“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.
“Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” Matthew 15:27.
The long promised provision of free GP care for Tipperary residents, aged over 70 years old, will begin from today.
This provision is understood to be the next step towards the present Government’s plans for its long promised Universal Healthcare and follows the recent controversial roll-out of free GP care for all children under 6 years, latter introduced last month.
These new introduced health measures will apply to more 35,000 people nationally who qualify as being 70 years of age and over and who do not currently hold a Medical or GP visiting card.
This new provision is expected to cost the state between €18 and €20 million per year. Same costs are therefore reasonable when taxpayers consider that €1,016,924 (Over One Million) in special allowances, (including €610,763 for public relations) was paid out to cover just 29 Labour /Fine Gael government ministers and TD’s; to boost that little-known ‘Special Secretarial Allowance’ (Click Here – it is a must read) since the General Election of 2011 of which Tipperary TD’s, namely Mr Alan Kelly and Mr Tom Hayes, respectively, gleaned €89,269.00 (A.K. €9,000.00 for IT, Training & Public Relations) plus €18,581.00 (T.H. €7,933.00 for PR), which collectively amounts to €107,850.00, courtesy of Irish citizens generosity.
However on a positive note, both these health moves will be seen as an important step forward in achieving Universal Health Care; with the youngest and oldest in Irish society now able to access GP care without being charged.
Although the scheme will be observed as good news for Ireland’s elderly, those now eligible for free GP care, under this scheme, will not have access to Allied Health Care Professionals, e.g. Public Health Nurses and Physiotherapists.
For those who do not currently hold a Medical or GP visiting card and wish to Register Online click HERE.
Reports indicate that Irish Water will admit today that they have only managed to collect 43% of Irish households billed for water.
The total amount of revenues understood to have been collected by Uisce Éireann (Irish Water) was a mere €30m or just 46% of all revenue due, following the issuing of Ireland’s first quarterly water bills.
The outright defiance of the Irish electorate should now be seen as a grave embarrassment by the present Fine Gael/ Labour coalition government, latter who have continuously denounced and derided all who resisted the introduction of this grossly unfair charge which was first coerced into existence by an inept former Fine Gael TD Mr Phil Hogan.
Despite the forecast by Tipperary TD and Environment Minister Mr Alan Kelly on RTE on “Saturday Night with Miriam”; his quote “The figures when revealed might surprise some people”; these figures today in fact will indicate to the contrary, thus confirming the strong belief that water charges / water taxes have now no democratic credibility or legitimacy.
The majority of Irish people are not just opposed to the privatization of Irish water as a commodity, but by our citizens refusal to pay, the Irish populace have placed massive pressure on the current government to abolish both water charges and the unmitigated debacle that currently is Ireland’s newest water utility company, namely Uisce Éireann.
Some 40 extra Tipperary residents will be able to pay water rates this year, if they can hold out until possibly next October, or so I thought last Wednesday. This was the good news last week, coming in an election year from Thurles Town Criers and Labour Environment Minister Mr Alan Kelly.
The counties ‘paste & copy’ style Radio and Newspaper journalists felt they had a real ‘headline scoop,’ as they lapped up a press release issued by Mr Kelly’s office; “Forty New Jobs for Thurles based Green Energy Company – just the tip of the iceberg.” Environment Minister Kelly was having delusional visions of a return to manufacturing to our mid-Tipp town, claiming that this was a major key to now increasing growth in this forgotten backwater of his constituency.
Tipperary TD’s Noel Coonan (FG) and Michael Lowry (Ind) were not feeling quite so happy. They were remaining silent, yet aware that Bord na Mona’s Littleton peat factory, just a mile or two down the road, were planning to shut down their 24/7 peat production at the end of this month (April), until possibly mid August, leaving some 80 permanent workers on reduced hours and a temporary lay-off.
In an earlier statement unknown to Mr Kelly, Bord na Mona had made it clear that a combination of a mild 2014/15 winter, the exorbitant rise brought about by Carbon Tax and an unusually high demand for cheaper timber fuel products, this season, had led them to drastically reduced sales of their peat products and it was being forced to implemented a ‘lay-off contingency plan’ to deal with this situation.
When questions were raised in Dáil Éireann this week regarding these lay-offs by the normally silent TD’s Coonan and Lowry; our Junior Minister with responsibility for European Affairs Mr Dara Murphy, latter speaking on behalf of Energy Minister Alex White, stated it was not the role of Government to intervene in an ‘operational matter’.
Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD wisely remained silent on both the above Thurles employment issues, after all when the sums are done, 80 jobs lost, minus 40 jobs gained, still means an increase of 40 on the CSO’s unemployment register come May 31st next.
Still I suppose ‘if the worst comes to the worst’ as we say here in Tipperary, sure Jobbridge are always recruiting and sure you can’t pay for water if you have no money; anyway there is always a life in Canada if you have an IEC working holiday visa and a passport.
Liberty Square, Thurles.
Officials inform us that residents and businesses will soon get their final say on the long awaited and planned €3 million revamp of Liberty Square here in Thurles, Co Tipperary.
The already unveiled basic blueprint planned for Liberty Square, was viewed by ‘all and sundry’ last summer, while inviting suggestions from the resident public. Now local officials confirm these plans and all submitted suggestions are ready for final viewing in the weeks ahead, thus allowing for further final discussions.
This planned project to-date involves the removal of car parking facilities, presently restricted to the central median, in favour of off-street car parking behind the south side of the town’s business premises. Some limited, on-street parallel parking will continue, however wider footpaths are en-envisaged, together with 3 courtesy pedestrian crossing.
Tipperary Co. Council have also this month launched a new initiative aimed at rejuvenating businesses in the centre area of Thurles. (This new initiative will also include 8 other towns in the county, e.g. Templemore, Nenagh, Roscrea, Tipperary Town, Cashel, Cahir Carrick-an-Suir and Clonmel.) This newest initiative involves commissioning a ‘Retail Expert’ to work with each town’s stakeholders in the hope of preparing a viable future vision for Co.Tipperary’s main town centres. The council is making €500,000 (county-wide) available for this initiative with the hope of securing additional funding from other external sources.
For Thurles presently this new plan arrives “after the horse has bolted,” coming into being against the difficult backdrop of already trading multiple discounters like Aldi, Lidl and Dunnes Stores, latter who control the entrance to the three main arterial corridors into Thurles.
The arrival of these latter multiple discounters was inevitable and indeed in most cases welcome, especially to those households in receipt of low incomes. However while offering discount pricing, they also offer ‘Free Parking’ to all customers, an option not readily available to shoppers choosing to frequent shops in the Thurles town centre. Other previously established free to use car parking areas like Thurles Railway Station, Hayes Hotel, Costcutters etc., which heretofore provided free car parking space for customers, found themselves also introducing car park charges, latter forced on them to halt non customer parking, latter to avoid paying the local authority enforced charges.
So what solutions will our ‘Retail Expert’ find in relation to these town centre areas and will his €500,000 findings be left to gather dust on some Tipperary Co Council book shelf?
Continue reading Rejuvenating Thurles Town Centre