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
Seamus Healy TD (IND) Tipperary: (Feb 12th, 2015) “In 2013 while 202 new jobs were created 521 IDA jobs were lost in the county (Tipperary). In 2014 only 16 new jobs were provided in North Tipp and 48 in South Tipp. There were 62 job losses giving a net gain of just 2.
Some 78% of all IDA Jobs were provided in Dublin, Cork, and Limerick.
There is no mention of any town in Tipperary or the building of advance factories or office facilities on any of the sites that are available throughout the county, in Tipperary town, Archerstown in Thurles, Lisboney in Nenagh, Benamore at Roscrea, Clonmel, Cashel or Carrick-on-Suir. It is quite obvious that there is no commitment to job creation for County Tipperary through IDA companies into the future.”
Noel Coonan TD (FG) Tipperary: (March 2nd, 2015) “I have contacted the IDA to outline that FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) must be directed to Tipperary.”
Minister Alan Kelly TD (LAB) Tipperary: (March 5th, 2015) “Tipperary Live Register dropped 9.5% in the past year. Thurles Live Register dropped 10.9%.”
Junior Agri Minister Tom Hayes TD (FG) Tipperary: (March 6th, 2015) “Social Welfare offices recorded a decrease in those signing on last month. This is a sign of a return to job creation.”
Delusion – “Serious mental illness called a “psychosis” in which a person cannot tell what is real from what is imagined.“
Delusion can be observed most frequently amongst the ranks of Tipperary politicians, often occurring in a year immediately prior to a General Election. The identified dangers with regard to this mental illness is that it can be spread quickly; contaminating large sections of the normal public known as “The Electorate,” via the use of Facebook and Twitter. This same unsuspecting infected electorate may now without much thought, automatically and without deliberation, rush out on Election Day and re-elect these very same deluded politicians.
Politicians suffering from delusion believe that whoever opposes them is their mortal enemy. Their immediate defence is to become paranoiac and pay little or no attention to the opinions of normal hard-working individuals. These politicians, in the main and by their very nature, are often greedy, hypocritical and display symptoms akin to macho posturing, often failing to observe these latter frowned upon traits within themselves; instead choosing to blame others for the havoc they themselves have successfully fuelled during their previous political careers.
One of the early symptoms of ‘Delusion’ can be quickly identified in most politicians. Most, if not all will be seen to make attractive promises prior to General Elections and then completely fail to implement them, often even denying that these promises were ever made in the first place, especially having achieved election success.
Understanding the ‘mindset’ of a ‘Delusional Politician’.
Seriously folks, take a look at the unemployment figures for Thurles only, shown above, all supplied courtesy of the Central Statistics Office, (CSO). Before you fully examine these above stated, true, unemployment statistics, refresh your memories as to when current reigning Tipperary TD’s first assumed office.
Our story begins with the Irish General Election which took place on Friday, February 25th, 2011. Its objective; to elect 166 Teachtaí Dála (TD’s) across 43 constituencies to Dáil Éireann, latter the lower house of Ireland’s parliament, also known as “The Oireachtas”. The previous Dáil had been dissolved and the 2011 General Election had been called by then President Mrs Mary McAleese on February 1st, at the request of outgoing Taoiseach Mr Brian Cowen. The members of the 31st Dáil chosen by the electorate met on March 9th, 2011 to nominate their Taoiseach Mr Enda Kenny and ratify the Ministers regarded as suitable to let out on their own.
In 2011 unemployment at the end of March 2011, for both North Tipperary (7,466 Unemployed) and South Tipperary (9,320 Unemployed) stood at 16,786 persons, representing all ages and both sexes. During the months June, July and August of 2012, 2013 and 2014 unemployment numbers greatly increased as newly qualified third level students, their education paid for by Irish taxpayers in most cases, entered the work place for the first time, e.g. in the case of Thurles, expanding unemployment figures by some 2-4 hundred individuals each Summer.
As at February 28th, 2015 unemployment here in Co Tipperary, (again according to CSO figures), stood at 14,176 persons, representing all ages and both sexes, e.g. North Tipperary (6,312) and South Tipperary (7,864) representing a drop of 2,808 persons county wide over the previous four year period.
To understand the mindset of Tipperary’s ‘Delusional Politicians,’ all anxious to gain re-election, you must first believe the following:-
(1) No one single unemployed person ever emigrated from Co. Tipperary or that no one single person died over this four year period.
(2) No one single unemployed person entering the workforce ending up on ‘Jobbridge‘ or took unpaid employment on any form of available Internships, thus avoiding inclusion on the Live Register of Unemployed Persons.
(3) You must also believe that Tipperary reigning Government TD’s, e.g. Noel Coonan TD (FG), Alan Kelly TD (Minister of State, LAB) and Tom Hayes TD (Junior Minister, FG) publicly announced 936 jobs each for the county in the past 4 years.
(4) You must not accept that 3.31 people in every 1000 people emigrated from Ireland in 2014. (The population of Ireland in 2014 was approx. 4.788,202 and when calculations are done this indicates that nearly 15,850 people left this country mostly from rural areas in just one year.) If University College Cork is to be believed, some 165,300 Irish people, latter made up of employed, unemployed and part time employed persons, have emigrated from Ireland over the last four to five years, thus clarifying these calculations.
Of course if you can fully accept this aforementioned fiction, chances are that you, over the past four years have also become infected by ‘Political Delusion’ yourself, thus requiring an urgent visit to your doctor /psychiatrist.
Back in 2013, Tipperary had a Commercial Property Vacancy Rate of 11.1%, and by the end of last year this had risen to 11.9%. A new report out this week, as per the latest survey from Geo Directory, shows that over 11% of vacant commercial properties in Tipperary County still remain registered as empty.
Surely it is time for rural midland counties like Tipperary to stand up and be counted.
“Mr Waste lived across the street, right opposite the Slows,
And every weed that ever grew, in his front garden grows.
Bill Waste lost all his lesson books, Moll Waste on hers she scribbled,
And so between the pence and pounds away their money dribbled.
This story is a sad one; the end is as you fear.
Yes the Waste’s are in the Workhouse now, Oh dear, Oh dear, Oh dear.”
With a General Election due before April 2016, the Labour Party (Irish: Páirtí an Lucht Oibre) held their Party Conference this weekend in the INEC Convention Centre in Killarney, Kerry.
Tánaiste Joan Burton of course was in attendance, as indeed was the self confessed Pretender to her leadership, Mr Alan Kelly, latter honoured to have been given a mandate to serve the people of Tipperary.
(Of course one wonders will there be anything left for him to lead after the next election, as Joan slips away, with her pension, into obscurity.) But then as my granny used to say, “Try not to mock the afflicted.”
In her speech the Tánaiste had no new real announcements stored up to report to the ‘great unwashed’. She did vow to bring full employment back to Ireland in three years. “Everyone who wants a job will have one or at least the opportunity to get one, by 2018,” she unconvincingly rattled without stating any proven methodology.
As expected Joan did launch an attack on mischievous militant elements evident during various demonstrations, accusing them of hijacking and bullying at peaceful protests. Nothing like the belt of a burst water balloon upsetting your hair style to implant forever, political memories, as any rowdy schoolboy will confirm.
Continue reading Labour Party Conference Weekend Away 2015