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Tipperary Co. Council – Epitome Of Hypocrisy

Never follow community leaders who are more in love with gaining personal power, than with the people they have promised publicly to support and protect.

Hypocrisy is the skill of creating a false appearance of virtue or goodness, while at the same time concealing real inclinations.

In the case of Thurles Municipal District Council officials; same shaded under the umbrella of Tipperary County Council; hypocrisy is clearly the practice by them of claiming to have higher standards and more noble beliefs, than is truly the case.

Perhaps I should make myself clearer to those whom I accuse of this pretence.

Photograph taken on June 22nd 2020.
Photographer: G.Willoughby

News is slow here in rural Tipperary and Thurles Town presently, mainly because of the Covid-19 virus pandemic and the necessary wise guidelines laid down by our government, regarding public gatherings. Same guidelines, as you will be aware, were recommended by the Department of Health, led by our Chief Medical Officer for the Republic of Ireland, Dr Tony Holohan; all three of whom named have served this country remarkably well over the past number of months.

Here in Thurles the main news story, over the past week, was the removal of dumped rubbish from a back lane at Lisheen Terrace, Mitchel Street, Thurles, by Tipperary County Council.

We understand the local residents of that area, according to Radio and Press reports, are well aware of who is dumping this domestic rubbish. Despite this knowledge, we learn from these reports that the rubbish was removed on Thursday last, June 18th, by Tipperary Co. Council, at considerable expense to local taxpayers. While Tipperary Co. Council are to be commended for their actions in this regard, one must ask the question, will the costs of such action be recovered on behalf of Thurles Town taxpayers?

Please Study the picture above and weep.

Now here is the blatant act of hypocrisy. Imagine for a moment that Tipperary Co. Council identified the culprit/culprits, supposedly known to the local residents. They decide to prosecute through the courts. Could a court convict those accused if the defence provided concrete evidence that Tipperary County Council themselves dump, on a daily basis, their waste and litter into the River Suir via storm drains? Same can be viewed today under the building aptly called ‘The Source’, next to Barry’s Bridge here in the heart of Thurles town.

This is a deliberate act carried out under cover of winter high-water levels. The River Suir is now experiencing low water levels, revealing that the locking device closing one of the storm drains has been removed. This allows rain water containing litter and God only knows what else, to flow freely, unfiltered, into the river Suir, turning it into its current appearance; that of a badly managed slurry pit.

All of this is happening at a time when the so-called Environmental Section of Tipperary Co. Council are paying argumentative individuals, who carry no proper identification, to call to homes, checking if they have recycling bins.
It is also occurring at time when some Thurles elected representatives are delaying the introduction of a Thurles Recycling Centre; latter centres enjoyed by every other large town in Co. Tipperary.


Warning To All Eircom.net Email Users

Warning: No, this is not one of Eir’s little jokes.

Find, hereunder, an email being genuinely circulated by the privatised Eircom Limited, trading as Eir. Note, Eir is currently majority owned by Xavier Niel’s Illiad SA and his Paris based NJJ Telecom Europe investment fund.

Their email reads as follows:

Dear Eircom.net user,
Earlier this year we contacted you to inform you of the introduction of a €5.99 monthly subscription for the use of eircom.net webmail. This monthly subscription will commence from the 1st of July 2020 and will be rolled out to customers on a phased basis. This means you can only sign up once access to your account has been restricted, which will happen between 1st of July and the 15th of July 2020.

Once you sign up you will have access to your new webmail account and will be able to send and receive emails, it may take up to 2 hours for your old emails to migrate across to your new account.

Please note if you are using an email client such as outlook you will need to log in through the eir.ie/email page to sign up to the new service.

If you decide not to avail of the new eircom.net email service you can download your eircom.net email data to your personal storage before the 1st of July 2020, as you will no longer have access to the old service. You will have 60 days to sign up to the new service after the 1st of July 2020 before your email address, account and its data is permanently removed, this step is not reversible once complete.

For more information please visit eir.ie/support/webmail/webmail-frequently-asked-questions

This notice is on top of the 30 and 60 days notice provided earlier this year.

The eir webmail team.

Initially the company had excused this new greedy charge as needed to invest in maintenance and improvement of their service, going forward.

Thurles was one of the towns who in 1997 touted to win the then £15m (Eircom) Information Age Town competition. Looking back, “Thank God we never won it”. Imagine the mess the winners are in today, who were Ennis Co. Clare, in their attempts to amend items like banking and other subscriptions for which they have used Eircom.net email addresses to communicate for some 23 years.

To now charge €71.88 (€5.99 per month) for something that is poor quality and bad value for money, and which in the past was totally free, must surely be the best example of current day big business greed. Most customers here in Co. Tipperary, at least, already pay between €40 and €80 for their internet access package to a company who now openly admit their system needs improvements to their service.

