Thurles Great Famine Double Ditch – Update

Firstly, since we initially raised the issue of the Great Famine Double Ditch, asking the simple question: –

“Will the planned Thurles inner relief road impinge, in a negative way, on the 1846 Thurles ‘Double Ditch’, which has been a right of way and a Mass Path for almost 175 years and which is the property of the people of Thurles?”

Now, to-date, we have not received even one denial or indeed even one admission to our simple question requiring just a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer from any elected national, local or senior official, charged with representing Tipperary.

Councillor Mr Shane Lee has now joined the ranks of the rest of the so called ‘Michael Lowry Team Membership’, since he became aware of the article published by ‘The Irish Mail on Sunday’, last week.

On 29th Nov 2020, @ 21:19 (6 days ago) Mr Shane Lee (Independeent [Lowry Team]) wrote: –

Thank you for your email. I hope all is well with You & Your Family in these very difficult times. I’d like to highlight George in the 2019 Election I was not part of your area in the Local Elections I wasn’t on the Ballot Papers for Thurles area people didn’t vote for me.
Their vote was for the five Councillors that you are aware of in your area and five very good lads well capable guys I may add. My point is Thurles is not my area Roscrea/ Templemore electoral area is my area so for future reference if you might remove me from your mailing list please. I dont like the way you reference highlighting silence as that’s definitely not my form for sure. I work extremely hard in my own area.
I can speak with Councillor Lowry if you wish as that’s the area Micheal covers?

Kindest regards
Cllr. Shane Lee.

We emailed Mr Lee by return stating: –

Mr Lee,
No sir, as a member of Tipperary County Council you represent all of Co. Tipperary.
Proof of your position is that you were involved in passing the 2021 Co. Council budget in Littleton last week, that’s according to Council CEO Mr Joe MacGrath; latter which contained no expenditure cuts or increase in commercial rates for the year ahead.
This involved €34-35m for housing, €59m on roads, €15m on water services and €29.5m on environmental services. It assures an average spend of just over €3.5m per week; only a portion of which will be spent in the Roscrea/ Templemore electoral area.
So you now know that your power is far more reaching, and affects more communities than just your principality of Roscrea.

Your sincerely
George Willoughby

Cllr. Shane Lee replied: –
You never answered my question was I on your Ballot Paper?


We believe however, we possibly may have convinced Mr Lee that his obligations and commitments to his electorate as a Tipperary County Councillor, extends to the whole of County of Tipperary including Thurles, and not merely to the area of Roscrea/Templemore. (Then again, we may not, but we done our best to explain.)

A Reply from Mr Malcolm Noonan’s Constituency Assistant.
The second reply, following investigative reporter Ms Valerie Handley’s ‘The Irish Mail on Sunday’ article came from Minister Malcolm Noonan’s Constituency Assistant, on behalf of the Minister, and also on 29th November, @ 17:30 (6 days ago)

This email read,
Dear George,
Please excuse Sunday email. I am catching up with a backlog of emails to Minister Noonan’s constituency office.
Can I just confirm with you that you received the autoreply and have resent your email to the Minister’s Departmental office ?
The constituency office are not able to respond to correspondence on Departmental matters.
I hope this is helpful.

Kind regards,

Grace Hamilton (Constituency Assistant, on behalf of Malcolm Noonan TD Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform)

My reply to Ms Hamilton was as follows: –

Ms Hamilton,
I have attempted to contact Minister
Mr Noonan TD on four occasions at his ministerial office, but to no avail. I wrote to you again in the hope that you and Mr Noonan might be on speaking terms, and you might forward my correspondence from his constituency office to his Ministerial Departmental office.
Since he does not wish to correspond with me; he might correspond with you and you might relay his findings.

I have also written to Minister Darragh O’Brien on the 15th November last, informing Mr O’Brien regarding the failure by Mr Noonan to investigate and his refusal to communicate, other than auto reply’s; latter which has now forced me to take this matter into the domain of the national media.
Not surprisingly, Minister Darragh O’Brien, has not replied either; not even an auto reply.
Before you use the words ‘Coviy-19 virus pandemic’ as an excuse, which you might in any future correspondence; I am aware that Mr Malcom Noonan attended in Tipperary Town during the height of the pandemic and could have met with me, to briefly discuss this Issue. He chose not to do so, thus failing to protect what should be a national monument.

Yours sincerely,
George Willoughby.

In all, to-date, 16 persons including senior Co. Council officials, 4 Teachtaí Dála, two of which support this present government in Co. Tipperary [namely Michael Lowry and Jackie Cahill], have failed to answer the simple question “Will the planned Thurles inner relief road impinge, in a negative way, on the 1846 Thurles ‘Double Ditch’, which has been a right of way and a Mass Path for almost 175 years and which is the property of the people of Thurles?”


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