A Welsh steam-engine crossed the Irish Sea yesterday and is to be placed on display in Dublin’s Heuston Station as part of the Gathering Ireland 2013.
The narrow gauge railway engine ‘Princess‘ from the Ffestiniog Railway in Snowdonia was built in 1868, just 30 years after Stephenson’s Rockets and was shipped the 175.4 km to Dublin on board the Stena Adventurer, latter following the Holyhead-Dublin Port route.
The steam-locomotive, one of six remaining out of a total of six built by George England of London, today representing one of the oldest surviving narrow gauge locomotives in the world & which was originally used to haul empty slate wagons between Porthmadog Harbour and the slate-quarrying town of Blaenau Ffestiniog, a distance of some 13.5 miles.
Public Transport Minister & Tipperary TD Mr Alan Kelly has stated that the Princess represents a piece of our transport history that we will rarely see and for rail and history enthusiasts and the general public, it is great that this locomotive has come to Dublin. “It is important we recognise our history of rail travel and this being the year of “The Gathering,” the Princess locomotive is the perfect way to do so,” he stated.
With rail tickets, Thurles to Dublin, costing €46.50 (Day return,), €51.50 (Monthly open return,) or €27.99 (Booked on line,) for a journey distance of 139.05km one way, with passenger usually positioned in a ‘standing only,’ pose for 1.25 hours, it is unlikely many locals will be tempted to take the trip solely, over the six week period this engine will remain on public display.
This is the same powerless Tipperary TD Mr Alan Kelly, who remained silent when asked to locate the Derrynaflan Chalice back to its home town of Thurles, just 152.3km away, claiming deceitfully, through his office, via Tipp FM radio that he received no communications in relation to same.
Meanwhile, in a recent conversation with Tipperary Deputy Noel Coonan, we learn that officialdom in North Tipperary Co Council and in Thurles Town Council, are solely to blame, in that no submission was ever made to the National Museum in relation to Tipperary artefacts, currently financially benefiting our capital city of Dublin, at the Tipperary Taxpayers expense.
Three Questions: (1) Who is paying for this return trip of a train to Snowdonia? (2) How many extra rail fares & jobs would have been generated, by locating the Derrynaflan Chalice back to Thurles? (3) With the Tipperary electorate mad to vote Labour, when is the next local election?
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?
An Bord Pleanála have rejected plans to build a major shopping centre on the site of the old Erin Foods factory here in Thurles.
The original decision to close the Erin Foods Factory came about after a group-wide review by the then parent company, Premier Foods, in November 2007, to consolidate the manufacturing of a number of its key brands. The plant closed the following June with the loss of 95 jobs.
Thurles Town Council had granted initial permission for the planned development on September 13th last year, subject to 19 conditions to the original plans submitted, which related mainly to the size of the property and the required modifications to various road and access routes.
Baycross Developments Limited had put forward the plans for the demolition of the old Erin Foods factory, replacing it with a retail development which had included a Fast Food drive-through outlet, a Supermarket, Restaurant, two ESB Substations, Vehicular and Pedestrian access, a Cycle Track, the provision of two Roundabouts and other associated development works on the Slievenamon Road, Clongour, Thurles Town Parks area of the town.
The initial plans had attracted considerable local opposition from the Thurles’ business community, with concerns that such a large-scale complex proposed, would delete footfall from Liberty Sq, Thurles, with many understandably fearing that this new complex would now destroy the character and commercial activity, once so vibrant in the town centre.
Over a period spanning some 15 years to date, Thurles has lost some 1,700 jobs due to factory and other business closures, with none of these jobs having been replaced to-date .
Two communications sent recently by the tourism group Hidden Tipperary, to the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mr Richard Bruton, in the hope of generating serious debate on the current jobless plight of Thurles, have as yet only received standard token acknowledgements.
Dear Mr Willoughby,
I wish to acknowledge receipt of your email to the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mr Richard Bruton TD.
I will bring your correspondence to the Minister’s attention at the earliest opportunity.
Minister Bruton’s Office.
Meanwhile the decision required to seek the repatriation of the Derrynaflan Hoard back to its home here in Thurles Co.Tipperary, now remains shrouded in secrecy. No information to-date has been made available to the public confirming an earlier communications from Noel Coonan TD, (Dated April 15th. last ) which stated that the matter would be decided by North Tipperary Co Council and Thurles Town Council, following the disclosure of ‘imaginary meetings,’ some two weeks previous.
It would appear, confirmed by local press reports, that our current Tipperary elected representatives are only interested in individual political point scoring, continuous waffling and the further enhancement of a political culture that in no way helps to expand mature public interest amongst their voting public.
This supercilious self-importance must immediately be haulted and remember you the voting public can immobilize this unashamed arrogance, beginning at the next local elections.
Contrary to what the Revenue Commissioners and the “Reckless, Macho and Chaotic,” Environment Minister Phil Hogan has stated, (Latter words are from the lips of Eamon Gilmore and God forbid that I should ever be accused of making such utterances.) it has emerged that only around 25% of home owners have filed their returns for the Local Property Tax (LPT). This is despite having until only close of business today to post the same returns.
Those who opt to file returns ‘Online,’ will still have until May 28th to complete same electronically. However only around 420,000 of the 1.66 million liable households or approximately one in four, have informed Revenue of how much they owe. Many others returns still remain not issued as yet and thousand more households have still to be even identified. Third level students who received incorrect demands and who own no property in the state are unlikely to even bother replying as they head for foreign parts.
