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

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Fine Gael’s Selection Convention In Thurles

Fine Gael's Enda Kenny, Noel Coonan and Paidraig Culbert at Tipperary Institute.

The ribbon on Deputy Noel Coonan’ s new office on Main Street, Roscrea will be officially cut by Fine Gael Leader Enda Kenny this coming Friday 29th at 6.30pm, ahead of the party’s Selection Convention in Thurles.

Enda Kenny who visits Roscrea at the invitation of Deputy Coonan, will call to employers in the region to discuss their business prospects into the future and how Fine Gael in power will help stimulate economic growth through policies such as New ERA and Hope for a Lost Generation.

Only last week in the Dáil, Fine Gael’s Private Members Motion called on the Government to introduce a loan guarantee scheme for small and medium sized businesses to help them back on their feet and on the road to recovery.

Deputy Kenny has put the Fine Gael party on an election footing; the result of which is this convention taking place in the Anner Hotel, Thurles this Friday at 8.30pm.

Deputy Coonan is the sole Fine Gael candidate, nominated by party members in the Tipperary North constituency to represent the people and contest the forthcoming General Election.

Speaking ahead of the convention, Noel Coonan, local Fine Gael TD said:

“This is a crucial time for the country and for North Tipperary. I am inviting people to come to Thurles this Friday where Deputy Kenny will outline how Fine Gael’s plan will repeat history by pulling the country out of a deep recession created by this Government of Fianna Fáil, Greens and Independents who played a major part in creating this crisis. Fine Gael has come to the rescue of this country in the past and we will do so again; now and into the future.”

Deputy Coonan’s Roscrea office recently moved location from 1 Rosemount to the more centrally-located former Music Store on Main Street. The new premises is ideally situated and the local TD will be in attendance in the clinic and is also available by appointment on (0505) 31655 or (086) 2427733.

Noel Coonan, Fine Gael TD, also wishes to apologise for any inconvenience caused during the transfer of offices.

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Forget Viagra Bake A Real Irish Báirin Breac

Hallowe'en

Traditional Irish food is usually very simple yet very, very healthy.

I fool you not, the contents of an Irish Báirin Breac (English Translation – Speckled Cake.) or Irish Hallowe’en brack, are not only highly nutritious and delicious, they are also an aphrodisiac, a mild anti-clotting agent, an aid for arthritic pain, and are a panacea for many other cures, as I will explain later in this blog.

But first let me give you the secret recipe for this nutritious and delicious Irish speckled cake, which requires two hours of preparation, including cooking time.

Recipe Ingredients:
1 pound plain flour -50 g of  butter – 1/2 pound sultanas – 1/2 pound currants – 1 teaspoon dry yeast (dehydrated granules) – 1/2 pint warm milk or black strong tea – 2 eggs – 50g sugar – 1/4 pound mixed peel – 1 teaspoon cinnamon – pinch of salt – and finally a pinch of ground nutmeg.

Preparation:
(1) Warm the milk or tea and mix with half of the sugar and all of the yeast, let the mixture cure for a while in a warm place, to activate the dry yeast.

Yeast: Yeast is a living microscopic organism and is one of the only non-meat sources of B12 and ideal for vegetarians who are often deficient in this vitamin.  Yeast also provides protein and beta-glucans.

(2) Next mix the flour, salt and spices in a bowl, add butter and the rest of the sugar, stirring until you obtain a good mixture.

Spices:

Nutmeg can be a good cure for diarrhea caused by indigestion and about 10g of this grated powder consumed with apple juice or banana, can provide almost immediate relief. It however is not recommended for people with psychiatric disorders because of its psychoactive properties.
Consuming nutmeg with milk in the morning can be a good remedy for morning sickness. If added to baked foods it can ward off flatulence and vomiting caused by indigestion. Nutmeg increase the blood supply in the body and is sited as a good relief for those who suffer from problems of poor circulation.
For People who suffer from joint and muscle pains nutmeg possesses good anti-inflammatory properties and can be used topically. If its oil is massaged on the affected area for few minutes, it provides instant relief. It can also provide additional rejuvenating properties.
Loss in sexual potency is a very common problem and Nutmeg possesses wonderful aphrodisiac properties.

