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R A I Spring Seminar At St. Patrick’s College Thurles


…it is not the reading of stories on its own that leads children towards the reflective, disembedded thinking that is so necessary for success in school, but the total interaction in which the story is embedded.  At first they need a competent adult to mediate, as reader and writer, between themselves and the text; but even when they can perform the decoding and encoding for themselves, they continue to need help in interpreting the stories they hear and read and in shaping those that they create for themselves.” (Wells, 1985 in Hassall, 1999, p. 1)

The Reading Association of Ireland, in association with Tipperary Education Centre and St. Patrick’s College Thurles, will hold a Spring Seminar in St Patrick’s College on Monday, March 4th 2013, from 7.00pm-9.00pm.

The workshop will be hosted by Dr. Mary Roche, St. Patrick’s College, Thurles, Co Tipperary, under the headings Critical Thinking and Book Talk & Critical Literacy using Picture Books.

This seminar is being offered free of charge to interested parents, primary teachers and other educationalists, but places are limited, so to book your place on this seminar, please email raitipperary@gmail.com (Use ‘RAI Seminar 2013‘ in the Email subject line) or book by phone with Michelle Percy (Tipperary Education Centre) on Telephone: 086 6008860.


Prospective Audience: This practical and interactive seminar is aimed at all parents, primary teachers and other educationalists working with young people from Junior Infants to Sixth Class.

Continue reading R A I Spring Seminar At St. Patrick’s College Thurles


Magdalene Laundry Women Blameless

An Taoiseach Enda Kenny didn’t hold anything back, including tears, as in the presence of some twenty women, latter previously incarcerated in the Magdalene Laundries, watched silently with hands held, from the Dáil Éireann public gallery.

I, as Taoiseach, on behalf of the State, the Government and our citizens deeply regret and apologise unreservedly to all those women, for the hurt that was done to them, and for any stigma they suffered as a result of the time they spent in a Magdalene Laundry,” stated Mr Kenny.

The Law Reform Commission Judge John Quirke has now been appointed to undertake a three-month review and make his recommendations regarding compensation, on behalf of these surviving women, which will incorporate supports, including  Psychological and Counselling services, Medical Cards, and such other ‘Welfare Needs,’ as is deemed appropriate.

This recommended compensation will have no impact on the women’s current social welfare payments and tax liabilities, & surviving resident outside the Irish State will also receive compensation. Judge John Quirke will ensure that payments made to those living in the UK will also not lose out on any current entitlements or benefits.

A national memorial will also be commissioned, in consultation with the Magdalene Laundry victims & the Irish State.

This apology follows the investigation & publication of a report from former senator Martin McAleese, same which revealed that the State was responsible for 24% of all admissions to these laundries, where girls as young as 11 years old were forced to work without any remuneration.

This inquiry found that some 10,000 women were incarcerated in these laundries, run by nuns from four religious orders, for reasons which included plain poverty, petty crime, some mental disabilities and pregnancy outside of wedlock.

The last surviving Magdalene Laundry, situated at Sean MacDermott Street in Dublin’s north inner city, did not close finally, to Ireland’s shame, until 1996.

To view the full Magdalene Laundry Inter-Departmental Committee Report, click HERE.


Coonan Allays Concerns Re Tipperary Veterinary Office

North Tipperary Deputy Noel Coonan TD has moved to allay concerns concerning the transfer of staff from the Tipperary Veterinary Office to the Garda Vetting Unit, by saying that a front-line presence will remain in the local DVO including a counter service and the office will remain open for business.

Speaking to Thurles.Info today the deputy stated, “I contacted Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney seeking clarification about future staffing at the DVO and I also expressed the concerns of Tipperary farmers who are understandably anxious about this issue. In response, Minister Coveney has issued me with the following reply:-

coveny-coonan“The Department is currently reviewing the administrative support for its 16 District Veterinary Office and in particular, the centralisation of this support in one or more centralised office(s). Centralising administrative procedures would enable the Department to reduce the number of administrative staff it requires to support District Veterinary Office operations and reduce the cost of providing its services.

The administrative functions for Cork have been recently centralised in Cork city and the administrative functions in the Limerick DVO will shortly be transferred to Naas. 

The centralisation of administrative functions in other regional offices will be considered in light of the availability of opportunities to redeploy the staff concerned to support other critical public services. 

There are no plans to transfer the veterinary service out of the Tipperary office or to close the office, which will continue to be available to the public. Administrative staff are moving to the Garda Vetting Unit in Tipperary town, but a full front-line presence will be maintained in the local Tipperary DVO, including counter service – the office will remain open for business.”


Fethard Company Investigate Possible Horse Meat Contamination

dawn-ffAnother Irish owned Tipperary based food company, today, becomes the latest casualty accused of involvement in current horse meat investigations.

Oak Farm Foods stand accused of producing the Cottage Pies which last week were withdrawn from British school kitchens by Lancashire County Council. Oak Farm Foods is a UK division of Dawn Fresh Foods, a convenience food company located here in Fethard, Co Tipperary.

Lancashire County Council stated last week that it had withdrawn cottage pies from some 47 school kitchens, after provisional sample testing proved positive for traces of horse DNA.

Oak Farm Foods have produced Soups, Sauces & Ready Meals, for the last 25 year and a full internal investigation is now under way, within the company.

Dawn Fresh Foods is also aligned to the Queally Group which include QK Cold Stores situated in Naas, Co Kildare and which on Friday last informed Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney’s office, that it believed it had located horse DNA in consignments of frozen beef trimmings imported from Poland.

