Local Weather

Mostly cloudy
real feel: 11°C
wind speed: 3 m/s SSW
sunrise: 6:20 am
sunset: 8:41 pm


Michael Lowry Welcomes €4m Energy Efficiency Funding

County Tipperary T.D, Mr Michael Lowry has welcomed the Government’s latest funding injection of over €4 million for Energy Efficiency Upgrades in Co. Tipperary.

In a statement yesterday, Mr Lowry said; “I heartily welcome an allocation of funding from the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Mr Denis Naughten, which will see €26 million being approved for some 44 community energy projects across Ireland; over €4 million of which, I am happy to state, will be received for identified projects here in Co. Tipperary”.

The funding is being released under this year’s ‘Better Energy Communities Schemes’ which is administered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, on behalf of the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment.

Deputy Lowry further stated, “The Better Energy Communities Schemes is intended to assist private and public buildings achieve energy efficiency upgrading. The identified Tipperary projects will see the installation and/or upgrading of energy efficient heating systems; energy efficient lighting, and solar heating. These successful projects in Tipperary will see the inclusion of energy upgrades to over 250 homes, along with works carried out to Public, Commercial and Retail Buildings. I also welcome the works to be carried out on Schools, Community Halls and GAA sport facilities, right across our county”.

Lowry continued, “Today’s total grant announcement heralds a very welcome and an important phase in the continued development of those at risk of energy poverty. This funding will continue to also assist in the development of the industry, both sustaining and developing employment in our local economy”.

Projects in Tipperary receiving funding will include:-

BEC/00633: This proposal is a collective one on behalf of a range of Eco-Merit member companies and organisations. These are a mix of commercial, public and not-for-profit entities, including registered charities with a common goal of improving their sustainability and energy efficiency. The non-domestic buildings involved in the project include: Waterford and South Tipperary Community Youth Services (WSTCYS). WSTCYS will share a grant offer of €170,586, along with other qualified projects in this section.

Continue reading Michael Lowry Welcomes €4m Energy Efficiency Funding


Wanton Destruction Of Rural Unique History & Culture

Fáilte Ireland announced that €11.5m is to be invested in the refurbishment of ten key OPW sites in Dublin and within Ireland’s Ancient East region. But then of course the OPW Heritage Services work in partnership with this same Fáilte Ireland, so no great surprises here. It was simply a case of tourism revenues earned by the OPW, being given back to the OPW.

It is not really the distribution of funding that actually bothers me, after all Co Tipperary got a share; Ormond Castle were granted €585,000, while the Rock of Cashel were granted €1.78m.

Gobán Saor’s cat rapidly eroding.

Of course, the area within a 33 miles radios of Dublin’s popular O’Connell street, as usual, got the majority of funding; yes over €8m in total.  This included €3m towards a new museum and viewing platform in ‘The Record Tower’ at Dublin Castle; €300,000 towards a Phoenix Park tourism and amenity study. Twenty-five miles’ away the Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre got €2.58m; and thirty three miles away Newgrange got €1m and Knowth €1.4m.

This Fáilte Ireland funding announced earlier this month, when truly examined, certainly represents a true strategic partnership with the OPW, if you know what I mean. Plus, as Fáilte Ireland point out, our Irish tourism sector after all currently sustains 220,000 (minimum wage) jobs, while generating an estimated €6bn in economic value per year to the State.

As already stated, it is not really this unequal distribution of funding that actually bothers me, no my fear centres around the wanton destruction of our local unique history and culture, which provides that strong incentive in bringing people to our shores. To get to the crux of this matter perhaps I need to explain further.

Tourists who visit Ireland are not exactly attracted by our weather, rather a huge percentage of foreign visitors are incentivised to holiday on our island, because of our wild, unspoilt, scenic beauty and remarkable ancient history. While most of our history is protected in museums, much more remains totally unprotected.

Archer Tomb Date 1520. Present condition in 2017.

Here in Thurles town Co. Tipperary, alone, numerous pieces of our rich heritage lie unprotected from weather erosion. Year by year, with the passing of each season; rain, wind, frost, snow and even sunshine, all ploy and conspire to shorten and destroy the future life of centuries old rare historical artefacts. Private funding offered, to protect this heritage, are resolutely refused, however funding is being (alas to late), provided to carry out photogrammetry surveys. See HERE and HERE.

The world was outraged in May 2015 when ISIS militants destroyed some of the historic buildings in the ancient city of Palmyra, located in war-torn Syria; which in the past flourished as a Roman trading outpost around A.D. 200. While this similarity is perhaps extreme, the same situation is being allowed to happen to valuable history in rural Ireland.

Dublin not only get the employment opportunities now-a-days it would appear, but into the future, only within a 50 mile radius of our capital city, will limited history survive, courtesy of Fáilte Ireland’s neglect of rural Ireland.

We rightly worry about the disappearance of Banks, Post Offices, Garda Stations, Hospitals and Public Transport from rural Ireland, now our politicians can add tourist attractions to this ever-growing list; while into the future the actual visitor.

