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Thurles Tipperary – An Open Letter To Minister Leo Varadkar

This open letter hereunder, forwarded to Minister Leo Varadkar should be of particular interest to those presently unemployed & actively seeking work, those offering tourism services, retail & wholesale outlets, in fact everyone currently living in this wonderful county of Tipperary.

Having read the content of the text hereunder, I respectfully ask, regardless of your political views, that you email same (Use the ‘Email This Post,” Tag under this post or Copy & Paste if necessary) to the following three elected government representatives, namely;  Mr Leo Varadkar:  minister@dttas.ie   Mr Noel Coonan:  noel.coonan@oireachtas.ie & Mr Alan Kelly: office@alankelly.ie  thus clarifying your insistence regarding the statement hereunder.

Following the passing of the recent “Budget 2013,” which refuses to take into account each person’s ability to contribute fairly, Co Tipperary must now attempt to generate taxes, using the same “level playing pitch,” as other taxpayers within this island of Ireland.

As the above short video, highlighting General Thomas Francis Meagher’s association with our county demonstrates, Mid Tipperary’s, soon to be forgotten, immense history remains untapped and ignored, mainly due to the risks associated with the provision of visitor attractions. For example, Kerry and Clare are established Tourist destinations which attract vast numbers of visitors each year, while Mid Tipperary is loosing out, due to the fact that it is on the periphery of the Mid-West Region. In fact if anyone examined this area they would quickly realise that our natural region should include Kilkenny & Cashel etc. Thurles Town, in particular, is severely marginalised with a marked bias towards the northern area of the Country, i.e £2m for the National Mining Heritage Centre in the Silvermines – £250,000.00 spent on marketing the Lough Derg Area and £1m spent on Nenagh Castle – not a single mention of Thurles or the Mid Tipperary area in this funding.

My letter, addressed to the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Mr Leo Varadkar reads as follows below & I ask all Tipperary people, at home & abroad, to strongly support this initiative with an Email, to the public representatives above named, in an effort to create employment through tourism.

Historical Tipperary must now be seen as one large ‘shop,’ and the time has come to sell our resources, services & wares on the world’s tourism market. This initiative which Tipperary now requests, will require logical political decision, supported by you, the Tipperary electorate.


Kickham Street,
Co Tipperary.

Dear Minister Varadkar,

I thank you, in anticipation, for taking the time to read this communication.

I speak to you as curator of St Mary’s Famine & War Museum and as a member of Hidden Tipperary, both voluntary organisations which work, without the benefit of any public funding, for the betterment of tourism in Co Tipperary.

Before I get to the main point of my request, I would like to remind you Minister of the following four undeniable & indeed indisputable facts, of which you will be already aware.

(1) The Vikings of the late eight century engaged in ‘hit-and-run raids,’ here in Ireland where they, early on, landed their small numbers of ships, attacked various settlements,  pillaging and burning, before eventually heading back to Scandinavia with their rich booty of stolen gold & silver artefacts.

(2) Agents acting on behalf of the ruling Nazi Party of Germany plundered art and other items via organized looting of European countries, during the time of the Third Reich. The more recent of this particular plundering occurred from 1933 until the end of World War II, undertaken particularly by military units known as the Kunstschutz. In addition to lucre, such as silver and currency, cultural items of great significance were stolen, including paintings, ceramics, books, and religious treasures. Although many of these items were recovered by the Allies immediately following the war, many more still remain missing today.

(3) Local Authorities in Ireland will in three years time be given powers to set their own property tax rates, in order to generate funds to support the provision of services in Tipperary. A public statement made by Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Mr Phil Hogan states, “Property tax will become more and more the source of income for local authority services to be funded. If they are raising the money locally for service provision, they will have a say in how they spend it. Each local authority can have a different level of property tax in due course. The timing of that is a matter for Government.”

(4) The Minister for Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation, Deputy Tom Hayes, has recently called on the IDA & Government to attract multi-national investment in areas outside of Dublin. Mr Hayes stated that towns in Tipperary like Cashel, Tipperary, Clonmel, Cahir, Carrick on Suir and Thurles are being incorrectly over looked and should now be better considered, when it comes to attracting multi-national investment. He further stated that rural areas (like Thurles) cannot continue to be overlooked, while large urban centres continue to receive massive investment.

These above listed four indubitable facts now bring me to the main point of my communications request, which I make on behalf of Thurles Town, and indeed the whole county of Tipperary.

