No Limbs No Limits
In our everyday busy worlds, sometimes we all need a little reminder of just how well off most of us really are, despite job losses, austerity and a huge reductions in our living standards.
Our video hereunder shows a clip from “No Limbs, No Limits,” a documentary film, shortly to hit our screens, which tells the inspiring story and giving us a glimpse of the extraordinary life of Joanne O’Riordan, from Millstreet, County Cork, narrated by her brother Steven.
Joanne O’Riordan is not just any normal teenager and not because she has no limbs, due to being born with the rare condition Tetra-amelia syndrome.
At just 15 years old, Joanne first shot to fame back in 2011 when she confronted and indeed shamed Taoiseach Enda Kenny into reversing budget cuts to disability allowances. On the very week of her 16th birthday, she spoke at a UN conference in New York on women in technology, receiving a standing ovation. She was the Rehab Young Person of the Year winner at the People of the Year awards in 2012 and has made multiple appearances on the Late Late Show. Today at just 17 years old she is a popular weekly columnist with The Examiner newspaper.
Which brings me next to an important Rehab event taking place here in Thurles on Friday October 11th next. The event is a Table Quiz in aid of RehabCare, Stradavoher, Thurles, which takes place at Skehan’s Bar in Liberty Square.
This quiz begins sharp at 9:00pm so start checking out your current affairs, sport, history, geography and the history of Boybands etc
Tables of four competitors will cost just €20 or €5 each per each competitor taking part.
There will be a host of fabulous Raffle and Spot Prizes on Friday night, including holiday hotel breaks, so please, please do support this very worthy cause, as your assistance is very much required.
Yes the winning ticket in Lotto Plus One Jackpot was purchased in Thurles, Co Tipperary, so do check your tickets if you have not checked them already.
The winning ticket, drawn on Saturday Night last, is understood to have been purchased at Eason’s in Thurles, latter who retail newspapers, magazines and books together with a huge selection of stationary and are located in Thurles Shopping Centre, here in the town. (Tel: 0504 – 24588).
This multi-draw ticket is understood to be worth €350,000 to the winner.
Other Thurles Winning Matters
On another totally unrelated Lotto matter; congratulations to Niamh Russell who was the lucky winner of a holiday to Disneyland, Paris. Latter competition also came courtesy of Thurles Shopping Centre.
The winners of the Thurles Credit Union “Annual Student Bursary Scheme,” launched in April of this year and valued at €3,500, were announced this week.
The Bursary Scheme was open to all eligible Leaving Certificate Students who intended pursuing a full-time third level course for the first time this year.
Gold Prize Winners were; Miss Cora Doyle, Moyneard, Moyne, Thurles, Tipperary, (Ursuline Secondary school) and Miss Mary Troy Cloncleigh, Two Mile Borris, Thurles, Tipperary, (Presentation Secondary School) both of whom won €1,000 each.
Silver Prize Winners were; Mr Ronan Maher, Tonagha, Thurles, Tipperary, (CBS Thurles), Mr James McCormack, Ballinahow, Thurles, Tipperary, (Colaiste Mhuire Co Ed Thurles), Miss Jessica Ryan, No1 Mountfinn Drive, Urlingford, Co. Kilkenny, (Colaiste Mhuire Johnstown), Miss Rebecca Coady, No18 Highfield, Killenaule, Thurles, Tipperary, (Scoil Ruain Killenaule), Mr Keith Hickey, Newline, Drangan, Thurles, Tipperary, (Presentation Secondary Ballingarry) and Mr Thomas Ryan, Coarsepark, Upperchurch, Thurles, Tipperary, (St Joseph’s College, Borrisoleigh), who each pocketed €250.
The eight lucky winners are pictured above with Mr D.J Darcy, President of Thurles Credit Union.
Hayes Hotel, Thurles, Co Tipperary
Enda Kenny was busy down in Castlebar today, attempting to make 60 Senators redundant.
Meanwhile back here in Thurles, Co Tipperary, those placed with the custodial responsibility for the property of others, were also busy little bees, behaving in a somewhat secretive and similar fashion, attempting to reduce the turnover of one of our town’s historical landmarks and a world renowned place of annual pilgrimage.
Receiverships, even in Ireland, are normally observed as an equitable solution whose purpose is to protect a distressed company’s tangible and intangible assets. The obligations of receivers, both moral and otherwise when appointed, come under two headings;
(1) Secure and realise the entity and assets of the company to which they are assigned and where possible retain employees.
(2) Manage the affairs of the company in order to resolve all / any debts outstanding.
As a former employee of the hotel industry for many years, I find myself, when in need of a cup of coffee or a bite to eat, being drawn more to Hotels rather than the Tea Shop or the local Take-Away. As a lover of local history and folklore, you can therefore usually expect to find me supping my cup of coffee in a quiet corner of our famous landmark hostelry known worldwide as Hayes Hotel, home of the GAA and situated here in the very heart of Thurles.
In April last, Hayes Hotel, Thurles, went into receivership. No great shame on its current owners, who had dared to dream, taken a business gamble which if successful would have offered badly needed and considerable full time and part-time employment to our rural community. Six years ago encouraged by our now retired bankers they borrowed and were encouraged to do so, in the name of further necessary business expansion. This encouraged business accepted finance, gambled and lost heavily, when those who had offered umbrellas on sunny days recalled same at the first sign of cloudy sky. (Our readers will have met some of these same banking fraternity today, who despite being in receipt of vast pensions, were contracted to ‘strut their stuff’ behind polling booth tables, drawing lines through voters names, practically everywhere around this island of ours. This is despite the needs of 410,000 unemployed persons who could have happily undertaken this work and supplemented their meagre incomes.)
