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Thurles Administration – Their Fitness To Practise In Question

“If you do not take an interest in the affairs of your government, then you are doomed to live under the rule of fools.” [From a quote attributed to Plato (Greek philosopher).]

A third assessment examining the administration failures in Thurles by Templemore / Thurles Municipal District and Tipperary County Council.

First See Link (A) http://www.thurles.info/2018/07/02/polution-of-river-suir-continues/
Secondly See Link (B)  http://www.thurles.info/2018/07/09/st-patricks-cemetery-gates-reflect-an-image-of-thurles/

“A Question Of Fitness To Practise”
The entrance into any town in Ireland will quickly relay to the average visitor, information not just on the towns prosperity, but more importantly will indicate that this locality is a great place to live; a place to find work, with quality educational facilities; a place to visit and holiday in safety.  All of these signals observed will automatically relay to any visitor the existence of a thriving commercial and business centre.

Current signs displayed on entrance roads leading into Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Spot the 10 year old neglect.

So, let us examine 4 signs currently on view today to visitors entering Thurles, Co. Tipperary, on July 10th 2018.

Picture (1): Welcome To Thurles – Home of Erin Foods
This “Welcome To Thurles – Home of Erin Foods” sign still greets all Tipperary TD’s; Co. Council Elected Representatives and Tipperary Co Council Management as they enter our town.
The Thurles Erin Foods factory closed over 10 years ago, back in June 2008, after 46 years in production; with the loss of 140 jobs. It would have closed earlier were it not for an existing contract that Erin Foods held with the company ‘Batchelors‘ to supply goods and stock for some eight months after the initial purchase. The range of products that was then manufactured in Thurles are, now for the most part I understand, manufactured in British.

No replacement industry was ever found or put in place here in Thurles.

Picture (2): www.thurles.ie
This current sign which remains on view for the website ‘www.thurles.ie’ tells a further tale of the neglect of the town.  Someone in the Templemore/Thurles Municipal District or in Tipperary Co. Council, forgot to pay the annual €9 charge for the host name ‘Thurles.ie’. Same financial reminder would have been sent to the responsible body at least one month in advance and for several weeks after the failure to make payment.

On the March 21st 2017 the unpaid host name was again offered for sale and purchased by a Swedish casino site, Mardukas Technologies Limited, latter who then cybersquatted on the host name informing Thurles visitors that they would “Vi guidar dig till de bästa casinobonusarna” which translated means, “We will guide you to the best casino bonuses.”

Tipperary Co. Council have now regained control of the host name, since the 8th August 2017, but almost one year on in 2018, nothing has been done to put same back on line. We are not aware of how much of tax payer’s money, was wasted in any repurchase arrangements with Mardukas Technologies Limited. We are aware however that the site, together with the build and administration, originally exceeded well over €10,000.

Picture (3): Disc Parking In Operation – (“Buy discs where you see the sign P”)
Today this sign also greets visitors, however if you go looking for to buy Parking Discs where you see the sign P, expect to find details of a hefty fine stuffed behind your front windscreen wiper, when you return.

Disk Parking was introduced here in Thurles some 10 years ago. Certainly, Disc parking was in vogue in 2009, while pay-and-display parking was later introduced possibly in 2010. The Road Traffic Act of 1994: gave local authorities the power to make bye-laws governing the type of paid parking controls to be introduced in their areas. These bye-laws included, disc parking or pay-and-display parking.

Today we operate eParking, a new and improved “Park by Phone” system, introduced across Tipperary including Thurles town. The new car park here in Thurles for example is being funded using tax payer’s money.  Same will then be the subject of eParking or Pay-and-Display parking metres, to be imposed on these same tax payers who paid for its very introduction and development. One wonders who will feature in the picture as the blue ribbon is cut?.

Picture (4): North Tipperary Co. Council – “Working with the Community”.
The biggest joke and final insult to Thurles people, however must be the remaining sign shown as Picture No.4 above.

The website shown here on this sign is www.north tipperary.ie to which Google asks “Did you mean: http://www.southtipperary.ie”, latter in turn which does not exist either and suggests the Homepage of South Tipperary Dementia Project. No HTTP 301 permanent redirect code was inserted here by Tipperary Co Co Web Designers and Administrators.

