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New Thurles Town Park – A Positive Step Into Our Future

Thurles-Town-Park

Construction begins on the new Thurles Town Park.

Perhaps it comes from that occasional light tap I received on the back of my head from a loving Grandmother as a young boy; her occasional reminder that I had failed to convey an appropriate “Thank You” at a required point in time.  Perhaps, maybe it is my own inquisitive nature in attempting to acquire true historical facts, or indeed maybe it’s both. Whichever, this week I found myself rummaging amongst the publicly accessible records, held currently behind the attractive red brick exterior of the Thurles Town Council office.

As many of our local readers will be well aware, an exciting new project, which has the backing of both Thurles residents and businesses; obtained through a process of full consultation, has now been initiated here in Thurles; the end positive result of which will be the emergence of a much needed Town Park amenity.

For the benefit of our many absent readers, latter formally natives of the town, but now for one reason or another are resident abroad; the construction of this soon to be realised Town Park is on property, formally farmland, owned by St Patricks College and positioned to the rear of The Source Complex, immediately east of the river Suir.

Chosen for the overseeing construction of this new park is SIAC Construction, a large multi-disciplined construction group with significant operations across Ireland and further afield, established and renowned for providing turnkey solutions to the Irish Building and Civil Engineering industry.

A Town Park For Thurles

From my research possibly the first public mention ever of a Town Park for Thurles, (according to notes examined), was back in 1910. The suggested site was, believe it or not, on hallowed turf known today as “Semple Stadium.” Back then different views and ideas were being tossed about as to whether the present Semple Stadium site should be used, not to build the second largest Stadium in Ireland, but for use as a Graveyard or as a Town Park. Lack of any real decision making, resulted in an umbrella group being formed by some residents of Thurles, latter seeking a ‘Sports Field,’ which same eventually and through personal private / donations was successfully purchased for a sum reported to be between £1,100 and £1,700.

However today’s now sanctioned Thurles Town Park project was initially the brainchild of visionary Mr Tomas (Tom) Barry, latter recently retired Chief Executive of Carlow Co Council, but who was Thurles Town Manager in 2002.

Following discussions with his Council Administrative Staff, Mr Barry decided to include a proposal to Thurles Councillors to increase the towns overall ‘Commercial Rate’ by 25%, in the upcoming 2003 Budget estimates, bringing it into line with other Irish towns of similar size.  His forward looking plan was that some 15% of this 25% increase would be ‘ring fenced,’ to meet local contributions required for a possible number of future Capital Projects within the town. It was anticipated back then that this 15% would yield some €200,000.00 per annum.

The Visionary Future For Thurles

Mr Barry in his five point visionary plan unveiled a possible, yet attainable dream for Thurles, details of which are listed hereunder:-
(1) A Leisure Centre.   (2) Regional Arts Centre.   (3) Thurles Town Centre Enhancement.   (4) Thurles Town Park / River Walk.   (5) Upgrading / Extension to Thurles Council Offices (Latter then grossly overcrowded and unfit for day to day business transactions.)

Mr Barry, in his report on this proposed budget, had stated to his elected Councillors that a Leisure Centre, Regional Arts Centre and a Town Park should be visualised for the future, as being all major practical additions to any town’s recreational facilities, while a Town Enhancement Scheme would dramatically augment an overall appearance of the Thurles town centre.
Having shared his vision with Town Councillors, Mr Barry’s proposals were considered at the 2003 Budget Meeting which was held on Thursday, December 19th 2002. This aforementioned Budget, which including this 25% Commercial Rate increase, was formally adopted by a 5 votes to 2 majority, with two other councillors unavoidably absent from that meeting.

Who Shared In Tom Barry’s Thurles Town Vision?

Those who shared Mr Tom Barry’s future vision, thus voting Forthe adoption of this proposed 2003 Budget increase were; Elected Councillors Mr John Kenehan (Now retired former Thurles Mayor), the Late Mr Paddy Durack (RIP), Mr John Kennedy (Now an outgoing Councillor), Mrs Mae Quin (Now retired), and Mr Martin Ryan (Now retired).

Those who voted ‘AgainstMr Tom Barry’s future vision for the town and thus against the adoption of this same 2003 Budget were; then elected Town Councillor Mr Paddy Barry (Now retired) and Mr Jim Ryan (Recently re-elected Co Councillor).

Those who ‘Abstained, through being unavoidably absent from this Budget meeting were; Elected Councillors M/s Frances Boyle (Now retired) and the Late M/s Ann Mernagh (RIP).

