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8 Out Of 10 Rural Tipperary Towns Left Behind

In more recent decades a Census here in Ireland, as a general rule, takes place in every year that ends in 1 or 6, except in any year that experienced some kind of catastrophe, e.g. Foot and Mouth disease as in 2001, Famine, World Wars, etc.

Two years ago, in the 2016 census, the Irish population stood at 4,757,976 persons. Nationally, our birth rate was 13.7 births per 1,000 population while our death rate was 6.5 deaths per 1,000 population.

Our life expectancy averaged around 80.19 years [males 78 years – females 82.6 years].  Our infant mortality rate was 3.85 deaths per 1,000 live births. Our net population movement rate to a new area or country in order to find work or better living conditions averaged 0.86 migrants per 1,000 population.

The population of the entire county of Tipperary was calculated as being 160,441 in this same 2016 census, with the largest towns remaining identified as Clonmel, Nenagh and our own town of Thurles .

Data now recently assembled from a comparison between the 2016 Census and the Census of ten years previously, in 2006, now confirms; as if confirmation was needed, that the number of people at work, remains below pre economic crash levels in more than 70 towns across rural Ireland.

Despite political claims, new figures show how the economic recovery has left vast swathes of rural Ireland behind, with fewer people working, compared with the year 2006 when our economy was thriving.  Nationally, more than 40% of our towns and villages have not managed to secure any additional employment over this period, while revealing that job losses have not been regained in some of our cities, where a small recovery, at the very least, might have been expected.

In some 167 settlements the number of people seeking employment rose in just 96, disclosing a fall off in 71. Large towns such as Clonmel in Co Tipperary failed to recover during this period, showing a drastic reduction in real employment of some 751 persons, when compared.

These newly compiled figures do not summarise the number of workers who were forced to emigrated, migrate or retired. Neither do they take account of growth over the past two years in any one area, however they do confirm that many rural areas continue to be ignored and left behind because of demographics.

Comparing both these census figures we learn that almost 45% of Irish employment growth was, not surprisingly, in Dublin city and suburbs, with the numbers at work here rising by 34,209.  The cities of Dublin, Cork and Galway together saw some 53% of all jobs created within Ireland.

In the province of Munster, the numbers at work fell in 24 of 51 towns. Out of a total of ten Tipperary towns, despite Labour / Fine Gael promises and announcements, eight such towns experienced job losses during this same period examined.


Elverys, Liberty Square, Thurles, For Sale

As we mentioned in our daily news report of yesterday, some five assorted clothing retail outlets, all situated within the area of Liberty Square, here in Thurles, [e.g. Heatons, Dempsey’s, Joanne’s Boutique, Elverys and First Editions] worryingly have either closed, moved or are about to shut shop, and all within a 12-month period.

In yesterdays Irish Times we learn from a report by Justin Comiskey that the former 279.56sq m (3,009sq ft) Elverys shop at Liberty Square east, here in Thurles, Co Tipperary, is being offered for sale through agent Cushman & Wakefield.

The building suitably positioned in the very heart of the town and within a good viewing position, has an asking price of €300,000 being quoting.

The premises for sale is positioned on the ground and first floor, while an overhead apartment with separate entrance is not being included in this sale presently. [See red outline in picture overhead.]

Meanwhile, Elverys Intersport, have moved to take over 3 retail units here in Thurles Shopping Centre, a short distance away. One of the units will become a dedicated Tipperary GAA store, to be operated by the sports giant.

The Lár na Páirce GAA shop formerly positioned at Slievenamon Road, Thurles will now continue to gain revenue from the sale of all Tipperary GAA products, and is seen as a commercial opportunity, by the GAA County Board, who will no longer run their shop premises themselves.

Witness the death and strangulation, first hand, of a rural town centre.
Parking costs and other parking restrictions are seen as mainly responsible for retail outlets moving from the Thurles town centre area; to an zone where parking charges and restrictions are totally free and non existent.


Eight Rural Post Offices Close In Co. Tipperary

Some eight rural post offices here in Co. Tipperary, part of more than 150 around the 26 counties of Ireland, are now set to close. The closures are part of a deal reached between An Post, latter the state-owned provider of postal services and the Irish Postmasters’ Union.

The Tipperary post offices listed to close are named as:-  Ballingarry (SR), Clogheen, Coolbawn, Gurtnahoe, Littleton, Newcastle, Templetuohy and Upperchurch.

This arrangement will see 159 postmasters retire and their offices shut their doors, with 16 such post offices already vacated. All offices due to close are within 15km of at least one other post office, and all are to be closed within locations where populations of less than 500 people currently reside.

Whilst we understand that this is a voluntary retirement scheme backed by the Irish Postmasters Union, the current ruling minority Government of Fine Gael; supported by some 19 Independent TD’s, have shown totally no interest in keeping the rural post office network alive and viably profitable.

