“Eaten bread is soon forgotten”.
Eugene (Surname known but withheld) got his correspondence from Irish Water this morning, pushed through the letterbox in the door of his home here in Co Tipperary. (I sometimes regret we called ourselves Thurles.Info as we get more email communications than a citizens advice bureau.)
Eugene hasn’t opened his correspondence yet, (See Picture taken today).
Eugene began his working career in the summer of 1964. His take home wages for a 50 hour week in a shop back then was £3.6.4., after he had paid his then Social Welfare Stamp. His damp accommodation, which consisted of one room, cost him £1.10.0. per week, including electricity, no cooker and a communal bathroom on the next landing. His remaining salary was used to buy food and allowed also for one trip to the cinema on a Sunday night.
Moving from job to job in search of better payment opportunities Eugene eventually settled here in Co Tipperary and married in mid 1970. He purchased his present small two bed roomed home for £8000.00 one year later, despite constant refusals by banks and other lending agencies, who deemed his income of £60.00 per week, at that time, too small to meet annual repayments. His then employer, anxious not to lose a hard-working loyal employee, had a quite but threatening word with the local bank manager, former guaranteeing to meet any shortfall in the case of future default.
House then purchased, Eugene and wife went on to raise six children, educating four of them to the very highest standards. Two of their children however were born mildly handicapped and today still remain residing at their parents home, an address from which they have never relocated.
At no time ever in their lives have Eugene or his wife ever been arrested, sold drugs, collected Social Welfare Payments, Carers Allowance, Free Travel, Unemployment Benefit or any of the allowances which are their entitlements, in respect of their handicapped children. Both parents, as PAYE workers, have always paid, in full, all taxes down through the years, claimed by the Irish State.
“We made a conscious decision, if possible at all, never to be a burden on the Irish State,” Eugene informed me today.
Eugene currently takes care of his two children and his wife on one standard old age pension around €200 per week. Despite working uninterrupted for some 50 years for various employers and contributing hugely not only to Irish State coffers, but also hugely to the local community, imagine his surprise on receiving the above correspondence, which cannot simply identify his very existence.
“Not that it matters, we won’t be able to afford to pay for water until my wife gets her old age pension in 3-4 years time.” Eugene states with a shameful apologetic tone in his voice. “I’ve lost my independence, I feel a failure. Years ago taxes were levelled on a man’s ability to pay. Rheumatism has me crocked, and despite all the stamps and PRSI I paid down the years, I don’t even have access to a doctor, an optician or a dentist any more, without ready cash in hand.” Eugene continued. “My family doctor requires €50 every three months just to renew children’s prescriptions and I must travel a 118 mile round trip to attend my local hospital,” he states.
It would appear that our Irish Free State government, through Irish Water, have forgotten one more pair of hands that once helped keep a nation fed, yet who sought nothing in return, and Eugene is not the only one.
We have advised Eugene with regards to his true entitlements, with the warning that he may have to fight in order to gain that which is his true entitlement.
Time for that “Lion To Roar”!
Some 200 former councillors will share over €5.4 million in severance payments from twelve local authorities. These same Councillors have either retired or lost favour with their electorate, following the recent Local Elections or through the abolition of Borough and Town Councils.
North and South Tipperary recently merged into Tipperary County Council, will make payments, in all, totalling more than €1 million to its former councillors. The bulk of this payment will go to 49 former county and town Councillors who have already reached the age of 50 and who will receive some €891,583 divided between them.
A further 22 former councillors who have not as yet reached their fiftieth year will be entitled to €191,000 between them, based on the amount they were receiving in representational payments. However, these amounts will have to be recalculated on the pay rate in place at the time each councillor eventually reach their fiftieth year.
Severance Payments For Redundant Co Tipperary Councillors
South Tipperary County Council €318,775
Jack Crowe €64,160; Sean Mc Carthy €61,665; Billy Shoer €37,552; Joe O’Donovan €47,705; Liam Ahearne €33,278; Sean Lonergan €33,278; Sylvia Cooney Sheehan €24,535; Tom Acheson €16,603.