Gone also is “AERTEL page 622″, with the new RTE Aertel desktop completely revamped several years ago, and without page 622.

As for a commitment to “Working with the Community”, for God’s sake give us a break. Right from the very top level of management, we need sackings here, to ensure that this situation of sheer neglect is no longer allowed to continue; after all we pay the wages.

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Going – Going – Gone, Griffins News Agency, Thurles

Over the past number of weeks a building on the south side of Liberty Square, last known as Griffin’s News-agency and previously, during the 1920’s, Hickey’s pub, has now been demolished to make way for a new car-park entrance,  in an effort to make Thurles town centre more pedestrianised.

The now demolished building did have some small, yet not insignificant history attached, which can be found when reading a statement from the Bureau of Military History, 1913-21 (Document No. W.S. 1454, File No. S.790), by witness James Leahy, Commandant, No. 2 (Mid) Tipperary Brigade, latter born in 1896 in the townsland of Tubberadora, Boherlahan, Cashel, Co. Tipperary.

James Leahy Writes: [Signed 3rd July 1956]

“I returned to business in Thurles early in 1917, and then went to work for Michael (‘Mixey’) O’Connell, as he was popularly called. O’Connell was a prominent Sinn Feiner and Irish Volunteer and his house in later days became the headquarters of the Mid-Tipperary Brigade.

Five masked and armed policemen raided the house of Larry Hickey, publican, Main St., Thurles, when they found the owner in bed. Re was ordered out in his night attire and when he reached the head of the stairs, he was tripped and thrown downstairs by an R.I.C. man named Jackson.

In the fall, Hickey’s neck was broken and he was in great pain at the foot of the stairs, when Sergeant Enright, who was in charge of the raiders, shot him dead, to put an end to his agony. Hickey was a well known republican in Thurles, and a detailed account of his shooting was given to me during the truce period, by Sergeant Enright himself.

While the raid in Hickey’s was in progress, (Night of March 9th 1921) another party of masked policemen visited the home of the Loughnane family in Mitchell St., Thurles, and shot dead in bed William Loughnane. This man along with his father and three brothers were active members of the local I.R.A. company.

On the same night, the Barry homestead in Turtulla (Today Thurles Golf Club), a short distance from Thurles, was entered by R.I.C. men in disguise. They were looking for Denis Regan, a workman and a prominent I.R.A. man. He had hidden in a ‘couchette’ (Latter a box type bed usually found in a house close to an open fireplace, with a lid which closed during the day to become a useful bench or large seat), in the house and when the police could not find him, they ordered Michael Barry to come with them, as they were going to shoot him, instead of Regan.

Barry had no connection with the republican movement and Regan overheard remarks made by the raiders. Rather than see his employer suffer on his account, Regan left his hiding place and gave himself up. Barry was then released while Regan was led into the yard, where the police fired six or eight shots at him. Though very seriously wounded, he survived and is still hale and hearty. (In later years Denis Regan became the hearse driver for the undertaking firm of W. H. Ryan). He (Regan) was treated by his employer’s brother, Dr. Barry, who was then in practice in Thurles and was always ready to answer a call when needed by the I.R.A.

I got a dispatch from the brigade adjutant (1921) requesting me to meet him that night at Larry Hickey’s (Latter later to become Griffin’s Newsagents), in Thurles, as he had some urgent communications to send to G.H.Q. which he wished me to see and sign.

I went on to Thurles, armed with a revolver.  My going off to meet the brigade adjutant very nearly led to my capture and death. I made my way into Larry Hickey’s as arranged and was waiting upstairs for my colleague to put in an appearance, when a scout, who was posted to watch out for enemy raiders, shouted through the letter box of the door that a force of R.I.C. were searching “Mixey” O’Connell’s house next door. I waited for a while, thinking that if they found nobody in O’Connell’s, the police might move off.

Word came after awhile that they had gone. Concluding that O’Connell’s place (next door) might now be safer than Hickey’s, I went out by the back door to get into O’Connell’s back yard. The wall separating the two yards was about 8-feet high and I had my breast just on the top of it when I heard the order “Hands up”.  In the light which was shining on me I could see a figure sitting on top of the wall a few yards away from me. He was a guard whom they had left on the place. As I was leaving Hickey’s the scout, again reporting through the letter box, shouted that the main raiding party was returning. Apparently the man by whom I was now confronted was left to keep an eye on developments at the back. On being challenged I dropped back into Hickey’s and crouching as low as I could, I ran down under the shelter of the wall to the lower end of the yard.

