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Thurles Town Centre Being Forced Into Obscurity

Let there be no misunderstanding; yes, it is this editors wish that An Post should remain at its current address at Liberty Square, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

NOTE: You can direct your protest and dissatisfaction; as a Thurles and District consumer, directly to An Post, by clicking HERE.

NOTE: The comment hereunder will possibly offend the reigning Thurles Creeps, the Snake-oil Salesmen and the Spoofers, latter who continue as cheerleaders in Thurles town.

While we accept that our Fine Gael Government; latter strongly supported by Fianna Fáil, are doing their very best to eradicate all persons left living in rural Ireland, no real accusations can be actually levelled against same, with regard to the signalled moving of the ‘An Post’ trading post, from Liberty Square in Thurles, to their proposed new site at Thurles Shopping Centre.

Indeed, little condemnation either can be levelled against An Post, itself, being a business currently struggling to survive in a forgotten rural town, where Snowmen, Santa Clauses, Reindeer, Coloured Electric Light Bulbs and electrified Christmas Crib scenes, dangle across the skyline from overhead wires, almost ten weeks after the Xmas festive event has taken place; blocking last week’s Spring sunshine.

For those not familiar with our Thurles tableau; local people are currently being forced to pay €2.20 for their standard postage stamp, instead of An Post’s normal asking price of €1.00[Yes, it costs €1.20 to park your car in Liberty Square, while you wander off to line up to purchase your bog standard €1.00 stamp, for your under 100g (in weight) letter].

An Post have signalled their intention to reposition their trading post to the Thurles Shopping Centre, just 500 metres away, [0.310686 of a mile], or a mere 6 minute walk, from its current location on the ‘Sunny Side’ of Liberty Square.

Once set up in Thurles Shopping Centre, no longer will the Thurles Traffic Warden have the authority to police hastily parked cars, same found often double-parked, as they deposit their mail in the post box, at the expense of blocking one full lane of traffic.

Here in their new Thurles Shopping Centre premises, for the moment at least, car parking will be totally free, as indeed it will be in Lidl, latter soon to take up residence next door. (See HERE). Here in their new premises, they will be surrounded by a vast variety of retail service providers, instead of the paint flaking empty premises, charity shops, ‘Vapour’ shops, and the ever-growing number of Take-Away providers, latter who now deliver to your home saving our car owners the demanded €1.20 parking fee.

In May of this year, 2019, the local elections are taking place, so it is not surprising that current local councillors and other election seeking hopefuls, are using this distressing scenario to highlight their future financial dream; calling public meetings and displaying their mug-shots on Facebook, signing petitions. We now find ourselves, as a community,‘bolting the barn door after the horse has bolted’ and expect An Post, [latter a state-owned universal postal service, expected to pay wages annually to some 8,000 employees.] to subsidise the few limited remaining shops in our town centre, by remaining in place, unable to progress fruitfully in selling their wares.

The cause of our present plight must land firmly on the doorstep of, firstly, our Tipperary Co. Council; secondly, Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII); thirdly, Templemore / Thurles Municipal District Council; and lastly a silent and weak local Chamber of Commerce.

The whole issue first began with the introduction of Parking Charges [ See also HERE, – HERE, – HERE, – HERE,just a few of the times this website has warned those who would rule over us.], for motorists at the direction of Tipperary Co. Council, latter subject which needs no further debate. Suffice is to state, that motorists were now encouraged to move to the larger Supermarkets, e.g. Lidl, Aldi, Dunnes Stores, and the former Costcutters, all providing free car parking space.

This loss of footfall on the areas of Liberty Square and Friar Street, in the town centre, resulted in small premises closing down, with other more established premises moving out to Thurles Shopping Centre; elsewhere; and to other minor street’s where parking charges currently do not exist. A blind man could see that these actions would now destroy the town centre.

In October 2018, Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), aware of the major traffic problems here with our medieval road structure in Thurles, decided to omit, despite numerous avoidable road deaths; the already identified Thurles Bypass, from their agreed forecast of necessary works, to be undertaken nationally.

