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Thurles
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real feel: 13°C
wind speed: 7 m/s SW
sunrise: 5:07 am
sunset: 9:59 pm
 

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Potholes Of Ballycahill, Co. Tipperary

You have all heard of the Cliff’s of Moher; the Doolin Cave; the Aillwee Cave; the Tipperary – Mitchelstown Caves and now here in Co. Tipperary a new tourist attraction has been developed by Tipperary Tourism; welcome to the “Potholes of Ballycahill, situated near, Thurles, here in Co. Tipperary.

No brown directional signposts have been erected as yet, but one such heart-shaped hole can be found coming up to the 80k speed sign, found when exiting this most picturesque of rural village. (See photograph below.)

It was right here that last Friday a motorist, travelling to Limerick, seriously damaged a front brake disk, resulting in one his front wheels heating up to such an extent that it buckled, forcing him to abandon his vehicle.

Meanwhile on the direct route from Thurles to Templetuohy, again here in Co. Tipperary; local residents appear to be filling their own tourist attractions after dark, much to the annoyance of local County Councillors.

Same Councillors are aware that if our young people, forced to emigrate for work from the area since 2008, were attracted to return home on holidays from abroad, they could claim evidence of higher tourism figures visiting the Premier County.

Ah Yes, Tipperary, the Place, the Time.

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State Of Thurles – Thursday April 26th, 2018

Thursday April 26th, 2018 – Picture A shows potholes deemed suitable for filling this week. Picture B shows neglected potholes deemed unsuitable for filling due to cutbacks in rural Ireland.

Thurles, like a lot of midland rural towns, has had its heart ripped out by the recent recession. Its inhabitants have watched helpless as their young people were forced to travel abroad and yes failed by those whom they elected to rule over us.

Today, Thursday April 26th, 2018, €22m of European support was announced for a Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking between the European Union and the private sector. The project is to be based at a new bio-economy campus in Lisheen, Co. Tipperary, converting AgriChem Whey dairy by-product, know as ‘whey permeate’, into lactic acid. This product can be used in industry as a biodegradable plastic; bio-based fertiliser and minerals, according to the project’s promoters.

Politicians and County Councillors lined up for radio interviews this morning, all seeking credit; all not contradicting themselves, but none of them able to confirm a start date. [No doubt an official opening will be organised just before the next election].  Some of them thought it was a €21 million fund; others spoke of €30 million; some spoke of massive job creation for locals; others agreed that those holding bio-economy science degrees in Tipperary were scarce on the ground, suggesting outside job creation to be most likely. None were asked to explain bio-economy.

Meanwhile back in Thurles on Thursday April 26th, 2018, Council staff carry out their boring Thursday routine, filling the potholes in the town. This week they continue to make saving to our local town exchequer, by filling only potholes of a certain depth with poor quality cold tarmac. Next Thursday they will fill the holes again, and the following Thursday, and the following Thursday and so it goes; “like a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel, never ending or beginning on an ever-spinning reel”.

This is the joke folks:  We are being asked to believe that these elected representatives, from all political groupings, attracted €22 million of European financial support, while at the same time unable to properly regulate / control / administrate / govern, the filling of one simple pothole.

The EU must be a right ‘soft touch’.

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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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Motorist Dies In Tipperary Vehicle Crash

A male motorist has died following a single-vehicle crash in Co. Tipperary overnight.

The motorist, believed to be aged in his early 50’s, was fatally injured when the car, he controlled, struck a fence at Ardmayle, Cashel, last night

The accident happened at about 11.30pm, after which his body was removed to the mortuary at South Tipperary General Hospital.

Local diversions have been put in place, with the road currently closed for examination purposes by Garda forensic collision investigators.

Gardaí­ are appealing to anyone, who may have witnessed the crash, to contact them at Cahir Garda Station Tel: (052) 744630, the Garda Confidential Line Tel: 1800 666 111 or any Garda station.

Go ndéana Dia trócaire ar a anam dílis.

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No Respect For How Taxpayers Money Is Spent

On 7th February 2018, Thurles.info wrote to the Minister for Transport Tourism and Sport, Mr Shane Ross, regarding the then state of Thurles Bridge (Barry’s Bridge), the towns main arterial thoroughfare to and from the east.  Pertinent photographs were also attached.

On April 5th 2018 (almost 2 months later) his office replies.

Our Ref: SR/18/20917.

Dear George
I refer to your email of 7th February regarding the poor condition of the Thurles Bridge in Tipperary.

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme. The construction, improvement and maintenance of individual national roads is a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) under the Roads Acts 1993-2015 in conjunction with the local authorities concerned.

I have, therefore, forwarded your email to Mr. Michael Nolan, Chief Executive of TII, for his attention and direct reply.

With best wishes,
Shane Ross
(Minister for Transport Tourism and Sport)
The Minister is a Designated Public Official under the Regulation of Lobbying Act, 2015 (details available on www.lobbying.ie).

Pictures Left-Right: (1) Wed 4th April 2018; (2) Friday 6th April 2018, and (3) Friday 6th April 2018.

We replied to Minister Shane Ross immediately (4 hours later) on April 5th 2018.

To Mr Shane Ross (Minister for Transport Tourism and Sport)

Sir,
I thank you for your communication of the 5th instant, April 2018.

Perhaps you would take the time to read link; http://www.thurles.info/2018/04/04/work-to-begin-again-on-barrys-bridge-whenever/. Please also see; (dated 2011) http://www.thurles.info/2011/08/09/thurles-bypass-halted/

Following the evidence shown in this link, Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) under the Roads Acts 1993-2015 and in conjunction with the local authorities concerned; it would appear are incapable of undertaking this work. This bridge surface has been replaced / repaired for the 3rd time in less than 6 months, and very shortly will require repairs to be undertaken again. It is unlikely that this matter will be conveyed to Mr. Michael Nolan, Chief Executive of TII.

With the greatest respect Minister, what Thurles now needs is the promised Bypass, initially pledged some 16 year ago, and which was recently announced and targeted in the recent National Development Plan.

Sir, with everything in place except funding; (that’s according to local Councillors); What we now need is a Bypass start date.

Again thank you for your communication.

Kindest regards, Thurles.Info.

Thurles Cathedral Street Car-park
On April 4th 2018, we wrote on Thurles.Info. Quote:- “Here in Thurles again today, the Council truck did its daily sweep of the town, filling an occasional water laden hole with cold tarmac, which will be reduced to gravel within 48 hours”.

Picture on left above is the entrance to Thurles Cathedral Street Car-park after water laden holes were filled with cold tarmac on April 4th 2018.  Today is April 6th 2018, and today this is how the entrance to Thurles Cathedral Street Car-park looks just two days later. (View pictures in centre and on the right shown above).

I hasten to add that this is not the fault of the employees who undertook this work, but rather the fault of those who sent them out, with substandard incorrect materials, demonstrating little respect for taxpayers money.

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