The county of Tipperary must welcome today’s announcement by Ryanair of its plans to increase the number of services it provides both to and from Shannon International Airport.
Ryanair have stated that as from April 2014 it will begin operating services to Berlin, Faro, Fuerteventura, Krakow, Munich, Nice, Paris and Warsaw, delivering an additional 300,000 passengers per annum to the airport.
If this latest announcement of new routes and the airline’s decision to increase and pursue significantly its Shannon Airport passenger numbers is successful, it will put the newly independent west of Ireland airport on a much more firmer footing with regard to possible future prospects for tourism growth in the Tipperary region.
As a result of today’s announcement a thriving Shannon Airport can be seen as ‘manna from heaven’ for the Tipperary economy as well as obviously being a significant moment for the entire West of Ireland Region, but only provided our heartland of Mid Tipperary now takes full advantage.
We must now introduce a stronger embryonic tourism cord from this western area, using the natural and other newer significant Tourism developments which have been put in place over the past number of years, thus linking to the smaller towns and villages creating the “Spokes of a Wheel,” to which I referred in the past. These “Spokes” will lead eventually here to Thurles and its Co Tipperary environs. The routes announced by Ryanair will then open up a number of new markets not just for Irish holidaymakers going outwards, but should also greatly contribute to the already growing number of Continental tourists currently visiting the West of Ireland and if encouraged the now neglected heartland of Ireland.
Here is an ideal opportunity to create real jobs in Co Tipperary.
To this end the tourism group Hidden Tipperary will shortly call on all Tourism Service Providers in Co Tipperary to a meeting to discuss tourism marketing issues in the coming weeks. While this event will take place in Thurles, an actual date and venue has yet to be decided.
Watch this space for further details to be announced in the coming week ahead.
With effect from the 29th of October 2013 the application process for an Irish National Drivers Licence is changing. A new plastic card driver licence has been introduced, replacing the previous paper driving licence and learner permit.
When applying here in Tipperary, residents will need to visit one of the two new National Driver Licence Service (NDLS) centres to be set up at Suite No 9, Second Floor, Powerstown House, Clonmel (South Tipp) or No 10 Silver Street, Nenagh (North Tipp).
As part of what now will be a face-to-face application process, your photo and your signature will be captured digitally. These will be included in the existing fee which will see costs rise significantly, with a one-year driving licence costing €25, a three-year driving licence costing €35 and a ten-year driving licence costing €55. You will also be required to provide additional documentation to confirm your identity. Further information on this and other conditions are available on the NDLS website.
This is an EU initiative to introduce a more secure, compact style of licence for use in all member states. The number of driving licence categories have also increased and the minimum age requirement for certain categories have likewise changed.
This new National Drivers Licensing initiative is being viewed as an unnecessary interference in Irish affairs at a time when Ireland’s motorists face great financial hardship and where many secondary roads continue to remain in an unsafe condition.
Because of the required face-to-face application process now required, those wishing to renew Driver Licences can expect unnecessary delays of up to 5 hours at these newly appointed centres. While persons of advanced years will find the process a further cause for distress, this change will now most certainly affect the annual incomes of various photographic stations and pharmaceutical outlets, latter who previously supplied passport photographs for same required licences.
Further information is also available on the Road Safety Authority’s website.
One hopes that this new technology will be an improvement on our previous waste of public monies. I refer of course to the investment of €55m on 7,600 ill-fated e-voting machines which were later sold for a reported €70,267 to KMK Metals Recycling Ltd, for shredding, earning the latter company in excess of 1 million Euro.
Take note “Home Owners,” those of you who may wish to pay their property tax (latter introduced by Fine Gael Minister Phil Hogan) in instalments next year, you are now being informed that you must confirm your method of payment within the coming weeks ahead.
The Revenue Commissioners, burdened with this collection, have confirmed that letters are being sent to known property owners to establish the number of people who want to pay the tax in 2014.
Anyone who decides to opt for Phased Payments next year will have to confirm their preferred method of payment by November 27th provided they are doing so via their computer on-line.
Of course, for those not computer literate and who may wish to communicate by paper correspondence, these persons will have less time to inform Revenue, their deadline is in just over two weeks time, on the 7th of November.
Severance payments made to our politicians are now to be abolished, under a Bill which was published by the Public Expenditure Minister Mr Brendan Howlin at lunchtime today.
On a day when more than ten thousand senior citizens, known as “The Grey Brigade” and a small number of younger demonstrators have held a rally outside Leinster House in Dublin protesting against cuts to Medical Cards, Prescription Fees and Job Seekers Allowance, this decision by the present Government, now makes good the promise to end the “golden handshake” payments to retiring Ministers.
Introduced in 1992, under this scheme, TDs departing senior Ministerial Office received a once off payment of nearly €90,000 over a period of two years, while Ministers of State received a somewhat smaller payment.
The reason behind such payments was to help cushion the reduction in salary between being a Minister and ordinary TD. This payment was treated separate and cast no reflection on future individual pensions for these Ministers and members of the Oireachtas.
This published Bill will also make adjustments to the Party Leaders allowances, paid to political parties. Parties will now have to report to the public ethics watchdog, SIPO, telling them how their funding is spent.
The Dole Queue in North Tipperary is set to lengthen even further with some thirty two jobs set to be axed at Birr, Co Offaly, latter in close proximity to the north Tipperary border.
The job losses were announced this morning by EJ (Iron Foundry), formally known as Cavanagh’s Iron Foundry.
EJ president Fred Malpass said in a statement today that owing to loss-making activities the company propose to reduce their staff from 50 to 18, adding that the company greatly appreciated the exemplary service of their employees at Birr and the proposed closure is no reflection on their performance.
The company confirmed it will continue to employ just 18 staff in Birr, where some steel fabrication will continue, alongside its distribution centre and sales team. A strategic business review by EJ has fully concluded that the manufacturing of iron castings should be now consolidated to its European headquarters in France, which the company say offers economies of scale and greater operating efficiency and will allow the company to be more competitive.
The company, which manufactures a range of manhole covers and drainage grates for the construction industry, said in a statement today that it remains “fully committed to retaining a competitive Irish business with a sustainable future“.