When shops move, consumers follow, and here under one roof in Thurles Shopping Centre, no umbrellas or hooded jackets, are needed and here, under this same one roof, An Post no longer will require pensioners and those availing of Social Welfare payments to line up outside in the cold and rain. Thurles Chamber of Commerce supposedly representing store owners, remained deathly silent during this reign of terror on local business; seeing the solution to this exodus, in the provision of prepaid Thurles Chamber Gift Cards, purchased for a minimum of between €15 and €500.

Opposition Politicians and Double jobbing Templemore / Thurles Municipal District Councillors have finally woken up and are now calling for a public meeting on next Thursday evening, March 7th, at 7.30pm in Hayes Hotel, claiming they cannot understand the motives of An Post in abandoning our town centre.  Their confusion is further confounded, when Tipperary Co. Council; funded by local rate payers, are preparing to spend some €8 million Euro to upgrade their immediate area. An Post have obviously gotten totally fed up waiting for this “Liberty Square Rejuvenation” first ( like the National Children’s Hospital ) billed, in March 2015, as costing €3 million Euro and now, four years later, in March 2019, billed at €8 million Euro.

Time now for people with recognised positive business ability and corporate foresight, to put their names forward for Local Municipal Elections, and come next May, rid us of those currently directing our rural community, into obscurity.

You’ll be wondering who the Creeps, the Snake-oil Salesmen and the Spoofers are?  If you bother to attend, you will find them at the top table in Hayes Hotel on Thursday night next, attempting to excuse the inexcusable, which has taken place under their watch, and who will now be demanding that we take similar action as so often requested in the past by the ‘Bully Party’.

As it stands the Liberty Square, An Post premises is expected to close by May of this year with, as already stated, Thurles Shopping Centre to be the new location. Now the spin off’s from this exodus will benefit both the new location and local consumers of An Post products.

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Dr. Michael Harty To Support ‘No Confidence’, Motion In Simon Harris

The Chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Health, Dr. Michael Harty; latter an Independent TD for the County of Clare, has stated he will support a vote of ‘No Confidence’ in respect of Fine Gael Wicklow politician and Minister for Health, Mr Simon Harris.

Infirmary bedstead designed by architect George Wilkinson in 1847, for the Thurles Workhouse.

The ‘No Confidence’, motion in Mr Harris has been proposed by Sinn Fein, following a number of failures in the department, under the governance of Mr Harris, which came fully to a head in recent weeks; most notably the Cervical Cancer scandal and the apparent significant cost overruns cover-up with regards to the construction of the National Children’s Hospital; latter funding for which has now caused delays in promised funding for Limerick University Hospital; same the most overcrowded medical facility in Ireland, servicing North Tipperary.

An angry and disappointed Dr. Harty, summed up his overall feelings describing the decision as; “Shocking news”; “An abysmal failure by government”A dysfunctional health system spiralling out of control; further stated; “It is an indictment of both the Government, the Minister for Health and in particular Fine Gael TD’s in Clare and Limerick, who have failed to ensure that University Hospital Limerick is a properly functioning 21st century health care facility.” 

New would-be Tipperary Fine Gael hopefuls, who sit with their tongues hanging out, in the hope of collecting large salaries and pensions into the future; e.g. Mrs Mary Newman Julian (MaryforTipperary who has set up a promotional stall in Liberty Square, Thurles) and Mr Garret Ahern, would do well to take note.

Dr Harty had previously indicated that he would abstain on the vote of ‘No Confidence’ in Minister Harris, to ensure the government did not fall in the run up to ‘Brexit’. However, the TD now says he has “lost trust in this Minister and this government”.

Interest Note: The now demolished old Thurles Workhouse was erected in 1841-2 on a 6.5-acre site, on the east side of New Street (now Racecourse Road). [For younger readers, same in later years became known as the Hospital of the Assumption].

Erected by architect Mr George Wilkinson, at the request of the then Poor Law Commission, the completed building, designed to accommodate 700 inmates, was based on one of his standard declared building plans for such building, and deemed fit for the reception of all local paupers on 25th April 1842.

Mr Wilkinson’s design for beds in the Thurles Workhouse infirmary and fever hospital in 1847, declared that they should be a minimum of 18 inches (45.72 centimetres), distant between each bed, (Remember the year was 1847).