The guard was firing after me. From the corner into which I had crouched I had a clear view of my opponent. I drew my revolver and fired four shots at him. He quickly disappeared from view. Without delaying, I seized my chance and from the yard, ran down the garden (Latter soon to become part of the new car park) and out into the Mall. I went on to Barry’s in Turtulla, where I stayed for the night.

On examining my overcoat, I found that it had been penetrated by shots several times during the brief encounter. Next day, I heard that the policeman involved was wounded by my return fire.”

Folks, do remember the prophesy in the lines from Eric Bogle’s song, “The Band Played Waltzing Matilda” :-
“I see the old men all tired, stiff and sore
Those forgotten heroes from a forgotten war
And the young people ask “What are they marching for?”
And I ask myself the same question.
But the band plays Waltzing Matilda,
And the old men still answer the call,
But year after year, the numbers get fewer
Someday, no one will march there at all. “

So perhaps, while this information is now fresh in our memories, our masters from the Templemore / Thurles Municipal District Council might now unveil a small plaque or stone tablet, to commemorate this piece of Thurles History.

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Mac Donagh Pipe Band To Open Annual Killea “Field Day”

Make the village of  Killea, Templemore, Co. Tipperary you destination on Sunday, June 24th next.

Journalist Tom Ryan reports:

A rural Tipperary village will revive its traditional lifestyle of some 80 years ago, when it takes a step back in time for its 11th annual fun day; in the old -fashioned tradition, on Sunday, June 24th next. It will be officially opened by the Thomas Mac Donagh Pipe Band, from Templemore, starting at 1.30pm.

Children will be admitted free of charge on what should be a colourful day at Killea Sportsfield, latter a nice gesture, indeed, from the organising committee, who are hoping for yet another sunny day for this eagerly awaited annual event, which has gone from strength to strength; sheltering in the shade of the famous 480m high (1575 ft) Bearnan Eile (Translation from the Irish – “Devil’s Bit”) mountain.

Events Taking Place at Killea “Field Day” in Co. Tipperary.

Sean-nós Dancing will feature in this popular “Field Day”, same to be held in conjunction with the hugely popular Margaret O’Sullivan Feile. This old style dance, very popular in the Gaeltachtaí will have seen Tipperary persons; Katie Bourke, Sean Bourke and Tadhg Quinlan, very much to the fore in the GAA’s Scór na bPaisti competitions. Jim Hamill, (Field Day Secretary), stated “The dance requires intricate body movement, using head, hips and hands as well as feet.”

Face painting, Bouncy castles and music will all be “free of charge”, as will entry to a five-aside mini-soccer tournament. A competition will also be held to find the fastest sheep in County Tipperary. Killea will stage a mammoth 30 plus events, to stir nostalgia among older Tipperary people.

A local celebrity will be there to judge the “Elegant Lady”  Competition, to raise cash for local groups; including Killea National School, Killea GAA and the Tidy Villages and graveyard committees.

Other events will include set-dancing, figure-dancing, horseshoe-throwing, pillow fights, skittles, penalty taking, pony rides, stock-judging, sheaf pitching, a tug of war competition, a dog show, darts and a tractor run. Participants in the Co. Tipperary Fleadh Cheoil in Templemore are expected to feature among the many musicians who will entertain those in attendance.

Local GAA personalities, including Tipp Senior Hurling panellist, Tomas Hamill, son of Jim, will be present and perhaps others from outside the village who will be involved in hurling skills events.

There will be a five a side mini-Soccer Tournament for children from local schools in the under 10 and under-13 years age groups. [Maybe Martin O’ Neill might pop in in search of talent for the Republic of Ireland squad and find a future star like Shane Long].

There will be a canteen and shop in operation during the day, with locally baked confectionery, home-made Colcannon and sides of bacon at the barbecue provided.  A local ladies committee here are in charge, and they will have many home-cooked goodies for folks, including pancakes, which are always very popular in Killea.

