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failed, (due to commuters failing to get out of bed at 4.00am,) to attract sufficient users and has now therefore been withdrawn.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.
One would be forgiven for thinking that the above was a ‘Promotional Video,’ for the benefit of Auctioneers & Estate Agents.
Those who choose to view the above slide show do please understand, Thurles is the most wonderful place to live, to raise a family & to eventually retire. However in the case of this town presently our local community has become despondent, cynical, unenthusiastic & lifeless. Our business people, because of economic pressure, are being forced to uproot, move or just simply vanish.
In my walk around Thurles, yesterday, I believe I counted some 15 businesses which have closed in the past 9 months in less than a half kilometre stretch, from Westgate to Bowe’s corner alone. With the decline & closure of these businesses departed the hopes & dreams of not just business people, whether owners or tenants, & their landlords, but also some 67 dependant employees. Some have been able to afford to emigrate, while the rest have joined our growing social welfare queue.
Either way Thurles is now ‘For Sale,’ or ‘To Let,’ with little view of either buyer or tenant visible on our immediate horizons.
Some change in local leadership is now immediately required to recover lost fortunes, but with our national interest bill on public debt (forget personal private debt,) running at over €10billion or close to €2.800 for every man, woman & child still choosing to remain in this country, our very futures look bleak on this wintry Monday morning, January 28th 2013.
It is rumoured that behind-the-scenes moves are currently being planned to arrange for US President Mr Barack Obama to attend one of a number of events being held this year to mark the 50th anniversary of former President John F. Kennedy’s Irish tour back in 1963.
Members of the Kennedy clan are expected in Ireland to oversee the official opening of a new John F. Kennedy visitor centre during this summer and this may coincide with President Obama’s expected visit to Co. Fermanagh for the G8 summit.
President Barack Obama’s Irish relative, Mr Henry Healy, (a cousin eight-times removed) latter who resides in Moneygall situated here on the Tipperary / Offaly border, recently attended the US Presidents Inauguration and Ball. Mr Healy has stated he knows the US President and Mrs Michelle Obama would greatly like to return to his ancestral home, having felt the warmth not just from the people of Moneygall, but from the Irish nation as a whole, following his last visit.
The video, above, is taken at one of Tipperary’s most picturesque, pure waterways, situated is the beautiful dense natural occurring wooded area, adjacent to the banks of the Clare River known as the Clare Glens. Latter forms a natural boundary, dividing County Tipperary and County Limerick. Same comes courtesy of Mr Garry Butler, Thurles, (MemberHidden Tipperary.) & introduces the very talented young violinist Miss Eva McNally, also from Thurles. Please enjoy.
Thurles Water Treatment Plant
Today Noel Coonan TD has welcomed the announcement of funding for the Thurles Water Treatment Plant Networks and Fethard Water Conservation project. The Deputy explained that an European Investment Bank loan will provide €200 million to support improvements in Ireland’s Water Services Investment Programme (WSIP) by financing some 23 projects nationwide to provide new water mains, water and waste-water treatment facilities and reservoirs, as well as measures to improve water conservation.
“The water investment initiative includes replacement of over 300km of old water mains in South Tipperary, Galway, Limerick and Dublin City. In addition waste water treatment will be enhanced through six new treatment plants in North Tipperary, Kildare, Kerry, Galway and Roscommon,” said Deputy Coonan.
Deputy Coonan explained that the European Investment Bank will provide a 25 year loan and enable quicker implementation of the investment programme. Following agreement of the €200 million loan, a first tranche of €100 million will support immediate investment and a second tranche will follow, as this investment programme progresses.
€500,000 Social Entrepreneurs Awards Programme
While speaking with Thurles.Info today Deputy Coonan TD also highlighted a €500,000 awards programme run by Social Entrepreneurs Ireland to supports individuals with new solutions for social challenges in Ireland.
“This Awards Programme will see eight social entrepreneurs selected to partake in one of two support Programmes: the Impact Programme and the Elevator Programme. Three social entrepreneurs will be selected for the Impact Programme and will each receive direct funding of €130,000 over two years, as well as over €70,000 worth of training, mentoring and support. Under the Elevator Programme, five social entrepreneurs will each receive direct funding of €22,000 over one year. On top of this, they will receive over €10,000 worth of mentoring and training,” explained Deputy Coonan.
“When a social entrepreneur comes up with a great new solution to social problems, Social Entrepreneurs Ireland believe they should get the funding and support that they need to scale and grow, so that they can impact as many people as possible, as quickly as possible. This awards programme will support these same individuals who bring new ideas and fresh perspectives to social problems. Social Entrepreneurs Ireland have arranged an information evening which will take place on Tuesday, 29th January at 6.30pm in the Waterways Ireland Visitor Centre, Grand Canal Quay, Dublin 2. Previous Awardees will share their experiences and the Social Entrepreneurs Ireland team will be available to answer any questions you may have about the application process,” continued the Deputy.
The Food Safety Authority (FSA) have confirmed that Beef Burgers, containing Horse Meat & Pig DNA, have been on sale widely in supermarkets Tesco, Dunnes, Lidl, Aldi and Iceland over Christmas.
Tesco, Dunnes, Lidl & Aldi all have outlets here in Thurles and this disclosure is now observed as a major blow to the reputation of the Irish food industry & methods used by wholesalers & manufactures with regards to accurate traceability.
The FSA analysed a total of 27 Beef Burger products and found horse DNA in over one third of these products, while 85% of the 27 products also tested positive for pig DNA. These products were produced by two processing plants here in Ireland namely Liffey Meats and Silvercrest Foods and also one processing plant in the UK, namely Dalepak Hambleton. Other products like Cottage Pie are understood to also have been identified & found contaminated. The problem is understood to have been identified last November in supermarkets & not in the manufacturing plants where Department of Agriculture vets are employed to identify traceability.
One sample analysed from the supermarket chain ‘Tesco,’ accounted to 29% of Horse meat in the content, however the Food Safety authority state the findings posed no threat to public health.
Aldi Stores (Ireland) have now removed their “Oakhurst Beef Burgers,” (8 pack) from their shelves and have launched an investigation into the matter, seeking information from one particular supplier, Silvercrest Foods. They now state that any customers who return this questionable product, to their stores nationwide, will receive an immediate refund.
Now I understand what my Granny was saying when she spoke about “Horses for Courses.”