In 2019, 172 years later, the distance between trolleys on corridors at Limerick University Hospital, are often less than 4 inches (10.16 centimetres) apart, as busy medical staff attempt to treat all attending patients, to the very best of their ability, leaving very little space for themselves to distribute their great and necessary skills.

Apart from our present government doing their very utmost to eradicate people living in rural Ireland, it is also obvious that when it comes to health, the people of North Tipperary are destined to remain in the dark and distant past.

Historians of the future will most surely ponder as to why a supposedly well educated people, residents of North Tipperary, failed to rebel, thus allowing this present calamitous and catastrophic health scenario to transpire.

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Irish TD’s Set To Become Christian Missionaries

“And they’re off “.  No, I’m not preparing a commentary for the next National Hunt race meeting at Thurles Racecourse. I’m referring to the number of politicians due to leave Ireland for countries abroad on St. Patrick’s Day next, March 17th 2019, apparently with the blessing of unconcerned, laid back, Irish tax payers.

As our readers will already be aware Ireland’s politicians are deeply religious and feel duty-bound to travel to foreign places, each year, on a religious pilgrimage, promoting their Christian beliefs, in the name of St. Patrick. Of course the real reason they go abroad is to promote Ireland’s dodgy economy and to get that ‘heroin high’ which comes from watching foreigners bow and scrape, in the mistaken belief that those now found intruding in their country are to be regarded as world class leaders.

Which or ever, alas this so called missionary work will be undertaken without the permission and backing of what a Galway author, (the Late Walter Macken), once referred to as ‘The Silent People’; more often referred to now, since 2008, as ‘The Feckin Rightly Screwed Irish taxpayer’.

So, Who’s Going and to Where

Washington DC – Taoiseach Mr Leo Varadkar (with one other government Minister).
France, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Paris, Berlin, Brussels, Hague – Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr Simon Coveney.
South Africa, Namibia and Botswana – Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Ms Katherine Zappone.
Argentina & Chile – Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Mr Eoghan Murphy.
Spain and Portugal – Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Mr Michael Creed.
United Kingdom – Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure & Reform, Mr Paschal Donohoe.
New York – Minister for Justice and Equality, Mr Charlie Flanagan.
San Francisco, Los Angeles – Minister for Health, Mr Simon Harris.
Italy and Malta – Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Ms Regina Doherty.
Finland and China – Minister for Education and Skills, Mr Joe McHugh.
Cyprus, Lebanon and Jordan – Minister for Defence, Mr Paul Kehoe.
Japan and South Korea – Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Ms Josepha Madigan.
Australia, New Zealand and Singapore – Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Ms Heather Humphreys.
Canada, Toronto and Ottawa – Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Mr Richard Bruton.
United Arab Emirates – Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross.
Denmark and Sweden – Minister of State for European Affairs, Ms Helen McEntee.
Boston and Pennsylvania – Government Chief Whip and Minister of State for Gaeilge, Gaeltacht and the Islands, Mr Seán Kyne.
Austin, Denver and Kansas – Minister for Higher Education Ms Mary Mitchell O’Connor.
Savannah and Atlanta – Minister of State for Equality, Immigration and Integration Mr David Stanton.
Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia – Minister of State for Public Procurement, Open Government and eGovernment, Mr Patrick O’Donovan.
Vancouver, Calgary and Seattle – Minister of State for the Diaspora and Development, Mr Ciaran Cannon
India – Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, Mr Jim Daly.
Australia and Timor Leste – Minister of State for Housing and Urban Development, Mr Damian English.
Mexico and Cuba – Minister of State for Disability Issues, Mr Finian McGrath.
Colombia, Paraguay and Uruguay – Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Mr Pat Breen.
Chicago – Minister for Rural and Community Development, Mr Michael Ring.
Germany and the Netherlands – Minister of State for Financial Services and Insurance, Mr Michael D’Arcy.
France and Luxembourg – Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, Mr John Halligan.
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – Minister of State for Local Government and Electoral Reform, Mr John Paul Phelan.
Slovakia, Austria and Hungary – Minister of State for Health Promotion and the National Drugs Strategy, Ms Catherine Byrne.
Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia – Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture, Mr Andrew Doyle.
Poland and Czech Republic – Minister of State for the Office of Public Works and Flood Relief, Mr Kevin Boxer Moran.
Scotland – Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Mr Brendan Griffin.
Russia – Cathaoirleach of Seanad Éireann, Senator Mr Denis O’Donovan.
Washington – Attorney General, Mr Seamus Woulfe SC, and last but by no means least;
Brazil – Ceann Comhairle of Dáil Éireann, Mr Seán Ó Fearghaíl.

