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Launch Of Lough Derg Nature Trail

Part of Tipperary's Lough Derg shore line.

Tipperary’s Lough Derg shore line.

The new Lough Derg (On the river Shannon) Nature Trail will be officially launched at a seminar being held at The Workhouse Centre in Portumna, County Galway, next Thursday, April 30th .

This event, which takes place from 10.30am to 1.15pm, will feature presentations by Dr. Alan Mee on the ‘White Tailed Sea Eagles on Lough Derg’, consultant ecologist and writer Dr. Janice Fuller on ‘Going Wild on the Lough Derg Nature Trail’, and Lorcán O’Toole of the ‘Golden Eagle Trust’, on the effectiveness of existing tourism policies for rural communities.

A detailed guide to accompany the Nature Trail will also be launched on the day. Cllr. Michael Fitzgerald, Cathaoirleach, Tipperary County Council, Cllr. Mary Hoade, Cathaoirleach, Galway County Council & Cllr. John Crowe, Cathaoirleach, Clare County Council, will be in attendance.

This seminar is hosted by County Councils representing Tipperary, Clare and Galway, as well as the Heritage Council and Lakelands & Inland Waterways, Ireland.

All Ireland Tractor Challenge Set For May 3rd Thurles

Last Sunday saw the official launch of the “All Ireland Tractor Challenge” in the Anner Hotel Dublin Road here in Thurles.

Amongst the many special guests who turned out to lend their support were rugby star Denis Leamy, Tipperary Rose of Tralee finalist Alison Brolan, Pat Carey (Munster Tug-O-War), Tipp FM radio’s ‘Agreport’ presenter Jim Finn and Conor Breen (Agricultural & Plant Equipment, Cashel.)

Click HERE to view video, hereunder, in High Definition.

Last year some 1130 tractors gathered for a similar event at Thurles Racecourse, raising a colossal €40,000 for local charity and this year’s challenge, with your help, is all set to surpass all past targets. In particular, two very worthwhile charities will  benifit from this event this year, namely ‘Suir Haven‘ and ‘C.A.M.E.O. Care‘.

‘Suir Haven’, as everyone knows, under the umbrella of North Tipperary Hospice is one of two cancer support centres which promotes and supports the development of hospice and palliative care in North Tipperary.  The organisation supplies specialised equipment, psychological and social support for patients and their families, often regrettably towards the end stages of life.

‘C.A.M.E.O. Care’ deals with conditions which cause damage to brain function more commonly referred to as Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Much of the care given to people with dementia in the home is provided by the spouse or by adult children. Many of these family ‘Carers’ are often frail and elderly themselves and may not always enjoy good physical health. Older caregivers often become so involved in a caring role that their social connections become reduced to the point that they have very limited contact with the outside world. This service aims to support ‘Carers’ in this arduous and difficult role, by providing a strong prop through, in some cases, a much needed break for those involved as carers.

How Can You Help?

Firstly: Anyone who owns a tractor are being implored to please, please bring same along on Sunday May 3rd 2015 to ‘The Turnpike’ [ Map Ref ], Two-Mile-Borris, Thurles, Co Tipperary.
Secondly: Regardless of whether you own a tractor or not please bring along yourself and all your family to what will be a truly family fun event, with lots of activities to simply observe or indeed in which to partake.
Thirdly: Be part of this initiative yourself and join the many ‘Business Stalls,’ displaying your Goods and Services. For more information on this contact Frank at Tel: 086-8062770 or Donie at Tel: 087-4146897 or indeed Michael at Tel: 087-2712967 before April 19th next.

A massive amount of work is currently being undertaken behind the scenes for this event; under the leadership of  Michael Fahey (Chairman), T.J. Donnelly (Vice Chairman), Chris Verling (Secretary), Frank Nolan (Treasurer) and their truly passionate and dedicated workforce.

Expect more intimate details on this super upcoming event here on Thurles.Info over the coming days and weeks, so do Bookmark us and stay tuned.

National Pilgrim Paths Day Sat April 4th 2015

Thousands of Irish people and overseas visitors are expected to retrace their heritage on National Pilgrim Paths Day April 4th, 2015.

 

Kilcommon Mass Rock

Kilcommon Mass Rock, Thurles, Co Tipperary.

Ireland’s National Pilgrim Paths Day, on April 4th next, is aimed at raising awareness of our country’s wide network of pilgrim routes, while also providing a more general appreciation of our medieval Christian heritage.

To this end on Saturday, April 4th, 2015, large numbers of Irish people and overseas visitors are expected to retrace their ancestral heritage this coming Easter Weekend, as they take to this countries ancient pilgrim paths, to celebrate Ireland’s second ‘National Pilgrim Paths Day’.

This new Easter Festival will see a nationwide series of non-denominational, pilgrim walks taking place on Ireland’s medieval penitential trails. Last year, there were over 1,800 participants for Ireland’s inaugural Pilgrim Paths Day and this year it is expected that the numbers will be even higher.