Having fallen on hard times, KPMG appointed receivers to Hayes Hotel, who confirmed that business would continue as normal and there would be no noticeable interruptions to current day-to-day trading activity. The hotel would continue to fully honour all customer bookings, all deposits and all current memberships.
The appointment of this new management operation was seen here by Thurles residents and business people as yet another blow to an already ailing uncertain rural town economy forced to resort to the use of savings to retain their essential staff and fund new trading stock.
I had noticed during my past few visits to Hayes that my favourite good humoured receptionist was missing, so on my visit this morning I had reason to query her absence as two friends had asked me to book a double room for next weekend. “She does not work here any more and we do not offer accommodation presently,” came the rather apologetic reply from the polite receptionist. With offers of help to obtain alternative accommodation I retreated to the bar area and having concluded other business, I left to make further discreet local inquiries as to the hotels welfare.
The following information gleaned from others, including previous employees, (Current Management point blankly refused to discuss the situation) revealed that since going into receivership in April there has been a systematic down grading of the profitable aspects of this establishment.
Hard working staff have now been cast out to exist on the generosity of the Irish Free State via Dole and Redundancy payments. In recent weeks essential staff; e.g. two Receptionists, two Night Porters, a Resident Disc Jockey and two House Keepers have had their employment terminated. Bedrooms are now closed, the nightclub is closed. Unconfirmed reports from these staff also state that essential maintenance is being undertaken by non local contract operators.
Is it impossible to make a profit from an already established popular weekend Nightclub and is it impossible not to make a profit from bedroom accommodation, even if staff employed were being paid slightly over and above the minimum hourly wage? Why are profitable aspects of this trading enterprise now being closed up?
Local readers stop and think for a moment and ask the questions; “What would Liberty Square be like if this hotel is to be abandoned?” Is Hayes Hotel being deliberately reduced to a valueless entity in time for the next AllSop Space auction? Is it now to be a case of “Last out, please turn off the lights?”
KPMG and their appointed receivers know the answer, but may need reminding that Hayes Hotel is not simply just another property. For many it is a place of annual pilgrimage and a national monument, whose patrons should not be angered. Politicians would do well to remember that Tipperary fired the first shots of the war of Independence once before and just may decide to do the same again before the next election.
If ten jobs had being made available in Thurles this morning, Enda Kenny, RTE, the head of the IDA (whatever his name is), Richard Bruton, Noel Coonan and their ‘handlers’ would have all been strutting around town displaying puffed up chests, spitting out dodgy CSO statistics on their success in creating employment. Unemployment like emigration on the other hand are dirty words best not discussed in any great detail.
Let us see if our Dublin orientated national news seeking journalistic friends will cover this catastrophe, concerning rural Ireland, in their newspapers this week.
More job losses could be arriving down the line for Co Tipperary with the news that the fashion retail chain Carl Scarpa has gone into examiner-ship. The chain which began operating in the early seventies selling shoes and accessories employs more than 80 people in 21 outlets, one of which is in based at No 6 Gladstone Street, Clonmel, Co Tipperary.
Examining, Mr Justice Gerard Hogan stated that the stores had established a strong brand; selling shoes designed for the fashion conscious consumer and described Carl Scarpa’s present difficulties as sadly an all too familiar site in the present Irish retail sector. At the moment however the business cannot pay its debts, including in the region of €200,000 in tax arrears due to Irish Revenue.
Carl Scarpa site Legacy Debt and above Market Rents as being partially to blame for their current trading difficulties.
Earlier this week the US pharmaceutical giant Merck said it would eliminate an additional 8,500 jobs worldwide as it seeks to cut costs by $2.5 billion by the end of 2015. The new job cuts, combined with previously announced cuts of about 7,500, will slash some 20% of their current global workforce of 81,000 by end-2015. The company has been under pressure following the expiration of patents on some key drugs.
Merck employs some 2,000 people in Ireland, with over 400 employees at its manufacturing facility at Ballydine, Kilsheelan, Clonmel, Co Tipperary. The company’s plant near Kilsheelan exports to some 30 countries. Back in 2010 a new research and development site was opened. The worry for Tipperary employees is that most of Merck’s new expected savings are expected to come via marketing and administrative expenses, including a cut back in research and development.
Merck & Co have already agreed to close its MSD (Merck Sharp & Dohme) plant at Rathdrum in Co Wicklow by the end of 2015, resulting in the loss of 280 jobs and had planed to relocate products manufactured in Rathdrum to MSD sites in Ballydine and Singapore, as well as to third-party manufacturers.
Job Creation In Tipperary
The Irish Industrial Development Authority (IDA) boasts of its successes in achieving strong net job performance mainly through foreign direct investment particularly over the previous 12 months. It should be noted however that some 54%, or 6,389 of their created jobs were in Co Dublin, while some 1,979 jobs were created in Co Cork during this same twelve month period.
Here in the County of Tipperary, alas in the South of our county a mere ten jobs were only put in place, (Fifth from bottom of the overall job creation list nationally) and to equate this to North Tipperary, we saw not even one single job created, (Bottom of the overall job creation list nationally) during this same period.
While unemployment figures may have improved very slightly in the larger Irish cities, Thurles and Tipperary presently sit under a dark cloud while awaiting details of the next budget. If a reversal in the current 9% VAT rate is implemented, as was recently muted by Finance Minister Michael Noonan, then hospitality and services sectors in the county will have no alternative but to shed further employees, thus ultimately leading to net losses for the exchequer and the further destruction of rural Ireland.