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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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Grant Aid Of 50% For Thurles Town Enhancement

Tipperary County Council are seeking to improve the street-scape and public demesnes of the towns of Thurles Roscrea and Templemore, through supporting owners of properties by the improving and enhancing of such properties and public areas, via such means as:-
(A) Painting and general improvements to the frontages of Commercial and Residential buildings.
(B) Erection of planters, floral hanging baskets or other deemed necessary, environmental improvements.

Maximum Grant: Up to 50% of the approved cost of the works subject to a maximum of €500.00. Priority will be given to applications for properties that are in need of works in order to prevent them from becoming and or continuing to be display dereliction.
Application Forms: Are available to download from HERE, and any queries can be directed to Ms Louise Ryan, Tipperary County Council, by email at louise.m.ryan@tipperarycoco.ie or by Telephoning 0761 06 6067.

Completed Applications should be clearly marked “Thurles/Templemore Town Enhancement & Painting Scheme 2018” and returned to Ms Deirdre O’Shea, (Acting District Administrator), Tipperary County Council, Templemore /Thurles Municipal District, Castle Avenue, Thurles, Co. Tipperary; to be received no later than 4.30pm on Friday June 1st, 2018.

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Is This What They Label As “Fake News”?

A new €2million initiative has been launched in an effort to boost tourism across ‘Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands’ region, with a promise of further funding to follow this initial €2m allocation.

‘Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands’ is the latest brand to be launched by Fáilte Ireland following their ‘Wild Atlantic Way’ and even less convincing ‘Ireland’s Ancient East’.

This ‘Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands’ promotion will covers parts of Leitrim, Roscommon, East Galway, East Clare, North Tipperary, Offaly, Westmeath, Longford and Cavan.

Same, we are informed will encourage tourism through the promotion of walking, cycling and boating, as well as fishing and other activities in and around towns and villages within the region. A series of food networks and trails will also be developed; with the flood prone River Shannon marketed together with Waterways Ireland to encourage tourism both on and off the river.

Today was obviously a slow news day everywhere; with national and local TV, Radio, Press and social media outlets, all grabbing the “Fake News” for their various publications.

Photo-shopped children appeared; jumping off boats into Lough Allen in one publication; in others a water scape showed a leaking waterlogged boat on a reeded shoreline, and all designed to drive visitor growth across the Midlands region, thus exposing the Midland’s rich natural assets, which includes our God given lakes, walkways and ‘Sunday Blueways’. (They are right in one stated fact; to immerse yourself in the heart of rural Ireland you do need a canoe.)

Is ‘Drive’ the Clue?
Sounds great, but it would appear that Fáilte Ireland’s members; their CEO Mr Paul Kelly and Mr Paul Keeley (Director of Commercial Development), apparently just don’t get “out and about”, much, anymore. While they have been sweating; involved “in months of extensive market testing”; gleaned they claim both from here (I can’t find one person contacted in North Tipperary, in relation to this new branding) and overseas, it would appear that most of the gathered information came from tourists abroad, and from persons who have never driven on Ireland’s secondary road surfaces.

Keep in mind that this new initiative, which has little for North Tipperary natives to get into a bee-like frenzy about, is expected to tap into that “off the beaten track” experience.

But perhaps the biggest chuckle, is that this new ‘Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands’ brand was officially launched by Mr Shane Ross, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport who sped down the M4 & M6 motorways for an announcement ceremony in Athlone, Co. Westmeath. (Home of Mr Kevin “Boxer” Moran).

Latter named Minister of State for the Office of Public Works and Flood Relief, Minister Mr Kevin “Boxer” Moran, who first revealed the name of this new brand as ‘Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands’, declared it to be a beautiful name, which had proven very successful in pre-trials, (Me I would have preferred a more descriptive brand name myself, something like “The Deep Pot Holes, Beyond The Luas Line”

No, Mr Moran and Mr Ross made no mention of structural failures on off-motorway road surfaces, caused by flood water in the underlying soil structures; as they gazed grinning from behind a cardboard cut-out.

Why does my late grandmother’s dissenting description now echo and spring to mind; “Asses looking over a whitewashed wall”.

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2018 Tipperary Rose Is Laura Durkan

Headed For The Dome!

Congratulations to twenty six year old Miss Laura Durkan, a native of Glenconnor, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary.

The lovely Miss Durkan has been selected as the 2018 Tipperary Rose to represent the Premier County, for the coveted title of International Rose of Tralee, at the Rose of Tralee Festival.

Miss Durkan was chosen from some 12 other hopefuls, to represent Co. Tipperary at a special selection event in the Anner Hotel here in Thurles last night, and will now travel to Tralee to represent Tipperary, this coming August.

Rose of Tralee International Festival – 17th to 21st August 2018

The Rose of Tralee International Festival remains one of the largest and longest running festivals in Ireland, celebrating 59 years in 2018. The heart of the festival is the selection of the Rose of Tralee which brings young women of Irish descent from around the world to County Kerry, Ireland, for a global celebration of Irish culture.

The festival will also includes street entertainment, carnival, live concerts, theatre, circus, markets, funfair, fireworks and Rose Parades.

To Miss Durkan go our congratulations and every best wish in this upcoming event.

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