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

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Broadband Proposal For Mid West Rural Communities

Mid West The European Union has been called on to back a proposal to bridge the digital divide in the rural communities of Tipperary Clare, and Limerick which are unable to access fibre or wireless broadband services.

The Southern & Eastern Regional Assembly Mid-West Office (formerly Mid West Regional Office) and Clare-based Slí Nua Development are partners of an EU-funded Satellite Broadband for European Regions project (SABER).

The network met in Brussels today to launch a Satellite Broadband Voucher Scheme which it said should be implemented by the members of the EU and their regional governments, to encourage awareness and take-up of satellite broadband solutions across Europe’s most rural regions.

The meeting brought together representatives from 21 European regional authorities, satellite experts and key influencers, including Eutelsat, SES Broadband Services, Airbus Defence and Space, to examine how to accelerate broadband adoption in rural areas.

Majella O’Brien, EU Projects Officer, SERA Mid West Office said the Satellite Broadband Voucher Scheme would be of assistance to communities in the Mid West which have yet to benefit under successive National Broadband schemes and are unlikely to be able to access affordable broadband services in the near future.

“Satellite broadband is a practical and viable solution today but the expense associated with setting up and subscribing to the service can be prohibitive for many. Unlike in North America and Australia, Europe has been relatively slow to drive awareness, acceptance and adoption of satellite technology,” she explained. Ms. O’Brien continued: “Satellite broadband is a viable option for many rural communities which find themselves in a broadband black spot. The Satellite Broadband Voucher Scheme is one method of increasing its take up and helping rural households and business to bridge the digital divide.”

Patrick Sullivan of Slí Nua Development, an economic development company and SABER project member based in the rural East Clare village of Ogonnelloe, is also backing the proposed Satellite Broadband Voucher Scheme.

“In this digital world, it has been widely accepted that business competitiveness relies on having access to affordable broadband services,” he explained, “However, businesses that are located in remote and rural areas of Tipperary, Limerick, and Clare  for example, are disadvantaged because they are not able to access affordable broadband services; especially at the higher broadband speeds that are necessary for them to exploit the increasing number of ICT applications and services that are now available on the market.”

Mr. Sullivan said one solution to addressing the digital divide is the delivery of Broadband Services through satellites, in the same way as many of us receive our television programmes. He continued: “Significant technological advancements have been made in satellite technology which has resulted in this being a reliable medium for the delivery of broadband services. Businesses in rural and remote areas can therefore now gain access to broadband services through satellite technology.”

Mr. Sullivan said that the SABER project has developed guidance, in particular targeted at Regional Policy makers, to make them aware that Satellite technology is available to deliver broadband services. The guidance, written by Slí Nua Development and Eutelsat, and which has been reviewed by 17 regions from across Europe, has focussed on the selection of appropriate technologies and deployment models; building the business case for investing in broadband support programmes; exploring funding options; dealing with state aid; and procuring satellite solutions.

“Through supporting the development of this guidance, the European Commission has sought to encourage Regional Policy makers from across Europe to consider satellite solutions when preparing their plans to bridge the digital divide in their respective areas,” added Mr. Sullivan.

Led by CSI-Piemonte in Italy, the 24-month SABER project is partially EU-funded and involves 26 partners, 21 regional authorities and ICT public and private organisations supporting regions in broadband deployment representing 13 countries. During its lifespan, the SABER project has published important, practical information, guidelines and toolkits (some available in several languages) to help national and regional governments close the European Digital Divide by using satellite broadband technology.

For more visit www.project-saber.eu.

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House Of Tipperary – Australian Bushranger Ned Kelly Sold

“If anybody steals a horse, blame it on the Kelly’s. If anybody breaks the law, blame it on the Kelly’s.
Anyone does something new, or does what you would like to do, cause if the troopers don’t know who, blame it on the Kelly’s.”

The ruined home of infamous and controversial Tipperary / Australian bushranger Ned (Edward) Kelly, containing two rooms, has been sold at auction to a private buyer in Australia.

