Local Weather

Mostly cloudy
real feel: 5°C
wind speed: 2 m/s S
sunrise: 8:04 am
sunset: 6:28 pm


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’.


Are You Entitled To School Clothing & Footwear Allowance?

Department of Employment Affairs & Social Protection.

The Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance (BSCFA) helps those on low incomes to meet the cost of uniforms and footwear for children returning to school.

The Allowance Scheme for 2018 is presently open, with the closing date for application set at September 30th, 2018.

BSCFA is paid to many residents of the State automatically by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, meaning that for some lower income families, they do not have to make an application for such payment.

To avail, of BSCFA, parents or guardians must be getting certain social welfare payments or taking part in training, employment or adult education schemes. Their siblings must be aged between 4 and 17 years of age, on or before September 30th, of the year for which you apply (2018). If still in second-level education, siblings must be aged between 18 and 22 years of age on or before the same date.

For those who qualify automatically, they should have received their payment at the weekend just gone. (Ending Friday July 13th 2018)

Those who feel they have an entitlement and have, as yet, received no payment; they will need to apply to the Department if you have not to date received a payment notification letter in 2018.

Note: First time applicants will need to complete an application form.

For more Information do visit the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection website, latter found HERE.


Thurles – Definition Of Urban Decay

It ceases to amaze me how businesses are expected to trade successfully and still continue to pay their Rates, when surrounded by ruinous, neglected and unsightly derelict structures, as is the case in fact, in the areas of Westgate, Wolfe Tone Place, Friar Street and Croke Street, Thurles.

Tipperary County Council, to be fair and in order to improve the street-scape and public demesne of Thurles, and indeed any other town in the county, offered generous supports in recent years, to property owners to improve and enhance properties and public areas. They widely advertised this year, offering; if applied for before June 1st, 2018, up to 50% of the approved cost of any works undertaken, subject to a maximum of €500.00.

Many availed of this grant, but many sadly did not grab a paint brush.

Definition Of Dereliction
(A) Structures / buildings which are accepted as being in a ruinous, derelict or dangerous condition.
(B) Neglected, unsightly or objectionable sites/ land which may or may not contain a structure thereon.
(C) Sites with a presence of unsightly litter, rubbish, debris or other waste deposits or collection.

Under the Derelict Sites Act 1990, Tipperary Local Authority can serve an order on any building requiring its owner to undertake the necessary work to refurbish or to demolish, especially if it is determined to be a safety issue. In the event of non-compliance with the Local Authority, an annual levy of 3% of the estimated market value of the property can be levied against the owner of the property; latter owner quickly identified through a Land Registry Folio.

The Local Authority must, however, first write to the identified owner informing them of their intention to place the identified property on their Derelict Sites Register; together with a report stating the necessary upgrading needed to raise the offending building/ land to a required standard; thus forcing owners to clean up their vacant sites/ buildings and/or dangerous structures.

Derelict Sites Register
Each Local Authority must keep a register of all derelict sites in their area, with same containing the location of every derelict site; the name; the address, together with full details of any/all action taken by the Local Authority regarding the identified property. If property is owned or occupied by a Local Authority itself, the register must contain details of what the local authority intend to do with the property. The register must give details of the current market value of every site listed. Owner do have the right to appeal the valuation to the Valuation Tribunal within 28 days of receiving the notice.
A Derelict Sites Register must be made available for public inspection.

Compulsory Purchase
Local Authority can recover the cost of essential work deemed necessary on any derelict site from its owner. The local authority can buy the derelict site, either by owner agreement or by compulsory purchase. Any proposed compulsory purchase must be advertised in the local newspaper and a notice sent to the owner or occupier of the land. In the case of an objection, the Local authority cannot buy the land without the consent of An Bord Pleanála.