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Tipperary Co Co Win ‘Council of the Year’ Award

The Council of the Year Award 2015 has been won by Tipperary County Council.

Tipperary County Council have deservedly won the ‘Council of the Year’ award at the Local Authority Members Association (LAMA) Community & Council Awards 2015, held in association with IPB Insurance, latter event which took place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Dublin last Saturday night, (24th of January 2015).
Tipp-CoCoPictured above receiving the award on behalf of the overall Tipperary Council Team are M/s Ruth Maher (Project Leader, IT Section, Tipperary Co Co), Cllr John Carroll (Leas Cathaoirleach Tipperary Co Co), Cllr Micheál Anglim (Tipperary Co Co), and Cllr Andy Moloney (Tipperary Co Co), with Mr Ronan Foley (CEO IPB Insurance, Sponsor) and LAMA Chairperson Cllr Mags Murray (Mayor of Fingal Co Co.)

This annual awards event, hosted this year by M/s Miriam O’Callaghan, recognises and celebrates Community and Councils working together and provides a great opportunity to highlight and celebrate the work undertaken within communities, while also rewarding unsung heroes.

This deservedly won award, as expected, was quickly branded in the press and on local radio, by populist negative Tipperary Independent TD Mr Mattie McGrath, as ‘premature’; latter no doubt anxious to associate himself in some degree with this hard won accolade.

Mr McGrath, in his usual negative tirade failed to mention that all the targets set by this new joint Tipperary authority has been achieved; no easy task when attempting to combine North and South Tipperary into one single unit.

While many logistical problems still continue to demand solutions within this latest merger, Tipperary CEO Mr Joe MacGrath and his Council Team must be fully congratulated in their welding together the uncoordinated hallucinations of Mr Phil Hogan, latter the former dictatorial government Minister, whom history and future elections will record as having contributed greatly to the downfall of the present Fine Gael administration.

Meanwhile a Message to Tipperary Independent TD Mr Mattie McGrath.

“Sir, You were one of five apparently powerless elected Tipperary public representatives who attended  at the Horse & Jockey in Co Tipperary on Friday April 25th 2014, for the launch of the “Derrynaflan Trail Tourism Project.” Your attendance was observed by all, as a self promotional long ‘weekend away‘ for Tipperary TD’s, latter whom were originally sent by the counties electorate to represent Tipperary in our National Parliament.

As a Co Tipperary elected representative, please now inform your electorate of your success to-date in changing the current non-lending policies of our Dublin based National Museum and Government, with regard to loaning the Derrynaflan Hoard for three months, to Thurles this year.

Latter Derrynaflan Hoard was taken, without permission or right of ownership, from its rightful home (Co Tipperary), and is now used to attract overseas visitors to Dublin’s already flourishing economy, at the expense of the county you claim to lovingly represent.”

I wonder what day will Vincent Browne be arriving in Thurles for his ‘People’s Debate’

Still today, with the weather so cold, it seems we can relax according to one contributor on Facebook who posted; “Its so cold outside I saw a politician with his hands in his own pockets.” 

I wonder was he wearing his own coat?

Tipperary’s Canon Stephen Neill Relocates His Own Roots

S-Neill

Tipperary’s Canon Stephen Neill with US President Barack Obama.

Church of Ireland Rector, Canon Stephen Neill, the man who confirmed US President Barack Obama’s ancestral roots with Moneygall, has decided to pull up and relocate his own roots.

The 45 year old has announced he is leaving his Cloughjordan and the Borrisokane Group of parishes to become Rector of Celbridge and Straffan with Newcastle–Lyons. His Service of Institution as Incumbent of the latter parishes will take place on Thursday, February 12th, 2015 next at 8.00pm in Christ Church, Celbridge, Co Kildare.

Canon Neill has ministered to Cloughjordan residents for the past seventeen years and as part of his move, he now relinquishes his Church of Ireland “Canon” status; laughingly admitting “I will be getting €50 less a month in salary, so I’m not going for the money.”

In explaining his desire to uproot, Canon Neill explains that he now seeks new challenges and fears becoming “too comfortable,” latter which has caused “an itch that needs to be scratched.”

Canon Neill admits that leaving the Cloughjordan and Borrisokane Group of parishes won’t be easy for himself, or for his wife Nicola and their teenage son Aaron. He feels a sense of guilt and regret walking away, after such a long time, having secured strong bonds of proven loyalty and tested friendships with those within his community; all of whom have stood together with him, through thick and thin.

The Dublin born Canon, who is also Precentor of the joint chapter of St Mary’s Cathedral, Limerick and St Flannan’s Cathedral, Killaloe, made headlines around the world after his research led to the confirmation that US President Barack Obama’s great-great-grandfather Joseph Kearney had been baptised in the parish of Moneygall. Indeed his personal contribution, within the wider midland regions of Ireland to encourage tourism alone, have far surpassed Fáilte Ireland’s derisory attempts at marketing and highlighting this area.

