The community of Bansha, Co Tipperary and those residing in the surrounding hinterland are expected to converge on their local GAA village hall in large numbers tonight, to discuss serious concerns over the imminent departure of their local General Practitioner (GP).
The current GP presiding over the health clinic at Bansha, which has over 2,500 patients, is due to retire in the New Year; however to-date no replacement applications, to take over the duties of this rural vacant practice, have been received by the Health Service Executive (HSE).
The reason for lack of interest by GP’s in applying for this post, is the removal of a ‘Rural Practice Allowance’ by the former failed TD and Health Minister, Mr James O’Reilly. This ‘Rural Practice Allowance’ prior to the ascendency of this government was paid to offset the high costs naturally incurred in attempting to run a rural surgery situated outside of larger urban areas.
We understand that those organising this emergency meeting have been criticised by local TD Mr Tom Hayes, who claimed that the meeting was unnecessary and who also stated that the issue was resolved. We understand this matter in fact, to-date, has not been resolved as per Mr Hayes’ own Facebook, uploaded by him on Nov. 25th 2015 and which states “I will be meeting with the Health Minister Leo Varadkar later today to discuss the current situation in Bansha. I understand there are fears regarding the future of the service, but I am confident that the situation can be resolved.” One cannot help but wonder what kept him from approaching Mr Varadkar prior to Nov. 25th.. Was he not aware of the plight of his local constituents or perhaps he was ill himself and had been forced out of the area and thus out of earshot, while in search of a resident GP in Dublin’s Blackrock Clinic?
However we now understand from locals that Independent TD Mr Michael Lowry has intervened in this most serious of health-care issues and has placed a common sense plan of approach on the table which is currently being carefully examined. While no details of the ‘Lowry Plan’ were forthcoming from his office today, we understand that if his proposals are agreed the ‘Rural Practice Allowance’ may be returned to the areas of not just Bansha, but also to Cappawhite and Glengoole, Co. Tipperary, where similar serious rural GP replacement problems also currently exist.
One must ask the question “What has Co. Tipperary done, to so offend this present Fine Gael / Labour government, which over the last 5 years has done absolutely nothing to support our ailing rural communities, except in the last few days to attempt to steal our ‘Shannon waters’ for an over inflated Dublin economy?”
No offence intended, but are Irish people mathematically illiterate?
“Take care of the pennies, George, and the pounds will take care of themselves”, warned my now late Grandmother, Eliza Jane; using, as only she was wont to do, a well-known pithy saying which acknowledged general basic truth.
Recent happenings in relation to our day to day financial spending now beg the question; “Do our primary schools actually teach basic mathematics to our children anymore?”
So called ‘Copper’ coins holding values of one and two cent are now on their way out in seven EU countries, with Ireland the latest to drop their circulation, using a system known as “Rounding up or Rounding down”.
From the end of last month, (October 2015), our countries retailers are required to ‘Round Up or Down’ to the nearest five cent; in our present governments effort to phased out the daily use of small coinage. Now ask yourself; “Who will most benefit from this decision?” These coins (generally referred to as Coppers), are composed of just copper-covered steel. This ‘glorified shrapnel’ referred to as coinage have been in use since 2002, though some are dated 1999, which is the year the Euro was first created as a currency, but never placed into general circulation.
Some 3 cents in every Irish Euro are now being stolen, yes stolen, from the pockets of consumers by this Irish Fine Gael /Labour led government decision. Same represents €3 in hidden taxation in every €100; the equivalent of €30 in hidden taxation on every €1,000 earned annually.
Based on an unemployed persons income, (under the age of 21), same persons who currently only receives €100 from the Irish State weekly, thanks to the Labour Party; they stand to lose annually, €150. It follows therefore that Old Age Pensioner in receipt of €200 per week now stand to lose some €300 annually. The recent Fine Gael /Labour Vote buying election Budget for 2016, which so generously granted old age pensioners an increase of a meagre €3.00 per week or €3 x 52 weeks = €156 annually, has actually reduced their annual existing pension by some €144 per year. (The imposition of €0.50 cents added to a packet of ‘fags’ had already cost these pensioners some €3.50 per week, based on the purchase of one packet per day.)
