Local Weather

Mostly cloudy
real feel: 14°C
wind speed: 2 m/s WSW
sunrise: 6:23 am
sunset: 8:45 pm


Visitors Stay Away – Cases Of Super Bug CPE Confirmed At UHL.

There are currently three confirmed cases of the super-bug “Carbapenemase Producing Enterobacteriaceae” (CPE), now confirmed at University Hospital Limerick (U.H.L.), with all necessary infection control measures now in place to manage the outbreak.

CPE bacteria are the newest in a long line of super-bug bacteria, which remain the hardest to eliminate even with carbapenem antibiotics; latter a class of highly effective antibiotic agents commonly used for the treatment of severe or high-risk bacterial infections and considered the drugs of last resort for the CPE bacteria.

Visitor Restrictions
To this end strict visitor restrictions have been put in place daily from 2.00pm to 4.00pm and from 6.00pm to 9.00pm at this main medical facility, serving the population of the North Tipperary area. Only one visitor per patient will now be allowed and strictly no admission to visiting children will be permitted.

CPE bacteria are becoming more and more common all over the world, especially in hospital venues, and significant volumes of patients will now require complete isolation at this already overcrowded training University Hospital Limerick facility.

Ireland has seen an increase in the number of cases year on year, with the number of cases almost doubling in 2016.

As we go to print, some 43 patients are on waiting on hospital trolleys at UHL, while awaiting a bed. The spread of this super-bug in University Hospital Limerick could lead to the closure of even further beds, wards and even whole units, which in a worst scenario could reduce the hospital’s ability to admit further patients; provide essential services and increase numbers to already rapidly increasing patient statistics.


Rural Neglect Or Just Plain Arrogance

The first photograph shown on the slide-show hereunder was taken on January 1st, 2000. I had waited, well wrapped up against the frosty darkness, at the entrance to the Lady’s Well pedestrian pathway for the first rays of sunlight to break the eastern horizon.  This, after all, was to be the dawning of the first day of a promising new millennium for Thurles; that interval of time consisting of one thousand years.

On that morning, the view before me reminded me of Robert Frost’s poem, “The Road Not Taken”.

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;”

Here for anyone with even a modicum of imagination was a blank canvas presented by Mother Nature; being offered to develop a footpath attraction, which would entice safely for those who wished, for an hour or two, to avoid the noise; the glower of insipid tarmac and characterless cement, not to mention the stench of petrol and diesel exhaust emissions.  Here was the perfect opportunity to scatter naturally occurring, wild, flower seeds; Meadowsweet, Oxeye Daisies, Montbretia, Lady’s Smock, Red Clovers, Poppies, etc, thus developing a retreat, nay a safe place, for sharing with our bees, butterflies, birds, moths and other precious Irish pollinators.

Here was an opportunity to update a protective railing; add a few more park-style benches along the riverbank, allowing the rambler to sit and view a wild flower spectacle, which in the words of poet W. Wordsworth; just like his daffodils, could later “flash upon that inward eye, which is the bliss of solitude”.

Here in Tipperary politicians talk consistently about the need for better mental health supports.  Humans are becoming less connected with nature, and in doing so are losing an essential health buffer.  Yes, there exists strong mounting evidence that contact with nature has major and significant positive impacts on our mental health.

Our second picture was taken on July 29th 2018 last. Eighteen years on and the area has become further deteriorated, with only a few families daring to traverse the subsiding river bank, latter being consistently washed away each winter by torrential flooding.

Still, I suppose the Lady’s Well pedestrian pathway is not necessary as an everyday public walkway, unlike the pedestrian crossing at Cathedral Street, Thurles, which also further highlights the neglect by Templemore/ Thurles Municipal District Council management.
Readers will be aware that modern pedestrian signals on such crossings incorporate countdown timers into their design, that display the signal for pedestrians to cross using a green light.