Incidentally, those of you who reside abroad and continue to retain close links with Thurles, Co. Tipperary, you can purchase a cast, (at reasonable cost), of the Thurles Goban Saor’s cat with two tails, shown above, from HERE. Same will ensures one hell of a talking point for visitors to your home, when hanging on your sitting-room wall.

We will be talking about this Gobán Saor’s cat in the coming days.


“Dishonest, Deceitful & Corrupt”

I confess I have very little understanding of the workings of our legal system. However a basic understanding of right and wrong was instilled in me from an early age; the substance of which I committed to memory. I refer of course to the learning of the Ten Commandments, as recorded in the Old Testament Bible books of Exodus (Israelites coming out of slavery) and Deuteronomy (The second statement of Law).

No longer imparted to students in our today’s educational institutions with the same conviction; these same Ten Commandments included one particular strong directive; Commandment No. 8, if my memory serves me correctly, containing just four words “Thou shalt not steal”.

Today a former Bank of Ireland employee has been jailed for one year (12 Months) for stealing €144,000 from her place of employment between the years 2004 and 2012, (which surely says something about banking checks and balances). Note the total amount stolen was just over €144,000. We are informed that the female employee in question paid back everything she stole, however she has lost her job and has been forced to sell her house.

Passing judgement on the case, Judge M/s Melanie Greally correctly stated that activity of this kind, committed by persons in her position, should be marked by an appropriate jail sentence, which she felt was 12 months in prison.

Compare this case to the “Green Jersey” Agenda Court Case.

Now let us look at the comparisons. Three senior Irish bankers, one of whom was from Co. Tipperary, were jailed in 2016 for their role in the collapse of a bank. Their jail sentence was for up to three and a half years for conspiring to defraud investors arising from the 2008 banking crisis.  They were the first senior bankers in Ireland to be jailed, following a 74 day criminal trial (Ireland’s longest ever at the tax payers expense).  Actual crime committed; conspiring together and with others to mislead investors, depositors and lenders, by setting up a 7.2 billion Euro circular transaction scheme between March and September of 2008, to bolster Anglo Irish Bank’s balance sheet.  Judge Mr Martin Nolan, passing judgement, described this conspiracy as a “very serious crime”.

Did our three senior Irish bankers sell their homes or make any restitution, to the same degree, as did our Bank of Ireland employee?

The ‘Banking Crash’ pushed Ireland into three years of a sovereign bailout in 2010 and during our sojourn on this earth it will still take at least another 10 years for us, as a nation, to recover all funding pumped into presently operating banks.

Remember we had to stump up some 64 billion Euro; that is almost 40% of our annual economic output, after our property collapse forced the biggest state bank rescue in the Euro zone.

We are led to believe that, “Justice is blind”. This expression literally means that justice is both impartial and objective. Lady justice, also known as Iustitia, the statue that appears on the exterior of certain ‘Halls of Justice’; she who wears the blindfold (representing impartiality), holds a scales or balance (representing the measuring of the strengths of both sides of any case), and a sword (representing authority), all lead us to believe that justice must not treat close acquaintances differently to total strangers, or indeed rich people better than those penniless.

So, my question, taking into account my failure to fully understand the current principals of the Irish Justice system and the forgetfulness of bankers to remember the ‘Eighth Commandment’, is; “Is the justice metered out here, in both these court cases, fully proportional and equally balanced?”


Counterfeit New Style €50 Notes Now In Circulation

Gardaí in the mid-west region state they have become aware of a number of counterfeit new style €50 notes, latter which have now been entered into circulation from earlier this month.

A Garda warning states that, “Gardaí at Roxboro Road Garda Station have been made aware of a number of counterfeit €50 notes being used in Limerick and surrounding areas. These new style notes came into circulation recently.”

Gardaí further state “We would like to remind people to make sure to carry out essential security checks on Euro notes. Obvious security features should be identified before accepting notes, these include;  Checking for the watermark,  Security thread,  Hologram Patch and Raised Print. The value numeral on the old style €50 note will also change colour from purple to olive green or brown when tilted if the note is genuine.”

Gardaí invite people to take “a few seconds to feel, examine and tilt Euro notes”, thus preventing fraudsters from passing off these counterfeit notes as the genuine article.

Regular readers will recall we at Thurles.Info spoke about this recently. For those of you who missed that particular post, please click HERE.


€1.17m Fund Announced For Youth Clubs

A €1.17m fund has been announced for small local Youth Clubs.

The Department of Children have announced a €1.17m fund for small local youth clubs.

This announcement represents a 10% increase on last year’s funding and its particularly aimed at small volunteer led organisations.

Some 1,600 volunteer led groups with a membership of some 90,000 young people, will now be open to apply for this funding through their local Education and Training Boards.   (Contact Tipperary Education and Training Board Head Office HERE ).

The Department wisely state that any spending on youth is an investment in the future of local areas, communities and Ireland in general.