Canon Neill himself is a very keen reader, blogger and writer, contributing opinion pieces on his website and on local and national newspapers. Previously Curate Assistant in Monkstown, Dublin and in Limerick City Parish, he is a committed ecumenist, believing that the future of our Churches is in gaining closer bonds between all Christians of all traditions, while at the same time discovering where God is at work outside the walls of churches.

Rev Ruth Gill, latter who is already familiar with the Cloughjordan & Borrisokane Group of parishes will now serve as interim Priest-In-Charge for the time being.

In a recent Blog Canon Neill wrote:-

“As I write these notes I am conscious that there is still an occasion to come when I will have a chance to say a formal farewell to you my friends in this group of parishes. But for those of you who may not be able to be present may I thank you on behalf of myself, Nicola & Aaron, for the warmth and generosity you have shown us since our arrival in August 1998. It has been a privilege to be your rector and fellow companion on the journey of life. We will always consider this place very special and it is you the parishioners who have made our time here a happy one. We leave with good memories and not a little sadness. May God bless each and every one of you as you have blessed us.”

Moneygall Development Association made a presentation last Monday night in Ollie’s Bar to acknowledge Canon Neill’s contribution to their community; described him as being selfless and having strengthened bonds between faiths which will remain a lasting legacy. Using President Obama’s quote, “We did not come to fear the future. We came here to shape it” the association whole heartedly agreed that Canon Neill’s presence in their community had definitely shaped a brighter future for the area.

North Tipperary’s loss is most definitely a gain for the Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough and so we wish Canon Stephen every success in his new journey and in the words of the old Irish Toast; “May you have warm words on a cool evening, a full moon on a dark night, and a smooth road all the way to your door.”

Tipperary Employment – Lies, Damn Lies And Statistics

“Lies, damned lies, and statistics” is a phrase commonly used to describe the persuasive power of numbers and in particular the use of statistics to bolster the spin of powerless government representatives; in their efforts to support even weaker arguments regarding local employment policies.

The CEO’s Tipperary Live Register series gives a monthly breakdown of the number of people claiming Job-seekers Benefit, Job-seekers Allowance and other Registrants as registered with the Department of Social Protection. Figures like those shown hereunder, are published from each local social welfare office in Tipperary. This same Live Register, for some unknown reason, however is not designed to measure true unemployment figures. It includes part-time workers (those who work up to three days a week), seasonal and casual workers entitled to Job-seekers Benefit. It also does not appear to include Registrant figures for those leaving the Unemployment Register to seek work overseas or Registrants leaving only to re register again at another Social Welfare office as part of their efforts to find employment in our major cities.

North Tipperary Unemployment – Both Sexes – All Ages = 6,271

Nenagh – Both Sexes – All Ages = 2,542, Roscrea – Both Sexes – All Ages = 1,193, Thurles – Both Sexes – All ages = 2,536.

South Tipperary Unemployment – Both Sexes – All Ages = 7,864

Cahir – Both Sexes – All Ages = 1,135, Carrick-On-Suir – Both Sexes – All Ages = 1,699, Cashel – Both Sexes – All Ages = 1,031, Clonmel - Both Sexes – All Ages = 2,478, Tipperary Town – Both Sexes – All Ages = 1,521.

Total Current Unemployed Persons in Co. Tipperary up to and including December 2014 = 14,135

For those of our readers who have been somewhat dubious as to the accuracy of unemployment figures posted here on Thurles.Info and our criticism of local newspapers and websites, who continuously insist on publishing TD’s inaccurate spin, please Click Here and browse the combinations and permutations for yourself.

In the words of award winning columnist Gene Kerrigan (Sunday Independent) “I’m not sure why the media co-operates in this charade – Why do for free, work for which ‘consultants’ are paid enormous amounts?” Journalistic comment in all its forms certainly hit a new low in 2014. Of course the use of the internet and the need to be “first with the news” to generate traffic, has led to a “copy / paste, check and update later” mentality within almost all media sectors.

Look at the recent ‘Press Releases’ posted out by elected North Tipperary TD’s, and published by local media and websites;
(1)“Fine Gael Tipperary TD, Noel Coonan, has congratulated the eight organisations across Tipperary which have been approved for National Lottery funding by the Fine Gael Minister for Children and Youth Affairs James Reilly under the 2014 funding programme.” All hail James Reilly.

(2)“Local TD and Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly has welcomed the announcement by his colleague Kevin Humphreys of an allocation of €483,561 for five Tipperary projects.” All hail Kevin Humphreys.

