“You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.” (Quote attributed to President Abraham Lincoln, but possibly first quoted by American showman, businessman, scam artist and entertainer Phineas Taylor Barnum.)
The old adage that ‘Paper does not refuse ink,’ was further emphasised, clarified, reinforced (call it what you will,) on page five, bottom right hand corner, of today’s local Tipperary Star newspaper. The latter adage retains a healthy scepticism with regard to what is written in everyday newspapers, however absurd, illusory or self promoting.
I am referring to the headline, “Thurles Visitor Figures Rise,” (No it has nothing to to do with over weight people,) purporting to come from the pen of Fine Gael town Councillor & outgoing Town Mayor Mr Michael Cleary.
Fine Gael Councillor Michael Cleary reports an increase in visitor numbers to Thurles & surrounding areas according to this printed report. While every business in Thurles is reporting information to the contrary, one cannot help wonder from whence came Councillor Cleary extracting, surprising & amazing insight on these tourist numbers.
One is immediately also drawn to the website of Fine Gael Councillor Neale Richmond and his Blog posted on May 29th 2013, entitled “Tourism numbers on the rise as Gathering picks up pace.”
Oh dear, Oh dear, Oh dear, one of these Councillors, dare I say both being “Pretenders to the Throne,” must stand accused of “Plagiarism,” latter word being defined as academic dishonesty. Will one of these Councillors now be subject to severe sanctions, like expulsion from the Fine Gael party, if found guilty by a jury of their peers?
So what did they both publish? Spot the difference.
Continue reading Vendi, Vidi, Vote – I Came, I Saw, I Hoped
Grafton Street Dublin
Work to replace the red brick paving on Grafton Street, Dublin, is to begin shortly at a reported cost of €4 million, (Compare Tipperary funding below,) to be replaced with a more durable granite paving. The City Council stress that the revamp is needed because the current red brick surface has become “somewhat worn.”
This granite paving, we are informed, will be similar to that currently existing on Dublin’s O’Connell Street and Henry Street, sourced partly from Co Wicklow, while the rest will be Iberian granite sourced from Spain. Street lighting and bollards on Grafton Street will also be replaced.
This work is scheduled to be undertaken in sections, over an 18 months period, allowing for an eight-week break for Santa Claus. The street will remain open to pedestrians, but delivery trucks & vans will be restricted regarding access. In other words the overall scene will be reminiscent of Thurles Town for the past 20 years.
This work will also coincide with the nearby construction of a new Luas line, linking the St Stephen’s Green Line with the Red Line on Abbey Street. But what the hell, after Grafton Street is completed, there are plans to replace the paving around Trinity College and Westmoreland Street in our pampered capitol city.
Meanwhile back here at the Ranch in North Tipperary, Labour Minister Mr Alan Kelly has announced, to a fanfare of Ceremonial Elongated Trumpets, the provision of a mere €1.7 million (Compare Dublin funding above,) worth of road maintenance funding for the County of Tipperary.
This funding is to be part of the first ever national ‘Community Involvement Scheme,’ which will see residents work with local authority personnel, to ensure drainage and resurfacing works are carried out on rural Tipperary isolated roads. Residents themselves are expected to contribute directly to the cost of the works, either through personal monetary contribution or through the supply of personal labour or machinery & is being hailed by Allan as a “new and innovative approach to upgrading rural road maintenance here in Co Tipperary.”
Three questions for North Tipperary TD Mr Allan Kelly;
(1) Will Grafton Street traders be involved in a ‘Community Involvement Scheme,’ similar to Co Tipperary? In other words will Richard Guiney, Chief Executive of Dublin City Business Improvement District be lending his valuable time or indeed a JCB digger/excavator, for this worthy urban project?
(2) Is there any chance Tipperary could get a load or two of the red bricks being dug up in Grafton Street, to recycle in our numerous and ever increasing rural Tipperary potholes?
(3) How are rural ‘Household Charges,’ proposed ‘Property Taxes,’ levied here in Tipperary, together with exorbitant Motor Taxation actually going to be used?
A Tipperary couple, Mary and Paddy, were celebrating their 85th birthday. Both born on the same date, they had been happily married for almost sixty years. Though they were far from wealthy, they had managed to survive together, rearing and educating a family of five, by carefully watching every single penny of their income.
