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North Tipperary Co Council Lay Off 30 Temp Staff

According to Tipp FM Radio & North Tipperary Co Councillor Mr John Carroll, some 30 temporary staff, presently employed by North County Council, have all been issued with Notices of Employment Termination, to come into effect from September next.

The staff affected are employed in the Roads section of the Council & their “lay off,” will have a direct impact on the future of the North Tipperary Roads programme.  Speculation is that these cuts are the result of failure by Minister Phil Hogan to collect his unjustifiable & inequitable €100 Household Charge. Nationally 600,000 properties nationwide have yet to be registered by owners, a job that may go to Revenue, when it takes over collection of the levy next year.

Looks like yet another Fine Gael/Labour vote loosing exercise, here in the forgotten county, latter whose population appear happy to accept weekly, action-less political spin, while some of their Tipperary Senators & TD’s fail to turn up for work, and thus earn their exorbitant salaries.

Staff at the Local Government Management Agency, (LGMA), the group charged with collecting the household charge, have recently received unacceptable death threats & abuse, including a shotgun cartridge sent in the post, & that’s according to LGMA’s CEO Paul McSweeney.

While normal civilised people these days will totally frown on this type of behaviour, declaring is totally unacceptable, Phil Hogan is obviously no historian and is not aware of the happenings, when forced collection of a similar form of unjust taxation was attempted, in his own county of Kilkenny, in 1831.

The Tithe War

The Tithe War (Irish: Cogadh na nDeachúna) was a campaign which began with nonviolent civil disobedience, but later became punctuated by sporadic violent episodes here in Ireland between 1830 & 1836, in angry reaction to the enforcement of Tithes on subsistence farmers and others, for the upkeep of the established state church, the Church of Ireland. The idea of Tithe Taxes goes back a long way to the Reformation of 1517 & its idea sprang from the Christian Bible, possibly from Leviticus 27:30: “And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s; it is holy unto the Lord.

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Tipperary Polish Society Now Formed

Picture shows: L- R Patricia Dabrowska, Marcin Skruch & Konrad Parzychowski, committee members of the newly formed Tipperary Polish Society.

In today’s world, people are immigrating to other countries from all around our world, often in search of work or improved working conditions, dreams of success and fortune or just plain adventure.  Polish people, just like Irish people past & present, have been immigrating for centuries. In the past we all had our reasons, Communism, War, Famine or simply Unemployment.

One good history example, worthy of note, can be found when one examines immigration during the first 6 months of 1847. Almost half as many Polish as did Irish people, immigrated to New York, the latter escaping the Great Potato Famine here in Ireland.

Today Polish people travel in search of a better life style, choosing to locate in many different countries, including Ireland. Indeed, according to the 2011 Census, 2.67% of the general population living in Ireland are now Polish, which makes them the largest single minority group living here. Since Polish people started arriving in Ireland they have begun to organise themselves in numerous ways. Everyone of them have found here in Ireland their own “harbour,” but sometimes they still feel totally lost & lonely in their own somewhat restricted private lives. Many of them have gotten themselves into a pattern of a,” Work to Home & back to Work again,” style of living, without any other motivation for further interactive community participation and integration. This creates a negative effect not just through their immediate contact with their family and limited friends, but with other existing multicultural societies and with Irish people, in the land they have choosen to adopt.

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Councillor Calls For Students To Apply For Grants

Thurles Town Councillor Gerard Fogarty has congratulated all Leaving Certificate students on their results last week and all those who have received CAO offers so far and called on them to apply for the Student Grant.

In a statement to Thurles.Info this morning, Cllr. Fogarty stated : “The deadline for applications for the Student Maintenance Grant is the 31st of August. I would encourage all students to use the eligibility reckoner on www.studentfinance.ie and fill out the Student Maintenance Grant form online if you might be eligible. If you are not eligible for the maintenance grant in part or whole, you may be entitled to access the Student Assistance Fund.

With the Government considering a major change in student grant policy, students face uncertainty over grants ahead of college. It is hugely unfair that a large number of leaving certificate students and their families continue to face vast uncertainty over changes to third level grants only a few days before they are expected to make a decision on college offers. Students from farming and self-employed families will be expected to make a decision on whether to accept a college place despite not knowing if they will qualify for grants for the duration of their time in college due to the continuing uncertainty over Minister Quinn’s planned changes to the third level grants system particularly regarding assets.