So what will this estimated annual €3 million saving, gained by no longer manufacturing these one and two cent coins; not to mention the extra hidden taxation imposed on daily consumers, be used to support? Will it be handed to Irish Water; used to solve issues in Homelessness, Social Housing, Education, Hospital Services, the Nation Debt, or will it go to pay for endless Independent Enquiries, Government Consultants etc.; surely taxpayers are entitled to some basic information from the Minister for Finance, Openness and Transparency, Mr Michael Noonan?
Remember our last efforts in January 2002 to “Round up and Round Down”; when a previous government-made decision to dump the Irish pound, was introduced, to favour the introduction of our present weak Euro, was “Rounded Down”?
Maybe it is now time to update and re-write this age old English proverb to read; “Get rid of your pennies and the government will take care of your pounds.”
Maybe we could have a Referendum and when we agree on a correct wording, if passed, add it into the Irish Constitution to assist government theft into the future.
“You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time”. Quote By Abraham Lincoln
Tipperary Cllr. Mr Michael Smith
OK, so I lead a very sad life some people might say. When most people were enjoying the Rugby World Cup matches today, I was checking the unemployment figures recently published on line.
In the past 30 days 1085 people got jobs in Co. Kerry (In August 12,298 unemployed, compared to September figures of 11,213).
Co. Kilkenny unemployment figures over the same period were reduced by 567, (August 6,149 against September 5,582). Similarly Co. Laois (August 7,568, September 7,096), down 472; Co. Limerick (August 15,444, September 14,344), down 1100; Co. Wicklow (August 10,727, September 9,886), down 841; Co. Offaly (August 7,815, September 7,276), down 539 and Co. Clare (August 7,923, September 7,309), down 506.
But it was when I looked at the Co. Tipperary unemployment figures that my heart missed several beats. You my readers will not believe the following; despite having been in power for over 4 years without creating even one job in Co. Tipperary either North or South; within just the last 30 days our present Fine Gael / Labour partnership / love-nest have created a massive 1,292 new jobs for the Premier County, (632 in N. Tipp and 660 in S. Tipp).
So you don’t believe me! Trust me when I state that a totally independent body like the Central Statistics Office (CSO) does not lie and is not in any way influenced by government. Click HERE for yourselves and check the figures; please highlight the headings ‘Both sexes’ – ‘All Ages’ before choosing the relevant Co. Tipperary Social Welfare Office.
For those of you too lazy to check the figures yourselves, please find same compiled hereunder for your convenience.
North Tipperary and Associated Towns – 2015
–Jan — Feb —- Mar — April — May— June — July—- Aug — Sept ——Town/Region Jobs Created During September 2015
6,312 – 6,237 – 6,139 – 6,030 – 6,199 – 6,462 – 6,601 – 6,475 – 5,843 ——— North Tipperary 632
2,568 –2,497 – 2,465 – 2,446 – 2,529 – 2,635 – 2,658 – 2,589 – 2,371 ————– Nenagh 218
1,166 –1,168 – 1,138 – 1,119 ––1,164 –1,187 —1,246 – 1,213 – 1,059 ————- Roscrea 154
2,578 –2,572 – 2,536 – 2,465 – 2,506 – 2,640 – 2,697 – 2,673 – 2,413 ————– Thurles 260
South Tipperary and Associated Towns – 2015
–Jan — Feb —- Mar — April — May— June — July—- Aug — Sept ——Town/Region Jobs Created During September 2015
7,864 –7,786 – 7,681 – 7,595 – 7,809 – 7,998 – 8,110 – 7,957 – 7,297 ———– South Tipperary 660
1,129 –1,120 – 1,096 – 1,071 – 1,094 – 1,145 – 1,164 – 1,128 —1,038 —————– Cahir 90
1,685 –1,674 – 1,650 – 1,625 – 1,663 –-1,697 – 1,719 – 1,688 – 1,560 ———– Carrick-On-Suir 128
1,060 –1,035 – 1,015 – —998 – 1,017 – 1,025 – 1,063 – 1,035 — 931—————– Cashel 104
2,480 –2,489 – 2,464 – 2,470 – 2,562 –-2,611 – 2,616 – 2,586 – 2,356 ————— Clonmel 230
1,510 – 1,468 –1,456 – 1,431 – 1,473 – 1,520 – 1,548 – 1,520 – 1,412 ———- Tipperary (Town) 108
Total Jobs created in just 30 days 1,292
I phoned some of our Co. Tipperary TD’s and Co. Councillors of all ‘creeds’ today (I didn’t call the ‘untouchable’ Minister Mr Allan Kelly), seeking answers to this amazing turn about in Co. Tipperary’s good fortune, regrettably only one Fianna Fáil Co. Councillor, Mr Michael Smith, had taken out his calculator and was knowledgeable enough to comment.