National Lottery Funding of course comes from the everyday grocery store gambling habits of the tax payer. Proceeds are then collected and distributed at the whim of vote catching elected public representative, who in turn want you to believe this funding is their money, to approve and distribute in omnipotent fashion. Of course for some reason such doled out aid further attests to the belief that these same elected public representatives are the great “sustainers’ of your local universe.”

“We know you all, and will awhile uphold (Until Next Elections) the unyoked humour of your idleness.”

Apologies to William Shakespeare – (Henry IV [part 1])

Derrynaflan

Five powerless elected public representatives. (Four from Tipperary).

The above five senior politicians, Mr M. McGrath, Mr N. Coonan, Mr T. Hayes, Mr J. Deenan & Mr A. Kelly took a long self promotional weekend away from Dail Éireann on Friday April 25th 2014, to appear at the Horse & Jockey in Co Tipperary for the launch of the “Derrynaflan Trail Tourism Project,” but currently remain powerless to control National Museum policy, which could remove up to 300 people from our ever increasing Thurles & Tipperary Unemployment Registers.

Tourism Statistics
Figures released recently, via the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation, indicate that overseas tourists spent just over €3.5 billion in Ireland this year and 7.3 million overseas visitors to Ireland in 2014 represented the highest number in the sector in the past six years. The Confederation also claim that tourism businesses employed in excess of 200,000 people, with 5,000 employees having been added in the past year, and the prospect for a further 8,000 jobs to be generated in our current starting year.

With Tipperary’s recent growing unemployment figures published by the CSO this month and the closure of several well known hotels in this county, it is quite obvious that Tipperary tourism businesses failed to contribute to aiding our counties unemployment during 2014; consequently we have failed as a county to attract and have lost control of our tourism industry due to our failure to demand our fair share of tourism funding.

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Ms Heather Humphreys has recently announced the provision of an extra €2m in Arts funding, to be expended on Museums in Dublin and in Castlebar, Co Mayo, (latter only six minutes normal drive time via the N84 from Derrywash, Islandeady, the renowned birth place of  Taoiseach Enda Kenny). The purpose of this funding has little to do with supporting Arts or Culture, instead it was granted to support yet again the Dublin Tourism Sector.

Continue reading Tipperary Employment – Lies, Damn Lies And Statistics

Death Of Actor Rod Taylor

Rod-Taylor

Late Actor Rod Taylor who visited Thurles in 1978.

It is with a great personal sadness I learned of the death, last Wednesday (7th January 2014), of Australian born actor Mr Rodney Sturt “Rod” Taylor.  Mr Taylor reportedly died aged 84, at his home in Los Angeles, surrounded by loved ones, including his wife Carol Kikumura and his daughter Felicia.

Mr Taylor had appeared in over 50 films and TV series throughout his long career, but was most famous for his role as Mitch Brenner, the love interest of Tippi Hedren in Alfred Hitchcock’s famous film ‘The Birds’.

His first leading role in a feature film was in the 1960’s adaptation of H. G. Well’s novel ‘The Time Machine’ and much later he went on to star as Winston Churchill in Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Inglorious Basterds’, for which he won a ‘Screen Actors Guild Award’ in 2010.  In between he starred alongside Jane Fonda in ‘Sunday in New York,’ John Wayne in ‘The Train Robbers’ and Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in ‘The V.I.P.s’. He was also the voice of ‘Pongo’ in Walt Disney’s animated ‘101 Dalmations’, as well as appearing on TV dramas such ‘The Oregan Trail’, ‘Falcon Crest’, ‘Murder, She Wrote’ and ‘Walker, Texas Ranger’.

Rod Taylor Visits Thurles

I first met Mr Taylor when I was cast as his “Stand-In” for the making of the Irish based film Cry of the Innocent, whose cast also included Ms Joanna Pettet, Nigel Davenport, the late great Cyril Cusack, Walter Gotell, Alexander Knox and Dublin born Tony, Olivier and Jacob’s awards winner Jim Norton, latter who played the roles of ‘Bishop Brennan’ in the sitcom ‘Father Ted,’ and earlier as Chris Cawsey in ‘Straw Dogs’ with Dustin Hoffman, together with ‘Herr Lizst’ in the 2008 popular holocaust film ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’.

Filmed here in Ireland in counties Wicklow, Kildare, Dublin and Kerry, ‘Cry of the Innocent,’ (Originally entitled ‘An Eye for an Eye’) was written by Frederick Forsyth (Screenplay by Sidney Michaels) and was directed by the late Irish born Michael O’Herlihy, who also directed ‘Star Trek’ (1965), ‘Hawaii Five-O’ (1968), ‘M*A*S*H’ (1972) and ‘The A-Team’ (1983).  Incidentally, Michael O’Herlihy once confirmed to me that his wife was a member of the Ryan family, which same family once were the owners of the Brewery Stores here in Cathedral Street, Thurles, Co Tipperary.

