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Thurles
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real feel: 22°C
wind speed: 5 m/s S
sunrise: 6:23 am
sunset: 8:45 pm
 

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OPW Heritage Sites Free To Visit

The Swiss Cottage Cahir

Access to most OPW-managed heritage sites will remain free to visit on the first Wednesday of every month, again this year.

Families looking for a cheap day out in areas around Ireland, now have no excuse to remain caged up at home, over the coming weekends, for the duration of the upcoming holiday season.

So if you want to visit the towns of Thurles, Cashel, Cahir, Clonmel, Roscrea, Nenagh, or even further afield, with your family, now is your chance at very reasonable cost for your outing.

Do remember that Tickets are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, and visitors are advised to arrive early to avoid delays at some of the busier sites.

Visit heritageireland.ie for more information.

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Degrees Of Separation – Thurles Railway Station & English House of Parliament

What has Thurles Railway Station, Co. Tipperary and the English Houses of Parliament got in common?

Mr Sancton Wood (1815–1886) was an English architect, born in the London Borough of Hackney. He was the son of Mr John and Mrs Harriet (née Russell) Wood, his mother being a niece of the painter and antiquarian draughtsman, Mr Richard Smirke, (1778–1815).

Back in 1845, the first year of the Great Famine here in Ireland, Mr Sancton Wood won a competition for the designing of Kingsbridge StationA. in Dublin (Built 1846). The competition, commissioned by the Great Southern & Western Railway Company, saw Wood’s designs selected unanimously by the railway company’s London Committee, despite the fact that the Dublin Committee had favoured the design of an Irish architect, Mr John Skipton Mulvany, latter a founder member of the Royal Hibernian Academy of Art, situated in our capital city of Dublin.

A.  Note: Kingsbridge Station in Dublin of course is today called Heuston Station, renamed in honour of Seán Heuston, an executed leader of the 1916 Easter Rising, who had worked in the offices of Kingsbridge Station.

In that same year Mr Sancton Wood was appointed as architect to the Great Southern & Western Railway Company; designing all the railway station buildings between Monasterevin, Co. Kildare (including Thurles Railway Station) and Limerick Junction inc..

All of these station houses, with the exception of Limerick Junction station, are designed in a gabled picturesque Gothic style. Mr Wood also later became an architect to the Irish South Eastern Railway Company, which developed their railway line between Carlow and Kilkenny from 1848-1850. Six years later Mr Woods work, with reference to Ireland, appears to have ceased altogether.

Top Pic.: Thurles in 1846, before the introduction of the Railway in 1847/48.   Middle Pic.: Back entrance view of Thurles railway station.   Bottom Pic.: Front entrance of Thurles railway station.

Architect Mr Sancton Wood – The Early Years

Having developed a taste for drawing, Sancton Wood’s mother arranged to have him admitted to the office of his cousin, Sir Robert Smirke, RA. (Royal Academy), latter then an artist and leading London architect. From here he was transferred to Mr. Sydney Smirke, R.A., who succeeded to his brother’s practice. He remained with Mr Sydney Smirke for several years, working on the drawings of important works; which included sketches of the designs for the rebuilding of the Houses of Parliament, which Sir Robert Smirke had already prepared for Sir Robert Peel’sB. the Prime Minister of the then English Conservative Party government,(1834–35), following a fire on October 16th, 1834.

B. Sir Robert Peel had entered politics in 1809, at the age of just 21 years, as an MP for the Irish rotten borough of Cashel, just 14 miles from Thurles here in Co. Tipperary. The son of a wealthy textile-manufacturer and politician 1st Baronet Sir Robert Peel, would ensure that his son Robert would become Chief Secretary for Ireland and the first future Prime Minister of England, from an industrial business background. With a double first in Classics and Mathematics from Christ Church, Oxford, and law training at Lincoln’s Inn; in 1809 Peel would become known as the father of modern policing, with his forces nicknamed ‘bobbies’ in England and less affectionately known as ‘peelers’ here in Ireland. In 1829, in setting up the principles of policing in a democracy, Peel declared that, quote: “The police are the public and the public are the police.”
It was Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel who first imported, secretly, maize into Ireland for the first time, which due to the lack of knowledge on how to properly cook it; same became known as “Peel’s brimstone”.  His attempt to breech a ‘Laissez-faire
(or ‘Let Do’) system of economics in Ireland, saw him loose out to Lord John Russell as Whig Party Prime Minister in 1846.

Following this Houses of Parliament fireC. the immediate priority for the British government, was to provide accommodation for the next Parliament, and so the ‘Painted Chamber’ (Latter the medieval Palace of Westminster), and the ‘White Chamber’ (Latter the meeting place of the House of Lords from 1801), were both hastily re-roofed and repaired for temporary use by the Houses of Lords and Commons respectively, under the direction of the only remaining architect of the Office of Works, the said same Sir Robert Smirke.

C. Yet, one other famous artist, William Turner RA. [Joseph Mallord William Turner  (1775-1851)], had watched the burning of the House of Lords and Commons in 1834, before painting several canvasses depicting the scene. 

Sir Robert Smirke’s temporary repairs to House of Lords and Commons were demolished in 1851, with the House of Commons deciding in favour of an open competition for the proposed rebuild. Alas, Sir Charles Barry conceived the eventual winning design for the New Houses of Parliament; the construction of which he continued to supervise until his own death in 1860.

Mr Sancton Wood died at his home in Putney Hill, in south-west London, England SW, on April 18th 1886, and is buried in Putney Cemetery.

