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Attention Tipperary Freight, Logistics & Transport Sectors

Mid-WestIreland’s Mid West Region consists of counties Clare, Limerick and North Tipperary, along with Limerick city; latter which is the regional capital.

Freight, logistics & transport sector stakeholders from industry, government and business support agencies, local authorities & academia will discuss how the Mid West Region could become a strategic freight logistics hub with direct connections to some of the world’s global logistics hubs.

This workshop event is taking place at the Castletroy Park Hotel, Limerick, from 8.30am to 2.00pm, on Wednesday May 28th 2014

The themes of the ‘Sustainable Freight Gateway’ Stakeholders Workshop include an examination of the existing conditions and opportunities for Mid West region transport modes & freight logistics, and European Funding Programme opportunities.

There will be a series of presentations and demonstrations on a range of issues including Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) for Freight Transport, new on-line Geoportal of key infrastructures in North West Europe, new brand for the Limerick-Shannon Sustainable Freight Gateway, Port of Portsmouth new Track & Trace System, demonstrator of Inter-modal Route Planner, the Shannon Estuary and Green Freight Europe, while there will be a CNG freight vehicle on-site.

Facilitated by the Mid-West Regional Authority, the event is being supported by Limerick City & County Council, Shannon Airport, Irish Exporters Association, Shannon Foynes Port Company, Irish Road Haulage Association (IRHA) and the National Transport Authority.

The workshop event is being co-financed by the Weastflows INTERREG IVB EU Project, which aims to improve and enhance freight logistics across a west-east axis in the North West of Europe through a combination of freight mapping, innovative technology and a drive to promote sustainable logistics.

Thurles Chamber Launch Local Election Business Manifesto

ThurlesThurles Chamber has invited all Local Election Candidates to their official launch of its Local Elections Business Manifesto which will take place on Thursday May 15th next at 9.00pm in the Thurles Chamber Enterprise Centre.

Thurles Chamber’s current President Mr John O’Shaughnessy has invited all Local Election candidates to attend and show their support to local businesses, latter who in turn currently sustain their respective local communities in the Templemore /Thurles electoral district, through providing not only local services, but who maintain and continue to create local employment.

In launching this Manifesto, Thurles Chamber will identify two key objectives in particular; (A) Reduction in the cost of doing business, (B) Creation of local job opportunities.

“Thurles Chamber believe that, if the implementation of the measures contained in our manifesto are followed through, same will create jobs in construction, retail and the various tourism sectors,” said John O’Shaughnessy, announcing the launch today.

A Notice of Invitation has now been issued to all Election Candidates in the upcoming Local Elections, to attend.

Mr O’Shaughnessy stated; “We would encourage all Local Election Candidates to attend this very important event to have their say, in what we hope will be an engaging evening. We are also intending to record this event and place same on our website and other media sites, to assist in promoting all the worthy candidates. We would really appreciate the usual  full attendance by Thurles Chamber Members at this event; to further demonstrate to our local politicians the importance we, as a business community, have in the decisions that local politicians make and which impact on our business lives here in Mid Tipperary on a daily basis.”

New Hidden Tipperary Tourism Brochure

It is also expected that the newly designed “Discover Hidden Tipperary,” tourism brochure will also be launched by Thurles Chamber on the same night in question, latter the joint work of the newly formed Thurles / Holycross/ Upperchurch tourism group known as ‘Hidden Tipperary.’
This brochure is also expected to be made available to download worldwide in a Portable Document Format (PDF), possibly prior to its launch by Thurles Chamber and will also be offered by the said group, in hard copy, to Accommodation Service Providers, Library’s etc., existing throughout the surrounding areas, in the coming weeks.

Fine Gael Minister Phil Hogan Ain’t No Plumber


“You are going to be down to a trickle,” promises Fine Gael’s Phil Hogan.

One question being asked in Thurles this evening; “Is Phil Hogan the second Fine Gael Minister to breach Irish Data Protection this week?”  This question has come about following his indiscreet announcement yesterday, which exposed in advance, intimate details regarding the cost of water charges, to this countries rain-soaked and miserable water sodden taxpayers.

Same final details were agreed only officially at lunchtime today, despite same being ‘leaked’ (no pun intended) in advance by Phil who was adamant that his colleagues in Labour had a major part to play in its introduction. It had been three weeks since a Cabinet meeting had supposedly ended in disarray, with no deal what-so-ever on the shape of the water charges to be implemented, being agreed. But then maybe our Phil was just ‘testing the water,’ (again no pun intended).

Water Charge Tax for adult family of 7 people to exceed €700 annually or about €13.50 per week regardless of who is in paid employment.

Anyway, as Phil told us yesterday, it is now agreed by Fine Gael and Labour today that the threatened ‘Standing Water Charges’ are being abolished, the average bill will remain at around €240 a year and every household is getting a free allowance linked to the number of children under 18 living in each household. This latter allowance will help to make up for the cuts made by Labour in recent budgets affecting Children’s Allowances. (With 7 adults residing in my house at weekends – mainly home to get their laundry washed – all paying water charges in their own right – should I now charge them a two-day admission charge at the door, prior to entry?)