This new Budget, then formally adopted in December 2002, saw the immediate ring fencing of some 15% of annual town revenues generated, which in turn were wisely invested by an ever shrewd Town Clerk, Mr Michael Ryan, latter now presently Thurles District’s Administrator.  Mr Ryan’s superb money management, through selective investments, would later lead Councillor John Kenehan to be entered into the final Minute Book of Thurles Town Council, using wording to the effect. “I would like to thank in particular Town Clerk Mr Michael Ryan, who kept Thurles Town Council always so strongly and clearly financially focused along a straight and narrow path .”

Work has now begun to put this long awaited amenity in place with great care being taken to preserve and restore all existing important historical architecture and stonework identified with this site, including the restoration of the arched entranced Victorian farm shed, once associated possibly with the storing of horse drawn machinery.

To all persons past and present, who through their vision and business acumen, or in any way, shape or form, contributed to this now, soon to be realised, Thurles Town Park, the people of Thurles say “Thank You” for your successful planning, management and overall foresight, as we watch this dream now become a reality.

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Tipperary’s Canon Stephen Neill Relocates His Own Roots

S-Neill

Tipperary’s Canon Stephen Neill with US President Barack Obama.

Church of Ireland Rector, Canon Stephen Neill, the man who confirmed US President Barack Obama’s ancestral roots with Moneygall, has decided to pull up and relocate his own roots.

The 45 year old has announced he is leaving his Cloughjordan and the Borrisokane Group of parishes to become Rector of Celbridge and Straffan with Newcastle–Lyons. His Service of Institution as Incumbent of the latter parishes will take place on Thursday, February 12th, 2015 next at 8.00pm in Christ Church, Celbridge, Co Kildare.

Canon Neill has ministered to Cloughjordan residents for the past seventeen years and as part of his move, he now relinquishes his Church of Ireland “Canon” status; laughingly admitting “I will be getting €50 less a month in salary, so I’m not going for the money.”

In explaining his desire to uproot, Canon Neill explains that he now seeks new challenges and fears becoming “too comfortable,” latter which has caused “an itch that needs to be scratched.”

Canon Neill admits that leaving the Cloughjordan and Borrisokane Group of parishes won’t be easy for himself, or for his wife Nicola and their teenage son Aaron. He feels a sense of guilt and regret walking away, after such a long time, having secured strong bonds of proven loyalty and tested friendships with those within his community; all of whom have stood together with him, through thick and thin.

The Dublin born Canon, who is also Precentor of the joint chapter of St Mary’s Cathedral, Limerick and St Flannan’s Cathedral, Killaloe, made headlines around the world after his research led to the confirmation that US President Barack Obama’s great-great-grandfather Joseph Kearney had been baptised in the parish of Moneygall. Indeed his personal contribution, within the wider midland regions of Ireland to encourage tourism alone, have far surpassed Fáilte Ireland’s derisory attempts at marketing and highlighting this area.

Canon Neill himself is a very keen reader, blogger and writer, contributing opinion pieces on his website and on local and national newspapers. Previously Curate Assistant in Monkstown, Dublin and in Limerick City Parish, he is a committed ecumenist, believing that the future of our Churches is in gaining closer bonds between all Christians of all traditions, while at the same time discovering where God is at work outside the walls of churches.

Rev Ruth Gill, latter who is already familiar with the Cloughjordan & Borrisokane Group of parishes will now serve as interim Priest-In-Charge for the time being.

In a recent Blog Canon Neill wrote:-

“As I write these notes I am conscious that there is still an occasion to come when I will have a chance to say a formal farewell to you my friends in this group of parishes. But for those of you who may not be able to be present may I thank you on behalf of myself, Nicola & Aaron, for the warmth and generosity you have shown us since our arrival in August 1998. It has been a privilege to be your rector and fellow companion on the journey of life. We will always consider this place very special and it is you the parishioners who have made our time here a happy one. We leave with good memories and not a little sadness. May God bless each and every one of you as you have blessed us.”

Moneygall Development Association made a presentation last Monday night in Ollie’s Bar to acknowledge Canon Neill’s contribution to their community; described him as being selfless and having strengthened bonds between faiths which will remain a lasting legacy. Using President Obama’s quote, “We did not come to fear the future. We came here to shape it” the association whole heartedly agreed that Canon Neill’s presence in their community had definitely shaped a brighter future for the area.

North Tipperary’s loss is most definitely a gain for the Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough and so we wish Canon Stephen every success in his new journey and in the words of the old Irish Toast; “May you have warm words on a cool evening, a full moon on a dark night, and a smooth road all the way to your door.”

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Death Announced Of Mr James J. Corbett Thurles

With Sincere Sympathy

With Sincere Sympathy.

