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"Cad atá ar súil agat ?" - What are you doing?

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Tipperary’s Alan Kelly Appointed Minister For Environment

The Taoiseach Enda Kenny hand in hand with new Tánaiste Joan Burton have announced details of their Cabinet reshuffle with Tipperary TD Alan Kelly now appointed as the new Minister for Environment and Local Government.

Yesterday’s announcement also saw the promotion of Paschal Donohoe as Minister for Transport, Jan O’Sullivan as Minister for Education and Alex White as Minister for Communications Energy and Natural Resources. Heather Humphreys replaces Jimmy Deenihan at Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Simon Coveney takes on the Defence portfolio while still remaining as Minister for Agriculture.

Charlie Flanagan will takes over at the Department of Foreign Affairs and James Reilly has been demoted as expected, moving to Children and Youth Affairs, while Leo Varadkar will replace the latter as Minister for Health with Kathleen Lynch still remaining as a junior Minister in Health.
These appointments were formalised by President Michael D Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin yesterday afternoon.

Reshuffle

Will Co Tipperary continue to run ‘Cap In Hand’ following the latest Cabinet reshuffle?

Taoiseach Enda Kenny stated during all of this reshuffling that the Government would now increase the overall household benefit package by €100, to compensate for the introduction of water charges. We here in Tipperary wait anxiously to see how this can be achieved and endeavour to understand why, if statement is correct, is it necessary to compensate for water charges when same could be simply reduced by the stated figure of €100.

The Taoiseach also stated that the system of child and income supports would be soon revised to reduce disincentives to persons returning to work, with access to subsidised childcare to be extended.  He did not state where these new disincentivising employment opportunities could be located, but did promise an unrelenting focus once again on future job creation.

With newly appointed Deputy Leader of the Labour Party Alan Kelly also gaining a seat on the Government’s front bench, he immediately becomes the first elected TD to do so in this county in over a decade. He will, by accepting his new ministerial duties at the top table, be now expected to look after his county’s flagging interests. His Party here in Tipperary has a major rebuilding struggle ahead, as indicated following a recent disastrous showing in Tipperary local and European elections.

While this new Labour Cabinet Tipperary appointee certainly does not lack personal confidence or indeed personal ambition, Tipperary will now be looking for him to deliver both funding and employment, factors that he and indeed his Fine Gael government colleagues, e.g. Coonan etc, have miserably failed to achieve over the past number of years. His new portfolio as Minister for the Environment and Local Government will certainly continue to attract national criticism given his Labour party’s stance and broken promises, prior to the last General Election, e.g. Introduction of Water Charges.

The hard working yet successful Hidden Tipperary Tourism Group are still waiting very tolerantly, regarding promised confirmation on the Derrynaflan Hoard’s brief vacation to Thurles from Dublin, but time is running out and in view of Mr Kelly’s latest acquired portfolio, their obscured future plans for 2015 now remain further shaded in murkiness.

North Tipperary LEADER Partnership are also waiting next in line, hatchet in hand, as Mr Kelly will be well aware, following the well attended rally held outside of Dáil Eireann on Wednesday July 9th last, addressed by Marian Harkin MEP, Liadh Ní Riada MEP and others.

Regarding Enda Kenny’s promised disincentivising  job opportunities, Minister Kelly will be well aware of the latest unemployment figures from the CSO showing that dole queues in Co Tipperary are continuing to grow longer.  The IDA’s report for the first six months of the year show that close to 8,000 jobs are being created across Ireland, but none of these promised investments have been allocated to County Tipperary.

Tipperary will wait and monitor, but nevertheless for the time being at least, we heartily congratulate Minister Alan Kelly on his recent success and wish him well in his new roles, both in rebuilding Labour and in successfully gaining his new seat at the Cabinet table.

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Thurles Negativity, Garth Brooks & Women

“It breeds dissatisfaction by perpetuating itself everywhere, cluttering up the minds of individuals, particularly here in Thurles,” said Micky, breaking the silence, as he continued sucking on the remains of his pig’s crubeen, elbows resting on the kitchen table. (Latter ‘Crubeen,’ for those of you less well educated of course is a boiled pig’s foot. Today they are called sausages, if no horse meat has been added.)

“What are you talking about Mickey,” said I, anxiously awaiting the promised afters of a plate of stewed rhubarb and custard, whose mouth-watering aroma was now being carried; wafting on the breeze created by the partially open window in the small scullery.

“Negativity,” said Mickey, Negativity, sure Thurles is full of it and it’s all coming down from Dublin. Take that Garth Brooks singer fellow,” he continued, “Sure if Dublin don’t want him, couldn’t Aiken and the GAA have sent him down here to forgotten Thurles and slap him into Semple Stadium for the week. Sure doesn’t he sing country music anyway.”