Meanwhile the ABP Food Group based at Nenagh, Co Tipperary, now insist that its Tipperary plant was not the source of horse meat content, found in the “Chosen By You” 350g Greencore Beef Bolognese Sauce, manufactured for the British supermarket chain ‘Asda.’


Government Continue Their Weekly New Taxation Introductions

Despite the austere ‘Budget 2013,’ measures introduced on December 5th 2012 last, the search for gaining other ways of imposing further taxes on the Irish nation continues unabated.

Children’s Allowance May Be Taxed

Joan Burton, Minister for Social Protection, has suggested this week that taxing Child Benefit is now a possibility & the fairest way to make reforms to monthly payment to some 600,000 Irish families.

The Ministers expert Government Commission Group is understood to be recommending that these payments be taxed or a two tier system be now put in place regarding these payments.

This report from the ‘Advisory Group on Tax and Social Welfare,’ will be brought before the Cabinet for discussion on Tuesday next.

While this Government’s Commission Group Report does strangely acknowledge the necessity to retain this family support for the rich, by keeping these universal payments in place, the Minister will now undertake to decide how to achieve the best outcome. Meanwhile children whose bread winners are unemployed & other low income families must now await the outcome of Tuesday’s Cabinet decision.

These latter individuals are those who in an effort to make ends meet, were forced in recent months, to gorge their bellies on incorrectly labelled Beef Bolognese Sauce, Cottage Pies, Beef Lasagne’s & Burgers, same containing 100% Horse meat, Pig DNA & other foreign frozen assorted beef trimmings, thus ensuring that some wealthy criminal factions in our midst, once again increased their company profits by deceit.

I can still hear my granny, speaking from the shadows, cast by the paraffin oil lamp, warning me, “It is far from Beef Bolognese Sauce & Beef Lasagne’s you were all reared. Take care that ye do not end up wearing an S.& A.G. Davis flour sack for a petticoat, in your not to distant futures.”

[Explanation: For those of you who were not around in the 1950’s, local shopkeepers, back then, were being continuously propositioned by low income families, to put aside any empty large S.& A.G. Davis bulk flour sacks, which were then manufactured by this same company, using light weight white linen material. This much sought after large linen sack was then recycled by enterprising rural women folk, mainly to make pillow cases & bed sheets, but also (& I whisper) young ladies undergarments. The difficulty, however, with these sacks when recycled, was that users could never remove that red dyed imprinted lettering, S.& A.G. Davis, latter which remained very clearly visible on any hand sewn garment, despite scrubbing & bleaching, thus causing some little embarrassment on occasion to a proud wearer.]

Still this decision on children’s allowance could mean the end of ‘Ballet Classes,’ for those on the upper income scale.

Further Property Stealth Taxes On The Way

Meanwhile, as irresponsible & criminal meat processors and dealers continue to tamper with the fruits of honest Tipperary farming folk, in order to steal an extra buck, yesterday’s Sunday Business Post reports that hard pressed house owners may again be hit with yet another charge, on top of Minister Phil Hogan’s patriotic €100 Household Charge & his soon to be imposed and much sought Property /Water charges.

It appears that County Councils and/or Local Authorities have the legal right to recoup the cost of unpaid development levies from burdened home owners. Development levies, you might vaguely remember, were charges forced on dodgy developers to cover the cost of connecting properties to essential public utilities, e.g. sewage & water, much of which was ignored or simply went unpaid by unscrupulous builders.

Wicklow County Council were first ‘out of the trap,’ last week in this venture, seeking payment of over €65,000, & have accordingly sent letters to home owners requesting payments of up to €4,800, which they are now legally entitled to pursue through the courts, if deemed necessary.

New Suggestion To Increase Government Revenue

I was just thinking the other day, is it not peculiar that this Government has not, as yet, introduced a licence on our Irish cat population, after all the family dog has been licensed for many years.  Then I suppose Minister Phil Hogan might interpret such licensing action as somewhat racist, him being a Kilkenny Cat, if you understand me.

On the issue of dog fouling, mentioned in the Sunday Independent yesterday, since our family dogs are fully paid up community tax contributors, surely they are well within their rights to cock their leg, on the odd occasion at least, near Kilkenny Golf Club, without Minister Hogan, his overpaid senior special advisers and a number of his wealthy constituents voicing grave concerns. His action after all forced an impoverished Kilkenny Co Council into erecting embarrassing dog sign-age, criticizing these unfortunate animals who after all are illiterate.

Phil, my old son, dog fouling is simple a matter of mathematics, plus add a shovel & a good yard brush, preferably with a connected handle, in the interests of H & S.

Now allow me to deal with the maths for you first. A dog is taken on his walk past your golf club play ground once a day & defecates during this one outing from home.  If he is taken on this same walk seven days in a row, expect him to defecate seven times and keep in mind that he may be a guide dog, which brings about separate issues for his handler. Do not assume that thousands of dogs are at large, deliberately converging daily on & targeting your favourite play ground. Solution is to put an advert in the paper seeking one skilled individual & stating, “Previous Shovel & Yard Brush Experience Essential,” & you will find that same skills are in abundance in your local area & available for interview – no more expensive signs now required, one dole payment less to be gratuitously handed out, PAYE & other taxes can be collected from his/her pay packet at source, local Kilkenny high street economy begins to grow etc. etc. etc..  Truth is Minister, everyone wins.

Personally I fear that this country is just slowly going to the cats.