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Thurles
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real feel: -1°C
wind speed: 3 m/s W
sunrise: 8:28 am
sunset: 4:58 pm
 

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Concern Raised Over Thurles Pedestrian Crossing Safety

Serious concerns have been again highlighted this week, in relation to the state of Thurles pedestrian crossing lights; latter situated on Cathedral Street in the town.

Controlled by pedestrians using working ‘placebo buttons’; these pedestrian crossing signal lights were initially erected to indicate and control the movement of both pedestrians and motorists on one of the towns traffic bottlenecks.  However large high sided trucks continuously strike these light standards, thus totally removing the view of indicating signals. The result is that when you are crossing from the St. Patrick’s College side of the street to the Cathedral of The Assumption side; these controlling green and red indicators intended to signal to the pedestrian that it is safe to cross, are to be found facing east, pointing at the motorist instead of the waiting pedestrian.

The absence of this once intended and important safety feature is particularly worrying since same crossing is used by up to 600 high spirited students twice daily, all attempting to connect to public school bus transport, and now unable to judge clearly if they have a right to cross this busy thoroughfare.

One man who has highlighted this important issue is local community activist Mr Tommy Barrett. Mr Barrett spoke to Thurles.Info today, stating; “I am deeply concerned about this regularly occurring situation which has developed on Cathedral Street, in relation to pedestrian crossing lights. The pedestrian red STOP signal is almost permanently turned towards the path of motorists; which from a distance looks to the confused driver like a stop signal for all traffic heading towards Liberty Square. I have reported my concerns and indeed the concerns of the greater public, to Tipperary County Council and Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), asking that this situation be investigated and a longer term future solution found. I now urge those responsible for health and safety, to act immediately on these genuine public concerns. This is a very busy pedestrian crossing with people attending Mass; students going to school; the elderly and parents with young children going shopping and to use our town park, etc. This continuous problem is far from new, and has been ongoing for several years.”

“I think, once and for all, Tipperary County Council need to widen the area between these pedestrian light fixtures. Having failed miserably over the past 11 years to progress the construction of the proposed ‘Thurles Ring Road’, latter required to remove 18-wheeler trucks from thundering through our medieval streets, I now ask that our elected representatives take serious note of this issue and put the necessary pressure on our municipal engineers, to ensure this health and safety issue is rectified before a fatality occurs”, concluded Mr Barrett.

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“Fly Tipping” – An Acceptable Form Of Recycling In Tipperary

Back here in Co. Tipperary, environmentalists have begun their own form of recycling, by “Fly Tipping”, (latter illegally dumping their waste) on a mere 300 metre stretch of the R502 close to Templetuohy village, and on a lesser south facing roadway, known locally as Orchard Cres. (See short Video hereunder).

While photographing the pictures hereunder, I was quickly approached by persons attending a nearby Coursing Meeting.  In case you don’t know, ‘Coursing’ is a dubious game played by grown men, who spend their time pursuing already ensnared, vicious animals, like hares; using greyhounds, the latter who chase these now incarcerated and malicious animals, using great speed, running by sight, and not by scent. While my camera was spotted operating almost one mile away and I was soon quickly interrogated, followed (Silver VW) and questioned as to what was my photographic purpose; not one of “my confronters”, peculiarly, were able to inform me, as to who was destroying their local, rural environment with regular ‘Fly Tipping’.

Tipperary Co. Council have erected plastic sign’s in the area, same nailed directly unto 10-year-old Silver Birch tree saplings; obviously indicating to the viewer that here is a Co. Council who understand, advocate and truly “give a damn” for the protection and preservation of our Tipperary environment.  These sign’s promise that ‘COVERT CCTV’ may be in operation for the purposes of detecting environmental offences; same being about as useful as a red-hot poker, when stuck up a skunk’s behind, in an effort to manufacture creamery butter.

Last January, the European Commission adopted its first ever Europe-wide policy on plastics. Under their plan, it is intended that all plastic packaging used within the EU market place, will become recyclable by 2030. The European Parliament voted for a European Union-wide ban on single-use plastics last October.

