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“Go n-Éirí an Bóthar Leat” – Translation Rings True In Thurles

“Go n-éirí an bóthar leat”, loosely translated from the Irish language into English means “May the road rise to meet you” or in more realistic phraseology, “May your journey be successful”.

Oh, but not so in Thurles; no, we living here in this rural backwater, when we use this Irish phrase “Go n-éirí an bóthar leat”, we mean the literal, loose translation, “May the road rise to meet you”.

Following a recent news statement posted on this website on December 28th last, headed “EU Awards Funding For Tipperary Smart Street Lighting”; we were since contacted by a number of individuals asking where a series of “sunken road craters” existed in our town.

To those that enquired, check your email, we sent you photographs showing the above 3 craters which are to be found within 6 meters (18 ft) of each other on Slievenamon Road, Thurles and all between 4 inches and 10 inches below the actual current road surface. You can find a few more recently “installed” in the proximity of Emmett Street and Mitchel Street.

The drain covers, interestingly, have a manufacturers name and the address of the foundry that cast them; “Sharkey Dublin”, possibly installed in the latter half of the reign of Edward VII, King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and Emperor of India until his death in 1910.

The effect of these craters on motor vehicles of course is usually, at worst, a steering system misalignment or bent wheel rims.  Motorists pay local authorities motor tax, if they want to drive their vehicles in a public place. There are four forms of tax on vehicle fuel:- (1) Excise duty charged by the litre, (2) Carbon tax, which is charged by the tonne, (3) A National Oil Reserves Agency (NORA) levy of 2 cents per litre, (4) Vat @ 23% is added on after all other taxes have been charged. We won’t mention the tax on the purchase of the vehicle itself, the cost of obtaining a Driving Licence, passing a Driving Test, Vehicle Insurance and that ever essential National Car Test (NCT).

With all of these taxes taken into consideration therefore, Co. Councils feel you shouldn’t get too upset when forced to pay the extra costs of repairs needed to replace / repair steering system misalignments, destroyed tyres or bent wheel rims.

Recent road repairs undertaken in Mitchel Street and Emmett Street in the town, prove that Tipperary Co. Council practises remain extremely flawed. It appears that when it comes to manufacturing craters; the words of author, scientist, and statesman Benjamin Franklin come to mind as in, “old habits die hard”, meaning it is difficult to change a way of behaving, that Tipperary Co. Council has displayed during previous decades, despite the introduction and a major emphases being placed on “Health and Safety” practises.

Yes, “Go n-éirí an bóthar leat”, or “May the road rise to meet you”, is a wish only we can offer pedestrians in Thurles presently, yet we live in optimistic hope that no person steps off the pavement into one of these craters, under cover of darkness on any future moonless winter night.

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