a business idea in 1975, under the title “Skateboarder”, it also failed in profitability in the early 1980s. This Christmas in Thurles not one Skateboard was sought as a Christmas gift from either Santa Clause or family members. Out of a population of some 12,000 people living in Thurles and its environs, the facebook page promoted by some local councillors to encourage support for such an amenity in August 2011, same has (as I go to print) after over two years only acquired 18 friends and 365 likes, latter mostly from others anxious to promote other enterprises.

So I say to our Town Councillors, the hint and future success maybe in this detail and if  preliminary plans are not yet worked out, perhaps we could instead have returned to our town,  two Tennis Courts, latter sold off  as a building site and which in the past was so much enjoyed by men, women and youths of all ages groups between 10 & 65.  My own feeling is that Local Councillors supporting such an amenity in Thurles were only copying ideas from Councillors in Athy, Castlebar, Bray and Sligo  all of whom were attempting to court that ever elusive pre-election local newspaper headline. It is also interesting to note that bye-laws had to be introduced in American towns and cities preventing persons on the way to Skateboard parks from skateboarding on the footpaths. Police were given the task of administering fines of $500 for such social offences. Is Skateboarding in Thurles therefore popular enough to warrant the expenditure likely to be incurred by the taxpayer?

River Suir

If I have any real criticism of Malachy Walsh & Partners preliminary design work, it is the fact that the river Suir, flowing through the town centre, has not been included fully as part of this overall development.  This again, I suspect may be caused by a lack of imagination on the part of our local Councillors. According to reliable sources I understand that our recent remarks here on Thurles.Info regarding raw sewage continuing to flow unabated into the river Suir, just two metres south of Barry’s Bridge footpath and less than 25 metres from the town’s main shopping arena, were ignored at a recent council meeting by the remark “This is treated sewage and therefore no cause for concern.”  This same remark then concluded any further intelligent conversation on this issue. This of course now begs the question whether or not we should put all treated sewage from Thurles, Cahir and Clonmel into the  river Suir and let Waterford Harbour authorities deal with the consequences.

As a boy living near Courtown Harbour in Co Wexford many moons ago, one of the big attractions was to hire a small flat bottomed Pedal Boat and enjoy a short 15 minute trip in an area known as “The Basin.”  There were about 10 such boats on hire and adults and youngsters waited and watched for hours to gain access to these boats during the summer season. Surely it is possible to raise the water level on the Suir a couple of  feet, say from Barry’s bridge to below the Swinging Gate for such a profitable enterprise.  If we can boat in Lough Derg surely we can use flat bottomed Pedal Boats on the river Suir. Anyone out there looking to invest in a start-up small business?

But first let’s remove and ban the entry of treated or otherwise raw sewage into the river Suir.  Until we do, best also to cancel the area set aside for disabled fishing or at least put up a Pollution Sign e.g. Fish Taken From This River Are Unfit For Human Consumption.

What do you, the residents of Thurles think?  Express your views by commenting, hereunder before any firm decisions are made for you by unimaginative public representatives. Remember this is your money being spent.

Friday Night – Moonlight Walk – Upperchurch Thurles

“Slowly, silently, now the moon walks the night in her silver shoon,
This way, and that, she peers, and sees, silver fruit upon silver trees.”

(Poem by Walter de la Mare )


Photo G.Willoughby

The 15th annual Autumn Challenge organised, last October and organised by John G O’Dwyer and Michael Sutton, (Thurles), in aid of a respite home for special needs children, was an outstanding success. Over 120 walkers, mostly from Mid-Tipperary, gathered in Clifden for this event and all experienced great walking conditions with good weather, a brilliant sing-song and immeasurable camaraderie.

Jimmy Duggan (Thurles) led the nature and heritage trek in the Connemara National Park, an event which is a most popular feature of all challenge weekends.

Ray Creaney led a 20km walk along the Maumeen Pilgrim Path, while Josephine Tobin, John G O’Dwyer and Dan Condren led the mountain walks on Saturday, which included an ascent of Diamond Hill on Sunday.

As a result a great evening is now promised in Upperchurch with €3,200, raised in Clifden, being presented to deserving charities in Kinanne’s Pub at the Autumn Charity Challenge re-union, on Friday next, November 22nd. Full details of the 2014 Kerry Charity Challenge to be held in Dingle Co Kerry is expected to be announced  in Kinanne’s, followed by the customary complimentary tea, coffee and one of Siobáin’s excellent tasty bites.

The Friday evening will begin with a moonlight walk on Knockalough starting from the Upperchurch Community Centre at 7.15pm, led by Carmel Needham. Latter moonlight walk is open to all comers – bring a torch.

Further information is available from Carmel at Tel: 086-2602133.

Tipperary Workshop For Waste Industry & Businesses

Ireland’s Public and Private waste industry representatives, as well as business operators interested in waste recycling and prevention, will participate in an information event in County Tipperary tomorrow (Thursday November 14th 2013).

