Local Weather

real feel: -3°C
wind speed: 7 m/s WSW
sunrise: 8:36 am
sunset: 4:16 pm


Tipperary Native Receives French National Order of Merit

Ms Helen Lambert, Nenagh, Co.Tipperary

Ms Helen Lambert, Nenagh, Co.Tipperary

Ms Helen Lambert, Chief Executive of Lambert + Associates, latter company a luxury retail consultancy based in Paris, has been awarded the coveted “Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite (National Order of Merit,) by the French government at a reception in the Irish Embassy situated in Paris, France.

The presentation to the Co Tipperary woman, who hails from a farming family here in Nenagh, Tipperary, was hosted by Dublin born former Ambassador to the United Nations and now presently Ambassador to France and Monaco, His Excellency, Mr Paul Kavanagh.

The award was presented by Mr Yves Carcelle, former president of Louis Vuitton, latter a French fashion house founded in 1854.  Some 200 assembled guests attended the event.

Ms Lambert’s company, now employs 200 people and boasts a client list of more than 500 fashion buyers, who currently visit Paris twice a year travelling from all over the world and who generate more than €118 million worth of export business for France, while increasing her company’s market share by 16% based on it’s 2011 turnover.

Ms Lambert previously worked in communications, as Director of advertising for Elle magazine international editions in Paris for 7 years. In 2004 she was appointed head of the AGA Group, arriving on site with a thorough skilled knowledge of the world of luxury. Having re-branded and upgraded the company as Lambert + Associates, she became it’s owner a year later.

Since that date, the company has continued to conquer new clients, offer new services and establish relationships with fashion houses and designers, establishing strong contacts with both suppliers and distributors world wide.


Blarney Stone Is To Be Moved To Dublin Castle

tippFor the past 200 years, literary giants, world statesmen and legends of the silver screen have joined the millions of other tourists intent on kissing the Blarney Stone, thus gaining the gift of eloquent speech. The unrivalled power of this stone has been proven unquestionable as any visitors will confirm after they have leaned backwards, held by the ankles and lowered head first over the battlements of Blarney Castle. However this Blarney Stone is now to be removed from its current position and incorporated in the battlements of Dublin Castle, in time for ‘The Gathering 2013.’

At the time the announcement was made I believe I was having troubled thoughts about either the European Central Bank’s (ECB) insistence on the payment of the 3.1 billion promissory note, or maybe it was Olivia Mitchell TD’s resentment in having to pay property tax, which in turn she felt would be squandered to supply badly needed Footpaths, Dart Services, Public Transport & Street Lighting to the red-necked residents of rural Ireland.

Anyway, whatever my thoughts last night, I was quickly & without warning transported into the real cold light of day with the news announced by my favourite TV 3 Star & News Anchor, Thurles born & gorgeous Collette Fitzpatrick, as she interviewed the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht & gentle Kerry man, Mr Jimmy Deenihan, via her 9.00 news bulletin.

Quite a few changes must now be made in advance of ‘The Gathering 2013,’  following our Cabinet Meeting last week, which discussed in great detail our government’s failure to create employment,” the Minister stated. “This was quite a disappointing meeting and some hard decisions had to be made,” continued Mr Deenihan. “There were 20 TD’s present round the cabinet table, three of which have no vote.

The Minister for Education and Skills, Mr Ruairi Quinn is trying to sack teachers, the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Mr Phil Hogan is trying to sack local & county councillors, together with unnecessary office staff, the Minister for Health, Mr James Reilly is intent on reducing nurses and other staff in the HSE, the Minister for Justice and Equality, Mr Alan Shatter is attempting to remove 1,500 serving Gardaí and last, but by no means least, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Mr Brendan Howlin is attempting to get rid of 4,000 civil servants, so hard decisions were the order of the day,” went on Minister Deenihan.

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mr Richard Bruton stated that he had created one hundred new jobs in Limerick last week, with the €100m expansion of manufacturing operations at Vistakon, but when he got home he found over 300 jobs gone at HMV. To further add fuel to the fire Minister Phil Hogan had taken the “bread from the mouths,” of employees involved nationally in the Stationary & Office Equipment sector, latter caused by his insistence that public offices in each county, must now buy their blotting paper, pencils & photocopying paper from a central stationary company appointed by him.

If that wasn’t bad enough,” stated Mr Shatter, “this new EU demand for improved security protection on Driving Licences had further placed the jobs of some 500 employees in the photography sector in jeopardy, not to mention placing a massive burden on struggling self employed photographers, who would now end up on social welfare payments, due to required identity photographs now being handed over to just one government appointed Body. Sure I am close to a mental breakdown,” stated Minister Shatter.

Minister Deenihan then went on to say; “That left only 12 of us to come up with ideas and we have now decided in the interest of the voting public to move the Blarney Stone in Cork to Dublin Castle, solely in the interests of safety & security.” (A bit like the Derrynaflan Chalice, I remember thinking at that time.)

Mr Deenihan stated also that ‘Fungi,’ the Dolphin would be now moved as soon as possible from Dingle to Dublin Zoo in case of water pollution from Phil Hogan’s septic tanks, the 5000 year old Passage Tomb at New Grange would be moved to St Stephens Green, Dublin, thus giving much needed employment to the ailing construction industry sector, while ‘The Giants Causeway,’ may now be moved to Dublin Bay by the Office of Public Works (OPW), as part of future ongoing Cross Border Co-Operation.