Well at least now we can all sit back and wave them off on their varying difficult missions, in the knowledge that Brexit, due to begin two weeks later, on April Fool’s Day (April 1st), has been properly sorted. So also, the Nurses and Midwives strike with latter having finally agreed to work for nothing. They can sleep soundly, knowing that some 10,000 homeless people back in ‘Paddy’s Land’ now have a roof over their head. Overcrowding at Limerick University Hospital, latter servicing North Tipperary, and other medical establishments, all overcrowding problems have been reconciled to the distant past. The €450,000 to find out why the construction cost of the national children’s hospital spiralled in one year to over €1.4 billion has turned out to be merely a simple multiplication problem and Tipperary town will no longer be disrupting traffic on the N24.

Oops, sorry I must have dozed off there for a wee minute.

Just a Couple of Minor Observations

Until the British finally jumps ship, there remains, falteringly, 28 EU member states – Ireland is only visiting 25 of these countries. It appears Bulgaria, Romania and Greece are not on their targeted list.

Greece: The parliamentary republic of Greece joined the EU in 1981 and Ireland in the past has been less than sympathetic to their then financial plight.  Bailout inspectors are now due back in Greece as of this month and Eurozone Ministers will decide in March whether to grant relief measures to Greece including the pay-out of some of the profits made by the European Central Bank on Greek bonds. This will be worth watching.

Bulgaria and Romania: Bulgaria and Romania were the only two countries that joined the EU in the 2007 enlargement.  Given that Poland, Hungry and some of the other former Yugoslav states (Croatia, Slovenia etc ) are all being visited – leaving Bulgaria and Romania out seems a bit random, especially since lots of Romanians have immigrated to Ireland in the last 20 years. In April 2016 there were 29,186 Romanian nationals resident in Ireland. The Romanian population increased by 69% between 2011 and 2016. With a population growth of 11,882 persons between 2011 and 2016, and the fourth largest non-Irish nationality in this country (according to the CSO); this was the greatest increase in population size seen among all ten non-Irish nationalities profiled. Therefore, to not visit there surely seems odd.

Turkey: While not a member of the EU, Turkey is not being visited. Turkey, with its recent attempted army coup; the murdering of a journalist; silenced media; human rights offences, etc has been trying desperately to get into the EU since 1987. One would have assumed that the peace making attributes of Mr Finian McGrath could surely have been used here, instead of sending him to Mexico and Cuba.

Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein: You have all heard of the European Economic Area that is separate to the EU. It’s an international agreement which allows for the extension of the EU’s single market to non-EU member parties. One would have assumed that a visit there would have benefited, what with Brexit looming.

Israel: Israel must also feel offended having been left out. Here would have been a place to send Senator Frances Black and Mary Lou McDonald, both seeking to halt the sale of oranges and tomatoes being purchased from Israel’s seized Palestinian territories; latter land formerly used to propel Palestinian rockets to terrorize the Israel people. (One now feels we should have rid ourselves of our so-called Upper House, known as Seanad Éireann, when we had the opportunity.)

Switzerland: Switzerland is neither an EU nor an European Economic Area member, but is part of the single market by way of the European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA). So Switzerland must also feel grossly offended.

Philippines: No one is travelling to the Philippines, which seems a gross oversight. Here we have a Catholic country, supplying an overwhelming number of nurses and medical professionals, to work in our hospitals.

Egypt, Nigeria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon: Why are no TD’s travelling there? Generally speaking African countries are poorly represented. I appreciate the issues that come with the continent, but nothing for Egypt or Nigeria! But TD’s are going to the Arab Emirates. It’s about Geo-Politics and you my brothers and sisters are paying their first class travel and hotel expenses.