* Explanation for those not yet of voting age: I am speaking about an era before the Gilmore & Kenny joint dictatorship’s rise to power. Former was an era when elected TD’s in Tipperary felt they owed some small allegiance to those who had elected them and wouldn’t dream of employing members of their own family, above those more qualified and with better known work skills and ability.
Though old, Mary and Paddy were both in very good health, largely due to Mary’s insistence on a healthy diet and plenty of exercise.
One’s 85th birthday is somewhat of a milestone so they decided to celebrate the occasion with a visit to their married daughter Britney, latter living in New York. (Britney & husband had been forced to emigrate from Ireland recently, mainly due to the failure by Fine Gael & Labour to implement any worthwhile job’s policy. Britney had been further encouraged, to do a runner, after hearing in her local boutique, that Minister Phil Hogan was about to introduce a property & water tax charge.)
Anyway, sad to report, while Mary and Paddy were heading out on this now once in a lifetime vacation, their aeroplane developed engine problems and crashed into the Atlantic ocean, killing all passengers on board and sending them straight to Heaven.
Mary and Paddy reached the pearly gates around 9.30am that morning and St. Peter escorted them inside. He took them to a beautiful mansion, furnished in gold and fine silks, with a fully stocked kitchen, 56 inch flat telly and featuring a waterfall in the master bathroom, latter a fixture to be found in most bathrooms in any ‘non ghost housing estate,’ here in Tipperary.
A housemaid could be seen hovering about hanging their favourite clothes in the walk-in wardrobes. They gasped in utter astonishment when St. Peter said, ‘Welcome to Heaven. This will now be your home for all eternity.’
Of course Paddy’s first question to Peter was understandable, “How much is this all going to cost.”
“Why, nothing,” Peter replied, “Remember, this is your promised reward for being such a good friend & neighbour in your community.‘
Paddy moved to the window and looked outside. Right in full view he saw a championship golf course, finer and more beautiful than any venue ever built on earth. Fearing a catch Paddy asked “What are the greens fees?”
“This is heaven,” St. Peter replied. “You can play for free, every day, no charge whatsoever.”
Hearing this Paddy went out and down to the Clubhouse, where a lavish buffet lunch was being served.
“Don’t even ask me,” said St. Peter to Paddy, “This is Heaven, it is all free for you and your wife Mary to enjoy.”
Paddy looked around and nervously asked St Peter “Well, where are the ‘low fat,’ and ‘low cholesterol,’ foods and the decaffeinated coffee?”
“That’s the best part,” St. Peter replied. “You can eat and drink as much as you like and you will never get fat or sick. This is Heaven I tell you! “
“No gym to work out at then?” said Paddy.
“Not unless you want to,” was Peter’s answer.
“No testing my sugar levels or blood pressure or…”
“Never again,” Peter replied smiling.
Paddy glared at Mary, “You and your Yoghurt and freaking Bran Flakes, sure we could have been here twenty years ago!“
Despite property taxes, threatened water tax, recession, drizzle, hailstones and a temperatures of about 4°C, the world and his mother flocked in their hundreds to view this year’s largest ever Thurles St Patrick’s day parade.
Mitchel House Restaurant got the ball rolling, serving up large portions, free of charge, from a large roasted pig which turned on a spit in the centre of Liberty Square. Latter I hasten to add was quickly consumed faster than the bible’s reported feeding of the five thousand, and all to the wonderful music of Dermot Lyons on accordion.
His Grace, Dr Dermot Clifford, Archbishop of Cashel & Emily, as is customary, got the parade started with a short prayer and so the 2013 Thurles St Patrick’s Parade began.
Former local FG Councillor Mai Quinn took to the microphone, to introduce each of the floats as they passed the reviewing stand.
Partaking in this years parade were the reigning Rose of Thurles, RTE’s Wanderly Wagon (including Godmother & O’Brien. No sign of RTE, they appear not to film outside Dublin City any more, unless we murder someone, which is not a regular occurrence ), TV3′s Vincent Brown (interviewing Ming Flanagan amongst others ), Bo the Ursuline TY student cow, a political remorseful Laurel & Hardy (“Another fine mess we’ve gotten ourselves into!” ), together with numerous schools & business establishments from within the town and from villages on the outer perimeters – just to name a few.