North Tipperary County Council €259,200
Denis Ryan €57, 685; Jim Casey €57,685; Billy Clancy €16,603; Eddie Moran €16,603; John Kennedy €37,142; John Rocky Mc Grath €16,603; Pauline Coonan €35,504 and Virginia O Dowd €21,376.
Clonmel Borough Council €78,240
Brian O’Donnell €27,738; Dinny Dunne €24,165; Gabrielle Egan €9,725; Joe Leahy €8,306; Teresa Ryan €8,306.
Templemore Town Council €64,725
Marcus Wilson €14,239; Jim O Shea €12,083; Lily O’ Brien €13,868; Martin Fogarty €4,151; Maura Byrne €4,151; Michael C Ryan €4,151; Michael Connell €12,083.
Tipperary Town Council €49,801
Anna Tuohy Halligan €12,083; Billy Bourke €13,868; Brian Rafferty €4,151; John Wallace €9,702; John P Hartnett €1,680; Mary Swords €8,317.
Cashel Town Council €44,790
Dan Dillon €12,083; Eddie Bennett €12,083; Joe Moloney €16,475; Maribel Wood €4,151.
Thurles Town Council €30,503
John Kenehan €13,868; Michael Grogan €8,317; Noel O’Dwyer €8,317.
Carrick Town Council €24,920
Patsy Fitzgerald €8,317; Margaret Croke €4,151; Martin Henzey €4,151; Pierce O Loughlin €4,151; Richie O Neill €4,151.
Nenagh Town Council €20,628
Tom Mulqueen €13,868; Jimmy Moran €4,151; Tommy Morgan €2,610.
The Irish Central Bank, since August 1st 2013, has had the power to issue public warning notices in relation to any unauthorised firm they consider are carrying on activities that would require an authorisation from the Central Bank. This power came into being following the enactment of the Central Bank (Supervision and Enforcement) Act in August 2013.
To this end, the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) today published the name of an unauthorised debt management firm based here in Co Tipperary; naming Smart Resolutions Mediation Limited (Ireland), latter situated at Canopy Street in Cashel, as operating illegally and not therefore authorised to trade.
The firm, understood to be operated by the partnership of Mr Thomas and Mrs Geraldine Quigley, currently act as mediators between banks and distressed mortgage holders, the latter wishing to resolve individual personal financial difficulties in which they currently find themselves.
The Central Bank point out that it is a criminal offence for any unauthorised person or firm to provide financial services in Ireland, latter which would require an authorisation under the relevant legislation for which the Central Bank is the responsible enforcement body.
Any person wishing to contact the Central Bank with information regarding such persons or firms may Telephone (01) 224 4000. This telephone number may also be contacted by any member of the public who wishes to check if a person or firm is fully authorised.
A male foreign national has been jailed for four years, with the final three years suspended, after he falsely obtained €17,926 in Social Welfare Benefits under a deceased man’s name. Ukrainian national Mr Oleh Toropov, who held an address at Ormond Street, Nenagh, Co Tipperary, entered Ireland originally under the name of a deceased Latvian man and proceeded to obtain work during a four years period, while paying tax under the same assumed name.
Having lost employment at a meat-processing firm and at a construction firm in 2012, Mr Toropov continued to use the dead man’s name to obtain social welfare payments including rent allowance.
Nenagh Circuit Court heard that Mr Toropov obtained a PPS number, which allowed him to fraudulently claim the payments, before being found out by a Special Investigations Unit attached to the Department of Social Protection here in Thurles, latter who, satisfied that a fraud had been committed, had notified Gardaí.
According to Garda evidence Nenagh Circuit Court heard that the Ukrainian had falsely claimed €7,344.50 in Jobseeker’s Benefit, €10,070 in Jobseeker’s Allowance, together with €512 in Rent Allowance. Polish, Russian, Romanian and Ukrainian passports were also found while searching his address, prior to his arrest.