Cinnamon studies have shown that just 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon per day can lower Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and also have a regulatory effect on blood sugar, making it especially beneficial for people with Type 2 diabetes. Cinnamon has shown an amazing ability to stop medication-resistant yeast infections. Studies published by researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Maryland point to cinnamon reducing the proliferation of leukemia and lymphoma cancer cells.
Further studies at Copenhagen University, show that patients given half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder combined with one tablespoon of honey every morning before breakfast had significant relief from arthritis pain after just one week and could walk without pain within four weeks.
When cinnamon is added to food, it inhibits bacterial growth, fights e. coli bacteria in unpasteurized juices, thus making it a natural food preservative. Just smelling cinnamon is claimed to boosts cognitive function and memory.

(3) Now add the milk or tea plus yeast mixture with the eggs, beating all enthusiastically into a cream-like consistency.

(4) Add all the other ingredients and mix together well.

(5) Pour the mixture into a greased baking tin lined with greased paper, cover with a towel and let the dough rise to about double its original height in a warm place.

At this stage a traditional ring can be added but do be careful it must be metal, clean and wrapped tightly in greaseproof paper. Remember if you have any concerns about using a ring, then don’t, as dental and doctors bills in the case of chipped teeth or choking, can be costly, both financially and otherwise. Instead use a whole hazel or almond nut promising to give a ring to whoever gets the nut. (According to custom whoever gets the ring in the grack will be first to marry.)

(6) Bake for about one hour at 200 degrees Celsius or 390 degrees Fahrenheit.

Result a simple nutritious and delicious Irish recipe for this Irish Halloween Festival time.

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Finally Tipperary Schools Can Get Water Grants

Those of you, our valued 194,522 readers, who doubt our claim that present Government Ministers actually rush to read our blogs every morning, (as soon as they clock in.) please now take note. I am referring of course to our recent blog entitled “Integrated Plan Generating 300,000 Jobs A Fairytale“.

More than 1,800 schools will wake up this morning to the unbelievable news that they are to receive grants worth almost €10 million in total. (Less than the National Lottery prize this week) to help reduce their water usage, and save on bills of €3m annually, paid to local councils.

Water Storage Tank

Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills, Mary Coughlan (Great on the maths, our Donegal friend) will announce today that department officials will contact 1,823 schools with €9.75m of our taxes, offering up to €5,348 per school, to cover the costs of installing percussion spray taps, thermostatic mixing valves and water displacement devices.  Of course she forgot to include, in her plans, provision for roof rain water storage which would assist in conservation and a reduction in flooding. Obviously John Gormley wasn’t consulted about the action plan, prior to the announcement. Big into water conservation our John – or was it water charges – I forget.

Our Tánaiste Mary Coughlan stated: “I would ask schools to ensure that they get best value for money on prices for jobs in the more competitive construction market. These works will reduce the water charges being paid by schools and I am delighted to be able to provide boards of management and trustees with a means to do so.”   No Mary, pet, we the taxpayers are delighted to be able to provide school boards of management and trustees with a means to do so.

Now Mary while you are on the subject of water, could you please sort out something else, the standing charges for water, applied by various local authorities.

Example: The standing charges in different local authority areas vary widely for some, as yet, unknown reason. Standing charges vary widely, from €212 in Thurles born Mary Hanafin’s own constituency of Dun-Laoghaire/Rathdown, to a humble €100 a year in our own Thurles Town. Schools in Co Mayo are paying 0.91 cent per cubic metre for their water supply compared to Roscommon Co Council who charge  €2.39 per cubic metre.