Article 14 of the Road Traffic (Signs) Regulations, 1962

14. Either of the following types of mechanical signals may be used to control the crossing of a road by pedestrians at a place where traffic is controlled by traffic lights as prescribed in Article 13 of these Regulations:—
(a) a single lamp, which shall comply with the following conditions:—
(i) it shall face the pedestrians whose movements it is intended to control;
(ii) it shall show, when lit:—
(A) a green light through the full area of the lens or,
(B) a figure of a pedestrian in green on a black ground or,
(C) a message (such as the words ” Cross Now”) in white on a black ground, indicating that pedestrians may cross the road.

On February 1st 2018, we highlighted the fact that these pedestrian crossing lights were pointed in the wrong direction and do notface the pedestrians whose movements it is intended to control“.

On July 16th 2018, we again highlighted the fact that pedestrian crossing lights remained pointed in the wrong direction.

While less than a dozen people will traverse the collapsing Lady’s Well pedestrian pathway in any one day; when our schools re-open at the end of August 2018; together with Mass goers, shoppers and secondary school pupils, the Cathedral Street, pedestrian controlled intersection will exceed some 1,500 crossings per day, all of whom will remain blind as to their right to cross.

From a vehicles point of view, Road traffic regulations state that “a pedestrian shall exercise care and take all reasonable precautions in order to avoid causing danger or inconvenience to traffic and other pedestrians”


Tipperary Garda Receives €1.16 Million In Compensation

The Minister for Finance has agreed to pay a former 44-year-old Tipperary hurling Captain, Garda Mr Aidan Flanagan, €1.16million following injuries suffered when he was kicked in his back, during the making of an arrest.

Compensation of €175,000 in general damages and €45,000 for the loss of future opportunity, had previously been awarded to the Garda by Mr Justice Bernard Barton. The Justice had then adjourned further ruling in relation to the case; pending a review of ongoing negotiations between Mr Micheál Ó Scanaill, SC State Counsel for the Finance Minister) and Mr Alan Keating BA. LL.B; (Barrister for Garda Flanagan).

Following further negotiations and taking into account Garda Flanagan’s past and present loss of earnings; Mr Ó Scanaill, appearing with Barrister Ms Rebecca Graydon BCL, LL.M (Commercial), M.C.I Arb., informed Judge Bernard Barton that now a consent order for €1.16m could be made in Garda Flanagan’s favour.

Mr Justice Barton, in his earlier ruling and following a Garda Compensation hearing in the High Court, had stated that the ferocity of the blow Garda Flanagan had received to the base of his back, had devastating consequences for the injured man’s future.

The Judge stated that Garda Flanagan had suffered the injury when he was only 30 years of age and had made a substantial €1.47m claim for general damages and recurring pecuniary losses.

Garda Flanagan had been a fit young man who had a passion for the game of hurling, a sport in which he had excelled, playing for Tipperary. He had earlier won an All-Ireland medal at Under 21 level, before being elevated to the Tipperary senior panel, to hurl for his county, going on to become Captain of the Tipperary senior team during the 1997 National Hurling League.

Judge Barton explained that Garda Flanagan, because of his injuries, had faced financial embarrassment to the extent that attempts had been made to re-possess his home, which in turn led to him having to be treated in the St John of God Hospital in Dublin.

Garda Flanagan had arrested a youth, following a store burglary in which alcohol had been stolen; some of which had been consumed by the youth together with a quantity of tablets prior to his arrest.

On entering the back seat of a squad car to restrain the handcuffed teenager, he, Garda Flanagan, had received a kick into the small of his back. Following this attack and over subsequent years there had been a serious and significant deterioration to the Garda’s physical and mental capacity, as a result of ongoing chronic pain; leaving the officer with the feeling that he considered he could no longer serve as a Garda.  Indeed, he had since applied unsuccessfully to be retired on health grounds.

The degree of force used by Garda Flanagan’s assailant had been somewhat controversial during the 15-day hearing of this case, since one of the issues before the court, prior to the 2005 assault had been the fact that he had previously suffered back injuries in a car accident and in a fall.


New Ambulance For Thurles Order of Malta.