Mr Michael Smith’s comment to my numerous questions; “Families all over Co. Tipperary have experienced sons and daughters emigrating in an effort to seek employment. Others have remained at home in the hope that the tide would turn for them. Is it possible in the midst of this employment dilemma that the true figures of those unemployed is being manipulated to show a steep rise in jobs over night. If this is ‘a manicuring’ for election purposes this present Government is reaching an all time low in their deception of their electorate?”
So there is a General Election on the way – Why the hell did I not think of that? Oh and please do not tell me my calculator is not working correctly.
Jail terms, ranging from 12 to 20 years, were imposed today on seven Dublin men. All the accused admitted to carrying out an aggravated burglary some two years ago, in November 2013, at the home of Emma and Mark Corcoran and their three young daughters, at Burnchurch, near Killenaule in Co Tipperary.
The seven convictions were handed down today at Clonmel Circuit Court shortly before 12 noon, by Mr Justice Thomas Teehan, who described the effects of the burglary on the Corcoran family as “catastrophic”.
All defendants were in receipt of free legal aid and despite their admission of guilt previously, these men each were represented by a Senior Counsel, a Junior Counsel and a Solicitor representing their cases; all paid for by the Irish State, with costs ultimately being passed on to the Irish taxpayer.
The seven men, who had previously admitted carrying out this aggravated burglary; together with their individual sentences passed down by Mr Justice Thomas Teehan, are named hereunder:-
Michael McDonagh, aged 23, of Tara Lawns, Belcamp Lane, Coolock, Dublin 17, (who was the only defendant with no previous convictions), was sentenced to 12 years, with seven of those years suspended.
Donal O’Hara, aged 22, of Glin Park, Coolock, Dublin 17, who received a sentenced of 12 years, with seven suspended.
Patrick Joyce, aged 23, of Beaumont Hall, Beaumont Woods, Dublin 9, who was given a sentence of 14 years, with four years suspended.
Thomas Flynn, aged 21, of Moatview Avenue, Coolock, Dublin 17, who was sentenced to 12 years, with three years suspended.
John Joyce, aged 21, of Lentisk Lawn, Donaghmede, Dublin, was sentenced to 15 years, with four years suspended.
Patrick Gately, aged 28, of Primrose Grove, Darndale, Dublin 17, was also sentenced to 20 years, with four years suspended for 10 years.
Dean Byrne, aged 22, of Cabra Park, Dublin 17, who was given a sentence of 20 years, with four years suspended, backdated from November 21st 2013.
Also deployed at Clonmel Courthouse were two sections of the Garda Armed Response Unit; together with a number of other Gardaí, all present as an extra security measure.
Following sentencing the seven male defendants were led from the court in handcuffs; showing little remorse, but rather joking and smiling, while one blew kisses at the waiting media.
