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Phoenix Anticipated From Thurles Factory Rubble

“The bird of wonder dies, the maiden phoenix,
Her ashes new create another heir
As great in admiration as herself..”
– William Shakespeare

The Erin Foods factory had been in operation in Thurles, Co Tipperary, for some 46 years, until it closed in June of 2008, with the immediate loss of 95 jobs.
This closure was then just one of over 20 such industry finalities that saw closure in Thurles over the previous 25 years, thus forcing hundreds of Thurles residents, both young and middle aged, to migrate to larger Irish costal cities or to emigrate abroad altogether, in their efforts to find employment.

Formerly Erin Foods, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.
March 7th 2020 – Picture G. Willoughby

This now being demolished Thurles plant had been involved in the production of Erin Soups and Sauces, Campbell Soups and some MacDonald Sauces.

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The then owners of Erin Foods; Premier Foods, while aware of the impact this closure would have on their employees and their families; following a group-wide company review; recommended the consolidation of its production of key brands, which inevitably resulted in the signing of a death warrant for the Thurles plant.

Standing, like something reminisent of a building in a war-torn middle eastern country; the last vestige of the Erin Foods, factory in Thurles, Co. Tipperary.
March 21st 2020 – Picture G. Willoughby.

Old Erin Foods Site Set For €24 Million Redevelopment
But despite a 12-year wait, now a new building is due to rise from the current rubble.

Lidl Stiftung & Co. KG, latter a German global discount Supermarket Chain, based in Neckarsulm, Germany; through their architects Clarman, have acquired full Planning Permission, in a joint partnership between Wesley Quirke of Baycross Developments Ltd., and Castletown Capital Ltd.

This project will comprise of 3 phases:
Phase 1 :- The demolition of the existing buildings and full site clearance, currently underway.
Phase 2 :- The construction of a new site entrance, again already cleared.
The site will be accessed by means of a proposed new roadway which will form the initial phase of the long awaited inner relief road for Thurles, linking Slievenamon Road to the Mill Road.
Phase 3 :- The construction of the new state of the art retail store and 60,000 sq. ft. business centre, thus enabling the entire site to be redeveloped.

This project is expected to take a further 2 years to fully complete, and will revitalise a prime site, latter which has been dormant for almost 12 years, while generating significant job opportunities and the revitalisation, hopefully, of the local Thurles economy.

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Employees Forced To E-Work From Home Can Claim Tax Relief

Revenue Commissioners

The many employees who have recently been requested by employers to work from their homes, as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic, can avail of Revenue’s e-worker tax relief.

Many employees currently, latter who most likely have never directly worked from homes previously, will possibly be totally unaware of this relief that is now correctly available to them.

In excess of 100,000 employees daily already work from home, even before the Covid-19 outbreak. The Revenue commissioners have previously made provisions for these employees to be reimbursed for their work-related expenses, which would include heating, electricity and required broadband costs / expenses. People working from home over the coming weeks, and possibly months into the future, will automatically incur these additional costs.

From a tax perspective, an employer can also pay €3.20 a day to their employees to cover these additional costs. However, since employers have no legal obligation to pay, these expenses still remain eligible for tax relief, which constitutes the right by home-workers to claim tax back.

Note: Any such claims made, must be supported with evidence in the form of receipts and possibly a letter from your employer, indicating that employees worked from home, and that they the employer, have not reimbursed the employee in relation to these expenses.

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Punter Wins €500k Lotto Plus Prize – Ticket Sold Ely’s Centra, Kickham Street, Thurles

Left -Right: Staff who sold last nights €500k winning Lotto Ticket at Ely’s Centra, Kickham Street, Thurles, were Louise Collins, Tina Bourke, Aisling Melbourne, Laura Barett, Cathal Ely (Prop), Theresa Cooke, Marie Gleeson & Clare Dee.

Some lucky person or persons have scooped a €500,000 Plus prize last night in the Ireland-only EuroMillions Plus draw, having purchased their ticket in Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

The Winning Ticket was purchased in Ely’s Centra Supermarket situated on Kickham Street, in the town.

The numbers drawn were 15, 16, 17, 37 and 45. There was no winner of the €50million jackpot. In total, over 45,000 players in Ireland won prizes.

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Lowry Welcomes Funding Of €545,540, Through ORIS

Michael Lowry TD

Independent Tipperary TD Mr Michael Lowry welcomes funding of €545,540 to Tipperary, through the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS).

