Local Weather

Mostly sunny
real feel: 17°C
wind speed: 2 m/s WNW
sunrise: 5:07 am
sunset: 9:59 pm


Work To Begin Again On Barry’s Bridge – Whenever

The word on every person’s lips here in Thurles today is ‘JEEP’ – which as you know stands for ‘Jump Excitedly into Every Pothole’.

Around the year 1650, McRickard Butler’s workforce knew how to build a bridge. Using construction materials consisting of a combination of rubble and dressed limestone, and with their skilled hands they chiselled large lumps of limestone rock creating triangular cut-water pillars to meet the southward flowing water of the river Suir. On top of these same cut-water pillars, they formed seven round arches with dressed voussoirs, (latter wedge-shaped or tapered stones used to construct the arches), visible from both north and south elevations.

Barry’s Bridge Thurles begins to unravel after 4 days.

This limestone road bridge served us well, until around 1820, when it was reconstructed. In more recent years it was widened, its old stone walls replaced by footpaths and steel railings; its road resurfaced by concrete.

Today, 2018, despite major strides in education and communication the knowledge on how to fill a pothole has been lost. On Friday, March 30th last after three weeks of tolerating single lane, “Stop & Go” twenty-minute, traffic management delays, Barry’s bridge was reopened, having been resurfaced.

One hopes no cheques have changed hands, as yesterday, just 4 days later, already this new surface has begun to unravel. Someone in Tipperary Co. Council’s engineering department remains convinced that it is possible to glue tarmac to a sloping road surface and then run heavily laden 12-wheeler trucks over it.

You can only get from people what they are willing or able to give was always the definition of the quote, “You can’t squeeze blood from a turnip.”  But it appears that when it comes to the ratepayers and taxpayers of Thurles Town; yes, we turnips do actually produce blood and can be continuously squeezed.

Meanwhile, here in Ireland, there are still several streets in existence with no pot holes. These streets are now some 60 years old. Back then they used a miracle product for such surfaces. It was considered environmentally friendly; could be recycled, and contained no expensive petroleum. The miracle product was called cement.

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.

There is still no confirmation on the promised Thurles Bypass, initially pledged some 16 year ago.

There were just 6 votes separating Mary Newman and Garrett Ahearn at the recent Fine Gael selection convention here in Thurles, and it’s now thought that the Cashel woman may be added to the ticket for the next general election in October. One wonders will “The Bypass” arrive before then.


Work Due To Begin On Proposed New Thurles Car Park

The long established Co. Limerick based company of Smith Demolition, based in Newcastle West, has been awarded the contract to demolish Griffin’s shop, (Red Shop Front pictured right above), on the ‘Money Side’, South on Liberty Square here in Thurles.

Smith Demolition, who operate throughout Ireland and the United Kingdom, will also clear the site for the proposed car park, behind this soon to be demolished building and directly opposite the 18th-century, Hayes Hotel. It is understood that full site clearance will take approximately 10 weeks to fully complete.

Smith Demolition have today removed a portion of the east wall of the public car park (See picture left above), situated at Slievenamon Road, Thurles; and have cordoning off a small portion (two car parking spaces), of this public parking area, to initially facilitate their site office and lock-up.

Slievenamon Road Works
Meanwhile the long awaited roadworks which were scheduled to begin on the Slievenamon Road last October 2017, and announced on TippFM this morning as beginning today, April 3rd 2018, have so far failed to materialise.

We understand however that work may begin on this area tomorrow, following the completed upgrade to the Barry’s Bridge project. The Slievenamon Road project is expected to take up to 7 weeks to complete.


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.