Seven fabulous marching bands also took part including my own personal favourite, The Clonmel Marching Band (Banna Chluain Meala ), latter so disciplined and displaying such perfect co-ordination in their dance movements.
The recent horse meat scandal was a popular theme throughout the parade, which demonstrates Ireland’s ability to laugh at ourselves.
Those pesky maundering Vikings were back, (Brian Boru’s efforts in 1014 seems to have had little effect ), as was a very treacherous looking army legion from ancient Rome, (Silvio Berlusconi was obviously trying to get us onside, amid growing fiscal problems related to the European debt crisis ).
Thurles Camera Club members were also out in force capturing images of this truly enjoyable & very colourful event.
All in all, a fantastic display again this year and congrats go to the organising committee and the work of the many who took part.
Slide show courtesy G.Willoughby.
The website Daft.ie has now launched its own Local Property Tax calculator (Click HERE to estimate property tax payment due.)
All the functions on this property website allows the user to input much more information with regards to their private property than the site recently provided by the Government’s own, dare I say, useless Revenue.ie property valuation guide.
Users can insert their geographical location, the number of bedrooms contained, bathrooms and property description, thus providing a useful tool for home owners wishing to guesstimate a more accurate market value for their property.
Daft.ie state that house owners will get a more accurate estimate by using this website, but warned that it should still only be used as an indicator.
For answers, by Revenue, to ‘Frequently Asked Questions,’ (FAQs) on this soon to be implemented Property Tax, Click HERE.
What most people are blissfully unaware of is the meaning of the word DEFER.
My understanding of this word is that imagine your estimated gross income from all sources does not exceed €15,000 for a single person or €25,000 for a couple during the relevant year (for this year’s Return the relevant year will be 2013), you can choose to defer your full Local Property Tax (LPT) liability. In other words you can opt to pay nothing, based on hardship and inability to pay. However this deferred tax will remains a charge on your property and you will be charged interest on the deferred amounts at a rate of 4% per year.
Let me make it simpler for you, this present government is about to register your property with the equivalent of what is called a “Judgement Mortgage,” latter normally attributed to those who refuse to pay outstanding debt.
Imagine you are an old aged pensioner aged 70 below the stated income for this year and you go to meet your maker aged 75, your son or daughter, whom you may wish to inherit your property, will now be obliged to pay all your outstanding deferred Property Tax, on the sale of this property, at a rate of 4% per year, over the previous 5 years of your deferral, unless the vendors income also is below the same income threshold as the previous owner.
This new property tax now makes us all just mere tenants in our own homes, latter which could be eventually stolen by the Irish State, depending on your personal financial circumstances.
Is it now time to emigrate or perhaps change our present governing body? Come back England all is forgiven.
Regarding the latter, this St Patrick’s weekend might be the perfect opportunity to stage a bloodless coup. Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Jimmy Deenihan, Joan Burton, Minister of State Alan Kelly (North Tipperary) & Richard Bruton will all be in the USA, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore will be in Canada, Leo Varadkar, Michael Ring & Dinny McGinley are touring the British Isles. Michael Noonan is going to France, Pat Rabbitte to Italy, Simon Coveney to the Benelux countries, while Chief Whip Paul Kehoe is going to Germany, and Minister of State John Perry will be heading to Finland and Sweden. Brendan Howlin is going to Singapore, Alan Shatter to Australia and New Zealand, and Minister of State Ciaran Cannon heads for China. Popular Minister Phil Hogan has been asked not to attend official events abroad this St Patrick’s weekend and is therefore expected to return to visit Ireland over this same period.
When the Fine Gael/ Labour led Government took office two years ago, the Ministerial travel for St Patrick’s Day was scaled back to just 8 Ministers and the Taoiseach taking part in March 17th festivities outside the State. This number increased to 16 Ministers and the Taoiseach in 2012. In 2013, 19 Ministers and their Juniors with the Taoiseach will travel overseas to some 21 countries.
My question is, “Who is minding the shop?” Then I suppose it would be different if we were experiencing a recession. Now you understand the meaning of the proverb “The more things change the more they stay the same.” (Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, 1908 – 1990)