Tipperary Independent TD Deputy Michael Lowry has this week criticised the long delayed Government initiative on a stimulus package to regenerate Rural Ireland.
“Labour Minister Ann Phelan has been Minister with specific responsibility for Rural Development for almost 5 years. We hardly knew she existed, but hey presto a couple of months before an election she comes out of her slumber with a whopper of an empty promise”, stated the Deputy.
“Since this Government was elected, all we have heard is aspirational statements and hot air. This most recent announcement is a paltry €30m pre-election gimmick.
Minister Ann Phelan has the audacity to allocate €4m of this same fund to her own constituency of Carlow/Kilkenny; leaving just €26m for the rest of the country. The kind of schemes covered under the new proposal, such as renovation of old buildings and improving local amenities are already covered under the terms of Leader Group and National Lottery Funding. The real issue faced our rural communities is that funding available to Leader in Tipperary has been cut by €15 m. It’s ironic that the person who presided over that €15m cut is one and same Minister Allen Kelly,” Mr Lowry continued.
“The root cause of the crisis in rural Ireland is the lack of job opportunity for young people. Thousands of our young people have had to emigrate, forced to leave home, leave their families, friends and community. Parents are denied the privilege of being close to their loved ones, denied the gift of seeing them mature into adulthood. There are many issues as a consequence of this emigration. Fewer houses being built, no work for builders and tradesmen, fewer children being born, schools losing numbers; putting teachers jobs at risk, with small rural schools facing closure. We then have small shops, post offices and Garda Stations being shut down. We also face the prospect, due to a shortage of priests; of parish clustering with major implications for our rural churches and hence reduced social contact”, stated Mr Lowry.
“Emigration has had a massive impact on local communities and in particular sports clubs. Many GAA soccer and Rugby teams have been decimated by the flight of its younger members. The government and the national agencies have done nothing to correct the imbalance between city and rural regeneration. Access to a proper broadband service and information technology is a huge disadvantage. It is impossible for country towns to attract industry as it has little prospect of competing against the city locations that have the entire necessary infrastructure already in place. The IDA should immediately construct advance factories in places like Tipperary. It is inevitable that when a Company decides to set up business it will make a decision on the location based on a ready to go turnkey facility”, continued Mr Lowry.
Deputy Lowry also stated, “We now have a two speed economy – one for Dublin and one for the rest, operating in a fast and slow lane. The closure of Garda Stations has left older people in particular, feeling vulnerable at a time when city crime gangs are roaming rural communities causing fear and anxiety. This feeling of isolation is made worse by no local transport, which makes it impossible for people to socialise”.
There may just be good pre-election news for Pensioners and people in receipt of Social Welfare payments, announced today.
Our Tánaiste and current Minister for Social Protection, Ms Joan Burton, has publicly stated that single people will get a Christmas bonus of €115 this year, while couples will get €220. Same constitutes a rise of some 50% on last year’s Christmas bonus payments which had been scrapped during the Ireland’s recent economic downturn.
Ms Burton also confirmed publicly that next month’s budget statement will see increases to investments into health, education and childcare.
If true, in real money terms this announced 50% bonus would mean an extra €115 this December for a person in receipt of an Irish Contributory Pension, and close to some €220 extra for a couple in similar circumstances. This bonus would also mean an extra €102 for a Carer and would be further increased if that carer has children.
However remember this is a pre-election announcement from the Labour Party who may not be in power after October’s promised budget and who in past pre-election assurances have shown their guarantees to be just about as useful as ‘an ashtray on a motorcycle’.
When it comes to Labour Party promises, perhaps it is best wait and save any promised bonus for the January 2016 sales.
Thurles Credit Union held their monthly ‘Members Cash Draw‘ at Credit Union House, Parnell Street, Thurles, Co. Tipperary on today, (Saturday 5th of September 2015).
The monthly draw, which is always computer generated, saw the 1st prize of €10,000 go to winner Mr Patrick Joyce, The Island, Urlingford, Co. Kilkenny.
Pictured left at the presentation is staff member and fellow Kilkenny native, Catherine Henderson, (Right) presenting a delighted Mr Joyce (Left) with his first prize.
Three other runners-up prizes of €1000 each were also drawn by three other lucky winners who are named hereunder as follows:-
(1) Mr Simon Gleeson and M/s Lorraine Cleary, Ballycurrane, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.
(2) M/s Gabrielle O’Meara, Clongour, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.
(3) M/s Kathleen Benson, Athnid, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.
Our congratulations to all of the above named September 2015 Thurles Credit Union cash draw winning members.
“School Ahead” – Picture taken yesterday on the outskirts of a rural village in Co. Tipperary. Same best depicts the destruction of rural Ireland, under a current Labour /Fine Gael led government. (NRA please take note.)