“Look it here,” said I, “This is all politics, people playing financial chess to get their own greedy little ways. Sure only a few weeks ago wasn’t the Minister of Finance down kissing Donald Trump’s arse in the west, in the hope of duping these Americans into progressing the sale of a bankrupt golf club. “Remember Mickey,” said I,” The money paid for those 400,000 tickets to listen to this Brooks fellow will end up in America, taken out of our bankrupt Irish economy in his private jet plane, tax and VAT free.

“I suppose you’re right there,” said Mickey, “I suppose the female clothing shops here in Thurles wouldn’t have sold so much as a plastic G-String, had those damned concerts gone ahead. Yeah you’re probably right;  negativity, women and politics are what has this Ireland ruined, sure women shouldn’t be allowed into politics anyway,” continued Micky.

“What’s your problem with women politicians,” said I.

“Well,” said Mickey, “Take a look at that Joan Burton one, since she became leader of the Labour Party. Sure only a woman would take four days moving an auld second-hand press from room to room in Dáil Éireann.”

“How do you mean,” said I.

“The cabinet re-shuffle,” said Mickey, “A man would have left that damned cabinet where they found it, but not a women, oh no; “push it over against the back wall,” – “no move it over to the window,” – “no try it in the bed room.” “Thank God the wife and myself only have two rooms, a scullery and an outside commode,” continued Mickey

I bit my tongue and remained silent.

“No its all negativity now-a-days here in Thurles,” continued Mickey, “Sure the wife was at her hairdresser’s there recently getting her perm fixed, before her trip to Rome and she just happened to mentioned this same junket to the hairdresser.

Continue reading Thurles Negativity, Garth Brooks & Women

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Cabragh Wetlands Thurles The Place To Be On Sunday Next

Are you wondering how to enjoy some truly high quality family time this coming weekend?

Why not bring the whole family along to Cabragh Wetlands from 9.00am to 12.00 noon this Sunday, 13th July, when Birdwatch Ireland will open their ‘ringing nets’ to the public and giving you a chance to look at and hear about the birds that have been caught and tagged that morning.

To view video in HD please click HERE .

Ringing nets are the process used to attach a small, individually numbered metal or plastic tag to the leg or wing of a wild bird. This later enables individual bird to be identified should it be recaptured or recovered.

It is common to take measurements during this capture for ringing. The subsequent recapture or recovery of the bird can then later provide valuable insight on migration, longevity, mortality, population studies, territoriality, feeding behaviour and many other aspects that are studied in detail by ornithologists.

There will also be a Star Systems television crew filming and recording, for public broadcasting later in the year and they would truly love to film your children busily active and engaged with ‘Mother Nature.’

Insect traps will be set up and the pond dipped, so there will be plenty to see and lots to learn from a team of experts under the supervisory and informative wing of senior Birdwatch Officer Alex Copland.

This will be a great family morning, and we advise that you come earlier rather than later, as trapped birds and insects can’t be kept for too long and must be released back into the wild as soon as possible after capture.

Trust me when I say that this educational primary source experience will be the total conversation around your dinner table for many days to come.

There will be a small charge of €5 for adults and €2 for children, with same being used as a contribution to the Cabragh Wetlands current and very important building programme.

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UPC Refuse An Post Access To Cable Subscription Data

upcWith new regulations having been approved aimed at a crackdown on people who do not subscribe to a TV licence, Labour Minister Pat Rabbitte threatened today that An Post will now attempt to access Sky and UPC Subscriptions Data to work out who has not paid their annual TV Licence.

Contradicting the Minister; UPC have stated it will not now share any data with An Post as part of the Ministers threatened crackdown, as they believe they are not legally obliged to grant An Post access to their Cable Subscription Data.

Presently it is estimated that 15% of the Irish population are evading TV licence payments, however access to cable subscription data UPC believe could contravene their obligations under Irish data protection.

Why are 15% of the Irish population involved in TV licence evasion? Could be caused by same being forced to watch Miriam O’Callaghan interview self promoting, hustler style, so-called top Irish celebrates: many pulled from within her own hallowed RTE, all desperately seeking free national advertising for their badly written books or even worse – free air time for their even less talented musical soundtracks.

Perhaps Minister Rabbitte hasn’t yet viewed the latest Live Register Unemployment Data Figures; latter which showed the numbers of persons presently seeking some form of monthly ‘Gratuitous Relief’ here in County Tipperary.

Last month Thurles was the worst affected area, with some 2,861 people on the dole queue; while Clonmel ran a close second on 2,811.  Nenagh numbers showed  2,783, but added together all social welfare offices in Tipperary recorded a rise on June unemployment figures of some 385 persons, latter well above already published May 2014 figures.