Today, Thurles Railway Station, which officially opened on March 13th 1848, boasts two through platforms and one terminating platform and remains a major stopping stage on the Dublin-Cork railway line, with numerous trains running hourly in both directions daily. Three times winner of the Irish Rail Best Intercity Station prize, it was also from here that on August 5th 1848  William Smith O’Brien was arrested, following his unsuccessful insurrection in Ballingarry, South Tipperary, known by the British disparagingly as the “Battle of the Widow McCormack Cabbage Patch”.

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Thurles Rail Users To Expect Summer Disruptions

Thurles commuters, who can still afford to use Irish Rail’s Saturday services; delivering its passengers both to and from Heuston station (formerly Kingsbridge Station); are being warned to expect disruption over the coming summer months.

Engineering works are set to get under way between Hazelhatch and Thurles on the Dublin/Cork line, and Irish Rail are asking passengers to check Saturday train times very carefully, before using their service.

Hazelhatch (not a conventional village as such) is an area on the borders of Co. Kildare and South Co. Dublin, located approximately halfway between Celbridge and Newcastle on the R405 regional road map.  (Note: The main Southern and Western Railway to Dublin, from Cork, Limerick, Galway, Ballina etc., passes through Hazelhatch, which was first opened on August 4th 1846.)

Works however will not take place during the month of August or on any Saturdays  concurring with major sports fixtures or concert events.

The services (and Saturdays) which are expected to be affected in the coming weeks:-

  • Cork, Limerick and Tralee (on May 13, May 20, June 3, June 10 & July 1).
  • Dublin Heuston/ Cork services will operate every hour in each direction with altered times, full details of which will be available on irishrail.ie
  • Dublin Heuston/Limerick services will operate every hour, connecting to/from all Heuston/Cork services, at Limerick Junction.
  • Heuston/Tralee services will operate every two hours connecting to/from Dublin Heuston/Cork, at Mallow
  • The 17:05 Dublin Heuston/Cork service will be cancelled; with commuters heading for Tralee being asked to board the 17:05 Heuston/Cork service to change at Mallow.

Irish Rail further confirm that there will be no first-class carriages on the affected Saturdays, and they intend to either offer a new ticket or a refund to persons who have already booked a ticket for a train, and whose departure time has been either changed or cancelled.

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Let There Be No Excitement Please

“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies”.

[Above quote by British publisher & political publicist Sir Ernest John Pickstone Benn.]

Some 1,433 persons left the live register during September 2016, per figures published in a Statistical Release on the 6th of this month, October 2016, by the Central Statistics Office (CSO). Some 649 left the Live Register in North Tipperary, while 784 persons vacated same in South Tipperary.

dole-stats

However, please let all our 1000 (+) daily readers refrain from ‘jumping for joy’, at this time, as no new Foreign Direct Investment or indeed any other sizeable form of decent employment has darkened our borders; despite the promises of the outgoing former Fine Gael / Labour coalition government, prior to the General Election held on February 26th 2016 last.

I am informed by the CSO that this sudden drop in Social Welfare claimants is merely down to normal reductions expected in September figures, brought about by students returning to education, etc.

In the hope of finding out more information on this September statistics reduction, an e-mail query has been forwarded to the Labour Market Section, at labour@cso.ie. Should I receive a reply, you our readers will be first to be informed.

One major tax concession in Tuesday’s ‘non event leaked budget’  is most certainly not expected to permeate the picturesque borders of Co. Tipperary in the immediate future. I refer of course to the concession directed at first-time new house buyers and the tax refund of up to €20,000 on those buying newly built homes, valued at up to €600,000. (Much of this concession paid for out of taxes taken from minimum paid workers who will not ever be able to buy a house.)

To take advantage of this major tax concession of course such young people will first need to hold a job. With 18 to 24-year-olds only getting an additional €2.70 per week, bringing their personal weekly rate of unemployment benefit to €102.70 per week; whatever about our cities, I don’t expect to see a huge surge in newly built houses in Co. Tipperary.

Twenty five year old persons benefited to the tune of €3.80 in their personal rate in Tuesday’s budget, bringing their payments to €127.80. Even twenty-five-year-olds will have difficulty in simply affording /attending a job interview in Dublin, where all the jobs are available; with the cost of a return train fare in excess of €50, (Note Dublin to Thurles, return, presently costs €53).

Perhaps a reduction in builders VAT Rates and a public transport concession for those seeking employment would have been a more appropriate answer to the problems of first time house buyers and major unemployment, latter up 120% over the past 10 years in Co. Tipperary.

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Thurles Rail Disruptions

Irish Rail

Irish Rail

Iarnród Éireann would like to advise their customers that due to essential Engineering Works taking place on Saturday, May 3rd at Lisduff  (between Thurles and Portlaoise), Bus transfers will now operate between Portlaoise and Thurles.

Same will also operate vice versa, for all Cork, Limerick and Kerry services that are operating on this same date.

There will be an additional journey time of approximately 30-45 minutes, due to these necessary bus transfers being implemented.

Iarnród Éireann Irish Rail would like to sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused due to these essential engineering works.

Please note: A May Bank holiday timetable will operate Saturday 3rd to Monday 5th May. Customers are therefore advised to check all timetables before starting their journey.

Please visit their website http://www.irishrail.ie/news/bustransfer or contact their Customer Information Centre, Tel: 1850366222 for further information.

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