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M. Lowry – Templemore Flood Relief Scheme News

Cost overrun on the National Children’s Hospital project will not delay the Templemore Flood Relief Scheme; same being currently undertaken by the Office of Public Works (OPW).

Tipperary Independent TD Deputy Michael Lowry has confirmed today that further to a number of meetings with Minister Boxer Moran, concerning the Templemore Flood Relief Scheme, he has received assurance that the main scheme in Templemore is progressing and will not be further delayed. This follows the Government decision, [on Tuesday February 12th 2019], in relation to capital reallocations, brought about by the cost overrun on the National Children’s Hospital project.

Bridge Construction, part of the Templemore Flood Relief Scheme, currently being undertaken by the OPW.

As our readers will be aware; the town of Templemore, Co. Tipperary, part of the Templemore / Thurles Municipal district, lies on the River Mall, which drains a catchment area that includes parts of the Kilduff and Devilsbit Mountains, before flowing into the River Suir further downstream.

The town has had a long history of flooding; the most momentous of these having occurred back in December 1968 and even more recently in November 2000, December 2015 and January 2016, with flood waters submerging and overwhelming, in total, some 40 properties.

Deputy Lowry stated: “Following discussion with Minister Kevin Boxer Moran I have been informed by the Minister and the OPW that construction of the River Mall (Templemore) Flood Relief Scheme is currently ongoing. To date, approximately 35% of the works have been completed, which include 450m of new channel excavation, 4 field bridges completed at various locations with another bridge substantially complete, and demolition and site clearance of a commercial property on the Richmond Road. Liaison is ongoing with relevant stakeholders, including local landowners, Inland Fisheries Ireland, the ESB, and Tipperary County Council. It is hoped to have the scheme works substantially completed by the end of 2019”.

Concluding Deputy Lowry stated: “I am very grateful for the support of Minister Boxer Moran and the commitment of the OPW to this project. It is hoped that the scheme of works will be substantially completed by the end of 2019”.


Sen. Grace O’Sullivan – Climate Action Event For South East

Creating a Local Sustainable Future – Practical actions for your community

National and local networks have come together to host a solution-based approach to creating a sustainable future within both rural and urban communities.

Kilkenny is set to hold an interactive cross-county event, to explore how local communities can create a sustainable future against the backdrop of the growing impacts of climate change.

This free event, organised by the Public Participation Networks (PPN) of counties Tipperary, Kilkenny, Carlow, Wexford and Waterford and the Irish Environmental Network, will take place at the Ormonde Hotel on Saturday February 23rd. Senator O’Sullivan will deliver the keynote address at this event that comes in response to growing demand for local solutions to an impending threat of climate change.
The event will concentrate on actions that can be replicated in any local area, whether at home or in the community, and aims to deliver action-focused outcomes for all participants.

Each workshop is delivered by an expert in their field, with the overall event facilitated by Davie Phillip of Cultivate, a Tipperary-based environmental NGO based in the Cloughjordan eco-village.

The event will focus on four key themes, including how to work towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and how to expand the conversation of climate action, through community initiatives.

The other key themes are how to develop local responses to climate action in water catchment areas, and developing actions for biodiversity protection across a range of habitats found across the five counties.

During the day there will be four breakout sessions, each focusing on an important issue that we face today, including biodiversity loss, with wildlife populations down 60% in the last 40 years.

Pádraic Fogarty, leading Irish ecologist and vocal spokesperson for reversing biodiversity loss, will lead a workshop to explore solutions to this crisis.

There will also be interactive workshop to explore the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, as well as the practical side of applying them to the work of community groups. Davie Phillip, who for the last 20 years has helped to create sustainable communities and locally led initiatives, will lead this community orientated workshop.

Individuals around Ireland are becoming more vocal about the need for climate action. Ray McGrath, who has been working within communities in Waterford to bring climate actions to a wider audience, will lead an action focused workshop set to expand the conversation to all community groups, and identify a range of environmental actions that they can take.

With floods and droughts increasingly impacting rural farming communities and set to become more severe over the next few years, it is important that we work now to protect our water sources.

For this reason, the final workshop will explore initiatives that are being taken to protect water quality and look at what can be done within communities to help nurture healthy rivers and lakes. Fran Igoe, the southern regional coordinator for the Local Authority Waters Programme, will lead this workshop. Mr Igoe has worked on large scale locally led conservation projects, which will be explored during the workshop.

The event will end with a Q&A panel including all facilitators and speakers, and time over lunch to browse the information stands from local and regional environmental groups.

Senator Grace O’Sullivan said: “The importance of ‘Think Global, Act Local’ has never been more evident than at the moment. The evidence for strong government and international action goes hand-in-hand with the need to include communities. We need to give citizens a feeling of agency and improve support for and awareness of environmental initiatives designed to tackle the ecological crisis we face.”

Pádraic Fogarty of the Irish Wildlife Trust said: “The extinction crisis is happening in parallel with the climate crisis and it is important that communities can appreciate how this is affecting the places in which they live and work. Addressing both crises in tandem can bring enormous opportunities for local people when the right initiatives are put in place.”