Perhaps Bread and Cheese took priority over a mere TV licence this month Minister!  Maybe Miriam O’Callaghan would cover this issue on a future programme, “Genuinely.”

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A Taste of Lough Derg Tipperary

Tipperary Fayre

A Taste of Lough Derg, Tipperary

Food producers and restaurant owners surrounding Lough Derg have joined forces in an effort to promote the region as a food tourism destination. ‘A Taste of Lough Derg 2014′, a pilot initiative for 2014, features 13 separate food events taking place in villages and towns along the shores of Lough Derg in counties Clare, Galway and Tipperary.

Commencing this week and continuing through mid-September, the series includes;  Sunday Picnic at the lake in Killaloe,  Butcher Masterclass in Terryglass, Farm Walk and Cheese Tasting in Portumna, BBQ Garden Party and talent show in Garrykennedy and Chocolate Making and Tasting in Tuamgraney and Newtown. The series will also highlights the excellent country and farmers markets around Lough Derg.

The initiative is one of the recommendations of the Roadmap for Lough Derg, which was launched in conjunction with the Lough Derg Marketing Strategy Group (LDMSG) and Fáilte Ireland in March 2014.  The strategy has identified a number of areas to focus on over the period of the plan in order to achieve the vision for Lough Derg which is to develop it as a key destination for superb water based activities combined with a range of very high quality walking, cycling, heritage, culture and food experiences that will entice the domestic and international visitors to stay longer.

 “One of our objectives early on was to establish an initiative that showcased the local food sector, something that has not previously been done in a coordinated fashion,” explained Joe MacGrath, Chairperson of the LDMSG.

He added: “The local food tourism sector is fortunate to be served by a number of high quality artisan food producers and established chef-led restaurants. ‘A Taste of Lough Derg’ brings these various elements together as a method of promoting Lough Derg as a destination for food and illustrating the food produce in the area. As well as being aimed at attracting new visitors to the region, we hope this series will also inform people in the surrounding area of the quality food providers and suppliers that exist on their own doorstep.”

The participating stakeholders from around Lough Derg include Brookfield Farm, Tuscany Bistro, The Derg Inn, Lough Derg Chocolates, Sunny Meadow Farm, Good and Green, The Wooden Spoon, Larkin’s Bar & Restaurant, Killeen Farmhouse Cheese, Irish Seed Savers, Wilde Irish Chocolates, and Paddy’s Bar & Riverrun House & Cottages.

Áine Mc Carthy, Tourism Marketing Coordinator for Lough Derg commented: “The development of a new food tourism initiative is one of the objectives of the Roadmap for Lough Derg which seeks to enhance the overall visitor experience around Lough Derg and to establish an identity that is unique to this region. We are delighted to partner with local businesses to develop this initiative and further enhance the Lakelands ‘Lough Derg’ experience.”

‘A Taste of Lough Derg’ includes ‘Walk, See & Taste’ on Sunny Meadow Farm with a BBQ and Killeen Cheese Tastings, Portumna (Sun 13th Jul); ‘Taste & Make’ at Wilde Irish Chocolates Real Working Chocolate Factory, Tuamgraney (Thu 17th Jul); Pizza Picnic, Riverrun House & Cottages (Sun 20th Jul); Chocolate Demonstration and Tastings, Lough Derg Chocolates, Newtown (Fri 25th Jul); Tuscany Bistro World Cup of Forrestal Wines & Feast of Local Produce, Ballina (Thu 31st Jul); Scariff Harbour Festival 2014 feat. cooking demo with Chef Adrian Martin (Sat 2nd Aug); Farm walk on Brookfield Farm All Ireland Permaculture Gathering feat. workshops, foraging, wild swimming, Coolbawn (8th-10th Aug); ‘Meet the Producer’ organised through Paddy’s Bar, Terryglass (Tue 12th Aug); ‘Making the most of it – 50+ foods from an Irish garden’ at Good and Green, Annacarriga (Fri 15th Aug); Larkin’s BBQ Garden Party & Talent Show, Garrykennedy (Sun 24th Aug); A Celebration of Tipperary Beef and Lamb feat. Master Butcher demo & craft beer tasting, The Derg Inn, Terryglass (Sat 6th Sept); ‘Apple Week’ at Irish Seed Savers, Scarriff (11th-14th Sept); and ‘Sunday Picnics at the Lake’ with The Wooden Spoon Killaloe (Sun 14th Sept).

A nominal charge applies to some events while others are free. Pre-booking is recommended.

For complete details on each event, visit www.facebook.com/ATasteofLoughDerg.

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