Irish Phrase Of The Day

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


April 2014
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Unusual Phenomenon In Tipperary

All through the wintertime he hid himself away
Ashamed to show his face, afraid of what others might say.”
(Lines taken from “The Ugly Duckling,” by Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen (1805 – 1875).


Picture Supplied Courtesy of Tipperary’s Award Winning Wildlife Photographer Eamon Brennan (L.I.P.F.)

Dingle / Daingean Uí Chúis, or whatever they are calling it these days, may have Fungie, a wild Bottlenose Dolphin, taking up residence in their harbour, but meet North Tipperary’s Dicky (Richard) Robin, who has taken over territory and currently resides a mere 15 minutes driving distance from Thurles, in the townsland of Raheen, Ballycahill.

Dickie, possibly the only existing albino Robin in Ireland presently, has suddenly become a tourist attraction in the area, particularly for weekend walkers all anxious to get a glimpse of this unusual cheeky member of our feathered friends. While some robins often do appear paler than others, local Ornithologists are calling Dicky’s present prerequisite simply Leucism or Dilution, latter being a genetic condition where a bird produces less-than-normal amounts of pigments, necessary to colouring its feathers in the normal way.

Since Robins don’t migrate and use mating rituals through bird song and bird behaviour, rather than using plumage colour, this albino robin could have a better chance of reproducing than other albino bird species. So could we have a family of white Robins next year? Time will tell.

In the meanwhile the word has spread and those in the Bed & Breakfast business here in Thurles are reporting an upsurge in enquiries from those anxious to get a glimpse or indeed photograph this rarest of phenomenon and newest of Tipperary celebrities “Dicky Robin.”

Bullying On Facebook

I cannot help but think of course that perhaps this rarest of phenomenon could be a gentle reminder from our great Creator, encouraging us to raise up our heads from our modern day gutter and put a stop, once and for all, to those of us who use social media to intimidate the less fortunate or those who display difference within our varied communities.

Above video is perhaps one of the best stimulating and morale-boosting of songs for young people, sung here by American actor, singer, dancer, and comedian the late Danny Kaye (David Daniel Kaminsky). In the past our youth were more subjected to this type of storytelling and with it emerged in our youth perhaps a greater confidence, greater courage and social enlightenment, demonstrating in a most effective way on how to encourage those intimidated by social media, how to stand up and lead rather than be simply sheepishly led.

Time perhaps to take a look again and borrow from past wisdom and experience, instead of providing so called governments with distracting footballs to kick around.

Cabragh Wetlands To Hold Open Day On Sunday

The Cabragh Wetlands Trust are holding their annual “Open Day,” on Sunday next, August 11th, 2013. The Open Day will have the usual range of raffles and sales of everything from cakes, to unique pictures of wetland wildlife, to bird boxes for your garden.

Courtesy Eamon Brennan & G.Willoughby.

Dario G, ” Sunchyme.”
The Wiggles, “Country Garden.”
Vivaldi “Autumn” (3rd Movement) & “Winter” (1st Movement)

Children’s events begin from 2.00pm to 4.00pm with farm animals to see, creepy-crawlies to observe, together with talks and guided walks by local experts, not to mention a pottery wheel demonstration. Games and races include the traditional Egg & Spoon Race, Sack Races and 3-legged Races, plus plenty more for all of the family to enjoy.

There will also be a Children’s Fancy Dress Show, with the theme “Nature,” so a great turn out of human birds and animals are anticipated.

Donations for the Open Day will be gratefully received, particularly raffle prizes and items for auction. They do ask that items for auction are of good quality; no bric-a-brac please. These items can be left at the Cabragh Wetland Centre any morning, or Telephone 0504-43879  / 086-3179919 to arrange delivery.

This is also the perfect opportunity to understand a bit more about the Cabragh Wetlands Trust, its priorities, its plans for the future and its role both as a conservation body and as an important community development group. You may even be tempted to join their growing membership of experts and volunteers, as they do need your assistance in continuing their efforts in creating a greater awareness of conservation and the appreciation of our natural environment.

Peregrine Falcons Shot Dead In South Tipperary

peregrine-falconThe National Parks, Wildlife Service and Gardaí are investigating the death of two Peregrine falcons and the serious injury of one other, which were nesting in the wild in South Tipperary.

One pair of falcons, which were deliberately and illegally shot dead, were nesting in church ruins near Lisronagh, Fethard in south Tipperary and their deaths have been described by bird watchers as an act of savagery.

At the time of the incidents there were young falcons at both nests which had just fledged, but were still dependent on the adults for food.

The Peregrine Falcon, which feeds almost exclusively on medium-sized birds such as pigeons and doves, waterfowl, songbirds, and waders, has a life span in the wild of up to 15.5 years.  Worldwide, it is estimated that between 1,500 and 2,000 bird species are predicated and thus naturally controlled by falcons. John F. Kennedy International Airport used specifically trained falcons for some 15 years to disperse smaller birds that tended to flock near its runways, thus preventing huge costs in maintenance and ensuring safety to passengers.