WasteThe “Envisioning Resource Efficiency” event takes place in the Horse & Jockey Hotel, Thurles, here in Co. Tipperary and is being hosted by the Southern Region Waste Management Office through its remit as a project partner in the European-wide ‘Regions 4 Recycling,’ (R4R) project. The Regional Waste Management Office, which develops and coordinates waste activities and policy throughout the Region, says the event will feature presentations from a range of waste experts, a questions and answers session, information stands and an interim update on the R4R project.

Under the three-year Interreg IVC European Regional Development funded R4R project, local authorities in Limerick, Clare, Kerry, Cork, Waterford, Wexford, Kilkenny, Tipperary and Carlow have joined participating authorities in 12 other European regions in making performance comparisons and exchange of good practices in order to improve their respective recycling performances.

According to Philippa King, Regional Co-ordinator for the Southern Waste Region: “European municipalities are subject to common EU waste management regulations but have taken different approaches to reach the recycling targets. Differences between the recycling performances are evident, ranging from less than 10% to more than 70% from one region to another. Some of the differences can be accounted for by different data compilation practices between regions. Interim results collated by participating R4R project partners show that the Southern Region of Ireland is one of the leading regions in Europe in terms of Recycling and Low waste generation and Prevention.
Tomorrow’s event will be of particular benefit to those organisations and businesses looking to improve their waste collection and recycling policies by learning from the experiences of others throughout the region and overseas. This is no charge for this event but booking is essential via the Southern Region Waste Management Office at 061 496596 or,” added Ms. King.

Guest speakers at the event include R4R project partners Jean-Benoit Bel of French-based Ordif speaking about “From Local Waste Data to the European Recycling Society”, and Svend Byrial Poulsen of Odense Renovation (Denmark) who will be making a presentation on the “The Odense Waste Management Experience.”

Other speakers include Dr. Shane Colgan, EPA (Ireland’s National Waste Prevention Plan), Brian Lyons, Clean Ireland Refuse & Recycling (Recycling Municipal Waste into the Future – A Waste Contractor View), Martin Tobin, ERP Ireland (Recycling Household & Business WEEE into the Future), Percy Foster, CRE – Composting Association of Ireland (Rolling out the Brown Bin in Ireland Challenges and Opportunities), Warren Phelan, RPS Consulting Engineers (The Irish Waste Market: Changes, Trends and Observations), and Pauline McDonogh and Dr. Mary Stack, Local Authority Prevention Network (Waste Prevention in Practice: Regional & Local Co-operation for a Resource Efficient Future).

Envisioning Resource Efficiency,” takes place in the Horse & Jockey Hotel, Co. Tipperary on tomorrow, Thursday November 14th 2013 from 9.30am to 3.30pm.

For more visit

Tipperary Urged To Return To Lemons, Salt, Vinegar & Soda

Householders throughout Tipperary are being urged to cut down on domestic cleaning products and go back to basics when it comes to household cleaning.

The Southern Waste Management Regional Office (SWMRO), which manages waste recycling and prevention activities for Tipperary’s Local Authorities, has produced a ‘Greener Cleaning’ guide outlining how people can save money and help the environment by replacing household cleaning chemicals like bleach with relatively inexpensive traditional cleaning ingredients such as vinegar and soda.

Every year millions of cleaning products are purchased by Irish consumers to clean and maintain their home. Many products are purchased to do a specific task and often languish under the sink or in the bathroom cupboard,” explained Pauline McDonogh, SWRMO Waste Prevention Coordinator.

DSC_3887 Ms. McDonogh continued: “These chemicals become household hazardous waste and should be disposed of properly which can be a costly process. Furthermore, we tend to use household chemicals liberally and pay scant heed to dosage and usage instructions. It should be remembered that most of these chemicals are discharged to the sewers as waste water which requires significant treatment before it becomes potable again.

There are alternatives and this booklet will get householders started,” stated Ms. McDonogh who added: “Our guide is simple to follow and is packed full of ideas on how to clean your home cheaply and environmentally friendly. Using five simple ingredients and following our recipes most cleaning tasks around the home can be tackled. The five wonder products are Soda crystals, bicarbonate of soda, vinegar, salt and lemon juice.

According to Ms. McDonogh: “This EPA-funded research project highlighted the lack of public awareness of alternatives to the many unnecessary chemicals that we use on a daily basis. The ‘Greener Cleaning’ guide addresses this awareness gap by promoting the fact that household cleaning using more traditional products is cheap, effective and better for the environment and your heath.

The free “Greener Cleaning: Environmental Tips for Domestic Cleaning & Hygiene,” guide is produced by the Southern Waste Management Regional Office, which manages waste recycling and prevention activities for local authorities in Limerick, Clare, Kerry, Cork, Waterford, Wexford, Kilkenny, Tipperary and Carlow. The publication is also supported by the EPA and the Clean Technology Centre (CTC).

Note: The guide is available on request from the SRWMO at 061-496596 or by Emailing

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