Here in Ireland the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment Mr Richard Bruton, has this week, had his picture taken, clutching at a bunch of plastic drinking straws, before stating that all Government departments can no longer purchase single-use plastic cups, straws or cutlery (Knives, Forks, Spoons, and Chopsticks etc); with all public bodies and schools having until March 31st, to implement this EU policy.

Announcing these new EU procedures, Minister Bruton stated that his Irish minority Government almost, two months later, now wants to “lead the way” in showing that it is taking sustainability policies seriously, (Wow, impressive spin and thank God for new EU policy directives. What would our Fine Gael government do all day long were it not for new EU rules and regulations being introduced on their behalf?).

Even the major Supermarket outlets, some 12 months previously here in Ireland, stopped using plastic in their “cotton buds”, but possibly government TD’s and ministers don’t use cotton buds. (This actuality, might account for the fact that they don’t take note or even listen to what their electorate are saying).

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Thurles Liberty Square Redevelopment Project

We read in our local newspaper, “The Tipperary Star”, that our Director of Services Mr Matt Shortt, (Director of Roads, Transportation and Health & Safety), recently informed the members of our local authority that it was the excellence of their presentation and other proposals submitted, which had guaranteed that the Liberty Square redevelopment project received some €1.35 million from “Project Ireland 2040”. This ‘snail paced’ Liberty Square redevelopment project is expected to begin in 2019 or some other year, not far into our misty future.

Alas, unfortunately similar earlier presentations and accepted planning have proven less than excellent when the actual construction work had been finally concluded.

See the junction of the Clongower / Slievenamon Road today, (Pictures 1 & 2 above), then focus on (Picture 3 above) the pedestrian crossing lights outside Thurles Cathedral also today, latter which every three weeks have to be readjusted, due to the actions of large high sided, vehicles knocking against it, in their attempts to pass other oncoming lorries.  [Again, no mention of the long awaited Thurles Ring Road.]

On February 1st 2018, we highlighted the fact that these pedestrian crossing lights were pointed in the wrong direction and did nothing to protect, in particular, elderly pedestrians.

Again, on July 16th 2018, we highlighted the fact that these same pedestrian crossing lights were pointed in the wrong direction. We further pointed out that this same Cathedral Street pedestrian crossing, will see some 1,500 crossings per day, servicing Mass goers, shoppers and secondary school pupils, all of whom currently must remain blind in their efforts to cross a busy Cathedral Street.

It would be interesting to find out, in the interests of “Municipal District transparency”, how much money was wasted on the continuous repair of these same lights, in 2018. Then again people could be undertaking this work for nothing.

This self-congratulatory back slapping in relation to the long-awaited Liberty Square, project, reminds me of a story recounted by a former US president, possibly 38th US President Gerald Rudolph Ford. I may stand corrected, but I believe it was he that requested Canadian-born economist, public official, diplomat, and a leading proponent of 20th-century American liberalism, Mr John Kenneth Galbraith, to write formers upcoming economic ‘State of The Nation’ address. Mr Galbraith turned up sometime later in the oval office and invited the US President, to read his submission.

Always proud of his work, and having been dismissed, Mr Galbraith halted before asking the President as to what he thought of his submitted presentation. The President replied in words to the effect that, “It’s like pissing down your own leg, Mr Galbraith, to you it’s hot”.

Here in Thurles we now wait patiently and watch as the 18-wheeler trucks manoeuvre through our 18 century streets, and once thriving businesses fold their tents and vanish.

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Dáil Éireann Holidays for 2018 – 2019

Dáil Éireann operates today, following exactly in the ancient footsteps of the days when Irish politics was merely the hobby of the English landed gentry class; all who had time on their hands, and sat in parliament only at convenient times which suited its membership.

Today, as in the more recent past, in line with most others of our workforce, Dáil Éireann should be sitting five days a week from Monday to Friday, to accommodate these full-time politicians. Instead it sits only part-time, with its elected membership excessively paid, well over the rate applicable to the vast majority of all other full-time employees.

From sources close to the government, we learn that Fine Gael have agreed with their Fianna Fáil supporters, that there should be no ‘Live Crib’ in Dáil Éireann this Christmas Season 2018.  [Well, to be honest, after their most recent referendum success what parent would trust them with a baby].

