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Planning Permission Granted To Emma Stanwix Almshouses

Plans to redevelop the Stanwix Homes, latter situated at Upper Kickham Street Thurles, have moved a step closer this week, following the granting of conditional planning permission for this worthwhile project, by Tipperary Co. Council. Planning permission, subject to 21 conditions, has now been granted by the Tipperary authority.

Extremely rare in Ireland, this terrace of two-bay single and two-storey former almshouses, were initially built almost 130 years ago, in 1889, at a cost then of around £2,500, and same has provided sheltered accommodation, initially for widowed ladies over 60years old, over that period, to current date.

The Thurles Lions Trust Housing Association, are now planning to broaden the services once provided at this venue, with the grant aiding of €3.15 million, same already approved for this project earlier this year.

The intended development will now consist of 15 housing units and one community facility. A ‘listed’ 19th century building; the Stanwix Homes will be transformed into nine one bedroom units, with nine new single storey extensions to be erected to the rear of each existing unit, while the two storey former directors house will be converted into a community facility.

Five one bedroomed single storey terraced social housing units and a five bedroomed bungalow will also be constructed on the site, together with communal and public access associated landscaping.


Good News Week For Social Welfare Recipients

For the first time in a decade, a fully restored 100% Christmas Bonus, totalling €264.3 million, should be paid out to 1,213,130 Social Welfare recipients from Monday next.

Thanks to the generosity of the Irish taxpayer; these payments will now benefit all recipients of long-term social welfare, including lone parents; pensioners; carers, and people with disabilities.

Same is timed to offer help / assistance to those persons in receipt of low incomes and who otherwise would experience financial difficulties, associated with the season of Christmas.

The largest number of recipients are those in receipt of a Contributory State Pension, followed by those receiving Disability Allowance. They are then followed by those on a Widows / Widowers Surviving Civil Partners Pensions and those on Jobseeker’s Allowance.

In total, this years the Christmas bonus will be paid across 30 different categories of welfare recipients.


Lowry – “€4.2 Million Funding Sanctioned For Co. Tipperary”

Tipperary Independent TD, Deputy Michael Lowry is pleased to confirm the following allocation of funding for Co. Tipperary under the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund.

Following his continued representation on behalf of Tipperary’s ‘Category A Projects’, to the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Mr Eoin Murphy;  €2.89 million has now been awarded for the development of the Kickham Barrack Sports Hub in Clonmel and a further €1.35 million has been allocated for the Thurles, Liberty Square Regeneration Project.

This funding is allocated through Project Ireland 2040.

As readers will be aware, earlier this year ‘Project Ireland 2040’ established four new funds, all with a combined allocation of €4 billion, up to 2027.

The Urban Regeneration and Development fund (URDF) has an overall allocation of €2 billion up to 2027, with the Department of Housing, Planning & Local Government having the responsibility for the implementation of this same URDF funding.

This fund is the largest urban regeneration initiative taken in Ireland for decades and was established to support more compact and sustainable development, through the regeneration and rejuvenation of Ireland’s cities and large towns, in line with the objectives of Project Ireland 2040.

This will enable a greater proportion of residential and mixed-use development to be delivered within the existing built-up footprints of our cities and towns and it will ensure that more parts of our urban areas can once again become attractive and vibrant places in which people can choose to live and work, as well as to invest.

There are two categories of submission, Category A – for projects that are ready to go and Category B to support the initial development of projects (Master-planning / Feasibility) to ensure a pipeline of possible projects into the future.


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.


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”.