The property, situated at Beveride some 60km north of Melbourne in rural Australia and which today is little more than a stone and wood ruin was built by the late outlaw’s Co Tipperary born father, John ‘Red’ Kelly in 1859 and occupied by his family until 1864.

The property sold for €445,000 (Aus$640,000) at auction just last weekend to a nearby family who fell passionately in love with the irreplaceable ruin and its immediate surroundings and look forward to the day when it can be refurbished. The National Trust of Australia has pledged to help the new owners maintain the heritage-listed ruin, which has not been occupied since the Kelly’s moved out in 1864.

The single storey cottage was originally built by Ned Kelly’s father using materials he scavenged from the surrounding bushland and was added to the Victorian Heritage Register in 1992, offering the building and site the equivalent of an Irish Preservation Order.

In 2013 over 40 members of the Kelly clan, including a number of the outlaw’s immediate descendants, gathered in Moyglass, here in Co Tipperary which had long been identified as the true John ‘Red’ Kelly ancestral home, prior to his being transported as a convict to Tasmania in 1841, at the age of 22 years; his crime the stealing of two pigs in nearby Ballysheehan, Co Tipperary.

His son Ned Kelly was hanged for murder on November 11th 1880 at the age of 25 years, some 133 years ago at Melbourne jail. Three years ago, in 2011, Ned’s remains were exhumed by a special licence granted to his living relatives and he was identified using DNA analysis, after which his remains were returned to his family. A statement later from the Kelly family said that they wanted his burial to be in keeping with the bushranger’s last wish before his execution in 1880; that he then be buried in consecrated ground with only his family in attendance in order to ensure a private, respectful and dignified funeral.

In a statement, the family have detailed Ned Kelly’s third letter to the Governor, written the day before his execution, pleading for the release of his mother Ellen from prison. It also tells of Ned’s last meeting with his mother prior to his own execution. “Mind you die like a Kelly, Ned,” she had warned her first-born son and third born child.

The location of Ned Kelly’s skull is still today shrouded in mystery, having been stolen from an Old Melbourne Gaol display case in 1978.

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Disappointment For Tipperary As Kilkenny Win 2014 Hurling Replay

Tipp V KilkTipperary met Kilkenny in Croke Park today to decide the All-Ireland Hurling replay champions for 2014, playing in front of an official attendance of 81,753 loyal hurling fans. But it was not to be Tipperary’s day with Kilkenny claiming a 35th All-Ireland title by just three points, thus taking home the Liam MacCarthy Cup and granting manager Brian Cody his 10th career success.

All-Ireland Hurling Replay First Half

Tipperary opened the scoring, taking the lead for the first 8 minutes with points from Noel McGrath and Shane McGrath. First matching scores from Kilkenny came from two points from Richie Hogan in the 8th and 11th minute respectively, making it all square.

Kilkenny now moved into the lead with points from Kilkenny’s Eoin Larkin and TJ Reid answered by Tipperary’s O’Dwyer and Callanan making it all square for the second time. Michael Fennelly restores Kilkenny’s lead by the seventeenth minute and despite Tipperary manufacturing two excellent goal chances through Callanan and O’Dwyer; both just 10 yards out, Kilkenny managed to clear courtesy of J. J. Delaney.

T.J. Reid taped over another point following a foul on Colin Fennelly but same is soon answered by Shane McGrath, latter who runs 30 yards to find his target from 65 yards.

Then in the 28th minute Lar Corbett picks out Callanan in front of the Kilkenny goal and the latter taps past an out-rushing Murphy to rifle into the goal mouth, scoring the first and only goal of the first half.  The score now stands Tipperary 1-05 (8 pts) – Kilkenny 0-06 (6 pts).

A point from Reid conceded by a Woodlock free soon reduces Kilkenny’s deficit, but a point from Tipperary’s Callanan in the 33rd minute, following a Kieran Joyce charge, cancels this efforts.

Following points from both Michael Fennelly, and a beautiful over his shoulder point from Shane McGrath the half time whistle finds the scoreboard reading  Tipperary 1-07 (10 pts) – Kilkenny 0-08 (8 pts).

All-Ireland Hurling Replay Second Half

The second half saw both teams return to do battle with no changes to either of the sides made at half-time.