Perhaps this new scenario, justifies fully why the Irish government refused outright to deal with Eir, regarding the much-debated contract for Ireland’s National Broadband planned rollout.

But readers, before you rightly get all hot and bothered, do remember the good news is that there are plenty of superior free alternatives in the marketplace and switching to another free account is basically straight-forward. You will of course need to set up a new free email account, best choice currently being gmail.
You will then have to get your data from your old eircom.net account and inform your contacts/friends that you have changed your email address.

In my own personal dealings with Eir personnel in recent months, I have found them to be possibly the most arrogant mobile and broadband telecommunications company operating in Ireland, with which to do honest business, especially staff in their so called ‘Customer Service Department’.

Eir had confirmed that it would not proceed with plans to charge customers for ‘eircom.net’ email addresses, in light of the current COVID-19 outbreak. It would now appear that the COVID-19 virus as far as Eir is concerned has vanished, and no one has informed residents of Co. Tipperary.


Failte Eolas Cuartaiochta – Welcome Visitor Information

Where exists the Welcome Visitor Information in Thurles?

“A shade of sadness, a blush of shame, over the face of the leader came,”
Extract from the poem “Barbara Frietchie”, by John Greenleaf Whittier .

As people will be fully aware, the Thurles.Info website has in the past; and indeed, is fully committed to the continuation of granting assistance to Thurles Municipal District Councillors; latter persons difficult to predict because of their perverse and self-glorifying comportment.

So, here our elected representatives, are a few thoughts worthy of sharing at the next County Council meeting. Keep in mind that same in turn will give the impression to the Thurles local electorate that councillors are fully awake, when, having reflected, they announce on their facebook accounts, “what they thought they ought to have stated”.

Thurles Tourism

As one of the great unwashed members of this community, I am not sure if the word ‘Tourism‘ ever appears on Co. Council monthly agendas, despite fully committed promises given every five years by Municipal Councillors prior to local elections.

Regardless, we are informed that a minimum of 250,000 visitors come to visit Holy Cross Abbey each year. The now welcome new motorway entry signs, erected last October, (of which Thurles.Info were first to highlight the need), stand clearly visible on the Dublin / Nenagh / Horse & Jockey and Templemore roads, entering into Thurles.

However the Holycross Road, which possibly points most of the few tourists to visit Thurles, in our direction, has been totally overlooked, in favour of signs “Welcome To Thurles Home of Erin Foods”, (Factory Closed some 12 years ago), and requesting that visitors take advantage of ‘Disc Parking’, latter no longer in vogue for many years and which was first introduced by greedy / grabbing Co. Council officials, leading to the total destruction of a prosperous Town Centre, that was Thurles town.

Thurles Town Centre

Talking about Thurles Town Centre and tourism; we note that the filthy dirty Victorian cast iron ‘Welcome Visitor Information’ signs (Irish: Failte Eolas Cuartaiochta) have now been hijacked by “The Source” Theatre, in Cathedral Street, controlled by Tipperary Co. Council.

The signs; one positioned outside of the Ulster Bank building and one more central on Liberty Square, were originally introduced to indicate tourism information, e.g. Lár Na Páirce GAA Museum; Angling; Numerous excellent Sporting facilities, Hotels; B&B’s etc. etc.. Yesterday, January 7th, 2020 same signs displayed ‘Theatre Posters’; programmes dating back to last year, 2019, and a poster by Thurles Chamber, dated prior to March 29th, 2019, latter calling for a Public Rally & Protest March to stop a business from moving their premises in Liberty Square, just 500 meters, to the more profitable area of Thurles Shopping Centre.

Many Thurles people have remarked on the divisions being driven between Liberty Square and Thurles Shopping Centre, latter demonstrated by the failure to provide public Christmas lighting, which should have joined both business communities for the benifit of all. After all, is Christmas not the time to display that kind of love which is devoid of hostility and ill will.

Management at ‘The Source’ Theatre; officials within Thurles Chamber and elected Municipal councillors, should and must now immediately remedy these issues, explaining the reason for their lethargic and lacklustre attitude currently being played out on the ratepaying business people of Thurles.


St. Pat’s Graveyard Gates Returned, Beautifully Restored

Here in Thurles, Co. Tipperary, our St. Patrick’s graveyard gates have been returned, fully restored for Christmas 2019.

Gates Replaced, Superbly Restored.

Over the past number of days, the five entry gates to the cemetery have now been hung back on their respective pillars. Congratulations to those who undertook this physical work; demonstrating true ability and craftsmanship, through their skilled restoration.

Fifty-Eight Years Without A Coat Of Paint.