Forget the digital projectors, white boards and teacher’s laptops Mary. Check first if the teacher can send an e-mail and secondly check if broadband is actually available.  Once this information is established, now use the remaining €19 m of that recent €20m school technology fund to get the water sorted and reduce, for the short term at least, our rising flood water and rising unemployment numbers.

Why do I have to spell everything out for you, now get on with it, or I will be taking that trip to Áras an Uachtaráin and you know what that means.

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Tipperary Vocational Education Committee’s Worried

Vocational Education Committee’s (VEC) ( Coiste Gairmoideachais) are a Irish statutory local education body that administers some secondary education and most adult education here in the state. VEC’s were originally created by the Vocational Education Act 1930, as successors to the Technical Instruction Committees established by the Agriculture and Technical Instruction (Ireland) Act 1899.

Mary Coughlan TD

The original purpose of the committees was to administer continuation and technical education for 14 to 16 year-olds and were charged with the duty of setting up and maintaining  Vocational Schools.

This month the Department of Education and Skills  announced that the number of VEC’s are to be reduced from 33 to 16 by amalgamation. In relation to the county of Tipperary the amalgamation of our two VECs will be as follows:-
North Tipperary amalgamated with County Clare.
South Tipperary amalgamated with City of Waterford and County Waterford.

The McCarthy Report An Bord Snip Nua recommended that the number of VEC’s be reduced from 33 to 22 countrywide, but the Minister for Education and Skills Mary Coughlan TD has now reduced the numbers down to a total of 16.

It is interesting to note that these changes did not effect the current Ministers for Education, Mary Coughlan TD’s own constituents in County Donegal, nor indeed the former Minister for Education, Bartholomew “Batt” O’Keeffe TD’s own constituents in County Cork.

I am at pains at this stage to point that both Batt and Moll, in this action, would not be attempting to curry favour with their local electorate, since both will loose their seats in the forthcoming elections anyway. Both TD’s as we know are committed to promoting equity and inclusion not to mention lifelong learning, while providing education that is relevant to personal, social, cultural and the economic needs of England, Australia, USA and Canada, since no jobs are available here in Ireland.

Continue reading Tipperary Vocational Education Committee’s Worried

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Thurles Garda Vetting Unit Gets Ten Extra Part Time Staff

Information, just released, reveals that an additional ten persons have been recruited to Thurles’s Garda Central Vetting Unit to manage the 60,000 vetting applications currently awaiting processing. This now brings to 15 the number of employees extra introduced to the service since June last.

North Tipperary Deputy Noel Coonan confirming this news stated:

“The Minister for Justice has informed me that due to the high volume of applications, an additional ten persons have now been recruited to the Vetting Unit on a temporary basis. In addition, overall staffing arrangements at the unit are under review at present, in the light of the increasing demands being made upon it.  The allocation of Garda resources is a matter for the Garda Commissioner and I’m pleased to see the Thurles facility on Racecourse Road has acquired extra staff to handle the substantial increase in the numbers of vetting applications being received. The Garda Authorities have told me that the current average processing time for vetting applications is in the region of 10 to 12 weeks, given that demand is particularly high at present. However, I’m optimistic that waiting times will be shortened as a result of the increased staffing numbers. The safety of children and vulnerable adults is vital; making it crucial that vetting is carried out swiftly and people such as social workers or teachers are employed as soon as possible and their jobs are not put at risk because of long processing times. Processing time for vetting applications fluctuates during the year due to seasonal demands when the volume of applications received from certain sectors can increase and I want to commend the Gardaí who make every effort to reduce waiting times, while carrying out necessary checks.”

The local Fine Gael TD welcomed the extra appointments saying that the excessive backlog and slow processing time was putting  jobs in jeopardy.

The Garda Central Vetting Unit carries out an essential role and does so excellently in providing employment vetting for a large number of organisations in Ireland registered with the Gardaí, which employ persons to positions where they would have substantial, unsupervised access to children and/or vulnerable adults.

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