Kilkenny’s Richie Power opens the scoring with a point, followed quickly by two points from Reid and two points from Fennelly, making it five in a row for the ‘Cats’.

Tipperary had to wait over 13 minutes before Callanan registers their first score of the second half; a point from a free by Paul Murphy on Noel McGrath. Same is answered by John Power with 50 minutes on the clock, but Tipperary’s John O’Dwyer replies straight away. In the 56th minute Tipperary are granted a penalty and Callanan opted to put the ball over the bar for a point, 13 minutes from time.

Fate however was to deal a cruel blow to Tipp, when Kilkenny danger-man Richie Power wins the ball close in and rifles into Gleeson’s net in the 59th minute. Tipperary 1-11 (14 pts) to Kilkenny 1-15 (18 pts).

Despite another point from Callanan, worse was yet to come when Tipperary failed to clear their lines and Kilkenny’s John Power, taps home another goal from just 2 yards out, leaving Tipperary with a 6 point hill to climb; Tipperary 1-12 (15 pts) to Kilkenny 2-15 (21 pts).

But there was still fight in Tipperary and John O’Dwyer got on target with a point from a free with just 5 minutes of ordinary time remaining, but with 5 points behind.

Brendan Maher takes a further point in the 67th minute and two minutes later Callanan smashes the sliotar into Murphy’s and the Kilkenny net  just 1 minute from stoppage time. The game now had taken on all the appearance of a grandstand finish.

Regrettably with just 3 minutes of stoppage time left to play, Colin Fennelly gets a further point and Tipperary now needed a miracle goal. But it was not to be this time out, despite Tipperary battling valiantly all the way to the very end. Perhaps it was that 13 minute barren spell they endured on the scoreboard early in the second half, which finally was to seal their fate.

Alas, final result: Kilkenny 2-17 (23 pts) – Tipperary 2-14 (20 pts).

Tipperary Team: D. Gleeson, C. Barrett, J. Barry, P. Stapleton, B. Maher, Pádraic Maher, K. Bergin, S.McGrath, J.Woodlock, G. Ryan, J. O’Dwyer,  L. Corbett; N. McGrath, S. Callanan  and P. Maher.

Subs: M. Cahill for S. McGrath, C. O’Mahony for Ryan, S. Bourke for L. Corbett, J. Forde for N. McGrath and J O’Brien for J. O’Dwyer.

Referee: B. Gavin, (Offaly).

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Liam Ó Maonlaí To Play Borrisoleigh Festival Sunday October 5th Next

borrisoleighBorrisoleigh Festival will Commence October 3rd, 4th and 5th, 2014

Borrisoleigh Co Tipperary is the place to be for the first weekend in October with their Festival taking place from Friday Oct 3rd to Sunday October 5th.

Local residents have been busy again this year painting premises around the town and even more exquisite murals have been added again this year.  A booklet has also been produced this year to mark this growing festival occasion.

Friday 3rd: The festival will commence with an officially opening in McDonagh Square. The Borrisoleigh festival committee are launching this year’s festival with a Mayoral Candidacy contest.  The candidates will be trying to impress you to get your ‘No 1 vote’ and a fun filled evening’s entertainment is guaranteed followed by live music by ‘Outa Diesel.’

Saturday 4th: Same will see two walking tours organised by the local ‘Bush and Briar Ramblers’ over the Devil’s Bit and on the newly opened Inch Loop Walk. There will be also a ‘Line Dancing Workshop’ in the Marion Hall and a ‘Food and Craft Fair’ in the Square. Live music in the Square starts at 7.30pm with the ‘White Gypsy Band,’ followed by the ever popular ‘Silver Dollar & friends’ at 9.00pm.

Sunday 5th: Sunday starts off with the annual 40k Charity Cycle organised by the local cycling club, with funds raised this year going to Downs Syndrome North Tipp Branch. The Family Fun Day in the park is bigger and better this year with a host of new fun activities added. Along with popular favourites from last year such as Bubble Soccer, Strongman Display by Irish Champion and local man Kevin Murray, Tug of War, Sheaf Tossing, BBQ and novelty games of skill, there is also an exhibition of Birds of Prey, Bouncy Castles, Sumo Wrestling, Rodeo Bull, Arts, Crafts and Music workshops for kids, a Vintage Tractor display, a Climbing Wall, Face Painting and more.