Deputy Michael Lowry is delighted to confirm that two projects in Co. Tippeary will share funding of €545,540 through the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS) 2019. The ORIS is funded through the Department of Rural and Community Development and Fáilte Ireland.

The details of the approved projects in Tipperary are:
Under Measure 2: Garrykennedy Amenity will receive funding of €45,540 for the replacement of timber decking and footbridges, with further improvements to benefit wheelchair access.

Under Measure 3: Suir Blueway Tipperary will receive €500,000 for Infrastructure Enhancement works to improve the existing canoe trail which forms part of the River Suir Blueway project including river access works and trail refurbishment works.

Mr Lowry, in concluding this announcement stated, “This funding will make a huge difference to the ongoing maintenance and development of these outdoor recreation facilities in Co. Tipperary.
There is no doubting the huge importance of both these projects to local residents and tourists alike, who use and continue to benefit greatly from these facilities. I am pleased that my support for these projects has played a central role in facilitating this funding announced today”
.

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Lowry Turns Sod On Major €25m Thurles Development

Independent TD, Deputy Michael Lowry turned the first sod, on Monday of this week, (January 27th, 2020) on a major new development that will mark the dawn of a bright new future for Thurles.

The derelict Erin Foods factory is about to become a hive of activity as demolition work starts to level the site; same which will house a new high-end model flagship store for Lidl Ireland, as well as two 30,000 square foot buildings that will form the Thurles Business and Innovation Centre.

The project will also facilitate the future development of the town as a whole, by providing the first phase of the much anticipated Thurles Inner Relief Road that will link Slievenamon Road to Mill Road. The total value of the project is €25million and Deputy Lowry says that it is the start of a new beginning for Thurles.

The Business and Innovation Centre project, which has full Planning Permission now in place, is a joint partnership between Wesley Quirke of Baycross Developments Ltd., and Castletown Capital Ltd.

Lidl Ireland unlocked the potential of the site, recognising its strategic location in close proximity to the town centre and its suitability to develop a flagship store on a 2.5 acre area of the site. This led to further interest in the site and a decision by this joint partnership to come on board to build the two 30,000 square foot buildings, creating an amazing opportunity to attract new business into the town.

The Centre will be fully equipped with all the services required and will be appealing to companies involved in Research and Development, science, pharmaceuticals, technology, call centres or as a Headquarters for a Public Service office, indeed the potential is vast.

The developers themselves have identified a very lucrative tenant for a part of the building with the potential for job creation and are in discussions with other potential businesses.

Deputy Lowry has confirmed that IDA Ireland has visited this fully serviced site and have listed the Business and Innovation Centre on their books and will actively pursue future tenants for the high-spec premises. The IDA is very impressed with its potential to attract inward investment from businesses seeking centrally located ready-to-go premises in the heart of Ireland.

“Up to now one of the main challenges for job creation in Thurles was the lack of suitable accommodation. This new development addresses that challenge and marks a major progression for the town. It’s a big vote of confidence in Thurles and it would not have happened if Lidl had not made the first move to secure part of the site for their new store”.

Mr Lowry stated that the event on Monday was a hugely significant day for Thurles. He added that it is wonderful to see the former Erin Foods site active again, having lain idle for so long.

Wesley Quirke, Baycross Developments, said “The project will rejuvenate Thurles, which is one of the best known towns in Ireland”. He further stated “The Business and Innovation Centre will guarantee additional jobs for Thurles and will be a major boost to the local economy”.

Ms. Laura Mateo from Castletown Capital said that they are very pleased to be involved in such an innovative project for Thurles, which opens up huge potential for the town in terms of attracting new business and creating jobs. She also stated “It is a pleasure to work on the Business and Innovation Centre project, in partnership with the Quirke family, as it is a development that will have a big impact on Thurles well into the future”.

Demolition of the former Erin Foods site is set to get underway immediately. Local business, Premier Engineering, who employ 40 people, will carry out this work with Company Director Adrian O’Keefe saying that they are really proud to be involved in this local project.

The old building contains a large amount of asbestos, hence the engagement of reputable specialist contractors, who will carry out the demolition and disposal of these materials to the highest International standards.

Completion of demolition work
The completion of demolition work is expected to take up to 12 weeks, followed by site preparation works and the commencement of construction of a new site entrance, forming the initial phase of the Inner Relief Road. As an additional feature of the project, significant improvement to the river walkway at the rear of the site will be carried out.

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