In this film Rod Taylor played the character of an American insurance executive who finds himself on a grim mission to track down those responsible for the killing of his wife and two children, following a private plane which crashed and exploded into his holiday home. Also on board this plane was a scientist who was the initial target of the criminals who had engineered this accidental tragedy. The “maguffin” in this script is a secret formula worth untold millions, and aiding Mr Taylor (Playing the character of Steve Donegin) in bringing the murderers to eventual justice, is the investigative journalist Joanna Pettet, (Playing the character of Candia Leighton) who bears a close resemblance to Taylor’s ex-wife Cynthia Donegin; and no wonder, since Joanna Pettet plays both roles in the film. Produced by NBC Film, Tara Films & Tara Productions, this made-for-TV espionage saga premièred on June 19th, 1980.

Prior to the film’s launch Rod Taylor visited Thurles, where we met-up in Hayes Hotel. Mr Taylor’s visit to Thurles had been arranged by the now retired former Tipperary Fianna Fáil Senator Mr Des Hanafin. At this time Senator Hanafin was extremely conscious of the fact that Ireland badly needed to promote its national tourism industry and prospective visitors from abroad needed to be made more aware of Ireland’s picturesque natural landscapes in an era then devoid of today’s easy internet video access.  He, then as chairperson of  the Tara Production Team, latter which included RTE’s Morgan O’Sullivan, director Michael O’Herlihy and writer Frederick Forsyth, had invited Mr Taylor to visit Thurles; not just to promote Ireland through this new film, but also to attract attention in his support for a local Mentally Handicapped charity fund-raiser, to which the Senator was then offering a much needed supporting shoulder.

On arrival to Thurles we met privately in the Commercial Room of Hayes Hotel. It was here I was to discover that for several days Mr Taylor had been suffering from a severe and persistent toothache. Despite it being Sunday, I made a quick phone call to the home of then Thurles Dentist, the late Mr Noel Treacy. Some minutes later Mr Treacy arrived and twenty minutes later Mr Taylor’s tooth problem was solved with Mr Treacy refusing to accept any payment for his work. Mr Taylor later confirmed to me that he had spent several thousand dollars with an American dentist, prior to his trip to Ireland. He was later to leave Thurles admitting he was embarrassed that Noel had refused point blank to accept any payment for what the actor regarded as ‘magnificent dental surgery.

In both professional and social settings, Mr Taylor was always a most charming and humorous individual, displaying a truly rare and amazing acting ability.

Mr Taylor is survived by his wife Carol Kikumura and his daughter Felicia Taylor, latter a former CNN correspondent and only child of the actor.

From the many people of Thurles who chatted with him, in I believe 1978, go sincere condolences to his family and loved ones.

Go ndéana Dia trócaire ar a anam dílis.

Thurles Great-Grandmother/Great-Grandson Team Climb Mount Brandon

o'meara M/s Chrissie O’Meara, Thurles, Co Tipperary together with her great-grandson, Master Josh Hackett, Upperchurch, Thurles, Co Tipperary have become the first known great-grandmother/great-grandson team to climb Mount Brandon (Irish: Cnoc Bréanainn, meaning “Brendan’s hill”), latter a 952 m (3123 ft) high mountain on the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry.

Photograph on left shows Chrissie O’Meara, Thurles with her great-grandson, Josh Hackett, Upperchurch, Thurles taken when accompanied to the summit by Ray Creaney and John G. O’Dwyer of Mid-Tipp Hill Walkers. (Click on image left for greater image magnification.)

In achieving this goal; they also raised €2,700 for the cancer charity “Suir Haven,” here in Thurles.

Latter are now preparing to climb Carrauntoohil together, in a bid to raise financial aid for visually impaired individuals and other charities, as part of the 19th Annual Kerry Challenge in Killarney, beginning March 27th to March 29th 2015.

This latter event, which is open to all comers, is based in the wonderfully scenic Castlerosse Hotel. On offer for this weekend is a choice of fully guided walks including: an ascent of Carrauntoohil for those climbing the mountain for the first time, a circuit of the Gap of Dungloe, an extremely scenic section of the Kerry Way and an easy nature walk in Killarney National Park, with environmental and heritage expert, Mr Jimmy Duggan.

The cost of attending this weekend event is €169.00 per person sharing and includes accommodation and breakfast on Friday and Saturday with gala dinner and entertainment on Saturday evening. The number of places available is limited, but an immediate deposit of €60 will secure your place. You may then raise your subscription through sponsorship, or by personal donation.

Further information is available from Mr Michael Sutton, 17 Willowmere Drive, Thurles, Co Tipperary, Tel: 086 4009989 or by Email: michaelsutton1949@gmail.com.

Details of the full programme of walks is now available & can be found at www.midtipphillwalkers.ie

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