Detective Garda Declan O’Carroll accepted in court that Mr Toropov had worked and paid all due taxes for the four previous years in question and also accepted he was sending money home to support family members.
The Taoiseach Enda Kenny hand in hand with new Tánaiste Joan Burton have announced details of their Cabinet reshuffle with Tipperary TD Alan Kelly now appointed as the new Minister for Environment and Local Government.
Yesterday’s announcement also saw the promotion of Paschal Donohoe as Minister for Transport, Jan O’Sullivan as Minister for Education and Alex White as Minister for Communications Energy and Natural Resources. Heather Humphreys replaces Jimmy Deenihan at Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Simon Coveney takes on the Defence portfolio while still remaining as Minister for Agriculture.
Charlie Flanagan will takes over at the Department of Foreign Affairs and James Reilly has been demoted as expected, moving to Children and Youth Affairs, while Leo Varadkar will replace the latter as Minister for Health with Kathleen Lynch still remaining as a junior Minister in Health.
These appointments were formalised by President Michael D Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin yesterday afternoon.
Will Co Tipperary continue to run ‘Cap In Hand’ following the latest Cabinet reshuffle?
Taoiseach Enda Kenny stated during all of this reshuffling that the Government would now increase the overall household benefit package by €100, to compensate for the introduction of water charges. We here in Tipperary wait anxiously to see how this can be achieved and endeavour to understand why, if statement is correct, is it necessary to compensate for water charges when same could be simply reduced by the stated figure of €100.
The Taoiseach also stated that the system of child and income supports would be soon revised to reduce disincentives to persons returning to work, with access to subsidised childcare to be extended. He did not state where these new disincentivising employment opportunities could be located, but did promise an unrelenting focus once again on future job creation.
With newly appointed Deputy Leader of the Labour Party Alan Kelly also gaining a seat on the Government’s front bench, he immediately becomes the first elected TD to do so in this county in over a decade. He will, by accepting his new ministerial duties at the top table, be now expected to look after his county’s flagging interests. His Party here in Tipperary has a major rebuilding struggle ahead, as indicated following a recent disastrous showing in Tipperary local and European elections.
While this new Labour Cabinet Tipperary appointee certainly does not lack personal confidence or indeed personal ambition, Tipperary will now be looking for him to deliver both funding and employment, factors that he and indeed his Fine Gael government colleagues, e.g. Coonan etc, have miserably failed to achieve over the past number of years. His new portfolio as Minister for the Environment and Local Government will certainly continue to attract national criticism given his Labour party’s stance and broken promises, prior to the last General Election, e.g. Introduction of Water Charges.
The hard working yet successful Hidden Tipperary Tourism Group are still waiting very tolerantly, regarding promised confirmation on the Derrynaflan Hoard’s brief vacation to Thurles from Dublin, but time is running out and in view of Mr Kelly’s latest acquired portfolio, their obscured future plans for 2015 now remain further shaded in murkiness.
North Tipperary LEADER Partnership are also waiting next in line, hatchet in hand, as Mr Kelly will be well aware, following the well attended rally held outside of Dáil Eireann on Wednesday July 9th last, addressed by Marian Harkin MEP, Liadh Ní Riada MEP and others.
Regarding Enda Kenny’s promised disincentivising job opportunities, Minister Kelly will be well aware of the latest unemployment figures from the CSO showing that dole queues in Co Tipperary are continuing to grow longer. The IDA’s report for the first six months of the year show that close to 8,000 jobs are being created across Ireland, but none of these promised investments have been allocated to County Tipperary.
Tipperary will wait and monitor, but nevertheless for the time being at least, we heartily congratulate Minister Alan Kelly on his recent success and wish him well in his new roles, both in rebuilding Labour and in successfully gaining his new seat at the Cabinet table.