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Additional Funding For Challenging Health Sector

LowryIndependent TD Michael Lowry has welcomed the recent added financial investment in the Irish health sector, and in particular the €40m announced for home care services. Same investment comes as part of an extra €500 million funding which has been added to our already overall Health Service Budget nationally for 2016, by Minister for Health Mr Simon Harris.

However Lowry warned, “Despite this new welcome allocation, serious challenges still continue to remain within the service, with demands for home help and home care packages continuing to grow.”
In particular Lowry pointed out, “Patients who are medically ready for hospital discharge continue to remain waiting in much needed hospital beds, due to our inability to access and put in place home supports.”

“More access to home supports”, stated Lowry, “could see patients living at home; instead of remaining in long-term residential care, should these appropriate services be made more readily available. This said problems are also arising in the number of older people already in receipt of home care, who have been identified as not receiving the number of help hours needed.

It is readily acknowledged that many more patients could be at home”, continued Lowry, “where they themselves want to be; where their families want them to be; and where Government policy says they should be. However we are simply not providing these necessary homecare supports and this present situation goes completely against Governmental stated objectives of caring for individuals within our communities.

In particular over the past number of years Health Care in its entirety across Tipperary has faced utter devastation through serious financial cuts, e.g. South Tipp General Hospital, Our Lady’s hospital Cashel, Dean Maxwell Roscrea, Mount Sion Tipperary, the effects of which can only be described as terrifying and a gross burden on our most vulnerable. To this end I will now be seeking an assurance from Minister Harris that a fair share of this much needed new funding will be made available to Co. Tipperary.

This new investment in our community care services is indeed a most positive development, however we now need to put in place a system that provides for more appropriate homecare services and packages. This will enable many more of our citizens to return to live in their own homes under a more tailored care plan, which in turn will be one step closer to solving our current hospital overcrowding”, concluded Lowry.


Death Of Maureen Connors, Sarsfield Street, Thurles

DeathIt is with great sadness we learned of the death on Sunday last, 19th June 2016, of Mrs Maureen Connors (née Walsh), The Bungalow, Sarsfield Street, Thurles, Co. Tipperary / Killenaule, Co. Tipperary.

Mrs Connors passed away suddenly while in the loving care of her family. Her passing is most deeply regretted by her loving husband Joe; sons Jay, Stephen and Emmett; daughters Joanne and Maryse; daughters-in-law Paula and Fay; beloved grandchildren Grace, Orlaidh, Ewan, Simon, Charlie and Evie; brothers, Larry, Jimmy, Mattie and Tommy; sisters Antoinette and Margaret; brothers-in-law; sisters-in-law; nephews; nieces; relatives and many friends.

Funeral Arrangements
The earthly remains of Mrs Connors will repose at her residence on tomorrow Tuesday, 21st June from 5.30pm to 7.30pm.  Arriving at the Cathedral of the Assumption, Thurles on Wednesday, 22nd June at 10.15am for Requiem Mass at 11.00am. Burial will take place immediately afterwards in St Patrick’s Cemetery, Moyne Road, Thurles.

Note: House private on Wednesday morning please. Family flowers only, however donations, if desired, to Cameo Care.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a h-anam dílis.


A 14 Man Tipperary Squad Send Limerick Home

HurlingMichael Ryan’s Tipperary squad were simply ‘red hot’ in their meet this afternoon with Limerick on a rain soaked Semple Stadium pitch, here in Thurles. Limerick truly failed to realise any pressure on a 14-man only Tipperary team, during this the 2016 Munster Senior Hurling Championship match.

Scoring began with a point from Limerick’s Shane Dowling, but this would be the first time and the only time that Limerick would take the lead. By the 9th minute Tipperary’s Michael Breen had rifled two goals past Limerick’s Nickie Quaid, aided and abetted by Tipperary’s unselfish Seamus Callinan.

Limerick responded with 2 points from Barry Nash and Shane Dowling, while Tipperary’s Seamus Callinan pointed from a 65.

Then disaster in the 14th minute; With a red card being waved by referee James McGrath, Tipperary’s John O’Dwyer is sent off  after an undisciplined lashing out on Limerick’s Richie English. This together with another free from Limerick’s Shane Dowling, saw a score in the 16th minute reading; Tipperary 2-01 (7pts) to Limerick 0-04.

