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Public Entitled To Expect Highest Standards From Local government !

“The public is entitled to expect conduct of the highest standards from all those involved in the local government service, be they councillors, county/city managers, other local authority staff or non-councillor members (“external members”) of local authority committees.”Local Government Act 2001
Ethical Framework for the Local Government Service
. (Click HERE.)

Councillors in carrying out their role are obliged to make decisions based solely on consideration of the public interest and the common good.
More generally, councillors should in all matters seek to ensure that their conduct does not bring the integrity of their office or of local government into disrepute.

“Continued progress on the Suir river walk” – Quote Councillor Seamus Hanafin. (February 20th, 2022).

Last year saw the completion of the first phase of the Suir River walk from Thomond Road to Clongour. The path was resurfaced and widened and has made the walk much more accessible and pleasant for everyone. Lots more people are using the walk as a result.
Over the next six weeks we will see more progress with two more sections being upgraded.
This coming week contractors will begin site preparation works on the pathway running from Monakeeba to the Mill Road through the double ditches. Some vegetation will be removed and illegal dumping cleaned up.
Over the next 4 to 6 weeks they will then commence widening of the path, re-surfacing and fencing.
This will provide an off road walk from the Mill Road to Kickham Street
When this is completed, contractors will then move to Ladyswell to carry out the same works from the Turtulla side to the Mill Road.
This work is very welcome and will be a real addition to the amenity of our town. Phase by phase we are delivering a better, safer and more accessible leisure route around our town.
As always, I want to acknowledge and thank Thurles Lions Club who have been to the fore in this project and the management and engineering staff of the Thurles Municipal District for their on-going efforts.
Work will continue to deliver further sections of the walk.”
View HERE.

NB: Thurles Lions Club in no way wishes to be associated with Mr Hanafin’s press release, which has brought about the wanton destruction of the last visible piece of Thurles town’s Great famine heritage.

Using the video shown hereunder, compare Mr Hanafin’s 6 week old press release with what actually happened last weekend, with an on-site workforce continuing to toil last Saturday in an effort to speed up their destruction. Take into account that in the 6 preceding weeks, as promised, not one supermarket trolley, not one fridge, not one washing machine, not one hoover, not one discarded item of clothing, not one rotting mattress, bottle or can etc. was removed from this Great Famine Double Ditch.

Having taken action without the consent of his local electorate; Fianna Fáil Councillor Mr Seamus Hanafin should now resign his post, as Chairperson of the Thurles Municipal District Council and TD Mr Jackie Cahill, who supported Mr Hanafin, should resign his seat in Dáil Éireann.

“The Local Government Act 2001 (“the Act”) sets out a new ethical framework and imposes a statutory duty on all in the local government service to maintain proper standards of integrity, conduct and concern for the public interest.” Local Government Act 2001 [Updated to 19 October 2016].

“Our heritage is about our past, our present and our future and contributes greatly to the quality of life in our urban and rural communities. It is shared by all and is fully inclusive. Interaction with our heritage not only provides physical and mental health benefits but contributes to overall well-being, while biodiversity is an essential component in the functioning of our environment”. – Signed by Mr Joe MacGrath, Chief Executive, Tipperary County Council.

Tipperary County Council Chief Executive Mr Joe MacGrath, in light of his total failure to communicate, and indeed other failures, should immediately also be asked to resign his position.

It is important that our readers take a few moments to peruse the “Inner Relief Road, Archaeological Survey”, paid for by Tipperary Taxpayers; forwarded to me by Ms Sharon Scully, (Thurles District Admin.), following a complaint made by me to the Standards In Public Office Commission (SIPO), and published yesterday HERE.
New to her current admin post in Thurles MDC, Ms Scully informed me that the Great Famine Double Ditch did not exist, based on this same Archaeological Survey and indeed so misleading is this survey, her comment in 2021 is totally understandable.

On Wednesday last, March 23rd, we watched, helplessly, as the last vestige of our local Great Famine Heritage was eradicated, together with its rich biodiversity and at least 12ft X 9in of thick, mature Whitethorn.
In an effort to call a halt to the destruction of both the biodiversity and heritage, we attempted to contact the offices of the National Parks & Wildlife Service, same department under the umbrella of Minister of State Mr Malcolm Noonan, (Carlow/Kilkenny Constituency).