A statement read on behalf of Mr and Mrs Corcoran, following today’s sentencing, thanked their local community of Burnchurch and Killenaule, Judge Teehan and the efforts of Thurles Gardaí, both during and after the committed aggravated burglary.
The question must now surely be asked “Should known / recognised career criminals be granted full, free Legal Aid; particularly in cases where the offence has been previously admitted?”
Some three attempts to rescue and preserve the 16th Century Archer tomb in Thurles, (Situated on the east side of St. Mary’s graveyard) over the past 12 years, have been met with the reply “Do Not Touch”, by those responsible for preserving our important historical heritage nationally.
Early 16th Century Archer Tomb, found in St Mary’s Graveyard, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.
This unique stone carved tomb, (shown above), once clearly bore the inscription “Here [lies] Edmund [Archer] burgess of Thurles and Lord of Rathfernegh, Galboly, Corbale [and] Killienane who died on the 18th of the month of September in the year 1520. Counuchan caused me to be made”, but alas no more.
This Archer tomb, considered to be from the Ossory school of sculpture, (Same encompasses all sculpture within this region from that time period which was unsigned.) needs to be immediately protected from the elements. There were very few sculptors who signed their work during the 16th century, with the exception possibly of the Kerin School and the O’Tunney School. Today tomb sculpture still remain the richest source of information available for the study of Irish armour and dress. Each sculpture then was a statement of status by the families who once commissioned these monuments.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny, some days ago, spoke of the serious danger posed by the Islamic State group ISIS, with refugees in the Middle East now currently fleeing into Europe. Speaking to eager journalists, Mr Kenny pointed to the growth of the terrorist group in Syria and the global threat war fleeing refugees now pose in relation to the destruction of historical artefacts and century old buildings.
Ardmore Cathedral Co. Waterford
According to confirmed reports, last month these terrorists blew up a historic temple in Syria, destroyed several mausoleums in Afghanistan, sold valued artefacts on the black market, burned books / manuscripts and smashed age old statues. Now according to Mr Kenny they may wish to blow up the Rock of Cashel and Newgrange etc.
Trust me Mr Kenny; while I appreciate your worried sentiments expressed, ISIS has been operating here in Ireland, unseen for decades, in the form of politicians devoid of experience, imagination and competence. Our worries should now be focused on the failure of this nation in the past, led by successive governments, to fund the protection of our valuable existing heritage sites, if for just one reason only the further development of our future tourism business.
Recently I had the privilege of escorting some Canadian visitors on a visit to the 12th century monastic settlement of St. Declán, latter situated in the coastal historic seaside village of Ardmore, Co. Waterford. While examining the magnificent stone carvings to be found on the South ‘lunette’ west face, (‘lunette’ from the French meaning, “little moon,” – a half-moon shaped space, filled with recessed masonry or simply void) of the now ruined Cathedral, one of the group rightfully expressed their shock at our failure to protect our important past history. Today much of the magnificent stone carvings have disappeared, while the still barely visible remaining relief work continues to be eroded annually by nature and the elements.
The present Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, FG’s Ms Heather Humphreys, some months ago announced the provision of an extra €2m; to be taken from her Arts funding, and expended on Museums in Dublin and in Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s birth place of Co. Mayo. The purpose of this extended funding was to ensure that museum attractions in Dublin and Mayo, latter hosting historical artefacts, many of which have been ‘raided Viking style’ from Co. Tipperary, remain to be viewed, admission free, to the benefit of Dublin’s bustling economy.
Time now for those responsible for rural tourism, both in Co. Tipperary and elsewhere, to get their act together to ensure the protection of Ireland’s rural tourist economy, latter worth almost €4 billion annually to the Irish State.
Readers are invited to place the Archer Tomb on their ‘Bucket List’, as by next year yet another piece of this fine rare stone sculpture will have vanished forever, due to the lack of foresight by those we appoint who take on the responsibility of ‘caretakers of history’.