Points from Limerick’s Declan Hannon, Shane Dowling & Cian Lynch together with Tipperary’s Seamus Callanan & Michael Breen, leaves the scoreboard reading – Tipperary 2-03 (9pts) – Limerick 0-07.

Tipperary now appear to be playing with 16 men instead of 14 and in the 26 minute greatly aided by the McGrath brothers, a truly lethal Seamus Callanan rifles low past Limerick’s Nickie Quaid, leaving the score Tipperary 3-03 (12pts) to Limerick 0-07.

James Ryan and Shane Dowling bring the Limerick score back to within a mere 1pt lead, but Callanan with three further points, keeps the Premier County ahead at the half time mark, with Tipperary leading by 3-05 (14pts) to Limerick’s 0-11.

Despite only 14 men it became clear from the start of the second half that Tipperary were taking no prisoners, with a point from Noel McGrath in the first 30 seconds. This score however is quickly cancelled out by Shane Dowling.

Hawk Eye is called upon to adjudicate twice during this match, confirming 1pt which had previously been denied to a Seamus Callanan ’65.  John McGrath adds to this, leaving a score in the 43 minute registering; Tipperary 3-08 (17pts) to Limerick 0-12, or a five point lead.

By the 69 minute, points had been further added by Limerick’s Declan Hannon, Shane Dowling and substitute John Fitzgibbon, but same had been adequately already answered by the unstoppable Seamus Callanan, Paudie Maher and Noel McGrath, with the scoreboard reading comfortably Tipperary 3-12 (21pts) – Limerick 0-16.

However ‘the fat lady had not yet sung’ and with three minutes, which included extra time, Limerick’s Dan Morrissey got on the end of a Darren Gleeson save, to rebound it back into the back of the Tipperary net.

But with 73 min on the clock and with the full time whistle blown, the scoreboard read; Tipperary 3-12 (21pts) Limerick 1-16 (19pts).

A superb afternoon’s work from Tipperary, who played an absolute blinder and gave a most exciting and a truly unsurpassed and skilled performance, despite just 14 men.

Tipperary Team: Darren Gleeson, Cathal Barrett, James Bar, Seamus Callinan, Michael Cahill, Seamus Kennedy, Ronan Maher, Padraic Maher, Brendan Maher, Michael Breen, Dan McCormack, Patrick Maher, Noel McGrath, John O’Dwyer, Seamus Callanan & John McGrath.

Limerick Team: Nickie Quaid, Tom Condon, Dan Morrissey, Richie English, Diarmaid Byrnes, Gavin O’Mahony, Seamus Hickey, James Ryan, Paul Browne, Gearoid Hegarty, Shane Dowling, Barry Nash, Graeme Mulcahy, Declan Hannon and  Cian Lynch.


Govt To Freeze Bin Charges


Waste Operators showing Telephone No’s and E-mail Addresses who offer services in Co. Tipperary.

Various reports today claim that new rules, recently introduced by former Tipperary Labour Minister Alan Kelly, on new bin charge legislation are set to be frozen, as the present Government investigate massive price hikes in the industry and as yet unsubstantiated claims of companies operating cartels, (Cartel – An association of  suppliers coming together with their sole purpose to maintain prices at a high level, thus restricting competition).

Claims made today appear to confirm that  the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Mr Simon Coveney is all set to freeze the charges in his bid to give his department yet more time to further examine these earlier allegations.

Mr  Coveney met with Waste Management companies in Athlone on Friday last, to further discuss plans to implement pay by weight charges, which were set to come into effect from July 1st 2016 next.

Meanwhile the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission is also set to examine this pricing controversy after numerous consumers complained they had received notifications indicating massive price hikes of between 200% and 300% introduced as a result of these new regulations.

With just 12 days to go; as yet no notifications have been received from some 10 registered waste collection agencies, operating within Thurles and Co. Tipperary, as to any new or future pricing regulations. One suspects that these agencies were hoping that if details were left too late then everybody would simply accept the inevitable and lie down; as is a previous attitude, thankfully changing here in Ireland.

Already we are aware of people using public litter bins in our town’s streets, daily, to dispose of their basic household waste. Soon, if this system is not satisfactorily regulated, forgotten rural areas will experience a new kind of tourism; as visitors arrive to dump waste product in our lanes and hedgerows.

