Local Weather

real feel: 13°C
wind speed: 5 m/s NE
sunrise: 5:17 am
sunset: 9:40 pm


Another Piece Of Thurles History Removed Without Consultation Or Consent Of Electorate.

Read first, HERE, an extract from Tipperary County Councils Corporate Plan (2020- 2024).
Their unkept promise, to “Continue to enhance and protect the built, heritage in Tipperary and to work in partnership with key stakeholders, to deliver a high quality heritage service that will serve the people of Tipperary and attract visitors to our count.”

The above statement is yet another commitment which Tipperary Co. Council has successfully been allowed to weasel out of and row back on. And no, I am not further raising the issue of the now completely destroyed, historic Great Famine, Double Ditch.
However, local people should be made aware that yet again, another piece of Thurles history has been, eradicated, without any consultation with the people of Thurles.

I refer of course to the 170 year old Victorian Turnstile Gates, [known locally as the Swinging gates], once found positioned beside and south of Lidl supermarket, on Slievenamon road (N62); same leading east on the river Suir pedestrian walk way.

My attention was drawn to its absence on meeting several motorcycles and numerous silent electric scooters travelling at speed on what was supposed to be a pedestrian footway.

Thurles Victorian Turnstile Gate Gone.
Pic. George Willoughby.

On questioning a member of the local districts council’s workforce, I learn that this Victorian Turnstile gate is not, as I had foolishly believed, stored in the Parnell Street, County Council storage shed, but has been simply given away by as yet an unnamed senior official within Tipperary Co. Council, without any consultation whatsoever with local people.

Does this mean that the Turnstile Gate (Swinging Gates), on the junction between Emmet Street and Thomond Road will also be removed?

Matching Thurles Victorian Turnstile Gate at Thomond Road Junction.
Pic. George Willoughby

We now have a situation, where parents walking with young children, need to take great care and control when coming out onto the N62 thoroughfare, as there is nothing to protect either pedestrians or small unsupervised children.

Obviously, ignorance now hopes to “Position Tipperary as a holiday destination for domestic and international markets”, latter yet another promise in Tipperary Co. Council’s Mission Statement which the latter has successfully been allowed to weasel out of and row back on.

It had been hoped that this Victorian Turnstile gate would have been returned to its opening with a robust pedestrian-safe, self-closing, “Ball Fence Swing Gate” at the side, latter to accommodate access for wheelchair users.

Thurles people should note: These gates were unique to Thurles town – find me another image of such gates on the internet. Note, how the capping stones were tied together (See Pic 2) using forged iron staples held in place with lead filling.


New Free Schoolbooks Scheme

Parents will not be buying school books next September. The Minister for Education Ms Norma Foley TD has published guidelines for recognised primary schools and special schools on the new free schoolbooks scheme.

The new guidelines are designed to assist primary schools, as they adopt the free schoolbooks scheme in time for the start of the 2023/24 school year.

For the most part this new scheme means that:

  • Schoolbooks, workbooks and copybooks will be provided by primary schools for all pupils.
  • There is no need for parents or guardians to buy or rent these items.
  • Schools will be provided with sufficient funding (€96 per pupil) to cover the costs of providing required items.
  • Schoolbooks are the property of the school and must be returned at the end of the school year.

For parents seeking further information and clarification, same is available HERE.


Student Dies In Thurles Single Vehicle Collision.

A young Co. Laois man, named locally as Mr Adam Kirwan, aged 22, has sadly died, following a single vehicle collision in Thurles, Co Tipperary. The crash occurred at around 3:15am, in the area of College Green, in the south east area of the town, close to the N75.
Mr Kirwan was a student of the Mary Immaculate College in Thurles.

The victim was treated at the scene, but was later pronounced dead. His body was later removed to University Hospital Limerick where a post-mortem examination will now take place.

Two other female passengers in the vehicle escaped injury.

The road remained closed for a time earlier, while a technical examination took place.

Thurles Gardaí are appealing to any witnesses, particularly any road users who may have video footage (including dash-cam), to contact them at Thurles Garda Station Tel. No. – 0504 25100, or the Garda Confidential Line Tel. No. – 1800 666 111, or indeed at any Garda Station.


World Book Day Get Your Free Children’s Book.

Today, 2nd March 2023, is World Book Day and schools, libraries and bookshops across Ireland are hosting many exciting events and activities to celebrate reading.

In addition, every child in Ireland will be gifted a World Book Day Token through their school, which they can exchange for one of over ten free World Book Day Books by authors such as Joe Wicks, Lenny Henry, Peppa Goodhart and Nick Sharratt.

Alternatively, in many bookshops, boys and girls can use their World Book Day tokens to get €1.50 off a non-World Book Day title.

Thurles bookshops are participating so be sure to pick up your free gift / discount by March 26th when the offer ends.

For more information on World Book Day visit HERE.


Call For New Veterinary School To Be Developed.

Veterinary School

Independent Clare TD Mr Michael McNamara has called for a new Veterinary School to be developed on a similar model to the School of Medicine at University of Limerick (UL), in order to address a growing shortage of vets, particularly in large animal practices within Munster; due to the current retiring of veterinary practitioners.

In October 2022, the Higher Education Authority (HEA) sought expressions of interest from higher education colleges about creating more spaces for veterinary medicine and veterinary nursing. University College Dublin (UCD), currently, is the only third level institute, on the island of Ireland, where students can study to become a veterinarian.

Deputy McNamara said the development of a second veterinary school in Ireland is critical, as there are currently more Irish veterinary students studying in Hungary (40) and Poland (70) than there are in Ireland.

“Some 581 students had veterinary medicine as their first choice, on their CAO form in 2022, but options for progressing to a veterinary school in Ireland are extremely limited with only 85 course places available at UCD each year,” he explained.
“The proposed new school must, at its heart, be centred on delivering more graduates into large animal veterinary practices. It is important the HEA’s target of a new school being opened by September 2024 is met.” he concluded.

He continued, “Currently, students at UCD primarily receive their experience at the Veterinary Hospital in Belfield, which inevitably is attracting more students to pursue a career in similar institutes and in research after they have qualified. A new Veterinary School should instead help to steer students towards replacing the veterinary practitioners specialising in large animals, with an acute shortage arising in Munster in particular.”

Deputy McNamara, who will be raising the matter with the Minister For Agriculture, during Topical Issues in Dáil Éireann tonight, said, “The School of Medicine at UL was established in 2007, when Ireland was experiencing a chronic shortage of general practitioners. The model developed by the School whereby students primarily received experience in GP practices, meant that they were more openly disposed to pursuing a career as general GPs, which helped to maintain the overall number of GPs across the country.”