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What Does The River Suir Mean To You?

Suir

Thurles, Anner Hotel, Thursday 21st July last – Crowd settle for discussion on the upper River Suir in Thurles, Borrisoleigh & Holycross.

Great turnouts and lively debate were the order of the day, following recent River Suir Community meetings. Over the past two weeks widely advertised evening meetings were held at six riverside locations throughout the River Suir catchment area, to ask local people “What does the River Suir mean to you?”

As we already informed our readers, public meeting were held in both Co. Tipperary and Co. Kilkenny, at the following locations:-
Newcastle Community Hall, Tuesday 19th.
• Golden Community Hall, Wednesday 20th.
Thurles, Anner Hotel, Thursday 21st.
• Cahir House Hotel, Tuesday 26th.
• Fethard Community Hall, Wednesday 27th.
• Piltown, Kildalton College, Thursday 28th.

The purpose of these appointed evening meetings were to open up serious discussion on the river Suir, with regard to water quality and other natural water issues, while also exploring possible opportunities that our river and its tributaries could provide in future to local communities.

These meetings were organised by the Local Authority Waters and Communities Office; to coincide with public consultations by the Office of Public Works (OPW) on Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management (CFRAMS). All meeting opened with a presentation by Dr. Fran Igoe who gave the background to a new approach to the management of our natural waters; these included rivers, lakes, groundwater, estuaries, the coast and wetlands.

The importance of the River Suir, from a European perspective, was explained, including why the river was selected as a ‘Special Area of Conservation’ based on the myriad of wildlife being supported. The meetings were opened to the floor and attendees were invited to contribute regarding benefits and issues, from a local perspective. Needless to say, this was a lively affair at all named venues, with discussions ranging from sewage present in the river; excessive vegetation growth; access restrictions for walkers and to the future potential for river based tourism.

Following this discussion there was an overview of the structure and role of the national Waters and Communities Office and the draft River Basin Management Plan, latter which will be available nationally for public consultation from December 2016 to June 2017.

Continue reading What Does The River Suir Mean To You?

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Sinead Guiney Crowned International Miss Macra 2016

Macra2016

Pictured L – R: Miss Josephine O’Dwyer, Miss Sinead Guiney (International Miss Macra 2016) and Miss Aileen Sheehan, all judged winners at the 45th International Miss Macra 2016 Festival’s Gala Banquet, held in the Anner Hotel, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, last night.

Primary School Teacher Miss Sinead Guiney, (representing Avondhu Macra Club, Co. Cork), was crowned International Miss Macra 2016, at the close of the 45th International Miss Macra Festival, held in the Anner Hotel, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, last night.

Miss Josephine O’Dwyer (representing South Co. Tipperary), achieved second place, while Miss Aileen Sheehan (representing Muskerry Macra Club, Co. Cork) achieved third place.

The names of the winners were publicly announced following a Banquet in the Four Star Anner Hotel, Dublin Road, Thurles, Co. Tipperary last night; in front of a record crowd of some 250 guests; marking the conclusion of this year’s 3 day successful farming festival. Musical entertainment at the Sunday night Gala Banquet was provided by Tipperary popular band ‘Silver Dollar’.

Following the judges final decision last night, Miss Guiney was presented with a specially designed Sterling Silver Tiara, embellished with Cubic Zirconia, designed and hand crafted by Michael Carew Jewellers, West Gate, Thurles. Miss Willis also was presented with the Perpetual Silver International Miss Macra Trophy, (Fitzgibbon Perpetual Cup), together with a beautiful piece of Galway Crystal and a bouquet of flowers by Festival Chairperson Miss Anne Marie Lyng, and Festival Secretary’s Miss Eibhlis Maher and Miss Simone Loughman respectively. A cash prize of €1000, sponsored by the Anner Hotel, was presented by one of the joint owners of the establishment, Mr Michael Maher (Managing Director).

Second placed, Miss Josephine O’Dwyer, received a specially commissioned piece of Galway Crystal and a cash prize of €500, while Miss Aileen Sheehan, judged a close third, also received a piece of Galway Crystal and €300 in prize money.

Previously, that morning all International Miss Macra 2016 contestants had attended Mass in the local parish church in Clonoulty-Rossmore and afterwards togged-out to prove their worth by taking part in a sports day, field event.

This year saw twenty-two contestants, each chosen by their respective Macra Clubs, taking part in this year’s 45th International Miss Macra Festival. Given the very difficult task of selecting this year’s “International Miss Macra 2016” winners were:- Joan Pollard Carew, (Representing Main Sponsors Michael Carew Jewellers, West Gate, Thurles); Geraldine Henchion, (Representing Tipp FM, Tipperary’s No 1 Local Radio Station); & Declan Ryan, (President of the Clonoulty/Rossmore Macra Club).

The enormous success of this year’s festival, which attracted record crowds, is due completely to the hard work of all the Clonoulty / Rossmore Macra members, who undertook the precise planning and organising of this year’s festival on a completely voluntary basis, under the strong leadership of Miss Anne Marie Lyng (Chairperson). Other speakers at the event included Mr Ger Griffin (Munster Vice President of Macra Na Feirme), Mrs Joan Pollard Carew (Spokesperson for the Sponsors), Mr Declan Ryan (Spokesperson for the judges) and Miss Susan Willis (Outgoing 2015 Int. Miss Macra Winner).