This thoughtful government outfit has also been more than generous with regard to the disabled, the pensioners, those suffering certain medical card conditions and carers who will all get an extra free allowance on top of this charge, roughly valued at €100 a year, to be assembled from the social welfare budget which they also cut in recent budgets – this gift further proof (as if it was needed) that this country is now in full-scale recovery mode.

This Fine Gael and Labour government will also give a free gift of 30,000 litres of water per household per year, in the knowledge that the average household in Ireland use 140,000 litres of water a year, based on 2.7 people living in a house.

As my headline above suggests, our Phil is no plumber. He suggests, in his usual affable way, that those who refuse to pay water charges will see their water pressure turned down to a trickle, so I’m off to my builders providers tomorrow to get a couple of extra storage tanks for the roof. Sure at night the water pressure is bound to increase due to lack of usage, filling my extra tanks without Phil’s knowledge and allowing me to waste as much water as possible the following day.

One wonders now, with only a trickle of water coming through our household water system, will we need extra Home Insurance for our electric showers or will this Fine Gael and Labour government compensate us when our electric shower element burn out?

Then again here is a perfect opportunity to create local employment. Fill up all those nice neat round holes, designed for water metres, with a shovel of ready-mix concrete; sure someone will have to dig them out again with a Kango hammer. OK, don’t all yell, it was just a thought solely in the interests of reducing unemployment and getting this country back on its feet again.

Good Lord, as a law-abiding citizen myself, far be it from me to go encouraging anyone to break Irish law, particularly causing hurt to one of the largest money wasting quangos (Irish Water) ever set up in this country, I hope you understand.

I wonder who will get my vote in the Local & European election on May 23rd next.

Tipperary’s Kilcooley Estate Owner Identified

KilcooleylThe historic Kilcooley Estate, near  Gortnahoe, Thurles, Co Tipperary, on the Tipperary/Kilkenny border which had previously been sold in 2008 by the Ponsonby family to the McCann family company of ‘Castleway International,’ for a reported €6 million, has once again found a new owner.

A 62 year old Newry multi-millionaire businessman and energy exploration entrepreneur of some 40 years, Mr Tommy (Tom) O’Gorman, who has global oil and gas interests, as well as being involved with Blarney Golf Resort, Cove Energy, Fastnet Oil and Gas, confirmed yesterday that he was now the new title holder.

Mr O’Gorman purchased the estate in late 2013 via Mr Marcus Magneir of Colliers for a reported €2.1m. The estate, including an important 18th century mansion, was offered for sale, via NAMA, by Colliers in 2013 and then included 1,200 acres with 950 acres leased to the Irish state-sponsored company ‘Coillte,’ mature woodland, 220 acres leased to local farmers, together with five estate staff houses, extensive courtyard buildings, a lake, boathouse and a Chapel and old Cistercian Abbey, latter which is a popular tourist attraction and continues to hold religious services.

Mr O’Gorman has also purchased, for a reported €1.5m, the freehold on the aforementioned 950 acres of forestry leased to Coillte, for which he states he has already had approaches from timber producers to purchase much of the associated forestry. Land leased to Coillte had a legal stipulation that it be returned to a proper agricultural state when the 150 year lease expired sometime in the 2080’s.

This lease is now ended after Mr O’Gorman’s €1.5m deal with Coillte and he believes the value of the land and forestry has now greatly multiplied in value, rising possibly to as much as €10 million, following his €3.6 million overall investment.

It is understood that when approached, the Irish State had declined to buy the Kilcooley estate in the early 2000’s, which today remains a national monument of great interest and which was home to the Ponsonby family since c. 1770.

Tipperary Water Charges Unconfirmed

waterAn Taoiseach Enda Kenny confirmed today that his cabinet has failed to sign off on plans for water charges, at its meeting held earlier this morning.

Speaking today during Leader’s Questions, the Taoiseach appeared to confirm that households would pay at least €240.00 on average per year for the next two years. However he also confirmed that the Government had not signed off on agreed figures.

Mr Kenny also admitted that this new charge would be difficult for households to accept, but stressed that the need for a new entity that can provide new water infrastructure was imperative, with up to 40% of the water in Dublin city currently leaking into the ground.

He said that on the advice received from the Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan, the maximum subvention allowed cannot exceed €537m and this equates to an average bill of €240 per household per year. No information was made available on the implications of water charges for families, specifically in relation to metering and each citizens ability to pay. A free allowance is expected to be available to all households, but the extent of same remains also not yet clear.

Unconfirmed reports state that an added standing charge of less than €50 per annum is also being proposed and it is also understood that households that have not been metered when these water charges come into effect in the autumn, will now be accessed on the basis of the number of persons living in each household.

Homeowners will be charged for using water from October 2014, but will not have to pay until January next year.

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