Local Weather

real feel: 13°C
wind speed: 2 m/s S
sunrise: 5:30 am
sunset: 9:44 pm


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.


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.


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.


Tipperary Lands On Its Feet Again

Surprise, surprise, Iarnród Éireann (God Bless Them) has discontinued the early morning train service previously operating on the Limerick to Ballybrophy line, as part of their new timetable, despite the government having agreed to boost the funding of our public transport system by an extra €36 million last year, stating then that the extra cash boost was necessary to ensure public transport services remained operational.

Use It or Lose It

This 5.05am Limerick-Dublin service, which stopped in Nenagh at 06.04am, Cloughjordan at 06.23am and Roscrea at 06.43am, has now been terminated together with the 16.05pm Limerick to Ballybrophy and 18.20pm Ballybrophy to Limerick via Nenagh services. This move by Irish Rail now reduces the number of Nenagh to Dublin via Ballybrophy train alternatives, to just two services each way per day.

Local campaigners had called on all would-be commuters to “Use It or Lose It,” when the early morning service was first introduced in March of last year, however the service, which  according to Irish Rail cost some €1,000 per day to operate, failed, (due to commuters failing to get out of bed at 4.00am,) to attract sufficient users and has now therefore been withdrawn. Local campaigners blame unacceptable delays and an unworkable timetable, which set impracticable targets, as the main reasons for this failure & thus termination of the service.

“Gateways to Ireland,” Continue To Benefit From Tipperary Taxes

A €3.7m funding package has been announced to improve transport links in and around Galway city. This funding will be spent on walking, cycling and public transport links for the city’s commuters. North Tipperary Junior Transport Minister Alan Kelly states that €1m will be spent on a redesign of the city’s train station with a pedestrian link to the coach station. Bus and cycle lane demand will be now assessed and the possibility of developing a “Greenway,” will also be fully examined.

Remember the recently introduced Leap Card or integrated ticket system solely for Dublin based commuters & which cost at least €55 million of taxpayers money to produce?  Surprise, surprise again, Dublin children can now travel for free on the LUAS at weekends during February, March and April of this year, it has been announced yesterday. This latest generous offer, which has just been announced by the National Transport Authority and LUAS management, allows adults with valid tickets to bring up to two children under the age of 16 on this tramway with them. We are told that this new initiative is one of a number of transport fare initiatives being rolled out for Dublin during 2013.

This initiative will also of course apply to LUAS lines here in Thurles, oh yes, pardon me, I forgot, we do not have a tram service in Thurles as yet, cancelled mainly due to our eleven year delay in being granted a ring road. It will possibly come as a shock to the National Transport Authority, LUAS management and Junior Transport Minister Alan Kelly, but University Students countrywide have been riding your LUAS, Rail & Buses for free, since Stephenson built his “Rocket,” way back in 1829.

One other item of good news announced last week however, much to the delight of Tipperary Septic Tank owners & taxpayers, was the welcome revelation that some of our rural contributions to State coffers are to be spent on a €20 million make-over for Dublin’s National Gallery of Ireland. The tendering process will start presently and it is hoped to begin refurbishment work during this summer, with a view to having all the work completed in time for the 1916 centenary.

Of course “this 1916 rising centenary crack,” has little to do with Co Tipperary, well except of course for at least three of the total seven signatories of the 1916 Proclamation all having strong Tipperary links. I remind you of Thomas McDonagh who was born in Cloughjordan Tipperary. Latter a poet, playwright, teacher, soldier and signatory of the 1916 Proclamation, which proclaimed our now now new IMF Republic. He then had moved to Dublin to study, and was the first teacher on the staff at St. Enda’s, the school he helped to found, with another signatory Patrick Pearse. Then of course there was the mother of Thomas Clarke, latter the person most responsible for the 1916 Easter Rising. His mother was Mary Clarke (Maiden-name Palmer,) from Clogheen, Tipperary. Next there was James Connolly, another signatory who founded the Irish Labour Party in Clonmel Tipperary in 1912. Then there was Dan Breen born in Grange, Donohill County Tipperary, and his Soloheadbeg incident which was the first opening act of the same Irish War of Independence. Ah sure I could go on and on, but enough said. Just watch out, my friends, the big “1916 Centenary Party,” will be financed & held exclusively in An Pháil. One hopes that those participating in 2016 will not be spat on by a Dublin populace, as were those forced to surrender in 1916.

As you can gather from the above facts, none of the “Dublin Subsidises,” & “Fiscal Transfers,” gifted from our urban capitol, to Tipperary’s rural red-neck backwaters, (as recently highlighted and bitterly resented by Olivia Mitchell TD,) has yet to arrived here to Co Tipperary.

Sure maybe Olivia Mitchell TD is correct in her predictions, same transfer of funding from urban to rural areas would appear grossly unfair and God forbid could even become a permanent danger to future urban / rural social cohesion.

All joking aside, rural Ireland is being forgotten, the urban man is getting the oyster, while the rural red-neck must make do with the shell.


Train & Vehicle Crash At Tipperary Level Crossing

Iarnród Éireann train

Reports are just coming in that an Iarnród Éireann train has been in a collision with a motor vehicle at a level crossing here in Co Tipperary.

In a statement earlier Iarnród Éireann confirmed that the incident happened around 8.00pm.

The collision is believed to have happened at Kelly’s Crossing in Birdhill, Co Tipperary tonight.

The 6.20pm train scheduled from Ballybrophy to Limerick was involved in the incident and Emergency Services etc are presently at the scene.

The driver and possibly between six to eight passengers are believed to have been on the train at the time of the incident, however there are no reports of any injuries.

A woman in her 60’s, who was the driver of the car, was in the vehicle on her own at the time of the collision. She was later taken to Limerick hospital, suffering from shock.


Train Disruptions Portlaoise And Thurles

Due to track works between Portlaoise and Thurles, between 18.30 Saturday and 11.30 Sunday, on the weekends of 21st-22nd, 28th-29th April and 12th-13th May 2012, there will be bus transfers between Portlaoise and Thurles on the following services:

SATURDAYS: 17.30, 18.30 and 20.30 Cork to Heuston services – 18.00, 19.00 and 21.00 Heuston to Cork services.

The 17.25 Heuston to Limerick service will operate to Ballybrophy only.  There is no service to Templemore, Thurles or Limerick on this train, customers for these locations should travel on the 18.00 Heuston to Cork service.

SUNDAYS: 8.25 Heuston to Cork – 8.35 Limerick to Heuston – 8.30 Cork to Heuston

On the Sundays listed, the 10.00 Heuston to Cork will depart at 10.20, and the 10.35 Limerick to Heuston will be delayed in Thurles for 20 minutes.

Iarnród Éireann apologises for any inconvenience caused.