Revenue’s Property Tax Manager Vivienne Dempsey, has stated that if the LPT Returns are postmarked ‘Tuesday 7/5/2013,’ Revenue will actually accept the return as having been received on time.
Obviously, from her remarks some of the people that are currently left employed in the Revenue LPT branch, and the 100 extra which are to be employed via the permission granted to break the public sector jobs embargo, together with outside contractors, are to be issued with magnifying glasses, when the problem of badly inked franking machine pads, in rural post offices, raises its ugly head in Limerick tomorrow.
Remember of course that the Revenue public officials requesting these LPT Returns are the same people who benefit from Protected Employment, Generous Sick Leave, Long Service Increments, Guaranteed Pensions and Workplace Flexibility. Together with their Unions and Staff Associations these same persons have clearly demonstrated, in recent weeks, that they, and they alone, and not the present government, actually legislate for these “Three Green Fields,” of this so called free republic, so recently invaded by Germany, in a bloodless coup.
One wonders will these same Senior Revenue Auditors, working on these LPT Returns, now receive the same generous gifts previously doled out, following their hard work investigating the infamous Bogus Non-Resident Account scams some years back. These same generous tax free gifts were given on production of a prepaid receipt for items such as foreign holidays and other trinkets and were ever so quietly palmed into the pockets of these auditors, without the full knowledge and consent of Irish taxpayers.
Bogus Non-Resident Account scams you will remember were promoted by smiling Bank Officials, in order to allow, through non-existent foreign addresses, rich customers to pay no tax, while also permitting Banks to pay low rates of interest on the poor man’s deposit account, and all at the expense of the Irish exchequer and those dependant on its generosity.
What I now fail to understand is how these same smiling, banking Gombeens, (Latter word is a pejorative term used here in Ireland for a shady, small-time “Quick Buck Merchant.” ) then proven to be dishonest through their assistance to customers in evading tax, were never prosecuted, but instead allowed to continue trading as normal, eventually leaving the residents of this country lying face down in the muck, paying tax on home ownership.
As an educated nation we sure have a very short memory.
It has just been announced that more than 807,000 visitors attended the new Titanic centre in Belfast during its first year. The attraction, built at a cost £77 million, overlooks the slipways, where the legendary liner was launched, attracted tourists from some 128 countries worldwide in one year.
Meanwhile the total visitor figures to the 4 sites owned by the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin for 2011 were 1,096,027.
The Dublin Kildare Street Museum houses “The Treasury – Celtic and Early Christian Ireland,” exhibition, a collection of masterpieces from Celtic and Early Christian Ireland, which contains the recently conserved Tipperary owned Faddan More Psalter & the Tipperary owned Derrynaflan Hoard.
These above named two items in this Dublin exhibition, should by now be sitting in the Exhibition Centre at The Source Arts Centre, complex, but alas, due to in fighting amongst local councillors, and helpless Co Councillors & TD’s same remains to the benefit of Dublin’s continuously rising economy.
This Dublin Museum now boasts, at the expense of employment in Thurles, that it has had the 2nd highest tourism figure ever, with an overall 10% increase on the previous year 2011. You do not believe me? Then please CLICK HERE folks.
Thurles – Imagine For Just One Moment
Let us all imagine, for just one moment, that if only one third ( 365,342 visitors ) of the National Museum of Ireland’s visitors arrived in Liberty Square, Thurles, in any one year period, the difference it would make to our rural economy, in relation to full-time & part-time employment. Imagine the increase in revenues that would be returned to this present sleepy government.
A Pinch Of Powdered Rhino Horn Anyone?
Rhino heads and horns worth €500,000 were ‘pinched,’ possibly by an Irish organized crime gang, from the National Museum of Ireland’s warehouse, in Swords, Co Dublin, late on Wednesday night last. The National Museum’s previous excuse, which usually stated that only it had the necessary security to protect our national heritage, has just evaporated. This also now begs the question, why were there any artefacts stored, not being made available for viewing by our visiting guests of the Irish Nation, especially during the year of “The Gathering.”?
In our submission to Minister Jimmy Deenihan some five months ago we stated:
“Finally, we would request the Minister (Jimmy Deenihan) to immediately order a full audit of the National Museum’s present artefacts, with special emphases to be placed on items currently not on display, e.g. Sheela-na-gigs, guns, swords etc, which would further benefit other tourist centres / museums etc. within the Irish mid-lands in particular & which would in turn further encourage / tease visitors to travel …”
It would appear that despite the existence of so many small wonderful museums, right throughout the heartland of Ireland, Dublin has decided that if history cannot be viewed by tourists in “The Pale,” Irish history cannot be viewed at all.
Where now are the Thurles chests, proudly displaying the powerful “Chains of High Office,” & those others claiming to be Community Leaders, when we need them?
Note: According to the Irish Examiner, dated yesterday, employment levels in firms supported by the IDA/Enterprise Ireland (EI) have decreased by more than 19,400, or 6%, to 281,965 in the past five years. Dublin and Cork accounted for three-quarters of all net job increases at IDA companies in 2012. At the same time, Tipperary, Kildare & Leitrim, experienced net losses, yet our County & Town remains silent.