With regard to these newly introduced pay-by-weight bin charges and customers using waste and recycling service; one must ask the following questions?
(1) Do we weigh the waste product ourselves, agreeing scales readings prior to collection?
(2) Do we wait patiently beside our waste bins for our chosen collection service to call, before agreeing and signing for the actual weight being charged?
(3) Do we simply accept the weight recorded by our collection service agency as being gospel truth?
(4) Will invoices detailing actual waste weight be pushed through our letter boxes on each collection date?

Minister Coveney is understood to be meeting with waste companies again early next week and one hopes that the proposed system and the various service agencies will be forced to become more transparent in their dealings.


1798 Rebellion & Thurles, Co. Tipperary

The 1798 monument today positioned in Liberty Square, Thurles, Co Tipperary, is affectionately referred too, most often, as simply ‘The Stone Man’.

In the hustle and bustle of everyday 21st century living here in Thurles and mindful of hefty parking charges and indeed a not insignificant fine for those found remiss in failing to visit a parking meter; very few local people today take the time to ‘stand and stare’, while contemplating the truth of its existence.

Stone-Man 1798

The ‘Stone Man’ was first unveiled in 1901 (See old photograph of the official unveiling above) to commemorate the first centenary of the ill fated attempt at a rebellion in 1798. Funding to pay for this very fine monument and indeed its eventual erection, was collected voluntarily from the nationalists of Thurles and surrounding districts. However full funding came some three years too late to actually commemorate this first centenary event.

Indeed many would have believed that the wording on this monument could hardly have been acceptable to local authorities, (See nationalist rhyming principles being propagated in above picture), then subject to strong British rule.

However it would appear that those then in power felt more fear from banning this structure, than in allowing its erection. On the other hand this monument was erected to the memory of three Protestant 1798 wealthy nationalist leaders, in a town (Thurles), described in the British Parliamentary Gazetteer of 1846 as being “decidedly the most Roman Catholic town in Ireland, second only to the city of Galway.”

The Protestant Leaders Commemorated by the ‘Stone Man’ in Liberty Square, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

(1) Theobald Wolfe Tone, (20 June 1763 – 19 November 1798), today referred to by his sir-name Wolfe Tone, then a leading Irish revolutionary figure and one of the five founding members of the Society of United Irishmen, aimed at a political union between Catholics and Protestants, and is regarded today as the father of Irish Republicanism and the true leader of the 1798 Irish Rebellion.

Wolfe Tone was born in Dublin, the son of a Protestant coach-maker, who also owned a farm near Sallins, in Co. Kildare. His mother who came from a Catholic merchant family, chose to convert to Protestantism, following Theobald’s birth. Educated at Trinity College, Dublin, he qualified as a barrister in King’s Inns at the age of 26 and attended the Inns of Court in London.

(2) Robert Emmet (4 March 1778 – 20 September 1803) was a Protestant; an Irish nationalist; Republican; an orator and rebel leader, who led an abortive rebellion against British rule in 1803.

Emmet was born at No. 109, St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin and was the youngest son of Dr Robert Emmet a wealthy court physician and his wife, Elizabeth Mason.  Again educated at Trinity College, Dublin, before being expelled in 1798, and forced to flee to France.

Emmet was captured following his failed Dublin rebellion; was tried for treason and sentenced to be ‘hanged, drawn and quartered’, as was customary for any conviction of treason. He was hanged and once pronounced dead, was beheaded in Thomas Street near St. Catherine’s church in Dublin.  Family members and friends failed to come forward to claim his final remains, out of fear of arrest, so alas today we cannot identify, in truth, his last resting place.

(3)  Lord Edward FitzGerald (15 October 1763 – 4 June 1798), also a member of the Society of United Irishmen and was part of the Protestant Ascendancy; being the fifth son of Lieutenant-General James FitzGerald, 1st Duke of Leinster; an Irish aristocrat; revolutionary, who died of wounds received while resisting arrest on a charge of treason.

FitzGerald spent most of his early years at Frescati House, Blackrock, Co. Dublin and was privately educated here by a private tutor named William Ogilvie.

Details of these three Irish republican leaders and their involvement in the intervening years, up to their eventual deaths in 1798 and 1803, can be easily accessed online or from your local library.

So why then was a memorial to the 1798 rebellion erected in Thurles; a town and indeed a county who took real, little or no part in this same rebellion?

Watch out for our explanation, in a forthcoming Blog, over the coming days.