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Teagasc Pig Farmers Conference in Thurles

Clonakilty, Agri Student, Miss Nadia Ross

The 2011 Teagasc National Pig Conferences took place on Wednesday, 19th October at the Horse & Jockey Hotel, Thurles, County Tipperary.

The conference, locally directed by Thurles born Ciaran Carroll, (Teagasc Moorpark) provided a great opportunity for all pig farmers to meet fellow producers and to get the latest advice and research results from the Teagasc Pig Development Department.

Attendees at the event learned that the pig sector in general had been through a difficult year since last year’s conference, due mainly to high feed prices which impacted on the profitability of Irish pig production. The issue of feed ingredient, both supply and price prospects, was addressed in detail at Wednesday’s conference.

Latest updates emanating from the Teagasc pig research programme at Moorepark were presented by Teagasc staff reporting on their recent research, while also addressing the costs of pig manure treatment, together with an update on the GM Safe Food project, which is researching the use of GM feed in pig diet.

The Conference provided guidance on the key ingredients of good loose dry sow housing systems and provided a presentation on what is the optimum sow culling strategy  and the economics of earlier culling. The “Two Tonne Sow,” first coined at the Teagasc 2009 conference was again revisited.

Presentations from representatives of two of Ireland’s main banks, on the financing of pig production, were particularly relevant to attendees at this conference, taking into account the existing and current pig producing climate.

Closing this conference, Teagasc Director, Prof. Gerry Boyle, presented certificates to attendees of the first ever FETAC level 6 Pig Course, which was run at the Teagasc centres of Moorepark, Clonakilty and Ballyhaise.

But it was Clonakilty agricultural student and attractive conference attendee, Miss Nadia Ross (Pic above), who possibly carried the sentiments of us all, clearly printed on her huddie jacket.

Picture courtesy G.Willoughby, Thurles.


Thurles Families Investigated Following Gunshots & Arson

Gardaí are refusing to rule out the possibility that members of both Thurles and Limerick families are involved in incidents which have elderly residents in Rathdowney, (situated close to the Tipperary border) living in justifiable fear.

Recent unprecedented incidents of crime which include arson, guns being discharged, street altercations and numerous burglaries in the area have rocked the small town and left locals expressing deep shock.

Gardaí are currently conducting an investigation following a suspected arson attack in Rathdowney, which left a rural home completely gutted. Gardaí were called to a fire in a rural secluded house during the early hours of last week. The house was rented by two local men in their mid-20s. No person was injured at the scene and no arrests were made, however there were also reports of gunshots being fired at the scene of the house fire, in which a car was targeted.

Just hours earlier, the previous night, there had also been a serious altercation in the middle of the town, when gardaí ordered the seizure and removal of a vehicle with no tax or insurance. This physical altercation did not involve gardaí, but was between the removal operator and the occupants of the car being seized.

Numerous men were arrested and later released by gardaí, however one local male in his mid 20’s, with an outstanding warrant, is now being detained at the Midland’s Prison.

Gardaí now believe these incidents are all connected and the shooting and arson attack are linked to three recent burglaries in the Conoboro, Rathdowney area along with other reported attempted burglaries. Investigations are continuing.


Thurles Forms Traders Unite Association

On Wednesday 19th October last, over thirty retailers from the high streets of Thurles attended a meeting in Hayes Hotel Liberty Square, Thurles, to form a Traders Unite Association. This association is inclusive of all traders in Liberty Square, Friar Street, West Gate, Croke Street, Baker Street, Parnell Street, The Mall, Kickham Street and Mitchell Street. The meeting was very positive and participation from traders was informative and uplifting, with brilliant ideas put forward for consideration.

The agenda and aspirations addressed at this Association meeting, chaired by Joan Pollard Carew, (Michael’s Jewellers) came under the following headings:-
(1)Parking issues; (2) Traffic management; (3) Promoting individuality of shopping experience on our high streets; (4) Group advertising campaign, and (5) Music on our streets for Christmas 2011.

Thurles Traders Unite Association Meeting

Endeavouring to address parking issues for Thurles customers, a decision was made to offer free parking to all customers. Indeed at the time of going to press tonight, notices are being designed for shop windows and are expected to be be displayed in participating stores within the next seven days.
All customer who spend a minimum of €10 in Thurles shops, bearing this notice, will be refunded 30 minutes of their parking charges. Smart shoppers will be aware that they can actually, by visiting 4 shops, receive a €2 refund, despite having only paid €1.20 for parking.

It was also mooted that if the Town Council and traders could carve out a deal, where the old style parking discs could be made available, then traders could actually give a disc to their customers and everyone would gain considerably. To this end it was agreed that a delegation from this new Association would meet with the Councillors and Executives of the Town Council and these ideas would be amongst other issues for future discussion.

On Thurles traffic management the mood of the meeting confirmed that the present pedestrian lights system was causing unnecessary traffic jams and numerous safety issues were raised. Again these will be debated when the Association meets with Town Council officials.

