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Drug Respreeza – “Duty Of Finance Won Over Duty Of Care”

The drug ‘Respreeza’ used to treat Alpha 1 antitripsan deficiency; in those who have developed emphysema; according to the HSE and CSL Behring, is to be made available once again and will be guaranteed indefinitely to the 19 Irish people, latter currently battling with this rare disorder.

For almost three years patients have had to live with uncertainty with regard to the supply of Respreeza, latter which had given them a much improved quality of life for the previous 11 years.

Alas, the reintroduction of this drug by the HSE comes to late for Nenagh, Co Tipperary native Marion Kelly, one of two people who passed away on December 1st last year; shortly after the trial of this potentially life-saving medication was withdrawn.

Marion, aged just 53 year, a mother and grandmother, was one of 21 patients countrywide who had taken part in the Respreeza trial for this rare lung and liver disorder.

The death of Marion, came just a fortnight after she had made a desperate plea for help on social media, telling of her fears for her future existence after the government and the HSE had decided to remove the Respreeza drug from dependant patients.

There still remains a massive question mark over why six months free supply of the drug was kept in storage in Dublin, with the HSE refusing to administer it at a cost of €6,000.

The drug is understood to have been withdrawn by the HSE, following advice from the National Centre of Pharmacoeconomics, latter who decided it did not “represent value for money”, thus refusing to reimburse the drug company’s annual €80,000 invoice.

To put this drug withdrawal exercise into full context; the Government spent over €505,911 travelling to the recent Offaly Ploughing Championships;  transporting nine ­ministers, 50 agencies, one Taoiseach and some 370 civil servants, over a four day period; each to pay token homage to a forgotten rural Ireland.

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Peter Casey Visits Traveller Housing Estate In Thurles

Independent Presidential candidate, Mr Peter Casey, yesterday visited a new, yet controversial, 1.8 million ‘state of the art’ housing estate here in Thurles. The estate, built for the benefit of the Tipperary Traveller community here in Thurles, Co. Tipperary, continues to remain vacant.  His visit, which saw a large Garda presence in the area, came just days after Mr Casey made, what some would claim, controversial comments about the Traveller community.

A number of Traveller families are refusing to move into these homes at this €1.8m Cabragh Bridge development, because of a dispute with Tipperary County Council, regarding the availability of stables and land for horses.

Mr Casey had described this Traveller action as “blackmail”, and on a recent Podcast, claimed the State’s recognition of the Traveller community as being an ethnic minority was “a load of nonsense” – “these people that are camping on someone else’s land”“They are not paying their fair share of taxes in society”.

Mr Casey and his lady wife, Helen, on arriving at Cabragh Bridge, stood to view the housing development, with Mr Casey uttering quietly under his breath, the words “Solar panels”, while others thought similarly but remained silent.

Mr Casey addressed the media, as he stood outside the now barricaded gates of this vacant housing development, but made no attempt to meet any Traveller family in temporary accommodation across the road from the houses, claiming he did not wish to “invade upon their privacy.”

RTE TV’s midland correspondent, Mr Ciaran Mullooly, was on hand to interview Mr Casey regarding his comments on the formal recognition of Travellers, suggesting same were perhaps some what racist in content towards this Traveller assembly, who had been identified as a distinct ethnic group within the Irish State by former Fine Gael Taoiseach Mr Enda Kenny.

Mr Casey, who had been proposed or seconded by four county councils including Tipperary Co. Council, was quick to explain his remarks “My position is that the Irish Proclamation [1] states that we should cherish all the children equally. It doesn’t say we should cherish some children more equal than others. Once President, I wouldn’t be able to say anything, but now that I can, I think that it just wrong, downright wrong.”

[1] Mr Casey was correctly referring to an extract taken from the Irish Proclamation of Independence, [Poblacht Na H Eireann The Provisional Government Of The Irish Republic To The People Of Ireland], which states:-
“The Republic guarantees religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens, and declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and of all its parts, cherishing all the children of the nation equally and oblivious of the differences carefully fostered by an alien government, which have divided a minority from the majority in the past”.