Remember our Ministers, TD’s and their under performing, protected, civil servants no longer address our rural population as ‘citizens’;  citizens are simply categorised as ‘customers’.

Time to reconsider and review decentralisation out of Dublin, latter shelved when a former Fine Gael/Labour Party coalition took office in 1981.


New Social Housing Dev. Set For Templetouhy, Thurles

Tipperary County Council proposes to construct a new social housing development on a 0.43 hectare (1.062553 Acre) site at Pound Street, Templetouhy, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

The development will include the demolition of an existing dilapidated single storey dwelling, together with existing sheds, and to construct ten new dwelling houses.  Same will comprise of four x 2-bedroomed x two storey dwellings and six x 3-bedroom x two storey dwellings, together with all associated site works including roads, footpaths, underground services, drainage systems, car parking, boundary treatments, landscaping and open spaces, connection to existing sewers and water-mains.

The development has been the subject of an Appropriate Assessment screening in accordance with Article 6(3) of the EU Habitats Directive (Directive 92/43/EEC) and the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended and which concluded that this proposed development would not be likely to give rise to any significant or indeterminate impact.

The full particulars of this proposed developments, together with the Appropriate Assessment Screening report, will be made available for inspection or purchase, at a fee not exceeding the reasonable cost of making a copy, from: –
Tipperary County Council, Civic Offices, Emmet Street, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary.
Tipperary County Council, Civic Offices, Limerick Road, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary.
between the hours 9:30 a.m. and 4.30 p.m., Monday to Friday until Friday 31st August 2018 and on all days the Offices of Tipperary County Council remain open to the public until that date.

Submissions or observations with respect to this proposed development, dealing with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area in which the development will be situated, may be made in writing to Ms Sinead Carr, Director of Services, Housing, Tipperary County Council, Civic Offices, Emmet Street, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary to be received no later than 4.30 pm on Monday 17th September 2018.


National Lottery Ticket Costs Set To Rise From Next Month

The cost of playing the now three-year-old, privatised National Lottery is set to rise from next month, with officials confirming the second price-hike in less than three years. This hike follows on from the company’s increase of 50 cent per line and the adding of two extra numbers, making the Lottery statistically much harder to win.

While the National Lottery has stressed that there will be no change in the price of a ticket for the main Lotto draw; Lotto Plus, Lotto Plus 1, and Lotto Plus 2 are all set to increase considerably. From September 1st, the price of a two-line ticket with Lotto Plus will go from €5 to €6, and the cost of entering Plus 1 and 2 draws will double, going from 50 cent to €1 per line.

The Canadian-owned Premier Lotteries Ireland said that they are bringing the prize for Plus 1 from €500,000 to €1 million, and that they are going to be adding in extra prizes. People who only play the main draw will be unaffected with the cost set to stay at €4 for two lines.

In 2011, in response to Ireland’s financial crisis, the government included the National Lottery licence amongst the other collection of silver to be flogged off cheaply; to assist the Irish public finances. In April 2012, the government then announced that it would sell the National Lottery licence for a period of 20 years for an upfront payment, while ensuring that 30% of lottery sales would still go to fund its designated good causes nominated by government.  The licence was valued at between €200 and €600 million, with some estimates putting its value in the region of €500 million.

In May 2013, the Irish government enacted the National Lottery Act 2013, with this enactment allowing for the sale of the National Lottery licence and providing for the establishment of a new independent lottery regulator, who would in turn eliminate some restrictions on Internet gambling, to allow for the growth of online lottery sales. The legislation also added the Natural Environment to its list of ‘good causes’, eligible to receive National Lottery funding.

On October 3rd 2013, Labour Minister Mr Brendan Howlin announced that the government had agreed to sell the National Lottery licence for €405 million, to Premier Lotteries Ireland, latter a consortium comprising of An Post, An Post pension funds, and the Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan (owner of the Camelot Group, operators of the UK National Lottery).  Mr Dermot Griffin, head of the An Post National Lottery Company since 2006, was appointed chief executive of Premier Lotteries Ireland. Other existing senior management were also retained. Executives from the Camelot Group, the Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan, and An Post were appointed to the board of the new company.

The current chances of winning the Lotto jackpot are calculated at 1 in 8,145,060. This means that if everyone in Ireland bought a single ticket tonight, each with different numbers, there is still roughly a 50% chance that no-one will win.

This action by Premier Lotteries Ireland now further confirms, as if confirmation was needed, that playing our National Lottery is only for “mugs and dreamers”, with the wise punter steering his/her money into the purchase of Prize Bonds. After all, come what may, they know that Prize Bond investments can always be cashed-in, and in our low-inflation, zero-interest existing world, those who buy loads of Prize Bonds stand weekly to lose virtually nothing, in comparison to those Lottery players now about to be asked to gamble and loose €12 per week with only a 1 in 8,145,060 chance of buying that much advertised ‘island for Ireland’.