Annette Dupuy, Wexford PPN Support Officer said: “From this event we want to give attendees three things; evidence based actions that they can replicate in their own areas, an opportunity to make new connections, and most of all inspiration to continue their work in creating a local sustainable future. We are very excited to bring this event to the South East and to share the great work that is being done in the area.”


Roads Department, Tipperary Co. Council Issue Statement

Statement from the Department of Roads at Tipperary County Council.

The Roads Department of Tipperary County Council, wish to inform landowners that it has come to their attention that persons, latter purporting to be agents/contractors, are approaching farmers and other landowners, claiming that the Council has employed them to cut trees/hedges on behalf of the said Council. These rogue agents are also seeking payment for any work undertaken.

Tipperary County Council wish to make it clear to the public that it has absolutely no involvement, whatsoever, with these persons and has not employed their services in any capacity. They further point out that it is up to each individual landowner to arrange to cut their own trees/hedges.

If any member of the public should come across such so called agents, they are asked to report the matter immediately to Gardaí.

Should members of the public wish to receive further clarification on the above, please contact Tipperary County Council at Tel: 0761 06 5000, to discuss the matter further.

Note: All landowners and occupiers of land should note that Section 46 of the Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2000 prohibits the cutting, of hedges and ditches during the period March 1st to August 31st each year; thus ensuring the safety of birds and other wildlife.


Murdered Victims Trial Jury To Visit Tipperary Tomorrow

Dublin Central Criminal Court.                    Photo G. Willoughby

The murder trial of a Tipperary farmer who stands accused of killing another male love rival, has heard that a broken hair clip, springs, cable ties and bone fragments were recovered from a pit where the deceased’s body was discovered some two years after he had been reported missing.

Mr Patrick Quirke, aged 50 years, from Breanshamore, Co Tipperary has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Mr Bobby Ryan, latter aged 52 years on a date unknown, but sometime between June 3rd, 2011 and April 13th, 2013.

The selected jury in the trial will travel tomorrow to the farm where the deceased body was located.

It is the prosecution’s claim that Mr Quirke murdered the DJ / lorry driver, Mr Bobby Ryan (known as Mr Moonlight, latter seen as a possible love rival), prior to Mr Ryan being recovered from a slurry run-off tank on farmland in the townsland of Fawnagowan; same just a 9 minute drive (6.4km) from Tipperary town on the N24, on the Bansha road in Co. Tipperary.

We understand that the late Mr Ryan was last observed leaving the home of Mrs Mary Lowry, whom he was in a relationship with, on the morning of June 3rd, 2011.

The six men and six women jury already spent time examining still photographs of the run-off tank, a slurry tank, various farm buildings and the nearby home, all in the area where Mr Ryan’s decaying body was located back in 2013.

Detective Sergeant Mr Larry Stapleton, at the Dublin Central Criminal Court, informed defence counsel Mr Lorcan Staines, with regard to the items found at the location of the body.

Suggesting that they all locate and bring Wellington Boots; Justice Eileen Creedon confirmed to the 12-person jury, that they will travel to the farm in Tipperary to view the relevant buildings and the surrounding land tomorrow; but warned they should do so simply as observers; warning them not to take photographs or carry out any personal experiments.

Already in opening to the trial of Mr Quirke on Monday; prosecuting Counsel Mr Michael Bowman said that the prosecution will rely on various strands of circumstantial evidence which, when all woven together, would prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr Quirke is indeed guilty of this crime of murder.


Monsanto Gglyphosate Verdict Upheld

An American judge Suzanne Bolanos has denied Monsanto’s request for a new trial and has further upheld a jury verdict against the Bayer subsidiary Monsanto in a case regarding the cancer danger of some of its weed killer products.  A jury in the case found the company’s glyphosate-based[1] weed-killers, including RoundUp, (widely used here in Ireland), responsible for a man’s terminal cancer.

Earlier this year the first study of exposure in adults to glyphosate, the most commonly used pesticide in Ireland, had found that the general population is being subjected to low exposure from this chemical, but “within acceptable EU safety limits”. Roundup has continued to be licensed for use in Ireland in spite of the earlier US courts decision to award a school groundsman who claimed it contributed to his terminal cancer.

[1]Glyphosate is a broad-spectrum systemic herbicide used to kill weeds, especially annual broadleaf weeds and grasses that compete with crops.

In 2015, the cancer unit of the World Health Organisation classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans.” However, later in 2017, the US Environmental Protection Agency concluded that a decades-long assessment of the risks associated with the use of glyphosate, was not carcinogenic in humans.

This evaluation will now influences decisions in the case of some 8,000 other such upcoming lawsuits in the USA.

Monsanto, in denying the allegations, had previously asked Judge Bolanos to throw out the entire previous verdict or to order a new trial.  The Judge, in her ruling, did cut the previous $289 million (€253m), punitive damages award by $200 million; back to $78 million to comply with the law regarding how such damage awards must be calculated.

Bayer, a German company, which had purchased Monsanto recently for $63 billion, is adamant that decades of scientific studies have concluded that glyphosate is safe for human use, and in a statement said. “The courts decision to reduce the punitive damage award by more than $200 million is a step in the right direction, but we continue to believe that the liability verdict and damage awards are not supported by the evidence at trial or the law and plan to file an appeal with the California Court of Appeal”.