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Ireland – A Nation Governed By A Confused & Befuddled Minority

Definition of ‘Befuddled’ – A verb meaning; unable to think clearly; stupefied; baffled; jumbled; muddled; perplexed or puzzled.

Ireland, once the home of Saints and Scholars, is truly impressive when it comes to dredging up its unsavoury past; same initially caused by insufficient funding by, firstly England and more recently, with the foundation of the State, Irish Governments, resulting in children in residential homes being severely malnourished.

The ‘Mother & Baby Homes Commission of Investigation’ began a geophysical survey on the site of a children’s burial ground at the former Sean Ross Abbey Mother & Baby Home south of Roscrea town in Co. Tipperary this week.

According to the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Ms Katherine Zappone, this geophysical survey is expected to last for one or possibly more days. Minister ​Zappone also ​confirmed that the Cabinet has granted a further one-year extension to this investigating Commission, before it will publish its final report; latter which will now NOT be due until February 2020, five years after this Commission was first established back in February 2015.

Now, here is where residents of Ireland’s ‘green and pleasant land’ become ‘Befuddled’. Allow me to explain.

The Eighth Amendment of the Constitution Act of 1983 clearly amended the Constitution of Ireland by inserting a subsection, same recognising the equal right to life of a pregnant woman and her unborn child. Previously abortion had been subject to a criminal penalty in Ireland since 1861, and now a new Amendment would be signed into law on October 7th 1983.

Some 35 years later; on May 25th 2018 last, a referendum was passed to remove this constitutional ban on abortion, and after an unsuccessful legal challenge; same became signed into law on September 18th 2018. Today residents in this State can be severely prosecuted for animal cruelty, but no current law exists, whatsoever, with regards to the cruelty to which unborn humans in the womb can be subjected.

So, my question is this; why are we in 2019 dredging up and investigating, for over five years, 18 residential homes, to dig up bodies of deceased babies? Ireland has already agreed that abortion is to become the new contraceptive for Irish men and women, to be paid for by the Irish taxpayer, and baby’s, either dead or alive in the womb, are no longer important in a greedy, materialistic and money-oriented society. Same decree was supported by various Irish politicians, including Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Ms Katherine Zappone.

This dawdled and to my mind, now unnecessary final report, is expected to include details of multiple lines of inquiry relating to different institutions over a period of more than three quarters of a century and will include extensive technical reports prepared in the course of geophysical survey work on the site in Tuam, Co. Galway and burial arrangements at other major institutions. Despite this requested one-year extension, the Commission is still expected to report on the key issue of burial arrangements at all major institutions, by March 15th of this year.

Over one year ago, this same Mother & Baby Homes Commission, stated it could not comprehend how residents of the Bethany Home, had been excluded from the State’s 2002 redress scheme. However, the Irish Government has stated that it could not make a decision on compensating this same, now gradually fading quantity of once Bethany residents, until the commission had delivered its final report on all 18 homes, now under the spotlight.

Bethany Home survivors, (Latter establishment a Protestant religious residential home in Dublin for women who were convicted of petty theft, prostitution, infanticide, as well as for women who were pregnant while outside the bounds of wedlock, and, of course, for those children born to these same unfortunate women). However, Bethany Home survivors understandably allege that they have / are being discriminated against on religious grounds, from the point of view of compensation already handed out to others of the Roman Catholic faith; a charge nevertheless rejected by this present Fine Gael minority government; which have not clearly and adequately explained their justification.

As our government continues to dredge up our unsavoury past, the number of homeless children currently in some parts of the country, in the past year, has more than doubled; continuing to increase with the latest homeless figures indicating some 4,000 children and more than 10,000 persons in all.

Two questions: (1) In 50 to 70 year’s time will an Irish government be reviewing and compensating the present generation of homeless children and surviving family members?
(2) When the cost of the ‘Mother & Baby Homes Commission of Investigation’ is finally totted up, how many houses for the homeless could have been built using this same spend?

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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 (See Link HERE as just one example of what Tipperary Co. Council’s insurance company could justifiably be paying out in the future), 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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