When asked what he hoped to achieve by his recent remarks, he stated that he wished to “bring attention to this situation. People need to stand up and say something is wrong, as people tonight sleep rough on the streets of Dublin”.

When it was suggested to him that there was a legal process currently under way with regards to Irish homelessness, he replied that “it seemed to be taking rather a long time”.

A group of protesters, representing the Traveller community, arrived late outside the Cabragh Bridge development yesterday, as Mr Casey was leaving, however despite being only a few metres away they did not attempt to communicate with Mr Casey.

In a written statement, released by and on behalf of Traveller families to all media personnel present, they now deny demanding stables or “paddocks” from the council; stating on the other hand that they had agreed to move to the houses if “grazing land” was provided for their horses.

In this statement, the Traveller community declare that “as proud Traveller families living peaceably at Cabragh Bridge, Thurles,  for four generations, we want to express our horror and disbelief on the hateful media campaign being waged against us and, it seems, against every Traveller family in Ireland”.

With the present incumbent President Mr Michael D Higgins having the support of Fine Gael, it came as no surprise that the Fine Gael Taoiseach, Mr Leo Varadkar, yesterday stated that Mr Casey’s remarks were “very divisive and largely designed to get attention for him and his campaign”.

Since his visit to Thurles, Mr Casey has decided to take the weekend off from his campaigning in order to ponder carefully, on whether he should continue in this presidential election race. However it was obvious from yesterday that Mr Casey has now garnered strong support, particularly from those dwelling in remote rural Tipperary, latter who have been the target of continued criminal activity being carried out by roaming gangs. Could this be another case of, to use the words of Thomas Davis, (Editor of The Nation newspaper in the 1840s), “Where Tipperary Leads, Ireland Follows”.

President Higgins, is also being supported by Fianna Fáil, the Labour Party, the Social Democrats and the Green Party. Election pamphlets being paid for by Fine Gael are using pictures of their elected TD’s and Senators, rather than pictures of the President, with claims that President Higgins has banned political parties who are backing his re-election, from using his image on any literature or posters published.

Sinn Féin’s Presidential candidate, Ms Liadh Ní Riada, is also for some reason distancing herself from her party support, by conveniently leaving Sinn Féin off all her election posters

Fine Gael Minister Mrs Regina Doherty has stated that Fine Gael plan to spend between €50,000 and €100,000 in assisting the incumbent President, while the Labour Party are spending up to around €70,000.

It should be noted that incumbent President, Mr Michael D Higgins, visited Thurles only once during his 7 years as President (despite numerous invitations), visiting Cabragh Wetlands, just some 500 metres from this same Tipperary Traveller housing development.

Meanwhile do note that those representing Fine Gael who are requesting us to provide them with substantial salaries; expenses, and a State pension, into the future have indicated that they are visiting Thurles tomorrow, (anxious no doubt to avoid tomorrows embarrassing ‘Rural Development Neglect protest’ in Tipperary Town), to undertake some “reconnaissance” and perhaps generate support. Five words if you meet them “Thurles Ring Road – What Date”.

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Traveller Community Decline €1.8m Housing Development

Members of a Traveller community have declined to move into a €1.8m brand new housing development, that has been provided through the auspices of Tipperary Co. Council, unless two stables and at least a half-an-acre of land are included behind each of six newly built state of the art dwelling houses.

Top Picture: Unofficial halting site near Cabragh Bridge, on the Yellow Lough road, Thurles, directly opposite the new building development. Bottom Picture: Two of the 6 house development, complete with Solar Photvoltaic type roof panels.

The members of this Traveller community involved in this dispute, have occupied an unofficial halting site on a disused side road near Cabragh Bridge, on the Yellow Lough road just outside Thurles town, in Co. Tipperary, for some 40 years.

