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Major Objection To €30m Tipperary Solar Farm – Planning Granted By Tipp. Co.Co.

In all over 70 objections have now been lodged against a €30m Tipperary Solar Farm scheme granted permission by Tipperary County Council.
The solar farm was expected to produce in the region of 25 Megawatts of renewable energy, same sufficient, if fully achieved, to power 6,406 homes per year.

Some 26 parties are now appealing the council decision to An Bord Pleanála, with the Larry Goodman owned organic meat producer, “Good Herdsmen” understood to be one of these parties appealing.

Just last month, Tipperary County Council granted planning permission to a company known as “Renewable Energy Systems” for this development. Same is situated at Rathduff, Thomastown Demesne, South Co Tipperary, within 3km of Bansha village and 7.5km east of Tipperary town. Planning permission was granted after Tipperary County Council’s project planner concluded that it would not have any adverse impact on the character of the area or indeed on any adjoining properties in the vicinity of the development.

Not surprisingly, the founder and Managing Director of the ‘Good Herdsmen’, Mr John Purcell, who operate’s a 350-acre organic farm adjacent to the proposed site of this solar farm has claimed, in an objection, that the planned solar farm will indeed have an adverse effect their business.

Managing Director Mr Purcell has stated that the solar panels proposed would have the potential to cause a catastrophic visual impact on the area and would ruin the image that nature and his own organic farm have created, thus killing the vision of everything he has established todate. He claims that the promoters of this solar farm propose to metamorphose 107 acres of Golden Vale land, latter the richest farmland in Europe, into what he calls “a sea of plastic and metal panels”.

ABP’s organic beef brand, “Good Herdsmen” operating their factory in Cahir, currently employ 20 personnel with a further 6 employed on its organic farm, toiling on its day to day operations.

Others to appeal this County Council decision include:- South Tipperary Solar Farm Concern Group; Margaret Kennedy; Caitriona Bn Ui Annraghain;, Caroline and John Bourke; Denis Pollard Jnr; Maria Bailey; Michael & Mary Joyce; Chris Bailey;, VESI Environmental Limited and Carol, Emma and Daisy Welsh.

A decision on this appeal is expected by the end of August 2022.


Manufacturing Solutions Ireland, Returns To Limerick.

An expanded Manufacturing Solutions Ireland returns to Limerick to meet the needs of the Irish and UK precision industry, in a post Brexit & Covid economy.

  • New Manufacturing Technology Zone will showcase multi-million euro machines never before seen in Ireland and flown in for the event.

Manufacturing Solutions Ireland 2022 is returning to the Technological University of the Shannon, Moylish Campus, Limerick [(TUS) with campuses in Thurles, Limerick, Clonmel, Ennis and Athlone), on June 15th and 16th, with an expanded two-day offering to meet the post Brexit and post Covid demands of the Irish and UK precision engineering industry.

In it’s fourth year, and first post Brexit, the popular event hosted by GTMA and TUS has been extended to include the multi million euro Manufacturing Technology Zone and the inaugural Digitalisation of Manufacturing Conference, alongside the traditional manufacturing supply chain roadshow and popular “Meet the Manufacturer.”

Note: The Gauge and Tool Makers Association (GTMA) is a UK-based trade association representing leading companies in precision engineering, rapid product development, toolmaking, tooling technologies, metrology and other critical manufacturing related products and services. It embraces technology, procurement and supply chain initiatives to offer solutions across a full range of business needs.
It also has a committed strategy to focus on major market sector opportunities, from aerospace and automotive to medical and marine.

The Manufacturing Technology Zone has attracted Irish based distributors and international companies such as Mills CNC, Hurco, Wenzel, Werth, Fanuc, Lister Machine Tools, ETG Ireland, Premier Machine Tools and Starrag who will be demonstrating their latest technology and machines. It is also anticipated that Starrag will bring a new machine to Manufacturing Solutions 2022, that has yet to be seen in the UK or Ireland.

Meanwhile, 150 of the most advanced providers of metrology, inspection, machine tools, work holding, cutting tools, and Cad/Cam/PLM manufacturing software and ancillary products and services will be exhibiting at the roadshow.

IDEAM (Irish Digital Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing) Cluster will deliver a two-day conference that will explore new innovative, smarter and sustainable ways of doing business, alongside key regional, national and international stakeholders.

Note: IDEAM (www.ideam.ie) is an innovative national industry cluster launched in April 2021 located in the heart of the Mid-West region supporting businesses to collaborate, innovate and grow. IDEAM assists manufacturing SMEs in digital transformation and our core aim is to unlock new opportunities for industry by working collectively.