Mr Gerard Fogarty, Deputy Officer In Charge, Thurles Order of Malta Ambulance Corps, reports:-

Order of Malta Ambulance Corps Thurles are proud to launch their new road ambulance this month.

The Ford Transit, kindly donated by the National Ambulance Service, will replace the ageing Mercedes Sprinter, which has given the unit in Thurles many years of great service.

As with their other road ambulances, it is fitted with all of the state-of-the-art pre-hospital emergency care equipment and medications required by their personnel (Emergency Medical Technicians and Emergency First Responders) providing the primarily care to cater for all major emergencies. The equipment provided includes:- automated external defibrillator, electrocardiogram heart monitor, terrestrial digital radio, wheelchair/stretcher lift, adjustable stretcher, emergency extrication equipment etc.

The Unit’s fleet of three road ambulances, minibus and off-road ambulance are well-known around Thurles through their involvement in busy work schedules; providing emergency medical support at national and local events including Semple stadium and Thurles Racecourse, while providing transport to sick and special needs passengers, thus ensuring visits to hospital, while also supporting necessary social visits.

Thurles Order of Malta Ambulance Corps Members would like to thank the generous parishioners of Holycross, Ballycahill, and Thurles for their kind support of Annual Church Gate Collections Appeal over the last two weekends.

All funds collected directly contribute to the ongoing maintenance costs of the strong volunteer-operated ambulance fleet.


Dunnes, Spar, Tesco, & Lidl Remove Products From Shelves

As a precautionary measure, on the advice of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, (FSAI) Dunnes Stores and Spar are initiating a recall of their own brand pestos, due to the possible presence of Salmonella. Consumers who may have bought the implicated batches should return it to the place of initial purchase.

Dunnes Stores
The batches involved in the recall at Dunnes Stores are the 130g, Dunnes Stores, Tomato Pesto (With use by dates between 05/07/2018 and 30/09/018) and Basil Pesto (With use dates between 02/07/2018 and 25/09/2018).

Spar’s recall involves their 125g Basil Pesto (With use by dates between 05/07/2018 and 25/09/2018) and Red Pesto (With use by dates between 05/07/2018 and 25/09/2018).

Greenyard Frozen UK Ltd
Greenyard Frozen UK Ltd are recalling a wide variety of frozen vegetable products, because they could cause Listeria monocytogenes.  Listeria is a serious disease which can be life threatening, particularly for pregnant women, the elderly and people with a weakened immune system, according to the FSAI. This company’s frozen vegetables are on sale in Tesco and Lidl, among other stores.

Products recalled include:-

4 Steam Bags Carrot, Broccoli & Sweetcorn 640g (With use dates up to and including Jan 2020). 4 Steam Bags Peas, Broccoli, Spinach & Sweetcorn 640g; 4 Growers Harvest Steam Bags Carrot, Peas & Sweetcorn 640g; Mixed Vegetables with Red Peppers 1kg; Sweetcorn (Resealable) 1kg; Classic Mixed Vegetables (Resealable) 1kg: Growers Harvest Sweetcorn
907g; Growers Harvest Mixed Vegetables 1.16kg; Everyday Value Sweetcorn 907g;

Green Grocer’s (Lidl)
Super sweet Sweetcorn 1kg; All batches, with all ‘Best before Dates’; Fragrant Golden Rice (2 Single Steam Pouches) 400g;

Green Grocer’s & Freshona (Lidl)
Mixed Vegetables 1kg; Steamers Carrots, Broccoli & Sweetcorn 4 x 160g; Steamers Baby Carrots, Peas, Green Beans & Sweetcorn 4 x 160g.

Choice Mixed Vegetables 1kg, (With use all use dates up to Jan 2020). Note: Only Batch codes ending “Z or N” affected, i.e: DEC 19 L****Z or DEC 19 L****N; Garden Peas 2.5kg; Sweetcorn 2.5kg, and Mixed Vegetables 900g, (with use date codes between Jan 2020 and June 2020 inclusive).

The FSAI advise all consumers to return all named products to the store from where they were purchased. They also recommend that consumers who may be feeling unwell, should seek medical advice.