Police Officers from all countries across Europe, including Ireland, are to begin a week-long campaign on Monday next, December 8th 2014 to raise awareness of the dangers of drunk and drug driving. The campaign is co-ordinated by TISPOL (the European Traffic Police Network), and involves officers conducting alcohol and drug checks at any time of the day and night.
TISPOL President Garda Chief Superintendent Aidan Reid says: “Driving after consuming any alcohol is dangerous. Driving while over the drink drive limit is against the law. Drivers will experience slower reactions, poor judgement of speed, reduced co-ordination and concentration with much lower levels of alcohol in their system. “That’s why our message this year is simple: your ability to drive safely is impaired by even a small amount of alcohol. So if you have had a drink, do not drive. If you need to drive, then do not drink.”
Drivers can expect highly visible and widespread enforcement of alcohol and drug laws during the operation, at any location and at any time of day or night.
Chief Superintendent Reid says it’s also important to be aware of the continuing effects of alcohol the day after an evening of drinking. “Your body takes time to remove alcohol from your system. If it is still present in your body, then it will be identified during a breath test. That’s why a night’s sleep is no guarantee that you’re safe and legal to drive the next morning,” he warned.
“If you have used recreational drugs, then do not drive. If you are taking medicine, whether prescribed or purchased over the counter, then read the notes of advice that go with it. If these tell you not to drive after taking the medicine, then do not drive. The advice is there for a reason, to keep you and others safe.”
“If you are in any doubt about medicines and driving, then our advice is to consult a healthcare professional before you get behind the wheel.”
During a similar week-long operation in December 2013, 1.1 million drivers were checked in 31 European countries. Officers reported 15,305 alcohol offences and 2,133 drug offences, as well as more than 2,500 other crimes.
The results of this co-ordinated operation are expected to be made available by mid January 2015, don’t be part of their statistics.
Following strong concerns over the condition of the R498 road, linking Thurles to Nenagh at Latteragh, Templederry, and the safety of those using it, notice has been given by Tipperary County Council to make an emergency road closure order, under the Roads Act 1993 – 2007 (Section 75 of the roads Act 1993,) Roads Regulations 1994.
The period of closure will come into effect from 8.30 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. from Monday December 8th to Friday December 12th 2014.
Motorists must now use the following alternative routes; with all R498 North Bound traffic diverted Currabaha Cross via the L2261, L2124, L2122, R497, R499 to re-join the R498 at Ballinamona Cross.
The R498 south bound traffic will divert at Ballinamona Cross via the R499, R497, L2122, L2124, L2261 to re-join R498 at Currabaha Cross. Heavy Goods Vehicles are well advised to use the R501 and N62 via Templemore and Roscrea as their chosen alternative diversion routes.
Note: Diversions will be fully in place and clearly sign-posted for all those travelling this route and Tipperary County Council sincerely regrets any inconvenience caused as a result of this unforeseen yet very necessary road closure, brought about as a result of serious recent flood damage.
A Judge in Clonmel Court has ruled this morning that the former Fine Gael TD and Minister Michael Lowry should now stand trial on five charges relating to Income Tax matters.
Justice Tom Teehan gave his verdict on a number of applications made by Mr Lowry’s defence team at Clonmel Court this morning. Latter had previously argued that Mr Lowry could not get a fair trial.
Council for the State Mr Remy Farrell had made the claim that a jury in Co Tipperary could be biased, objectively or subjectively, having given Deputy Lowry their first preference votes during past General Elections. Mr Lowry’s legal team had claimed that their client had no liability for the alleged taxes being sought and this fact was backed up by two sets of expert accountants.
The sixty year-old independent Tipperary TD and native of Holycross now faces five charges, including knowingly completing incorrect tax returns on a number of dates between 2003 and 2007.
Judge Teehan, who rejected the defence arguments, has directed that the trial will now go ahead before Dublin Circuit Court at a date as yet to be agreed.
This year’s Christmas video advert from Sainsbury’s, the third largest chain of supermarkets in the United Kingdom, titled “Christmas is for sharing” was made in partnership with The Royal British Legion. It commemorates the extraordinary events of Christmas Day, 1914, when artillery guns fell silent and two armies met in no-man’s land, to share gifts and play football together.
Many people may not be aware that the director of this fine video advert, Mr Ringan Ledwidge, is just ‘four degrees of separation’ from our county of Tipperary. Ringan Ledwidge admits he was intimidated by the sensitivity of this his video subject; indeed his own great-uncle and Slane, Co Meath born Irish war poet, Lance Corporal Francis Ledwidge, died at the Battle of Passchendaele in July 1917, aged just 29, and his paternal grandfather had fought in both world wars.