The Meet the Manufacture event will once again provide the means by which leading manufacturers from aerospace, medical and materials processing companies will be available to meet directly with suppliers, manufacturers and service providers as part of this direct business-to-business matchmaking event.

GTMA Chief Executive Officer, Ms Julia Moore explained that the demand for the return of Manufacturing Solutions Ireland following a Covid-19 enforced hiatus was huge.
“Bringing all the leading technology suppliers together the GTMA and TUS are providing an ideal conduit for the transfer of technology from the specialist suppliers to the practical industrial landscape, where its take-up and practical application can be used to gain a competitive business advantage. The huge success of previous years has also led to the demand for an extended event this year, with an eagerness among those attending to encourage UK Irish trade relations.”

President of TUS, Professor Vincent Cunnane said he was delighted to welcome the GTMA and Manufacturing Solutions Ireland back to the Moylish Campus, now home to Ireland’s third technological university – TUS.
“TUS is driving development and investment across the Midwest and Midlands, building on our commitment to ensure that manufacturing in the regions continues to adapt, change and remain at the cutting edge internationally.
Our partners in GTMA bring all the leading technology suppliers together at Manufacturing Solutions, so that industry can benefit from collective knowledge, products and technology. We are delighted to host an event that not only allows us to build strong partnerships but facilitates an exchange of ideas.”

Co-organiser and programme leader in Precision Engineering at TUS, Department of Mechanical and Automobile Engineering, Mr Ciaran O’Loughlin explained, “This event is about an exchange of ideas, learning about developments within precision engineering, introductions to the newest machines and technology, while providing an opportunity to do business. All of this takes place in a hospitable atmosphere with free parking and refreshments adding to the community feel of the event.”

Mr David Beattie, General Manager GTMA pointed to the continuous development of productive businesses relationships between Irish and UK since the first Manufacturing Solutions in 2017. “Manufacturing Solutions Ireland is in its fourth year, growing year on year, with even a global pandemic failing to stop its return. We believe the success of the event is due to the quality of the companies it attracts from the UK and Ireland each year, the flexibility of the event to adapt to the needs of the industry and the reputation it is quickly developing as an event to build professional relationships and do business. We are preparing for an even bigger and better event this year, and know those attending will not be disappointed.”

Manufacturing Solutions is sponsored by Enterprise Ireland, Irish Manufacturing Research, Regional Skills and FRS Recruitment and supported by PTMA and IDEAM.

For further information or to register to attend this free two-day event see manufacturingsolutions.ie.

Note: Given the popularity of the event – booking is advised.


New Bill Will Implement Biggest Reform To Judicial Appointments In Decades.

Minister Mrs Helen McEntee publishes Bill to implement biggest reform to judicial appointments in decades.

  • Judicial Appointments Commission Bill 2022 provides clear process for appointing judges.
  • New measures mean all candidates, including serving judges, will undergo new application and interview procedures.
  • Candidates will be required to undergo judicial training or continuous professional development.

The Minister for Justice, Mrs Helen McEntee, T.D., has today announced that the Judicial Appointments Commission Bill 2022, was approved by Government earlier this week and will be published shortly.
This represents an important step forward in the reform of the judicial appointments process as committed to by the Minister, most recently in Justice Plan 2022.

This Bill, when enacted, will lead to the biggest reform in the way judges are chosen for appointment in a quarter of a century.

A number of key changes have been made to the Bill from the General Scheme as published by Minister McEntee in December 2020.

The changes include:

* Number of recommendations – 3 persons to be recommended instead of 5 recommendations as provided for in the General Scheme and an additional 2 recommendations for a second and additional vacancies. For example, this would mean seven recommendations for three vacancies

* Only persons recommended by the Judicial Appointments Commission to be recommend by the Government for appointment by the President

* Interviews – Any person – new applicants and serving judges seeking promotion to higher courts – who is to be recommended to the Minister for Justice for appointment should have been interviewed by the Judicial Appointments Commission

* Diversity – The Commission will be required to publish a diversity statement committing to the objective that membership of the judiciary should reflect the diversity of the population as a whole.

* Continuous Professional Development – Candidates will be required to show they have undertaken judicial training or continuous professional development

Minister McEntee said:
“In the hundred years since the foundation of the state, our judges and our judiciary have served us extremely well. In proposing this legislation, I hope that it will enable the continued appointment of excellence judges which are a cornerstone of a strong, independent judiciary.
It is vital that we have a very clear process for judicial appointments, one that people understand and have full confidence in.