Live music in the Square kicks off at 5.00pm with the ‘Castle Trio,’ and at 7.00pm the acclaimed Liam Ó Maonlaí (Hothouse Flowers fame) will take to the stage.  At 9.00pm the band ‘Ebony’ will take over and the new Mayor of Borrisoleigh will be announced.

Note: There will be parking restrictions in the town over the course of the weekend so do follow directions.

For further details or to register for events visit www.borrisoleighfestival.com or email info@borrisoleighfestival.com. You can also follow updates on Facebook and Twitter.

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Thurles – I Have Been To Hell & Back

A Warm Coal FireI woke up just as the flickering red flames began to gently lick at my scalding toes. Perspiration was flooding from every sweat pore in my body, brought on by the intense heat.

On awakening, it took me several minutes to fully realise that I had only been the subject of an involuntarily sensation associated with sleep; a nightmare to use the common term. But this frightening event wasn’t my usual strong emotional response emanating from the mind and typically experienced after a late night’s over indulgence on goats cheese.   No sir, this dream contained situations of great danger, discomfort, psychological and physical terror, to which today my weekly visit to local practising and counselling psychologist, failed us both to identify.

Let me further elaborate on the situation in which I found myself in the very early hours of this morning.

The Nightmare

Myself, Phil Hogan TD (Him of Property Tax and Irish Water Fame), Bashar Assad, (President of Syria) and Vladimir Putin (President of Russia) had all died the same day and gone straight to that place of eternal torment in the afterlife, known plainly to everyone, (with the exception of used car sales persons), as “Hell.”

On arrival and while beginning to experience the intense and increasing temperature, not to mention having to listen to the screams of the multitude who had arrived earlier; all four of us were attracted to a single bright red phone; same the only piece of office equipment to be seen. It lay sitting on the reception desk occupied by that supernatural entity that is the personification of evil, namely the Devil himself, “Lucifer.”

Having been fully processed by Lucifer and now lined up bound in heavy chains arraigned according to our time of arrival, all four of us began to speculate on the need for this red phone. The Devil, overhearing our whispered conversation quickly informed us that same was for telephoning the planet Earth.

Putin immediately asked permission to call Russia and his conversation concerning matters on the Crimea just lasted for five minutes. His call completed and phone receiver replaced; the Devil then informed him that the cost of his Roaming Call Forward was one million Russian Roubles. Without hesitation, as one does when in charge of taxpayers money, the stern-faced Putin immediately pulled out his cheque book and wrote Lucifer a cheque without question.

Next Bashar Assad calls Syria and his conversation on matters pertaining to ISIS lasted some 30 minutes. Call again complete, the Devil informed him that the cost is 6 million Syrian pounds and again Assad, perhaps more reluctantly in his case, pulled out his cheque book and wrote Lucifer a cheque.

Just as I was about to phone the wife, Phil Hogan brushes me roughly aside and rings Ireland. His dictatorial style discussion was mainly about some intended legal action against Independent Dublin MEP Nessa Childers and something else about not “being unable to make an omelette without cracking eggs”, which I am afraid I didn’t fully grasp. His boring, bullish droll continued for over 4 hours; however on finishing his call the Devil informs him that the total cost is a mere €5.00 Euro.

An understandably outraged President Putin, on hearing the low-cost, goes pure ballistic; demanding from his new host an explanation on why Phil Hogan got to call Ireland so cheaply.

The devil smiles and replies: “Since Fine Gael and Labour took office, the whole of Ireland has gone to Hell, so his call is categorised as being only a Local Call.”

My worry of course and that of my psychologist is more selfishly complex; despite this all being just a nightmare, what was I doing in Hell with these guys, to observe this scenario in the first place?

Is it a premonition or a forewarning of some kind maybe of things yet to come – I continue to wonder?

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