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Thurles Welcome – Visitor Information.

I was forced to travel on foot this evening, down through Liberty Square, here in Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

Yes, this is the same Liberty Square that received a “circumferential (360°) tummy tuck” at an overall cost of between €9m & €12m, over the past 3 years, which in the process successfully destroyed every business in the town centre, leaving it naked of any real footfall.

The local municipal district council are keeping the actual overall cost of this 50% upgrade, close to their chests, until they get around eventually to finishing the other half.

The first thing that struck me as I strolled along, was the strong smell of hydrogen sulphide in today’s escaping sewer gas. I asked a few people could they smell anything unusual. One of their replies informed me that I was obviously driving through town in the past number of weeks, with my car windows closed.

I asked where it was coming from and one person suggested it was the wind coming south west from the Thurles sewage plant. Another one suggested I ask contractor Messrs Walsh, whom they stated had to rip up some of their upgraded pavements, because of a reported collapsed pipe. Either way this problem will no doubt be dealt with sometime before the next General Election, in possibly February 2025, if not before.

Actually, what really attracted me, positioned, as it is, in the centre of this half upgraded new Liberty Square, was the last remaining antique looking, Victorian, iron signage still standing, situated just 50 metres from the Thurles Tourism Office.
Having left my glasses at home I moved closer to peruse same signage more clearly. Starting at the top in English, I read the printed utterance we use here in Tipperary, as a greeting or acknowledgement of another’s arrival in the town; the word “WELCOME”.

Same was followed by the words “VISITOR INFORMATION”. (I tell you when Sinn Féin get to hear about this, the Russian Kalashnikov’s will come out. (Not one word of Irish to be seen – No “Fáilte”, – No “Eolas do chuairteoirí”)

As a reasonably fluent English speaker, I moved closer. No, nothing, despite the 7.50 centimeter lettering threatening to inform the visitor and despite it being so close to Thurles Tourism Office. As I examined the dreaded British post box faded red paint, I discovered that obviously someone had accidentally leaned against this sign’s thick, translucent, Perspex facade on some frosty night about 3 years ago, thus leaving it in its current demise.

One had hoped to find helpful information contained their-on, for the benefit of any straying tourists — info like “Nothing Left Here Try Blarney 118km Further On”, or “Nothing Left Here This Way To Dublin City 151km Further On; with perhaps a sort of codicil in small print on other necessary helpful information, like “Warning Traveller: Beware of out-of-control youth gangs leaping from car to car in Dublin city centre”, or “Warning Traveller: Beware of Dublin cowardly youths continuing to attack random individuals leaving them suffering serious head injuries”.

[Actually between ourselves, I blame all this on that feckin Covid-19 vaccine, causing this sort of moronic behaviour in our Republic’s Capital City].

Anyway, I’m not worrying, when Fianna Fail TD Mr J. Cahill reads this; out will come the video crew to provide footage for his social media page. Hope in this case he can find the right area, unlike another video venue, which he failed to identify.

Politicians and powerless local councillors in Thurles and Co. Tipperary, for the moment at least, are enjoying the silence of their electorate, but for how long more is anyone’s guess.

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