Continue reading Thurles Tipperary – An Open Letter To Minister Leo Varadkar


Malala Yousafzai Nominee For Tipperary Peace Award

Wounded Pakistani school girl Malala Yousafzai, shot in the head by a Taliban gunman for trying to promote female education is just one of this year’s nominations for the Tipperary International Peace Award. Miss Yousafzai is presently recovering from her injuries in a hospital in England & recognised as a symbol of resilience, representing the progressive vision for Pakistan.

Other nominations include outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, expected to run as the 2016 Democratic nominee for US president, – Indian National Congress President Sonia Ghandi, widow of assassinated Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, – John Githongo, a former Kenyan journalist, who investigated bribery and fraud in his home country and later, under the presidency of Mwai Kibaki, took an official governmental position to fight corruption, & Pax Christi International, (Latin for Peace of Christ) an international Catholic organization founded in France in 1945 and which strives to play a pioneer role in research for solutions of armed conflicts.

Previous recipients of the Tipperary International Peace award have included Bob Geldof, Nelson Mandela, Mikhail Gorbachev, the late US Senator Edward Kennedy and his sister, the former Ambassador to Ireland Jean Kennedy-Smith in 2010 and the worthy winner, Dr Sima Samar, in 2011.  Last year’s joint winners were former President Mary McAleese and her husband Senator Martin McAleese.

The 2013 winner is expected to be announced, as is the custom, on New Year’s Day here in County Tipperary.


Property Tax – Revenue To Have Powers To Enter Homes

Revenue Commissioners

According to yesterdays Irish Independent newspaper, the Revenue Commissioners will soon have the power to enter and inspect your home, to assess its value for the property tax, under proposed new legislation.

Property tax dodgers also face fines of €3,000 (Section 146/147) for deliberately failing to fill in forms or who undervalue their homes, under tough new planned legislation.

This legislation supporting this new property tax, known as the ‘Local Property Tax Bill 2012,’ was published yesterday, and gives authority to the Revenue Commissioners to “enter on land and inspect the relevant residential property.” (Part 13/Section 140). This section obliges the person occupying the property to allow the authorised official inspect the property at all reasonable times.

Such powers if passed into law would appear to grant greater power to Revenue than is currently granted to An Garda Síochána.  In most cases, a search warrant is necessary before a Garda may search a person, a vehicle or premises. However, certain legislation does entitle the Gardai to go onto premises without a warrant, for example, the Intoxicating Liquor Acts, the Public Dance Halls Act, and the Health Acts.

When told by Revenue to provide information as to whom officially owns a particular house, anyone who fails to comply or provides false information will be liable to a daily fine of €100.


Thurles Footpath Repairs Hindered By Minister Phil Hogan

Temporary employed council workers in Thurles are back in the ‘Dole Queue,’ prior to their completion of a long overdue major footpath refurbishment programme here in the town.

While necessary funding is understood to be now in place to complete this work in Thurles, a decision has been made to suspend the present workforce and to have this necessary work completed instead by sub contractors.

From September last this badly required footpath refurbishment remained stagnant, mainly thanks to the Fianna Gael Minister for Environment and Local Government Mr Phil Hogan. Mr Hogan had refused to release necessary funding to Local Government, because of a protest by taxpayers who refused to pay his unfair & inequitable “Household Charge Charge Tax,” latter which refused to identify the basic ability of individuals to pay. Recently Mr Hogan has reinstated some of this funding, but it came too late to avoid this year’s severe winter frost, which conditions now presently deems it inappropriate to pour concrete.

Matthew Avenue, situated on the west side of Thurles and the scene of several serious accidents by late evening walkers, currently remains looking like war torn Beirut, with some sections of footpaths incomplete while other sections remain covered in protective timber sheeting, to prevent frost damage. Necessary modelling for some footpath edge sections have been fully constructed, but the cement element of this refurbishment remain incomplete.

It presently remains unclear whether these, now unemployed, temporary workers will be re-employed to complete their work or whether they will be replaced by subcontractors. One thing is certain, if frost is the reason, surely subcontractors undertaking this work will encounter a similar dilemma.


Despite Today’s Budget Fiasco – Don’t Quit

Don’t Quit  (A poem by Gerard Haughey.)

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will, when the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high, and you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit, rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns, as every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about, when he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow, you may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than, it seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up, when he might have captured the victor’s cup,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down, how close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out, the silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are, it may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit, it’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.

In today’s Ireland regrettably, “What you seize is what you get.