On top of all that; we understand from leaks from behind the scenes, that while asses and sheep were everywhere in abundance, not one wise man and not one virgin, could be located anywhere.

Take a look at the allocated holiday schedule 2018 /2019


By the time our elected employees return to Dáil Éireann, (yes, lest we forget, our elected politicians are employees of you the taxpayer), for every other State employee, Christmas 2018 will have been a distant memory, with the pine needles and the withered holly and ivy already disposed of, some 8 days prior to the date they, our  politicians, commence their next stint of three-day weeks.

Therefore, to place things in proper perspective, the average five-day week operative will have his/her thoughts focused on that ‘cocks’ stride’ in improved day lights, while our TDs will still remain celebrating Christmas right up to January 15th, 2019.

Then there is that St. Patrick’s Day break 2019, when politicians finish up their two-day week on March 14th for a twelve-day disruption. In keeping with the criterion set by St. Patrick and further obeying the instructions of Jesus Christ as stated in St. Matthews Gospel, (Chapter 28, verses 16-20); senior and junior ministers head abroad, becoming missionaries, to, “Go (ye) into all the world, to preach the gospel to every creature”.

Then cometh the Easter holidays four weeks later, starting April 19th to May 8th, followed by an eleven-day break, beginning 31st May until 10th June.

Latter break of course gives time to plan the Summer holidays, beginning on July 12th, until the middle of September 2019.

And you were wondering why Mary Newman Julian [Fine Gael] (#MaryForTipperary); Sandra Farrell [Fianna Fáil] and Garret Ahearn [Fine Gael], were using their worker bees to push election pamphlets through Thurles letterboxes.

To be honest folks apart from the €94,535 paid to TD’s; the €94,535 plus an additional salaried allowance of €104,601 to our Taoiseach; and the €94,535 plus an additional salaried allowance of €89,211 to our Tánaiste;  sure wouldn’t the paid holidays alone be enough to tempt anyone to go for the job.

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Anti-Abortion GP’s Walk Out Of Convened EGM

A group of some 50 General Practitioners (GP’s) walked out of an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM), held by the Irish College of General Practitioners today, each furious that their voices have not been heard, prior to the introduction of abortion services, latter due to be introduced in January of next year.  Some 300 doctors were in attendance at the EGM.  The group, understood to be largely made-up of anti-abortion doctors, had wanted to vote on a series of motions, but were refused that right.

(1) An existing fragment of the Hippocratic Oath & (2) Bust drawing of Hippocrates.

As our readers are aware, a General Practitioner led abortion service is expected to be introduced from January 2019, funded by taxpayers, once the legislation is passed in Dáil Éireann.

From January next, patients are most certainly going to be asking their current GP whether or not they support and participate in a General Practitioner led abortion service. Those, like myself, who condemn the introduction of abortion, will most certainly be requesting their medical records and moving on to an anti-abortion GP.  County Councillors, Politicians and their respective Political Parties who were known to support the removal of the 8th Amendment from our Constitution, can also expect to see a reduction in their Dáil membership.

Doctors and the Hippocratic Oath.
To be honest I remain unsure of just how many doctors take the Hippocratic Oath in the Ireland of the 21st century.

Hippocrates of Kos (c. 460 – c. 370 BC), also known as Hippocrates II, was a Greek physician and considered one of the most outstanding figures in the history of medicine. He is often referred to as the “Father of Medicine”, and a physician of experience and common sense, when recognised for his founding of the Hippocratic School of Medicine. This intellectual school revolutionized medicine in ancient Greece, establishing it as a discipline distinct from other occupations, with which it had traditionally been associated, thus establishing medicine as a profession.  By ‘profession’ I mean an occupation or career that demands specialized educational training, unlike Dáil Éireann type politics.

Very little is known about Hippocrates, but he is portrayed as being a paragon of the ancient physician, and credited with having coined the Hippocratic Oath, which is still relevant and in use today. Some 60 medical documents associated with his name, including the famous Hippocratic oath, have survived to this day. The Hippocratic oath, is an ancient code of ethics for doctors, which states:- “I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.

Alas, in current times this oath is valued as more of a historic example of medical ethics and principles, rather than one to be taken completely literally.

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