Minister Quinn’s agenda in this regard was made quite clear again this week when figures were released by the HEA showing that 40% of farmers and close to 50% of self employed people secured a college grant for their children. However, what is not mentioned in these figures is that the average farm income continues to be €24,000.

Minister Quinn’s plan, to include capital assets in means testing for grants is wrong. The true test of whether someone is eligible for a grant has to be their income not their assets. Students can’t be expected to make a decision on a college offer when they have no idea if they will qualify for a grant and be able to afford to complete their third level qualification.

Minister Quinn has already put postgraduate education out of reach of thousands of people, latter who don’t have the financial means to pay for it. Unfortunately, we now face a situation where a large number of young people will also be denied access to undergraduate education. With students accepting offers this week, Minister Quinn needs to immediately make clear what his intentions are in regard to third level grants.  At an absolute minimum, the Minister needs to give an assurance in the next few days to this year’s leaving cert students, now awaiting CAO offers, that they will not be facing into a situation whereby they could lose a grant, which is essential to maintaining them in education after just one year at third level.

I have always maintained that the Government must make its budgetary strategy clear for the next 3-5 years, to provide certainty to the economy. If the Government intends to reintroduce third level tuition fees, restrict the grant scheme or increase the student contribution, then they must make their position clear allowing families to budget ahead, if a student is to embark on a 3/4 year course.

I welcome the recent changes to the administration of the student grant system, which now sees applications and payments processed centrally by Student Universal Support Ireland which I hope will ensure the speedy processing of applications and payments. At the start of every college year students face a tough few weeks to pay for their first rent, materials and books.” Councillor Fogarty stated.

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Single Car Collision At Holycross

Two young men, one aged nineteen and one aged in his twenties, are in hospital today, following a car accident in Holycross village near Thurles, in Co.Tipperary at around 2.30am this morning.

Both men, believed to be local, are understood to have been the occupants of one car and no other vehicle was involved. The accident scene is now sealed off for forensic & technical examination and motorists are warned that diversions are currently in place.

Unconfirmed reports, state that both men were treated at Clonmel Hospital, before being moved to Cork University Hospital (CUH).  The passenger in the vehicle, latter understood to be a Nissan, sustained two broken legs and possible back injuries.

Gardaí are appealing for witnesses, who may have information, to contact Thurles Garda Station, Slievenamon Road, Thurles, Co.Tipperary, Telephone No: 0504-25100.

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Chemical Fluoride & Our New Thurles Water Treatment Plant

Leaking Victorian Water Pipes

The lack of public information & indeed public debate regarding the Thurles Regional Water Supply Scheme paid for by tax payers & the future proposed construction of a local Water Treatment Plant, both estimated at €26 million, prompts Proinsías Barrett to ask some pertinent questions.

Proinsías writes: “It is good to see that Thurles and environs are to receive a modern water system, but I have some reservations about the motives and procedures involved.

It is only now that the Troika and IMF are in town that emphasis has been suddenly placed on water charges and centralised provision, allowing easier ‘management’ and thus easier systems of charging.

I am not completely against water metering because as I have said before, it has proven to be a disincentive to waste and the ridiculous practice of leaving a tap running during cold spells to prevent the pipes from freezing, instead of insulating pipes properly. However with the financial problems in the nation, a reasonable charge is acceptable, provided our water is crystal clean and the infrastructure remains in the public domain.

However so far indications would suggest that these conditions may not be realised.

The €10 million initial cost is obviously coming from the national coffers (Tax payers), but it seems it is impossible for tax payers and citizens (Who just may be interested.) to have any input into or to ask any questions about these projects. I know the majority of the public are possibly not concerned or care little regarding the technicalities of water provision, but some are and all are entitled to know what is planned with their money.

I visited Croatia last year for a month and travelling around its various towns and cities, I was very impressed at the cleanliness of the country and the abundant fresh tasting clean water, which all the tourist publications insisted, was absolutely safe to drink from any tap anywhere in the country, and this is a country with a Mediterranean climate and scorching summers with little rainfall.

I was puzzled. I only purchased one litre of bottled water during that month travelling, and re-filled it as I went.

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