Biodiversity Destruction On Thurles Lady’s Well & Double Ditch Walkways Criticized.

Destruction of Biodiversity on the Thurles Lady’s Well Right-of-Way & now destroyed Double Ditch Right-of-Way, are being denounced in Social Media threads. The threads begun by Thurles.Info and carried by @ThurlesHour demonstrate the growing feelings of lovers of our local environment and the distrust of County Councils and their officials.

Some of the remarks hereunder posted on Twitter by other people.

“County councils across Ireland don’t seem to ‘get’ nature.”

“Thurles Municipal District council got funding to design, secure planning & construct a river walk from Thomond Road to Turtulla. Landowner consent was not forthcoming. They decided to spend the money asap – removing all trees, laying down tarmac on the route of the Double Ditch!”

Biodiversity & Heritage Destroyed By Tipperary County Council & Irish National Parks and Wildlife Service, Without Any Local Consultation.

“Local authority greenway. No environmental oversight. Asphalt laid up to river. Token 2m buffer. Chain-link/welded mesh fencing down the side to ensue no critters pass.
Eventually all these will need to be taken out, and the riverbanks restored.”

“Greenways are like a lottery win for quarry owners.”

“Wrecking the place.”

“What would a riverside greenway look like if it were ecologically sound? Is there an acceptable set back distance or preferred material?”

“This is happening along any path that is designated a Greenway.”

Thurles.Info now asks WHY?

Meanwhile: Attempts to contact Malcolm Noonan’s Office via email [Mos via &], between Sat, 22nd August 2020, and Thursday, 24th February, 2022, and on numerous other recorded occasions, fell on deaf ears. Currently staff at his constituency address; The Parade, Co. Kilkenny, do not even answer phone calls.
In the past two years despite numerous attempts we have received only two “Automated Email Replies” from his office.

A Chara,
Automatic reply: Destruction of Thurles Heritage
Thank you for contacting the departmental office of Malcolm Noonan, T.D., Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform.
Your email will be reviewed and a response will issue in due course, should one be required.
Le gach dea-ghuí,

Malcolm Noonan
Office of the Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform

Our dealings with Mr Eamon Ryan TD have been equally ignored. Again we were sent 1 Automatic reply on Wed, 6th April 2022 and 4 on Mon, 11th April, despite being contacted only once, on each of the afore mentioned dates by myself. (So 4 staff opened it and decided to ignore the content.)

Automatic reply: Destruction of Thurles Heritage
A chara,
Many thanks for your email. As I am sure you can appreciate, I receive a large volume of emails on a daily basis. Your issue is important to me and myself or one of my team will be back to you as soon as possible.
In the meantime, if you have a query relating to the below areas, you might find the following email addresses helpful:
Matters related to Dublin Bay South constituency:
Matters related to the Dept of Environment, Climate, Communications networks:
Eamon Ryan TD
Minister for Environment, Climate, Communications and Transport.

Despite our email communications being civil, we have never spoken or received even one, single, reply from staff at Mr Eamon Ryan’s department.
We did explain our problem on one occasion to a member of Mr Malcolm Noonan’s, Kilkenny Staff, who confirmed that they had received my emails in the past, but could not explain why they were not replied too.

Meanwhile, our dealings with staff at National Parks and Wildlife Service were equally disappointing.
Early communications stated from NPWL stated, “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. John will update you on his findings in due course.”

Then NPWS service claimed they granted verbal permission to Tipperary Co. Council in late February on the grounds it was a road or other structure. Quote “However, it should also be noted that the clearance of vegetation in the course of road or other construction works or in the development or preparation of sites on which any building or other structure is intended to be provided is exempted under Section 40.”

The truth is, there was No Road; No new Construction Works; No other new structures; just a small, yet valuable piece of 176 year old Thurles Heritage.

National Parks and Wildlife Service have further confirmed that because of “work stress”, they had forgotten to recognise the Mill Road address we had reported and identified in relation to breaches of Sect 40 of the Wildlife Act. Thus when asked for documentation they then confirmed, quote: –
(A) “Communication between Tipperary County Council and a named Wildlife Ranger was only verbal, there is no written documentation.
(B) “Any written communication between Tipperary County Council and the builder is in their possession, National Parks and Wildlife Service do not have same.”
(C)Furthermore any request for such information needs to follow the AIE process.
[Latter AIE referred to is “Access to Information on the Environment”]

“Our heritage is what we have inherited from the past, to value and enjoy in the present, and to preserve and pass on to future generations.
In helping shape our identity, our heritage becomes part of what we are. Our expression of this identity shows others what we value; it highlights our values and priorities.
Our heritage provides clues to our past and how our society has evolved. It helps us examine our history and traditions and enables us develop an awareness about ourselves.
It helps us understand and explain why we are the way we are.”

The above are not my words but the words of the Irish Heritage Council, See HERE .

Then this evening, April 20th 2022, out of the blue, we received an email in pdf format.
Yes, readers I fool you not, after almost two years of waiting, it arrived from staff at Minister Malcolm Noonan’s Office, set in the form of a standardised letter, sent with the permission of Ms Danielle McDonnell, (Private Secretary to Minister Malcolm Noonan T.D.); signed by a person in his constituency office in Co. Kilkenny, latter yet another member of staff authorised to act on behalf of the same Ms Danielle McDonnell.

Mr Noonan’s almost two year old delayed communication read.
Dear Mr. Willoughby,
On behalf of Mr. Malcolm Noonan, T.D. Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, I wish to refer to your emails regarding the removal of a hedgerow by Tipperary County Council at Mill Road, Thurles.
The works in question were carried out to facilitate the upgrade of an existing pathway. In this instance the National Parks and Wildlife Service are satisfied that these works did not constitute a breach of Section 40 of the Wildlife Act.

Yours sincerely,
P.P. Danielle McDonnell (Private Secretary to Minister Malcolm Noonan T.D.).

Remarkably, Minister Malcolm Noonan’s dictated communication, failed to explain in his long awaited communicated, why Tipperary Co. Council and builders were given permission to destroy irreplaceable Thurles history, which as we previously stated, was a certain sure attraction for foreign and domestic tourism.

Same has been destroyed despite every Irish Government department; Elected Tipperary Politician and double jobbing Local Councillor, being warned exactly what was going to happen, since 2019.

So, Minister Noonan, I totally reject your recent delayed communication. I continue to seek your explanation as to why, based on historic evidence (See page 6) and a falsified Archaeological Impact Statement, that two Green Party politicians; namely you Sir and Mr Eamon Ryan failed to communicate; to fully investigate this piece of Thurles heritage and now choose to protect the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Service?

According to the Heritage Council, Quote “An important part of their work is to encourage local communities to take responsibility for and participate in the development and conservation of their heritage.
Such projects help generate a greater sense of pride and belonging in the local area through increased participation…and sheer enjoyment!
Cultural tourism and activity holidays on our natural landscapes and countryside continue to grow, outperforming all other tourism sectors.”

Both of you gentlemen must now reply to the question being asked, WHY?


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