Also speaking at the Gala Banquet, Miss Anne Marie Lyng (Festival Chairperson) was high in her praise for the outgoing 2015 winner and runners-up. She stated that “last year’s winners Miss Willis, Miss Julie Muldowney and Miss Helen Hayes, over the past year, had shown total dedication in their promotion of Macra principals and Macra Clubs, throughout the length and breadth of Ireland and abroad.”

The International Miss Macra Festival 2016 event is understood to have attracted some €300,000 into the local Tipperary economy, in tourism product; promoted by a committee whose ages range from the oldest just 29 and youngest a mere 24 years of age.  Club profits from this well organised event will be fully invested in next year’s International Festival, thus further ensuring its security and success into the future.

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International Miss Macra 2016 Under Way In Thurles

Macra16

Left – Right pictured above: (1) Representing South Tipperary, M/s Josephine O’Dwyer. (2) M/s Ailin Walsh, representing Waterford, ‘meets & greets’ former Epsom Derby & Irish Derby Stakes Winner ‘Galileo’ yesterday, at the world famous Coolmore Stud in Co. Tipperary. (3) Representing South Tipperary, M/s Denise Ryan.

Yesterday saw the welcome return of the 45th International Miss Macra Festival, returning to its initial roots; coming back to Thurles, Co. Tipperary for the full duration of this August Bank Holiday weekend. Such was the high calibre of the venues present here in Thurles that the Festival this year is taking place in three separate areas, showcasing the best that Thurles and Co. Tipperary has to offer, e.g. Hayes Hotel (Birthplace of the GAA), last night; The Dome (Semple Stadium), tonight, and the magnificent family-run Anner Hotel (Graded Four-Star by Fáilte Ireland), Dublin Rd, Thurles, for the Annual Macra Banquet tomorrow night.

Yesterday, the festival kicked off, when contestants met the Festival Committee and Host Families in Clonoulty village, before being taken on a personal tour of the world famous Coolmore Stud Farm. This was followed by a late lunch in the Anner Hotel’s ‘Green Room’ restaurant.  Last night the participants attended a themed ’90’s Disco’, in Hayes Hotel, dancing into the early hours of this morning.

However today saw the contestants appear ‘bright eyed & bushy tailed’, rising early in preparation for their private personal interviews in front of a three judge panel, namely Joan Pollard Carew, (Representing Main Sponsors Michael Carew Jewellers, West Gate, Thurles); Geraldine Henchion, (Representing Tipp FM, Tipperary’s No 1 Local Radio Station); & Declan Ryan, (President of the Clonoulty/Rossmore Macra Club). This panel have been given the very difficult task of selecting this year’s “International Miss Macra 2016” winner; latter which will be announced following the Banquet on Sunday night in the Anner Hotel.

Tonight (30th July 2016) in The Dome, Semple Stadium, Thurles, will see the ever popular “Cabaret Night”, commence. Here the contestants will be interviewed publicly on stage, by expert interviewer Mr Mike Egan; himself a previous Macra Member and long-term friend of the festival.  Live music will be provided by ‘Switch’ to which the contestants, their supporters and the public attending, can later dance the night away.

Guaranteed to be a most enjoyable and memorable evening.

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Joe Healy Elected As New IFA President

Joe HealyA Dairy farmer from Athenry in Co. Galway, Mr Joe Healy, has been elected as President of the Irish Farmers Association (IFA), on the first count.

The post of ‘President’ became vacant following the stepping down, last year, by former President Mr Eddie Downey, after IFA members became angry following revelations of high salaries having been paid at Executive level. These same revelations sparked outrage amongst ordinary grass-roots members, which in turn brought about two high-profile resignations from within the organisation.

Mr Healy, initially regarded as the outsider, appeared almost immediately as the frontrunner, to take over as President of the Irish Farmers Association, when counting of votes began this morning; with first his preference votes appearing close to 50%.

Mr Healy, who promises more transparency and has pledged to rebuild trust within the IFA,  is possibly observed by his electorate as offering a clear swing away from the current IFA establishment; himself having never served on the organisation’s national executive.

Deputy President
Mr Richard Kennedy, a dairy farmer from Clarina in north Co. Limerick and past Limerick County Chairman, was deemed elected as the new IFA Deputy President.

Provincial Chairpersons
Mixed-enterprise farmer John Coughlan from Cork was elected Munster regional Chairperson (which includes Tipperary); while Mr Bert Stewart was returned (unopposed) as North Leinster-Ulster Regional Chairperson, as was indeed Mr James Murphy in South Leinster.

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Time To Micro-Chip & Register Your Dog

DogA reminder that, as and from April 1st, 2016, dog owners who have not already micro-chipped their dog and registered them on an authorised database, could face a hefty fine of up to €5,000.

There are currently four authorised databases available for registration purposes; Animark, Fido, Irish Coursing Club and the Irish Kennel Club. Each of these authorised databases can/will issue dog owners with a certificate ensuring registered details, relating to your dog, are correct and same will become necessary with regards to the transfer of all/any future dog ownerships.

Laws introduced last June 2015 saw the introduction of the micro-chipping of all puppies under the age of 12 weeks. From last September all pups being offered for sale are required to be identified by way of this micro-chipping process.

The next phase in this initiative now calls for every dog in Ireland to be micro-chipped, with the regulation being brought into force with effect from April 1st, 2016.

This current scheme is expected to bring a wide range of benefits to dog and their owners, through assisting in the speedy identification in the case of stray and stolen dogs, together with supporting overall animal welfare and protection.

Micro-chipping will also act as a deterrent for those who insist on abandoning their pets, while also assisting in the identification of marauding dogs that so often pose considerable financial hardships through attacks on farm livestock e.g. Lambs etc.

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