On Pilgrim Paths Day, events will take place on each of Ireland’s 12 Medieval Pilgrim Paths including 3 pilgrim paths in County Tipperary. They are Kilcommon Pilgrim Loop, (Information, 062 78103), St Declan’s Way (Information, 086 354 1700) and Holycross Pilgrim Path (Information, 087 7962177).

Heritage guides from these communities will lead each event while outlining the story of the route and explaining how medieval penitents coped with their arduous journeys.

There will also be a reflection and thanksgiving at the end of each walk.

For full details of all pilgrim walks nationwide take the time to visit; www. pilgrimpath.ie

Councillors Meet Transport Minister Over Aer Lingus

Mid-WestA delegation of County Councillors, representing Tipperary, Clare and Mayo, met with Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Pascal Donohue, T.D., in Dublin today to express their concerns about the proposed sale of Aer Lingus to IAG.

The meeting was organised by Cllr. John Crowe (FG) (Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council) who was joined in Leinster House by Cllr Michael Fitzgerald (FG) (Cathaoirleach of Tipperary County Council) and Cllr Damien Ryan (FF) (Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council).

While unable to attend this afternoon’s meeting, the Mayors of Limerick, Galway and Kerry have also backed the message delivered to the Minister, latter which outlined that Elected Members in the West rejected any commitment from IAG that does not “explicitly guarantee” Aer Lingus’ long term commitment to services between Shannon Airport and London Heathrow, as well as transatlantic services.

“At today’s meeting we stressed the necessity of securing a 15-year guarantee from IAG in respect of Shannon’s Heathrow slots and service levels as the 5-year guarantee proposed by IAG’s CEO Willie Walsh does not give sufficient confidence to companies seeking to invest in the region and does not assure the connectivity that is required for the West of Ireland. Furthermore, we asked the Minister to also relay to Cabinet that guarantees should be secured in respect of Aer Lingus’ transatlantic services,” said Cllr. Crowe.

“Shannon Airport is thriving again thanks to the efforts of the new management and board in place at Shannon. The retention of existing and development of new Aer Lingus services is central to future growth at Shannon as well as maintaining existing activity and investment in industry and tourism,” he added.

“Minister Donohoe took our concerns on board and pledged to bring them to Cabinet as it discusses its options going forward in respect of the IAG’s bid,” concluded Cllr. Crowe.

Clare First County In Mid-West To Oppose Aer Lingus AIG Bid

Part of Tipperary's Lough Derg shore line. Counties Clare, Limerick and North Tipperary are three counties which, when joined together, make up the ‘Mid-West Region,’ latter which is also known the ‘Shannon Region,’ due to its close proximity and distinctive corridor carved out by the lower River Shannon and its basin.

At a specially convened meeting of Clare County Council this evening, the local authority’s 28 Elected Membership unanimously rejected any commitment from IAG that does not explicitly guarantee Aer Lingus’ long term commitment to services between Shannon Airport and London Heathrow.

This call follows IAG’s statement today that it will keep the Aer Lingus Heathrow slots for Irish routes for at least five years if the company’s proposed takeover is successful.

Clare County Council however, has warned that any guarantee that omits a specific reference to Shannon is “unacceptable” and that the Government should retain its 25.1% shareholding in the airline.

“If IAG chief executive Willie Walsh and his company were truly committed to maintaining and strengthening Aer Lingus then he would already have made clear moves towards appeasing the very real concerns of the people and businesses of the West of Ireland who have contributed to establishing the Shannon-Heathrow route as one of the airline’s flagship services,” said Cllr John Crowe, Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council.

Speaking following this evening’s meeting, Cllr. Crowe confirmed the Members of Clare County Council are now calling on the Taoiseach, Minister for Finance and the Government to “unilaterally oppose” the sale of Aer Lingus and retain its 25.1% shareholding.

Members are also requesting that Aer Lingus management increase connectivity and levels of service to Shannon Airport to “ensure balanced regional development and on commercial grounds to grow market share for Aer Lingus.”

Cllr Crowe said he will be formally writing to An Taoiseach to outline the Council’s concerns, as expressed at this evening’s meeting.

“There is a sense of déjà-vu amongst my colleagues that Aer Lingus, under the guise of IAG, could repeat the woeful decision of the airline to remove Shannon’s Heathrow slots in 2007. It didn’t make commercial sense then nor does it now, but it is clear that IAG are unwilling to guarantee these slots in the future hence our unanimous opposition to the sale of the airline,” stated Councillor Crowe.

“Underpinning the significant developments in improving infrastructure and expanding the tourism and business sectors in the West of Ireland in recent years is proper access to this region. The Shannon-Heathrow link is of absolute critical, strategic importance to maintaining existing development in the industry and tourism area and to position the wider region for further growth and investment into the future.”

“The growth of Shannon Airport since separation from the DAA demonstrates the capacity of management at the airport to achieve future growth. It is critical the airport can continue to operate in an environment which facilitates such growth into the future. Any reduction in connectivity consequent to a sale to IAG would have a serious negative impact,” said Councillor Crowe.

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