All the fun of this event will get under way with a tractor run at 11.00am, which will return to Killea Sportsfield. There will be a set-dancing display from the top senior and junior dancers of Killea & district, together with a host of traditional musicians , singers and dancers from various parts of the county, many of whom have won awards, who will entertain from 1.00pm to 6.00pm. Local musicians will also grace the occasion, which should prove most entertaining.

There are a talented 200 member music class in Killea, which ‘Matt The Thresher’ himself would surely have approved, as would indeed Charles J. Kickham, author of “Sliabh na mBan”, latter the Co Tipperary ‘anthem’.

The officers of the organising committee are:-  Chairman – Michael Duff; Secretary – Jim Hamill, & Treasurer – John Fogarty.

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Pres. M.D. Higgins Warmly Welcomed To Cabragh Wetlands

A large crowd turned out on Saturday evening last, May 19th 2018, in Cabragh Wetlands Thurles, to welcome two visiting guests; the President of Ireland, Mr Michael D. Higgins and his wife, Ireland’s First Lady, Mrs Sabina Higgins. President Higgins was visiting to officially open the Trust’s new and recently erected Visitor Centre, situated on the property.

The President and his wife was formally welcomed by Mr Tom Grace (Wetlands Trust Chairperson); Mr Michael Long; Independent TD Deputy Mr Michael Lowry, and Fianna Fáil TD Deputy Mr Jackie Cahill.

The building was officially blessed by the Archbishop of Cashel and Emly, His Grace Kieran O’Reilly, [(SMA) Society of African Missions].

Addressing the assembled gathering President Higgins spoke of global changes seeming overwhelming. “We are now witnessing the most negative manifestations of human influence: the catastrophic effects of climate change produced by the emission of greenhouse gases and changes in land-use, such as the drainage of bogs and wetlands; the alteration of the phosphorus, sulphur, and as we know so well in Ireland, the nitrogen cycles, each one an ecological process vital to life on our planet; disruptions to the terrestrial water cycle, so vital to rain-fed agriculture in a pastoral economy such as our own; and of course, most tragically, the onset of the sixth great mass extinction event in the history of our planet, in which so much biodiversity has already been lost.”

Yet, despite global changes he pointed out that the Wetlands Trust project here in Thurles, was born at a challenging time for the then workforce in Thurles and the beet farming producers of Tipperary when, in 1989, Comhlucht Siúicre Éireann decided to close the sugar factory, which had been “such a fixture of the economic life of the area since 1934”.

Praising the challenges faced and dealt with by the organisation, the President concluded, “This Visitor Centre is a fitting testament to your efforts over the many years. It comes in the midst of our planetary emergency, and is more urgently required than ever before, for it provides us with hope for a better, more socially just and ecologically sustainable future.

May I then pay tribute once again to all those who brought this vision into being, in particular the Chairman of the Trust, Tom Grace, and wish you all the very best in the future”.

The President and his wife were later taken on an educational tour of this very fine local facility.

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Unavoidable Time Change In The Visit By President Higgins To Thurles

We previously stated in a recent news report that our Irish President, Mr Michael D. Higgins would be visiting Thurles on Saturday next, May 19th, 2018.

While the date for his visit, (we are happy to relate), remains as previously stated; due to the unfortunate death of Irish playwright Mr Tom Murphy, the president’s visit has been unavoidably delayed by just some two hours.

As most people are aware President Michael D. Higgins had the great pleasure of presenting Mr Murphy, during his lifetime, with the Aosdána Gold Torc; presented at his home just last year; latter a massive acknowledgement by Mr Murphy’s contemporaries, with regard to his singular and sustained distinction to the arts, as a writer.

The President is now scheduled to arrive at 6.00pm, to Cabragh Wetlands instead of the previously stated 4.00pm time-line, for which the President offers his most sincere apologies.

Cabragh Wetlands Trust, would now ask that all visiting guests on Saturday next, be in place by 5.00pm, one hour before the ceremony.

Note: As already stated, there will be no parking at the Visitor Centre Site, due to outdoor standing space required for visitors and necessary security; however allowances will be made for persons requiring to be dropped at the centre’s main gates, and wardens will direct drivers of vehicles to specially provided car parking areas nearby, latter made available courtesy of obliging local landowners.

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