When feeding its young, the male falcon can pass prey it has caught, to the female in mid-air with the female actually flying upside down to receive this food from the male’s talons. Not surprisingly therefore studies of the peregrine falcon continues to plays an important part in the development of aircraft manufacture.

Falcons are the fastest birds on earth, with the peregrine falcon reaching speeds of over 320 kph.

Cantwell Electrical Engineering Ltd Officially Open New Premises

One of Ireland’s leading Water Treatment and Pumping Solution providers’ Cantwell Electrical Engineering Ltd.(CEEL) have officially opened their new €1.3 million state-of-the-art business premises.

Situated on its original site at Graigue, Urlingford, Thurles, Co Tipperary, Cantwell Electrical Engineering Ltd is an ISO certified company that specialises in the design and supply of water and waste water treatment systems and pumping solutions.

Less than 1km from the N8 Dublin/Cork Road, this new premises was officially opened by the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Mr Phil Hogan, T.D. & truly reflects the standards & services which CEEL offer to their valued customers.

In response to an ever expanding client base, CEEL, in association with their sister company’s Quality Water Systems (QWS) & Cantwell Pumping & Treatment Systems, realised the need to update their premises to include new Offices, Workshops, Staff Training Facilities and a Retail Shop, latter which is open to the public six days a week.

Recent accreditation with ISO Standards in Quality Management, Environmental Management and Occupational Health & Safety, have resulted in increased levels of business and has opened up new avenues for this market-leading provider of Pumping, Control and Water Treatment Systems.

A full catalogue of their trade products, can be obtained by contacting Cantwell Pumping & Treatment Systems sales team on 056-8834198.

Refresh Thurles – Time to Take More Control

They took all the trees and put ‘em in a tree museum
And they charged all the people a dollar and a half just to see ‘em
Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.”

(Lyrics Joni Mitchell.)

May 23rd last, saw the closing date for entry to the Supervalu National Tidy Towns Competition. Thurles has been missing from this competition for some years now, but I am happy to relate that a new & welcome voluntary committee aptly named “Refresh Thurles,” has been formed and Thurles has been entered in this competition once again. To this end this newly formed committee are encouraging residents to take more control of their immediate environment.

Refresh Thurles are now appealing to every Thurles resident to make a keen effort to keep their particular area clean and tidy and invite constructive comments regarding the town  to their Email address

Their job ahead is not going to be an easy one, as our short video shows. The absence of a Tidy Town’s Committee operating in Thurles for some years and the failure of Thurles Town Council to implement already existing bye-laws, latter in particular with regards to behaviour relating to Advertising Posters, the protection of Trees planted in our urban areas etc, leave a lot to be desired.

Social Benefits Of Trees To Towns Like Thurles

As people we like trees around us, whether we are immediately aware of it or not, as they make life more pleasant. All of us respond to the presence of trees beyond simply observing their natural beauty. They grant us feelings of serenity, peacefulness, restfulness, shade and tranquillity. It is proven beyond doubt that hospital patients are shown to recover from surgery much more quickly, when their hospital room offers a view of trees. The very stature, strength and endurance of trees give them a cathedral-like quality, and because of their potential for long life, trees frequently continue to be planted as living markers to both people & historic occasions.

Trees alter greatly & for the betterment of our environment by moderating climate, improving air quality and harbouring wildlife. Trees greatly improve our air quality and temperature and allow us to moderate the ‘heat-island effect,’ caused by pavements and buildings in commercial areas. (The term ‘heat island,’ refers to any area, populated or not, which is consistently hotter than the surrounding area and first recognised & investigated in the early 1800′s.)

The leaves from trees filter the air we breathe by removing dust and other particulates including poisonous carbon monoxide, and sulphur dioxide and returning it to us in the form of oxygen. Thus by planting trees we return to a more natural, less artificial environment with birds and other wildlife more attracted into our midst.

Graffiti & Neglected Pavements A Major Problem

Other issues in the town need to be addressed immediately if Thurles is to gain any sort of reasonable mark in any forthcoming Tidy Town’s competition. Graffiti appears in abundance, not just on derelict buildings but on many currently operating business premises. With Thurles Town Council now with more Councillors than manual workers employed, volunteers and paint are badly & urgently needed from within the community.

The trees shown damaged and the poor quality of our pavements also shown in the video above, are photographed on St Mary’s avenue and Liberty Square, (Note trees damaged from the pavement side and not damaged by passing motor vehicles.) currently the walk way used by the now obscure & elusive tourist who chooses to visit St Mary’s Famine Museum, latter one of the few remaining tourist attractions in the town.

Meanwhile, Mo Chara Animal Rescue, who may do great work rescuing animals, certainly have no love of trees as our video demonstrates. They and other local advertisers need to keep in mind that if 4 inch screws are driven often enough into our living trees in Liberty Square, then very soon the dogs in the area will have nothing to cock their legs against.

To “Refresh Thurles,” we wish your committee every success and our full support in all future endeavourers. Any volunteers, paint & brushes out there anywhere? Come on let’s get involved.

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