To further promote high street shopping in Thurles the Traders Unite Association are considering numerous advertising packages, involving local and national media, in an effort to sustain present levels of employment and information for customers.

Thurles high streets have numerous outlets, selling a diverse range of goods and offering services, thus offering consumers a much better choice. As most shops are family owned and run these businesses can also offer a much more personal service.

The meeting was informed of a Christmas Market to take place in Liberty Square on 11th December. Stall holders will be decked out in period costumes with a proposed Faction Fight , together with Christmas music in the background, under the usual wonderful display of Christmas lighting. This event promises to be an exciting day for all the family. It will also showcase Thurles town centre, and children please note, Santa Claus has accepted an invitation to be present at this event. (More about this Christmas Market and it’s organisers in the coming days, so do stay tuned.)

Greater use of our towns successful Thurles.Info website was also encouraged, this service is free and should now be utilised by local traders for promotions and offers in their stores. The new Hidden Tipperary website is also a wonderful medium of both information and education for the county. Tourism or at least the lack of same was another issue raised, as this industry is not tapped into, in Thurles. Industry means business and as a group this association intends to now promote our town as a real tourist destination.

It was decided, by this meeting, not to form a traditional committee, rather it was felt that hierarchy was of no advantage and would be actually more of a hindrance to the future success of this new Association. The decision then to form a task force of ten traders to handle the day to day running of the Association and thus form smaller groups, to focus on current issues relating to traders, was adopted.

This newly elected task force is a diverse group of traders from across the retail industry in Thurles and are named as follows:-
John Butler, Paul Scully, Gabriella McLoughney, Catriona Griffin, Frances Boyle, William Kinane, Diarmud Moran, Paul McEvitt, George Willoughby and Joan Pollard Carew.

The next meeting of the Association’s task force will be October 25th next at 8.00pm in Hayes Hotel and progress reports will issue on a regular basis.

Joan Pollard Carew, who chaired the meeting, expressed gratitude on behalf of the Association, to the Management of Hayes Hotel, who provided accommodation for this event, free of charge.

Picture courtesy G.Willoughby, Thurles.


Thurles Beavers Enrolment Still Open

Thurles Beavers

The Thurles Beaver Scout Group have started back again, beginning on the 26th September last, following their Summer break, and the enrolment of new members is still continuing.

For those parents whose children may be still interested in joining this worthwhile group, note that Beavers are the Junior Section of Scouting Ireland. They meet every Monday night in the “Thurles Band Hall,” here in Stradovoher Road, beginning at 6.30pm until 7.30pm.

The Beaver section of Scouting is for both boys and girls, all aged between 6 and 8 years of age and costs are €3 per week.

I know as a parent myself, it is quite natural that I would want to be assured of my child’s safety and welfare, wherever they attend. So do be assured that as an organisation, Thurles Scouts personnel are fully committed to ensuring that all youth members learn, develop and have fun in a safe and totally secure environment. To this end they have developed robust child protection, recruitment and selection policies and procedures consistent with child protection policy and with all good practice guidelines.

Beaver Scouts are taught and indeed encouraged to take on tasks to find out about responsibility in a fun environment. They learn lots of new skills, but the most important thing is that they do it with other people, especially their friends, in an team building atmosphere, conducive to both fun and learning.

If you would like your child to be part of this organisation, why not find out further information by contacting Mary Tel: 086 2079213, Lyndsey Tel: 087 2139533 or Stella Tel: 087 6888799.

Note: Also if any adult is interested in helping out on a Monday night please make yourself known to the organisation, they are always grateful for any assistance.


Autonomous i Best Undiscovered Band

Autonomous i

Last November Thurles.Info informed you all about Tipperary’s newest ‘Rock Band’ sensation, which is quickly taking Ireland by storm.

(Click on poster left to see full resolution picture)

Now music critics are describing Autonomous i as being “the best undiscovered band in Ireland and it defies logic why Autonomous i is not top of the charts, it is about time for Autonomous i to be discovered.”

Since forming some years ago in a dark damp community hall here in Thurles, Autonomous i have honed their songwriting and performing skills to the point where their music is influenced as much from within the group, as it is from external sources. These five lads fuse sounds together from a breathtakingly broad sonic palette and are producing a range of original tracks that a well stocked duke box would give it’s last dime for!

Autonomous i of course are:- Frah Butler – Guitar and Vocals, Daragh Kennedy – Guitar and Vocals, Jamie Kelly – Bass and Vocals, Eddie Dwan – Violin, Synth and Adrian Creany – Drums.

The band’s live shows are varied in the extreme and the band seamlessly navigates through rock, funk and dance inspired grooves, with an infectious confidence and cheeky grins.

For all the bands fans, note tomorrow’s (Saturday) the Irish Daily Mail newspaper, will offer a free copy of the CD “Backstage Pass” which features Autonomous i and which was produced as part of the successful weekly TV series “The Apprentice.”