Local Weather

real feel: 19°C
wind speed: 3 m/s SW
sunrise: 6:20 am
sunset: 8:41 pm


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.


Short Sighted Engineers Re-glue Barry’s Bridge

Business people in the heart of Thurles and indeed in the streets surrounding Liberty Square are heaving a sigh of relief this morning, following the news that the necessary repairs to the Barry’s Bridge crossing, have at last come to an end.  The single lane “Stop & Go” traffic system, which they and road users were also forced to experience over the past three weeks, is now at an end, or is it?

It would seem that our busy decision making, municipal engineers didn’t make it to Specsavers Opticians this year.

Less than 8mtres (24ft) away from the newly re-glued bridge surface, a collapsed drain under the road has gone unnoticed, despite its sunken state being in existence long before the previous glued surface, on this same Barry’s bridge, had decided to surrender and disintegrate. Yes and even before the “Beast from the East” could have obscured it, swallowing it in a white blank canvas. The clue for engineers was the obvious fact that the road surface had dropped 2ins below kerb foundations, thus leaving questions to be answered.

One would have thought that when all the heavy machinery; tar trucks, heavy duty breakers, rollers, tarmac trucks and other thingamajigs, were in place over the past three weeks, this very small close-by repair, could also have been included; thus cutting major costs for the taxpayer.

Not so; money does not seem to be a problem for the Templemore /Thurles Municipal District engineers, so expect the heavy machinery to return again, and that accompanying single lane of traffic also, to materialise yet again, and to hell with with the tax payer.

There is, however, one great saving having been made in all of this; the 2017 Christmas lights still remains in place this Easter; in plenty of time for next Christmas. This could mean that there will be no rise in Property Tax next year.


WARNING: All Drivers Using Mill Road, Thurles

A warning to all drivers using the Mill Road out of Thurles, exiting from the N75 (Dublin Road) to Littleton & Turtulla Cross.

These Pictures Do Not Lie!

Due to increased use by heavy duty trucks and other motor vehicles, attempting to avoid necessary roadworks at Barry’s Bridge, Thurles, two seriously dangerous potholes have now been created.

The holes are situated on the left-hand side, on centre of the sharp second S-bend corner, as drivers cross the Drish River, (opposite the rather lovely reed thatched house on the right-hand side, at Lady’s Well); as drivers exit the town from the Dublin Road (N75), travelling South to Littleton (going left), and West to Turtulla Cross (going right).

The pothole pictured, marked (1) above is over 1 metre in length; almost ½ metre in width (see sides on image) and is about 26 centimetres deep. Same is quite capable of doing serious damage to any vehicle’s tracking, or in a worst scenario, force a driver to lose total control of their steering.

Picture (2) above is only a metre away from (1), with the road structure showing similar signs of disintegration. Both holes are not immediately visible to any driver.

In the words of Albert Einstein, when it comes to those who plan our roads: “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former”.

This narrow short stretch of road [known affectionately, locally, as “Fat Arse Boulevard” ], without footpaths, stupidly displays “hasten signs” allowing for speeds of 80k per hour. This is despite being used regularly by Driving Testers, Walkers, Joggers, Learner Drivers, Dog Walkers, Pram Pushers, Children & Teenagers (grouped together), our late departed flattened Tom Cat, and even boasts a Housing Estate plus an S-Bend on a Humped-Back Bridge.

Surely this Road; and not the vehicles driving thereon, should now be given an NCT.


Three Billboards Outside Thurles, Co. Tipperary

You have possibly seen the film “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” a 2017 drama film written, directed, and co-produced by Martin McDonagh and staring Frances McDormand as a mother who rents three billboards to call attention to her daughter’s unsolved murder.

It seems nowadays this kind of action is the only way to highlight neglect and injustice, as large rural Irish towns are abandoned in favour of overcrowded, dirty, crime ridden, sprawling cities.

Large and small business owners and their employees, operating in the heart of Thurles town, found themselves almost completely cut off from customers arriving from the east side of the River Suir yesterday, with both Thurles river crossings operating a ‘Stop & Go’ system of traffic control, because of two separate sets of road works.

Three Billboards Outside Thurles, Co. Tipperary

Business people are aware and fully accept the necessity of repairing the long neglected Barry’s Bridge, but were not expecting the simultaneous and unnecessary road works begun yesterday on the Mill Road, (at the Y junction joining Thurles with Littleton Village and exiting unto Turtulla crossroads).

Traffic from the eastern parts of town had reverted to using this narrow dangerous Mill Road, as an alternative route to reach the centre of Thurles, thus avoiding the crossing at Barry’s Bridge, on the advice of redirection signs posted.