These newly erected dwellings consist of two five-bedroomed and four three-bedroomed houses, and are positioned on a site less than 200 meters across the road from this unofficial Traveller halting site.

Erected over a two-year period, at a cost of some €1,718,670, plus VAT; this overall development is surrounded by wooden fencing and plastered concrete walls to the rear, with high capped limestone walls erected to the side and fore.

However, the Traveller community on the far side of the road say they will not be occupying this accommodation unless their demands for livestock housing and land are fully provided.

Tipperary County Council yesterday stated that they will not be providing additional land in the townsland of Cabragh, to house and graze horses; confirming they were solely in the business of providing housing for families and not accommodation for horses.

Tipperary Co. Council are now also seeking vacant possession of this Traveller communities existing unauthorised site, with continuous discussions understood to have been taking place over many months with a view to fully resolving the matter.

Tipperary Co. Council are now under pressure to transfer these homes to other tenants waiting currently on their ever growing housing list. However the dispute is most likely to remain in a situation of stalemate for the foreseeable future.

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Funding Of €913,266 For Tipperary Towns & Villages

Independent Deputy Michael Lowry welcomes funding totalling €913,266 for projects in Tipperary through the Town & Village Renewal Scheme 2018.

Deputy Michael Lowry is delighted to announce that funding totalling €913,266 has been allocated to 8 projects in Tipperary through the Town & Village Renewal Scheme 2018. This year the Town & Village Renewal Scheme focuses on projects, which can help to enhance rural towns and villages, with a particular emphasis on stimulating economic development.

Deputy Lowry stated: “Our towns and villages are the heart of our rural communities. This years Town and Village Renewal Scheme is designed to help breath life back into our rural towns and villages, I’m delighted that this funding was allocated to eight projects in Tipperary”.

Funding Allocations:

Tipperary Co Council Aglish Install footpath, street lighting, linking village, the park and village hall – €78,400.
Tipperary Co Council Carrick on Suir Upgrade existing Heritage Centre – €174,362.
Tipperary Co Council Cashel Public realm improvements – €200,000.
Tipperary Co Council Cloughjordan Extension of local woodland walking trail – €21,600.
Tipperary Co Council Nenagh Public realm improvements – €100,000.
Tipperary Co Council Puckane Village enhancements – €116,904.
Tipperary Co Council Terryglass Public Realm Improvements – €152,000.
Tipperary Co Council Thurles Production of 10 year integrated renewal strategy for town centre – €70,000.

Total Funding = €913,266

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Lowry To Hold Balance Of Power When Passing Upcoming Budget.

In the wake of the resignation by Louth TD Mr Peter Fitzpatrick from the Fine Gael party last night; poll topper and Tipperary Independent TD Mr Michael Lowry is increasingly likely to hold the balance of power in terms of passing the upcoming Budget on October 9th, next. The resignation of Mr Fitzpatrick will now further reduce the strength of Fine Gael in Dáil Éireann from 50 seats to 49.

An Taoiseach Mr Leo Varadkar last night stated that he was sorry to learn of Mr Fitzpatrick’s resignation, latter whom had been a strong opponent of the holding of the last Referendum on the Eighth Amendment.

While Mr Lowry remains silent as we go to press; Mr Fitzpatrick has stated that he believes Fine Gael are “style over substance”, and he, as a TD, had remained increasingly isolated while within the party structure. In terms of his political future Mr Fitzpatrick stated that he would now continue to represent his constituency as an Independent politician.

Mr Fitzpatrick said he would continue to support the Government in the forthcoming Budget, but only if he is convinced that it will assist the “squeezed middle who paid a big price during the years of austerity.”

The Fine Gael party will also now be depending on the support of another Independent, one Mr Michael Harty TD, for the county of Clare. Mr Harty had previously announced that he would remove support for this upcoming Budget in protest at the permitted closure, by this government of post offices in our rural villages.

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