Local Weather

Intermittent clouds
real feel: 11°C
wind speed: 3 m/s SW
sunrise: 7:26 am
sunset: 7:17 pm


God Save Us From Government Websites

Dáil Bar.

A website for the controlling of information, being input on The Household Charge, ended up last week with the children of households & dead persons receiving threatening communications. Postage alone for these reminders has cost the tax payer in excess of €14,000. This correspondence also required those who had already paid the charge to contact a lo-call number to tell those compiling this database, that they had already paid.

Now another new website is to be launched today to fulfil the commitment under the Programme for Government & which will supposedly measure the Government’s performance across a number of key areas. Areas to be measured include in particular our countries progress on the economy, transport, innovation and the environment.

The website we are told will make the workings of Government more transparent and will use data gathered across the public service. (Where are they going to get the staff ?)
This pilot site, Ireland Stat, will show what the present Government has achieved, how much it cost and how Ireland compares overall internationally. (I wonder will it include the cost of so calledjob creation.’) Health & Education should also make interesting reading when data is eventually uploaded.


Some 50,000 third-level students are still waiting to hear whether they have qualified for a grant, even though their academic year started last month. The Irish Independent reports that SUSI, latter the new on-line system website used to process Student Grant Applications, is in chaos. The system was designed to speed up the Student Grant process, but today’s news claims only one in 16 grant applications has been so far approved.


The Tipperary Star Newspaper also reports this week that ten respite beds in the Hospital of the Assumption, promised for last Friday, will remain closed and have no prospect of being reopened possibly before 2014. This is despite a public promise from Tipperary Fine Gael TD Noel Coonan, at a public meeting in the Thurles Tipperary Institute three weeks ago. Obviously Noel forgot to check the facts with Minister for Health Dr. James Reilly, before stunning a packed lecture theatre with his statement, which everyone else present was aware hadn’t a hope in hell of being sanctioned. Will this health statistic failure be now ‘etched,’ on this new pilot site?

Heard A Good Joke Today:
It seems a Tipperary T.D died and went to heaven. He stood in front of the Pearly Gates & while queuing, noticed a large wall of clocks in the reception area behind St. Peter.
While being checked in the T.D asked curiously “Peter why all the clocks?”
St. Peter answered, “Those are Deceiver-Clocks. It is not publicly known on earth, but everyone who has ever lived has a Deceiver-Clock. Every time you lie, the hands move on your particular personal private clock.
Oh, said the T.D, shocked “Whose clock is that then?”
That clock is owned by mother Teresa,” replied St. Peter. “Note the hands have never moved, which would indicates that she has never told a lie.
This is truly incredible,” said the T.D, “and who owns that clock?” he pointed.
St. Peter replied, “That is President Abraham Lincoln’s clock, note the hands have moved only twice, thus informing us that Abraham only told two lies in his entire life.
Where is my clock?” asked the T.D.
St Peter replied. “Jesus has it in his office. He is currently controlling the temperature by using it as a ceiling fan.”

I wonder if we quit voting, would they all just go away?

As my old granny used to say “I don’t like political jokes…. because too many of them get elected.”


Thurles Halloween Festival 2012 Gets Underway

Thurles Halloween Festival

The 5th annual Thurles Halloween Festival came alive last evening, here in the Cathedral town, with a host of events to keep the whole family occupied over the next very spooky 5 day period.

The festival committee have put a huge effort into this years festival and it kicked off last night and will finish on Wednesday 31st October next.

Over the 5 remaining days of this festival, a host of events will be taking place including Art Exhibitions, Drama, Comedy, Various Workshops, Live Music, Street Entertainment, Fireworks, Fire Shows, Public Talks, Poetry Readings, A Soccer Tournament, Street Parade, A Battle of the Bands Competition, Films and a Street Cycle Race.

Sponsors of these events include North Tipperary Leader Partnership, The Arts Council and also the general public here in Thurles, who gave so generously at numerous fund-raising initiatives, over the past 12 months.

So do come along during this week and enjoy the various events including the Annual Fireworks Spectacle, which will finish off this years Festival in its usual unique style.


Blood Donation Clinic Semple Stadium Thurles

Right now you are wondering what is the best gift you could get a close friend this Christmas.

What better pre-Christmas gift than the gift of life? The Irish Blood Transfusion Service will be visiting Thurles over the coming days, and your gifts of blood, given now, could save the life of a close friend.

