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Forget Images Of Stonewalls, Donkeys & Wild Sheep Blocking Green Wide Open Spaces.

Let’s be real here, the Irish postcard era of dry stonewalls; mountain sheep blocking narrow roads against a background of green wide open spaces; bare footed children escorting forlorn overladen donkeys, latter carrying creels of turf; same can no longer be effectuated by our Irish National Tourism Development Authority.
We have slid decidedly backwards, as a small island from this once attractive rural tourism marketing ploy, selling relaxation, peace and solitude. This so called relaxed way of life has for many years been consigned to old God Almighties time.

Dublin derives its name from the Irish “dubh linn” – meaning “black-pool”, but recent years and given recent events, it is understandable why some may view Dublin City Centre as more of a “cess-pool” at the moment. Dublin City Centre has lost its charm – and then some. The celebrated central thoroughfares and winding pavements we used to so celebrate in countless spoken verse and lyrics are now more synonymous with anti-social behaviour, faceless boarded shop facades, crime, litter, homelessness, drug use and even violence, generated in many cases by greed.

Same is thanks to a small group of teenage thugs, permitted by their negligent and often absent parents, to roam our capitol’s city streets, exempt from punishment and from the injurious consequences of their purposeful actions.

An area on Stradavoher Street, Thurles, near the scene where a number of homes were destroyed by mysterious fire, over the more recent past.
The number shown as 666 is identified as the ‘Number of the Beast’ as mentioned in the Book of Revelation (Chapter 13, verse 18) and is explicit in anti-Christian subcultures.

Sadly, in a travel advisory warning this week, the US Embassy in Dublin, refers to what they call “a number of recently reported incidents”, while stating that travellers should immediately safeguard their valuables e.g. credit cards, bank cards, passports etc., while refraining from carrying large amounts of cash.

The Dublin US Embassy also encourages all their American visiting citizens to be aware of their actual surroundings while visiting in Ireland, especially when travelling in unfamiliar places; attending crowded locations and empty streets; and especially if obliged to walk alone, during the hours of darkness.

Sitting opposite Thurles Cathedral, latter building one of the few remaining tourist attractions in Thurles not removed by local councillors, is the privately owned eyesore and blot on the landscape, known as the Munster Hotel.

But it is not just Dublin streets. Here in areas of Thurles also, the broken windows theory has become totally ignored.

For those not familiar with the “Broken Windows Theory”, same states that visible signs of disorder and misbehaviour in an environment will encourage further disorder and misbehaviour, leading to the committal of further both minor and serious crime. This principle amply explains the decay of neighbourhoods.

Thinly layered, lightly printed cloth banners, say ‘Welcome To Thurles‘, I think!

Meanwhile, in an attempt to make tourists feel at home, (same having inadvertently lost their way while travelling to South Tipperary, to find themselves in this jobless conurbation called Thurles); four thinly layered, lightly printed cloth banners, welcoming people to the Liberty Square area of this potholed town, have long since become entangled around their sky hooks, courtesy of our light summer breezes.
One wonders how much travelling expenses were generated by the members who met to sanction this cheap tourism fresh approach.

One notes too that our town’s neglect and potholes are a reflection of poor management at County Council and Urban District level. Thurles, despite some ills, is still a town worth visiting for its history, arts, sports and much more. Like so many other urban areas, however, it risks further deterioration and destruction, if we accept ‘broken windows’ and become complacement about the failures and inadequacies of our elected community leaders and County Councils.

The solution to this growing problem of anti-social behaviour is not just placing extra Gardaí on our streets. It includes our justice system ensuring to punish wrong doers as well as local communities co-operating with Gardaí, who for the most part are more than anxious to facilitate change.

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