Because of the works being carried out on the Mill Road junction, traffic decided to travel instead once again via the single lane over Barry’s Bridge yesterday, taking vehicles 26 minutes to travel less than ½ a kilometre, with traffic tailed back to the Borroway roundabout. Similar tailbacks occurred on the narrow, and dangerously twisting track that is the Archerstown Industrial Estate exit, all due to a lack of basic logistical communication.

Huge anger is now being expressed by business people, with demands being made that Tipperary County Council immediately state when the promised Thurles Relief Road, announced as being funded under the recent National Development Plan, will actually materialise.

This Thurles Relief Road was already approved by An Bord Pleanala in 2014, however funding had then been withdrawn by the governing Fine Gael / Labour Collision.

For this front window view of a high sided diesel-spewing 12-wheeler lorry, we must pay the highest rate of property tax in Ireland.

The planned relief road, subject to conditions expected to be laid down by the Department of National Parks and Wildlife, together with the appointment of an archaeologist to monitor all intended site developments, was agreed to commence from the Clongour area of Thurles to the rear of the present old Erin Foods site, before crossing the river to exit onto the Mill Road, south-east of Thurles Town.

More importantly, residents living on narrow Thurles Streets, e.g. Croke Street, Mitchel Street, Parnell Street, Kickham Street, O’Donovan Rossa Street etc, are now obliged to live with electric lights burning all day in their front rooms, due to slow moving 12 and 18-wheeler, high sided lorries, vibrating their homesteads, while almost at a standstill, due to this now necessary, but nevertheless previously neglected road works.

I am referring of course to those residences who lack front gardens and, in the interest of community pride, are forced annually to paint their homes at least once each year, caused due to the filth from heavy duty vehicles, being splashed on the outer walls of their homes.

These residents are what author Uaitéar ÓMaicín’s (1915-1967) called “The Silent People”, on whom property tax was piled; increased with the permission of elected representatives; and who are forced daily to breath endless diesel pollutants containing unburned hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and other fumes; while having to wash the soot from their curtains every week, because they felt the need to open a window.

While today here in Thurles half of our population can’t cross the River Suir, the National Transport Authority (NTA) have announced plans in Dublin for a €3bn underground / over ground Metro service for Dublin.  Ms Anne Graham, NTA Chief Executive said the 26km track should be operational by 2027, if it succeeds in the planning process, (Which means this project is already well advanced).  This Metro service line will run from Sandyford in south Dublin to beyond Swords in north Dublin, taking in Dublin Airport. This service is expected to travel over ground from Sandyford to Charlemont, before vanishing underground to the airport.

The 26km distance, will, NTA boast, mean a journey time of just 20 minutes from the city centre to Dublin airport and 50 minutes from Sandyford to Swords, with trains travelling every two minutes in each direction. (Compare these drive times in Thurles, 26 minutes, to travel just ½ a kilometre.)

How long more the residents and businesses here in Thurles will continue their silence; we can’t be sure, but patience is most certainly running out fast. This lack of patience was previously highlighted when it was decided that Fine Gael TD’s, in government would no longer be elected in the county, and were found to be totally eradicated following the last General Election results held on Friday February 26th 2016.

Already there are whisperings to boycott local elections, because of town centre parking charges. Charges to commuters using Irish Rail for example and who park their cars at Thurles railway station, must now pay €4.50 on top of the cost to their over priced, standing room only, rail tickets, making it cheaper to simply drive to our larger cities.

With Local Elections due to be held in all local government areas of the Republic of Ireland in June 2019, and National Elections expected this autumn of 2018; politicians be warned, the days of receiving salaries for simply updating their social media sites, with unsubstantiated claims to power; are coming to an end.  Businesses are being expected to pay high rates, massive insurance and heavy taxes, in a town where its streets are becoming slowly derelict and its roadways more akin to gravelled driveways.  Regardless of current delays on Barry’s Bridge, it would be easier at present to access Thurles from the east by rowing boat, rather than by motor vehicle.


Work Set To Begin On Barry’s Bridge

It looks like the necessary surface work required to upgrade Barry’s Bridge, crossing the River Suir here in Thurles town, is at last about to start.

Health and Safety barriers were erected on the bridge this morning beginning at 9.00am, together with led digital signage, requesting drivers of vehicles, where possible, to use alternative routes out of the town centre.

Barry’s Bridge in Thurles, Co Tipperary, has provided passage over the river Suir, since around 1650, and was partially widened again circa 1820.

Bridge Castle, overlooking this seasonally shallow river crossing, has dominated the Thurles skyline since as early as 1453, built possibly by the Norman invader McRickard Butler of whom history records that he erected, in 1453, two castles at Thurles and one at Buaidlic (Boulick).

While footpaths for pedestrians remain unrestricted presently, we understand that vehicles will be curtailed to one single lane of traffic crossing the bridge, for the duration of the period deemed necessary to carry out the resurfacing work.

So, where possible do try to use the alternative entrance and exit routes indicated, in order to keep traffic flowing.