The issue of the state of these gates was first raised here on Thurles.Info on July 9th, 2018. [Click Here]. The matter was totally ignored for 12 months, despite Tipperary Politicians, Cabinet Ministers and Municipal District Councillors, of all political affiliations, passing through these graveyard portals, several times per week in some cases; in their efforts no doubt to ingratiate and influence their particular political groupings, with the family members of deceased persons being interred.

We realised in April 2019 that local elections were imminent and the double jobbing, Municipal District Councillors, would once again appear on radar, each applying for that attractive little extra bonus of €20,000 per annum, before vanishing yet again into the woodwork, emerging every Monday to spew the party line on TippFm radio.

So, on April 28th, 2019 (almost one year later) we again raised this graveyard gates issue, using the heading “Suitable Doorstep Discourse For Campaigning Thurles Councillors”. (Viewed by some 2,508 silent readers, the composed article also contained video, shown hereunder.)

This latter article [View Here] also laid bare the designated misnomer that Tipperary County Council; under the leadership of Mr Joe MacGrath (Chief Executive), and through its ‘Community and Economic Development Statement’, continued to maintain the widely held false belief that Tipp. Co. Council continually strives to provide a place where its people can enjoy a ‘great quality of life’, ‘Fairness’, ‘Co-Operation’, ‘Communication’, ‘Teamwork’, ‘Partnership’ and ‘Collaboration’.

Three months after the May 2019 local elections; in early August of 2019, the gates were removed for restoration, no doubt by order of red faced officials of Tipperary Co. Council, who charge €90.00 for planning permission to erect your own headstone.

Had even one of our double jobbing, €20,000 extra salaried, disinterested, Municipal District Councillors, or their officials, taken the slightest notice of this project back then last August; a power-hose would have been summoned within the last 4.5 months, to undertake the descaling of the grimy walls. [Watch the slideshow again and weep.]

But not so; this week the gates have now been hung on dirty pillars, attached to walls, solidly engrained by half a century of black mire and moss.
A stagnant 10 years of dead moss and leaf mold, sheltered from the wind piles up on the ground outside the main entrance.
Giant pot holes and muck; same demanding visitors to wear wellingtons, still exists; the holes permanently full of water.
The continuous dumping of weeds, excess gravel, dead flowers and wreaths goes on, without any reduction in intensity; same clearly visible, particularly on the east side.
The unsupported banks of clay remain to erode unto the pathway.
The ivy, with an added two more seasons of growth, further hangs over the exterior graveyard wall, forcing pedestrians, unnecessarily, to walk out, unto a narrow, unlit and dangerous roadway.
We won’t discuss the new carpark and the money wasted. To publically discuss how taxpayers money was spent afterall, outside of Co. Council meetings, could be seen as rather trivial and banal; and should not be overheard by the ears of the great unwashed or the less desireable RTE’s “Prime Time”.

We have listened to councillors “calling” for a Sensory Garden for Thurles in recent months. Thurles already has two Sensory Gardens, [See Here and also Here], we also have a graveyard that is ignored and is a public disgrace, demonstrating utter disrespect to those currently interred.

But worst of all, our community residents have now given up on the idea that they can in some way influence change; hence, for now at least, their continued deep and deathly silence remains deafening.


Too Many Pigs, Not Enough Tits – Abraham Lincoln

“Too Many Pigs, Not Enough Tits to Nurse Them” – Former US President Abraham Lincoln once commented, referring to those who sought highly paid political appointments.

This morning we learned that pay rises, sought by powerless city and county councillors, many of whom ‘double job’, are expected to be recommended to be in the region of an €8,000 increase. However, they will only be allowed if they are backed by wider public sector pay talks in the coming year.

This comes from a background today, where a press poll indicates that only one in five of our elected TD’s know the true value of the current basic minimum wage.

We heard, with some hilarity, councillor representation claiming, in recent months on TippFM radio, that council work involved 24 / 7 dedication.

Mr John Paul Phelan (Minister of State for Local Government) is expected to inform TDs, at an Oireachtas committee meeting this morning, that any future councillor’s pay increases will have to compete with rival public sector demands.

An 18-month Government-commissioned report due to be unveiled next month, is expected to recommend a potential €8,000 increase to councillor’s salaries, latter who receive €17,060 per year, in addition to unvouched expenses of between €2,286 and €2,667, and vouched expenses of up €5,000.

There are currently 949 councillors elected here in Ireland, thus a predicted €8,000 pay increase could cost the taxpayer in excess of €7.5m.

One wonders if one of our Municipal District councillors could arrange to have fixed the two sets of traffic lights currently (and for some weeks), a health and safety issue, at (1) Cathedral Street Thurles and (2) the area close to Semple Stadium.