Meanwhile, An Taoiseach Mr Enda Kenny stated he would be having talks very soon with the Egyptian Government and was hopeful that at least one of ‘The Pyramids,’ could be moved to the Phoenix Park, hopefully, as he was careful to point out, without effecting any reduction on Egypt’s tourism trade.

It was the sudden fall from my bed that awoke me from my troubling nightmare. To say my heart was racing & my new Christmas pyjamas were soaking in sweat would be an understatement. Still it had been just a weird dream, obviously brought on by thoughts of TD Olivia Mitchell.  Sure who, in God’s name and in their right minds, would remove artefacts, which could bring a strong tourist trade from Ireland’s Gateways to historical locations like the Boyne Valley, Dingle & Blarney?

No, now that you ask, I haven’t received a reply to my open letter forwarded to Jimmy Deenihan by Leo Varadkar or indeed from North Tipperary elected TD Alan Kelly, latter always so anxious to demonstrate his political ability and quick to influence the return of such items as the Derrynaflan Chalice to their rightful home here in Thurles.

Not to worry, I have promised myself never again to eat any more of that cursed French blue cheese, well prior to bedtime anyway & forgive me but I must now go in search of some dry pyjamas.

In the words of St Matthew’s Gospel: “To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others: He who has ears, let him hear.


Closure Of Garda Stations Not An Issue In Tipperary

gardaThe Minister for Justice and Equality, Alan Shatter, announced the Annual Policing Plan for 2013 before the Houses of the Oireachtas recently. His stated aim was to make the force more effective and to reduce its costs significantly.

Under the Ministers plan, some 100 Garda stations will close, while 28 Garda districts will amalgamate into just 14, and it is now anticipated that most of the rural stations will be closed in the first six months of 2013.

To my mind the recently announced closure of remote garda stations here in rural Tipperary is not really an issue or a reason for alarm. Some local politicians however have been quick “on the draw,” to react negatively to these proposed changes, possibly in their search for that ever welcome newspaper vote gathering headline or radio interview.

The five stations marked for closure in Tipperary are New Inn, Grangemockler, Terryglass, Rearcross & Dundrum, with two other stations close to our county borders, namely Galbally & Johnstown.

Most of these stations marked for closure are simply run down, one man stations, which only open part-time and rarely if ever at night.  These stations are truly obsolete and a complete waste of both manpower & resources, while offering little or no contribution in either preventing or indeed solving rural crime.

Of much greater concern to Tipperary rural dwellers however is Minister Shatter’s apparent determination to drastically reduce Tipperary Garda numbers and his failure to date to provide promised adequate replacement Garda vehicles and equipment.

Money now acquired from the sale of these station assets must be directed towards increasing Garda numbers, vehicles and supplying up-to-date technical equipment, thus providing increased mobile patrols in the Tipperary rural area.

Our present government must not now place the security of this county at risk in their efforts to meet the financial demands of our current masters, “The Troika,” who appear to be interfering with essential elements of our national security.


Thurles Company To Benefit From Competitive Start Fund

Good news for Thurles today as North Tipperary TD Noel Coonan welcomes the announcement of funding to NeverMind Games Ltd, Thurles, under the Enterprise Ireland Competitive Start Fund. This new Thurles enterprise, situated in the Thurles Chamber Enterprise Centre, on the LIT Tipperary Campus, Thurles, is one of 30 successful companies recently awarded funding.

The Competitive Start Fund provides young companies with the critical early stage funding to test the market for their products and services and progress their business plans for the global marketplace.

Deputy Noel Coonan

Deputy Noel Coonan

The local Fine Gael TD stated: “This brings to 60 the number of innovative early stage start-ups supported under this fund in 2012. Access to early stage funding is vital for Tipperary’s community of entrepreneurs and we are working to nurture their ideas and enterprises. NeverMind Games Ltd is an innovative video game development studio based in Thurles and the entrepreneurs involved in the initiative have been rewarded for their creativity in this sector.Over the past year we in Government have developed a series of new finance instruments, including the Micro Finance Scheme, the Credit Guarantee Scheme, the €700million Seed and Venture Capital Scheme and the €850million NPRF funds.”

In announcing the news Deputy Coonan today also urged companies to apply for the first round of the 2013 fund, which is currently seeking applications.

“Fifteen companies are expected to benefit under this round, with a total of €750,000 available for investment. The closing date for applicants is Wednesday 23 January at 3pm.  This call is open to start-ups from both ICT and Industrial sectors including sub-sectors such as Internet, Games, Apps, Mobile, SaaS, Cloud Computing, Enterprise Software, Life-sciences, Cleantech and Industrial Products,” concluded Deputy Coonan.


Will Thurles Now Get Free Parking On Saturdays?

Central Thurles

Central Thurles

The Nenagh town council here in North Tipperary, in their wisdom, have decided to allow free parking in its car parks on Saturdays.

This new initiate comes into effect from February 1st 2013 and has been officially sanctioned by last week’s Town Council budget meeting.

While this initiative is expected to reduce the Council’s income by some €60,000 annually, it is generally accepted that this new proposal will now greatly assist in stimulating business entering the town and thus will also create the required level of fair play, when attempting to compete with other Nenagh periphery retailers, latter who currently are in a position to offer free parking all day, 365 days of the year.

Could Thurles Town Council now perhaps show similar flexible, in an effort to respond to our failing town centre business concerns? Is this now the perfect opportunity for Thurles Chamber of Commerce to pile on the pressure, on behalf of their business membership?

After all there will be no local Councillors & their expenses to pay in the not to distant future, thank God and the god like Minister Phil Hogan.