Lance Corporal Francis Ledwidge was dismayed by the news of the Easter 1916 Rising, and was court-martialled and demoted for overstaying his home leave and also for being drunk in uniform. However on his return to the front, he received back his Lance Corporal’s stripe in January 1917; when he was posted to the Western Front, joining the 29th Division, 1st Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.
On July 31st 1917, a number of soldiers, including Ledwidge, were involved in road-laying in preparation for an upcoming assault during the Third Battle of Ypres, close the village of Boezinge, northwest of Ypres. While Ledwidge was drinking tea in a mud crater with his comrades, a shell exploded, killing the poet and five others. Rev. Francis Charles Devas, (S.J., D.S.O. 1917; O.B.E. 1919) latter a chaplain who knew him, recorded “Ledwidge killed, blown to bits.”
Francis Ledwidge – His Tipperary Connection
It was Francis Ledwidge, latter also a friend of W.B. Yeats, who wrote the ” Lament for Thomas MacDonagh.” Thomas MacDonagh, as we are aware, was born here in Cloughjordan, County Tipperary and educated at Rockwell College near Cashel. MacDonagh had grown up in a household filled with music, poetry and learning and was instilled by both his parents, (both teachers), with his love for both English and Irish culture from a young age and became a signatory of the Irish Proclamation.
Lament for Thomas MacDonagh – by Francis Ledwidge
“He shall not hear the bittern cry in the wild sky, where he is lain,
Nor voices of the sweeter birds above the wailing of the rain.
Nor shall he know when loud March blows thro’ slanting snows her fanfare shrill,
Blowing to flame the golden cup of many an upset daffodil.
But when the Dark Cow leaves the moor and pastures poor with greedy weeds,
Perhaps he’ll hear her low at morn, lifting her horn in pleasant meads.”
A small section of this Christmas Day, 1914 happening will be recreated during the “Carols By Candlelight,” service in St Mary’s Church, Thurles, on December 14th next at 8.00pm. (But more on that upcoming Thurles Christmas event very soon.)
While our present government currently continues to ignore Co Tipperary’s economy and history, one wonders will the memory of Thomas MacDonagh be included in any proposed future 1916 commemorations, since after all, we do reside outside of Dublin.
Tipperary Children Please Note: Santa Clause Is Coming To Thurles On Thursday Evening Next.
Father Christmas is making his usual unscheduled pre-Christmas visit to Thurles on Thursday next December 4th, on his way back to the North Pole to begin organising his final “Reindeer Run” beginning after 6.00pm on December 24th.
Santa’s wife, Mrs. Clause or Mother Christmas as she is also known, won’t be travelling to Thurles this year, as she is up to her eyes making cookies with the elves, caring for the reindeer and supervising the toy making. Sure Christmas wouldn’t be the same were it not for the backup and support given by Mother Christmas.
By the way Mrs. Clause’s first name has always remained somewhat of a mystery here in Ireland, though I can confirm in confidence that she is called Mary, Annalina, Jessica, Layla, Ahoop, Seeki, Martha, Kasey, Gretchen and Santarina depending on which country in the world you may reside. (Kids do keep this information quietly to yourself, as we Irish children just call her Mrs Clause. You see Irish children are better mannered and demonstrate a greater respect for older citizens than most other children in other world countries.)
Of course Father Christmas is here in Thurles pre-season for a particular reason; “So you better watch out, you better not cry, better not pout, I’m telling you why. He’s making a list and he’s checking it twice, he’s gonna find out who’s naughty and nice. He sees you when you’re sleeping and he knows when you’re awake. He knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake! ”
The Tipp FM Radio Outside Broadcast Unit will be stationary in Liberty Square, Thurles; broadcasting live from around 4.00pm-7.00pm and the Christmas street lighting will be officially turned on at around 5.30pm, by a very special as yet not disclosed mystery guest.
It is understood Santa may be carrying a large consignment of sweets which will be distributed in Liberty Square and those of you who have not sent your Santa Letters may get an opportunity to whisper your gift preference quietly in his ear.
You might also inform your parents that there are some €100 gift voucher being kindly given away by local businesses like Michael’s Jewellers (Westgate), Boyles China & Gift Shop (Liberty Square), O’Dwyer Shoes, (Friar St.), Aisling Health & Beauty, (The Mall Thurles), Daly’s Fish Shop, (Liberty Square), but to name just a few.
All in all there will be a great atmosphere in the town, so do come and make a start on that Christmas shopping.
Remember: No Crying, No Pouting, Be Nice, Be Good.
A particular thank you to Thurles Chamber President Mr John O’Shaughnessy and his back-room team for organising this most festive of annual Thurles events.