Indeed, since his appointment as Minister for Heritage (together with Electoral Reform) in July 2020, we had contacted him by email regarding the saving of this piece of Thurles heritage, on numerous occasions.
His only reply, dated 22nd Aug 2020, at 20:25 hours, and emanating from Malcolm.Noonan@oireachtas.ie, to me, read:

A chara,
Thank you for taking the time to contact me. If your query is in relation to my role as Minister of State with responsibility for Heritage and Electoral Reform, please contact my departmental office at MOS@housing.gov.ie
Otherwise, you will receive a response as soon as is practicable.

Is mise le meas,
Malcolm Noonan, T.D.
Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform.
His constituency office passed it on.

March 24th/25th, 2022: On attempting to contact the Department of National Parks & Wildlife Service, using their given online contact number, (076) 100 2649, for their District Conservation Officer for Tipperary north, I was to discover that all rangers were working from home for over two years and their office was empty, phones not manned.

Not to be outdone, I contacted the Minister Noonan’s office. A telephonist tasked with redirecting calls to the Parks & Wildlife Service, explained that she couldn’t give me any of the Rangers contact numbers (Private Phones), but she would transfer me to a ranger that was flagged as “active”.
There was no reply. In all, she transferred me to 8 different contact numbers with no reply from any of those contacted.

Eventually, I did obtain a number from another office, which accepted a message and I was eventually contacted 28 hours after the first of the whitethorn trees were removed, at about 6:00pm on the following evening.

Without mentioning names of those public servants involved, a message on Fri, 25th Mar, 09:58 read

George,
Thanks you for these. I’ll request the Local Ranger —— pay a visit but due to leave this will not take place till next week.
Please note that if these works are part of development covered by planning permission, then they are exempt from Section 40 of the Wildlife Act. ‘Unnamed’ will update you on his findings in due course.
Kind regards
, etc.

My reply read:-
You email reply/content is fully noted.
To say the very least, I am totally disappointed by the direction currently emanating from the offices of National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWL).
Next week will see all of the biodiversity and trees removed from this area.
Yours sincerely
George Willoughby
.

I have been given to understand that prior to approximately 12:00 noon today, a named Wildlife Ranger had visited the site, who was informed that “the trees and other biodiversity had been removed prior to March 1st”, as I had forecast in my email.
However photographs taken by me, are automatically dated on digital cameras, which will prove otherwise.

In a final ditch attempt to obtain assistance on 24th Feb 2022, at 20:13 we sent to MOS@housing.gov.ie and to Malcolm.Noonan@oireachtas.ie, an email, addressing the following which included pictures which read:-

Sir,
As requested by a telephonist / secretary at your office, I herewith attach pictures of heritage destroyed this week, due to your failure to reply and assist, as I requested back in 2020.

Above also is proof that your office received my communications and then ignored me completely.

I now wish to know, what is your intention to prevent further destruction?
Note: Picture DSC_0435 has been levelled.
(Picture was of Leeway Gate & Pillars).

Same was built in 1846 together with the blacksmith built gate, which had a market value of at least €2,000. All have been levelled and gate either buried or removed.
(Gate has since been returned and dumped on site)

Note: Picture 20220222_180846
(Picture of Stile) which shows the stile entrance built in 1846, destroyed by Tipperary Co. Council.
I understand that your email system is primitive, not allowing you to read links.
In the event that same has improved since 2020, see page 6 of Great Famine Minutes – Thurles/Rahealty Famine Food Relief Committee at http://www.hiddentipperary.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Great-Famine-Minutes-Thurles-1846-1847.

Yours sincerely
George Willoughby

The Office of Green Party TD, Mr Malcolm Noonan, (Minister of State for Heritage etc) aided by local Thurles councillors, Thurles Fianna Fáil and Independent TD’s Cahill & Lowry, together with the apathy displayed by Thurles Chamber of Commerce, played out on the business people of Thurles, have now cost Thurles residents; the unemployed; those forced to commute and aforementioned business people, millions of euros in future lost revenues.

In the coming days I will be highlighting this lost tourism revenue issue and also documenting what goes on behind the curtain, within Fianna Fáil, locally, so keep following Thurles.Info.

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