Viewing the latest unemployment figures, uploaded on line today (Monday August 10th 2015) by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), residents of Co. Tipperary, possibly, with the exception of our over paid politicians, are less likely to be “visiting the Bahamas to swim with pigs“ in the immediate future, as a current TV commercial currently invites.
Nationally the actual number of people currently unemployed in Ireland rose slightly during the month of July 2015, standing 300 higher than the seasonally adjusted figure for June at 208,900. Sadly the seasonally adjusted youth unemployment rate (persons aged 15-24) was 20.2% in July 2015; when compared to 19.9% in June 2015. Latter we understand was caused by a rise in the number nationally of unemployed females during the same month, which stood 500 higher at 81,200.
As we forewarned on Thurles.Info; here in Co. Tipperary some 251 extra persons joined our ever lengthening dole queues, despite continued political electioneered spin from our current Fine Gael & Labour government; no doubt assisted greatly by radio and newspaper journalists, happy to simply ‘copy and paste’ political press statements, without the slightest modicum of questioning as to the real facts.
In total, for just the three combined months of May, June and July 2015 a total of 1,086 Tipperary residents, represented under the CSO categories of ‘All Ages’ – ‘Both Sexes’ are now signing for unemployment benefit in the county as a whole; an increase of 251 within the last 31 days.
June 30th – July 31st – North Tipperary and Associated Towns – 2015.
6,462 – 6,601 – North Tipperary, an overall increase of 139 persons.
2,635 – 2,658 – Nenagh, an increase of 23 persons.
1,187 – 1,246 – Roscrea, an increase of 59 persons.
2,640 – 2,697 – Thurles, an increase of 57 persons.
June 30th– July 31st – South Tipperary and Associated Towns – 2015.
7,998 – 8,110 – South Tipperary, an increase of 112 persons.
1,145 – 1,164 – Cahir, an increase of 19 persons.
1,697 – 1,719 – Carrick-On-Suir, an increase of 22 persons.
1,025 – 1,063 – Cashel, an increase of 38 persons.
2,611 – 2,616 – Clonmel, an increase of 5 persons.
1,520 – 1,548– Tipperary (Town), an increase of 28 persons.
In July 2015, led by an Taoiseach Mr Enda Kenny (F.G.) and accompanied by Labour Minister Mr Alan Kelly, Mr Tom Hayes F.G. and F.G. Jobs Minister Mr Richard Bruton, latter politicians trotting into Tipperary South, to the town of Cahir, here to announce 152 imaginary jobs and a €50m Investment at ABP Food Group, which jobs so far to-date have failed to materialize.
The same political spin, on August 1st 2015, informed us of some 300 new jobs being created; supported by the IDA, in Cashel in Co Tipperary, by US generic drugs giant Amneal Pharmaceuticals, latter who purchased the former long idle Johnson and Johnson plant on the Cahir Road. In two years time following renovations Amneal expect to hire an estimated 250-300 employees, but only when the facility is at full capacity. Minister Richard Bruton F.G. described these latter futuristic jobs as being a massive boost for Cashel and the whole of Tipperary, capping what has been a good month for regional jobs announcements.
To add to today’s published CSO unemployment figures; during this same period (May 1st to July 31st 2015) at least 373 unemployed persons here in Co. Tipperary have already been moved off the Unemployment Register to work on Tús schemes (See Pay Rates of €1 per hour) and therefore not correctly categorised as being unemployed persons. A more accurate figure for unemployment in Tipperary during this same 3 month 2015 period should therefore read approximately 1459.
This latter figure does not take into account those other unemployed persons who chose to accept emigration. Neither does it take into account those who could not afford to leave this country and have since become members of that well known unpaid Internship Club known as ‘JobBridge’; latter which continues to remain unmonitored, offering poor conditions and little if any insurance cover through its forced membership.
Meanwhile, last week the drinks giant C&C announced the potential loss of 31 jobs, through redundancies, from its production workforce at Borrisoleigh, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.
Thurles Credit Union held their monthly Members’ Cash Draw at Credit Union House, Parnell Street, Thurles, on Saturday last, July 25th 2015.
The monthly computer generated draw choose four lucky winners, who collectively won cash prizes totalling €13,000 this month.
The first lucky cash prize winner was M/s Martina Woodlock, Cloughmartin, Thurles, Co. Tipperary who won €10,000.
Three runner-up prizes of €1,000 went respectively to M/s Mary Walsh, Kennedy Park, Thurles; Mr Paddy and M/s Catherine Fogarty, Ard Carraig, Thurles and finally Mr John Heeney, Bohernamona Road, Thurles.
Congratulations to all of the above July 2015 Thurles Credit Union winning members.