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Chief Executive Of Tipperary Co. Co. Breaks Silence To Respond To Thurles.Info.

In a reply, received from Mr Joe MacGrath (Chief Executive of Tipperary County Council), through his Secretary Ms Evelyn Harty, Mr MacGrath breaks a 3 year silence to discuss road craters on Thurles Roads.

Mr MacGrath has specifically requested that we publish his reply, now shown hereunder in full.
To refresh the memory of our readers, please read HERE, the blog which we published seven day ago, highlighting the current state of just about every road in Thurles town, and to which Mr MacGrath now replies.

But First It’s Competition Time:

Guess on what road surface this 15.24 centimeter (6 inch) deep crater exists in Thurles. Answers can be posted HERE.
A prize of a €20 Eason book token awaits the first person to identify the spot. Competition is open to all Tipperary Residents.

The reply sent by Mr MacGrath via his secretary Ms Evelyn Harty was composed on Tuesday April 18th at 10:02am, but did not arrive in my mailbox until yesterday morning April 19th.

Note: A copy of my initial email correspondence to Mr MacGrath HERE was carbon copied to Mr Eamon Lonergan, Ms Sharon Scully (Thurles M.D) and engineer Mr Thomas Duffy, by Mr MacGrath or an instructed staff member.

In accordance with Mr MacGrath’s wishes, please find his reply printed in full hereunder:

“Dear Mr. Willoughby,
Thanks for your email in relation to damage to roads at various locations in Thurles.
I have arranged to have these locations examined and can advise that:
The first photo is an Uisce Eireann excavation which is not the responsibility of Tipperary County Council.

The second photo is on the N75 bridge crossing in Thurles. TII has programmed works for this section of road which we expect will be undertaken by the end of May.
The third photo is Clongour which is on the 2023 works programme to get a full road reinstatement within the next month.

I note that you have published this matter on social media in advance of giving the Council an opportunity to respond, which is disappointing.
Please confirm that you will publish the full text of this response on the same social media outlets to ensure that a full, fair and balanced picture is conveyed to readers
.

Best regards,

Joe.

In a reply sent today, we seek to thank Mr MacGrath for his reply and indeed we express our surprise at receiving such, since over the past 3 years; and despite forwarding a complaint to the Standards In Public Office Commission (SIPO), Mr MacGrath had failed to reply to information requests sent directly to him.
Complaints were also sent to SIPO regarding elected local councillors and their officials, but to no avail. Please see full details in relation to SIPO published on September 8th 2020, HERE and HERE.

Instructions sent by Corporate Services, at Tipperary Co. Council, in September 2020, regarding the then Code of Conduct by local Municipal District Councillors, their local officials, you Mr MacGrath and Mr Marcos O’Connor, in relation to the destruction of Thurles Heritage, namely “Great Famine Double Ditch”, were totally ignored; hence the need to publish “this matter on social media in advance of giving the Council an opportunity to respond” and which you describe as “disappointing”.

Your intending ‘chastising statement’, quote “I note that you have published this matter on social media in advance of giving the Council an opportunity to respond, which is disappointing”, is viewed by me personally as being gravely duplicitous, since you and your officials have refused to respond to any previous queries sent by me in the past.

In relation to all pictures in our report; Thurles.Info identified where the craters were to be found, in order to allow your engineers to quickly grab a shovel.
I should confirm that Picture No. I was not caused by operations undertaken by Irish Water, and was repaired on same day as was reported by us, (on April 13th, I am reliably informed on Facebook).
Irish Water or not; please look at the picture again while noting that Tipperary Council retains responsibility for Irish Water and queries continue to be accepted by the Water Services Section of the Council.
This initial pothole repair was undertaken by ‘Highway Maintenance’, before it ravelled yet again and was left for some 5 weeks, before local residents got fed-up driving around it.

The crater on Photo No. 2, at the Barry’s Bridge crossing, latter the main escape route out of Thurles when seeking employment, and which you expect to be fixed by the end of May next, was fixed two days ago, having existed since before Xmas.

The crater on Photo No. 3; one of a multitude of such on Clongour Road, caused by machinery which operated on the now sinking, newly built, Slievenamon Road area, (between Thurles Shopping Centre and Lidl); local residents are happy to note that same “will get a full road reinstatement within the next month”. However, based on my experience, we warn residents of that area about holding their breath.

We now invite Mr Joe MacGrath, when driving next to Nenagh District Office, “To Halt Awhile” here in Thurles and view the state of our current road structure.
We haven’t identified the area of the crater posed in the Competition Picture shown above, other than to state that same is on a roadway in Thurles. By failing to identify the positioning of same, it is hoped that those responsible for road maintenance in Thurles, may be stirred into action, thus winning our Eason book token.

Competition Clue: The crater in the picture above has existed since at least November of last Year (2022).
Same further confirms that Thurles residents get nothing in return for paying vehicle road tax and nothing for paying local property Tax (LPT), as successive governments continue to permit the ‘skinning’ of motorists through the purchasing of diesel, petrol, electricity and parking charges.

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