It is with great sadness we report the death, (Friday 23rd January 2015) of Mr James J. Corbett, (J.J. Corbett), 36 Moyne Road, Thurles, Tipperary. The late Mr Corbett was predeceased by his son Seamus, daughter-in-law Jackie and grandson Paul.

His passing is deeply regretted by his loving wife Mary, his sons; Rev. Fr. Padraic P.P. Loughmore and Castleiney, Dessie, Gerard and Catherine, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nephews, nieces, relatives, neighbours and a wide circle of friends.

Funeral Arrangements
Mr Corbett’s body will repose at Egan’s Funeral Home on Sunday, 25th January, from 4.00pm to 7.30pm, arriving at the Cathedral of The Assumption, Cathedral Street, Thurles, at 8.00pm. Requiem Mass on Monday, 26th January, at 11.00am, followed by burial afterwards in St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Moyne Road, Thurles.

Family flowers only, but donations if desired, to the Community Hospital of the Assumption, Thurles.

Go ndéana Dia trócaire ar a anam dílis.

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Economic Local & Community Debate On Tipperary

Nobody thinks or feels or cares any more; nobody gets excited or believes in anything except their own comfortable little God-damn mediocrity.” - Richard Yates.

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” - Oscar Wilde, (Lady Windermere’s Fan.)

A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” - Winston S. Churchill.

TipperaryMapDo YOU want ‘Your Say’ in the Future Economic, Local and Community Development of Thurles and County Tipperary?

If your answer is YES read on.

Meetings are being organised right across County Tipperary to get the opinions and views of local community and business sectors, about the priorities, projects and initiatives that they would like to see included in the Local Economic and Community Plan, (LECP).

The purpose of this plan is to set out the objectives and actions needed to promote and support future economic, local and community development within our county.
Full participation by community, social and economic interests will result in a strong plan that reflects the real need and priorities of the people of County Tipperary so make sure your views are heard early in the process, by attending the consultation meets at one of the following locations:-

Monday 26th January – The Carraig Hotel, Carrick-on-Suir.     Tuesday 27th January - Anner Hotel, Thurles.
Wednesday 28th January - Bru Boru, Cashel.     Monday 2nd February - Clonmel Park Hotel, Clonmel.
Tuesday 3rd February – Abbey Court Hotel, Nenagh.

Funding coming to Co Tipperary for the purposes of Community Development, Rural Development, Social Inclusion or Economic Development will be spend on actions and priorities that have been included in this plan, therefore it is important that community groups, business interests and individuals attend these consultations, in order that they can put forward what they feel is a priority for their particular area.

This round of consultations is just one part of the consultation processes and there will be subsequent opportunities to feed into the process. Already a Socio-Economic Framework is in place. This was developed in conjunction with the state agencies for the purpose of ‘framing’ the consultation exercise that is taking place within the broader community. The framework document outlines high level objectives under which more specific priories will fit.

The Plan is being put in place by Tipperary County Council on behalf of the Local Community Development Committee which is made up of a number of different state agencies, as well as members of the Public Participation Network and Local Development Companies. The Local Economic and Community Plan will be finalised in 2015 and will be in place until 2021. The Local Economic and Community Plan (LECP) will compliment the County Development Plan, which in turn deals with spatial planning of the County and will be undergoing its own review shortly.

Further information in relation to the LECP is available from the Community & Economic Development Section of Tipperary County Council’s website accessible by clicking HERE or by phone to the Community & Economic Development Section at Tel: 0761065000 or by Emailing lcdc@tipperarycoco.ie

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Major Collision Reported On N7 Dublin To Thurles Route

gardaSeven teenagers travelling from Dublin to Thurles were hospitalised following a collision on the N7 at around 10.00pm (21st January 2014) last evening. All were among some 47 passengers on a bus which crashed in the vicinity of Kill, in Co Kildare.

The injured were treated at Naas General Hospital and we understand that none are seriously hurt and the seven detained have now been released.

We understand that the bus, travelling southbound lost control, between Junction 6 (Castlewarden) and Junction 7 (Kill), before colliding with a barrier. The rear of the bus was then struck possibly by a falling lamp post.

A major response was put in place by Gardai and the Emergency Services, while over a dozen Gardaí attended the scene. The HSE National Ambulance Service responded with a fleet of Ambulances from counties Kildare, Dublin, Meath and Offaly, including two Ambulance Incident Officers in addition to Fire Brigade units from Kildare and Dublin, all being mobilised to the accident location. The HSE National Ambulance Director Martin Dunne also attended.

Reports state that at one point, up to seven Emergency Ambulances were lined up outside the A&E Unit at Naas General Hospital delivering the casualties.

It is not known at this stage if any of the passengers on board were residents of Thurles.

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