WHEN: Tuesday 30th October, 2012, from 2:30 5:30 (Afternoon Clinic). Wednesday 31st October, Thursday 1st & Monday 5th November, 2012 from 6pm – 9pm each day.

So do help save a life, & if further details are required please check their website www.giveblood.ie or contact them on Tel: 061-306980

Ten facts which will help demonstrate how precious your pre-Christmas gift of blood really makes to others in life saving emergency situations.

    1. One in four people will need a blood transfusion at some point in their lives.
    2. Only 5% of the population are regular blood donors.
    3. Over 1,000 Irish people receive transfusions every week in Ireland
    4. Just one car accident victim may require up to 30 units of blood, a bleeding ulcer could require anything between 3-30 units of blood and a coronary artery bypass may use between 1-5 units of blood.
    5. Approximately 70,000 patients will have transfusions in Irish hospitals this year.
    6. Approximately 3,000 blood donors are needed each week in Ireland.
    7. A unit of blood lasts for just 35 days.
    8. Some blood packs for new born babies or cancer treatment only lasts for 5 days.
    9. There is no substitute for human blood.
    10. The IBTS supply 71 hospitals in Ireland with blood and blood products 365 days a year.

Go on, you know it makes sense & we thank you, in anticipation, for this very precious Pre-Christmas gift.


Upperchurch Winter Walking Weekend 2012

EXPERIENCE “ELEGY WRITTEN IN AN ‘UPPERCHURCH,’ YARD.” (With sincere apologies to poet Thomas Gray)

“The curfew tolls the knell of parting day, the lowing herd winds slowly o’er the lea,
The ploughman homeward plods his weary way, and leaves the world to torchlight and to me.
Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight, and all the air a solemn stillness holds,
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight, and drowsy tinklings lull the Upperchurch folds.

So what are ye up to on Friday Nov 9th next?  Usual old Friday night activity I suppose. Boring Late Late Show, lounging in front of the TV,  stuck ‘gaming,’ on the Play-station, or simply uploading text on Facebook in the hope of a LIKE.  Am I right?

So time to take a break, grab HERSELF and steal away from that old constant Friday night drudgery, by experiencing at first hand the aforementioned poetic lines above, in that magnificent, wild, unspoilt and uncontrolled heavenly environment, that is Upperchurch, Thurles, here in Co.Tipperary.

Take HERSELF, instead, on a romantic torchlight stroll through beautiful farmland, quiet country roads, hills and lowlands and continue to stretch your legs on a variety of other walks, for all abilities, ranging from 6km to 18km on Saturday Nov 10th and Sunday Nov 11th also. This is not just my advice, it’s also the advice of the Upperchurch /Drombane Development Association, latter organising their annual Weekend Winter walks. Your kids will so enjoy the wide open space and the clear, pure hilly air.

Note: The Friday night walk is free of admission charges & complimentary refreshments will be provided after all the weekend’s events.

Suitable Gear

Walkers do not need to be reminded, but are nevertheless advised to bring suitable footwear, rain gear, a backpack with a snack, drinks and possibly a change of clothes. Remember Strictly No Dogs.

If your legs are up for it after hiking through the hills, there are free set dancing lessons on Saturday evening & traditional music will be provided in all the local pubs during the weekend. There will be free set dancing lessons on Saturday evening at 5.00 p.m. in Oliver Ryan’s Pub and visiting musicians and performers are as usual very welcome.

Upperchurch/Drombane Development Association wish to thank sincerely all area landowners for their co-operation, over this weekend’s events.

Remember: Walking Weekend 9th, 10th & 11th November
Registration Fee Adults: €10
Post Primary Students: €5
Primary School Students: Free.
Further Details: Click  here on www.upperchurch.ie.


Enda Kenny To Get European Award

Enda Kenny at breakfast in the Anner Hotel, Thurles.

An Taoiseach Mr Enda Kenny will be getting a European award in Berlin next month.
Mr Kenny has been named “Golden Victoria European of the Year 2012” and will receive his award on November 8th next.

The German Magazine Publishers Association (VDZ) state Mr. Kenny is getting this accolade because of his strong  commitment to Europe and his “commitment to European ideals both as Prime Minister and throughout his many years in public life.

In a statement VDZ said “This award acknowledges the achievements not only of Enda Kenny, but Ireland and the Irish people.”

Previous recipients of this award were European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk.

Ireland will also assume the EU Presidency for the 7th occasion since joining the Union, this year, with 2013 also marking the 40th anniversary since gaining membership in 1973.

Photo G.Willoughby