The Bill I am publishing today allows for the establishment of a Judicial Appointments Commission of nine members, chaired by the Chief Justice, to replace the current Judicial Appointments Advisory Board.
All 4 lay members of the Commission will be selected and recommended by the Public Appointments Service.
The current JAAB process only concerns first-time judicial appointments, with no statutory advisory role in place relating to appointments from the ranks of serving judges.

This Bill will ensure that anyone who wishes to be considered for appointment to judicial office, including serving judges, will apply to the Commission and undergo the same application and interview processes.
Membership of the judiciary should also reflect the diversity of the population as a whole and a new diversity statement will commit the Judicial Appointments Commission to that objective.

I look forward to working with all members of the Houses of the Oireachtas to bring this legislation to enactment as soon as possible.”

The approval of this Bill follows a substantial process of consultations, in particular with the Attorney General, the European Commission and the Chief Justice.

Commenting on the changes made in the Bill to the General Scheme, Minister McEntee stated:
“In a change from the previously published General Scheme, three persons are to be recommended instead of five, with an additional two recommendations for a second and additional vacancies. This will ensure that we are meeting all of our necessary obligations under EU law.
I am strongly of the view that a candidate should be recommended only after being interviewed, so I have made this a requirement in the Bill.
Additionally, I have included a requirement that judicial appointments will reflect the need for candidates to undergo judicial training or continuous professional development.
I am committed to improving training and continuous professional development right across the justice sector. This is crucial to providing a better service to people who need to engage with our justice system and those who work within it – from our Gardaí to our judges – and I am pleased the Judicial Appointments Commission Bill reflects this priority.”

The Judicial Appointments Commission will set out best practice selection procedures including interviews and the knowledge, skills and attributes required of judges.


Tipperary Mushroom Producer Ordered To pay Arrears To Former Romanian Employee.

The Workplace Relations Commission heard that a Co. Tipperary mushroom producer, Stablefield Ltd, with a registered office at Killeaton, Clogheen, Co Tipperary, allegedly paid a female Romanian mushroom picker just €4.06 per hour, despite the national minimum wage being between €8.65 and €9.15 per hour.

A State workplace watchdog has now ordered Stablefield Ltd to pay the former employee and harvest manager Ana Lacramioara Manciu, €15,058 in arrears, following the company’s failure to pay her the national minimum wage over a 12 month period, between September 2015 and September 2016. (During this period, the national minimum wage in July 2011 was set at €8.65 and had increased to €9.15 by January 1st, 2016.)

In her findings, Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) adjudicator, Úna Glazier Farmer, a qualified Barrister-at-Law, stated that she accepted Ana Lacramioara Manciu’s undisputed evidence in its entirety and that her complaint was well founded.

Ana Lacramioara Manciu provided evidence of working 14 and 15 hour days but only getting paid for 6.58 hours and 6.77 hours on particular days by the firm Stablefield Ltd.

Ana Lacramioara Manciu alleged that Stablefield Ltd falsified her working hours and the Workplace Relations adjudicator agreed that Stablefield Ltd sought to take advantage of Lacramioara Manciu, who was not fully familiar with her employment rights, following her arrival here in Ireland with her husband.

Úna Glazier Farmer (WRC) adjudicator stated that Ana Lacramioara Manciu gave her evidence with exceptional detail and clarity, despite the passage of time in the case and was clear as to dates, times and events in her reference to all supporting evidence.

In her findings, Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) adjudicator, Úna Glazier Farmer stated that she accepted Lacramioara Manciu’s undisputed evidence in its entirety and that her complaint is well founded.

The Commission adjudicator agreed that it appeared it was the clear intention of the company to deceive the complainant by underpaying her significantly less than the national minimum wage, which she regarded as a most heinous breach of employment rights.

Úna Glazier Farmer has also awarded Ana Lacramioara Manciu €2,000 in expenses in connection with the dispute, latter brought under Section 24 of the National Minimum Wage Act, 2000.


TUS Engineering Open Day Opens Variety Of Careers For Leaving Cert Students.

TUS Engineering Open Day opens up a variety of careers and courses in engineering to Leaving Cert Students.

The Engineering Special Topic for this year’s Leaving Cert exams will take centre stage at the 2022 TUS Engineering Open Day on Saturday March 12th, 2022.

The established open day on the Moylish Campus of the Technological University of the Shannon (TUS) introduces leaving cert student to a variety of engineering courses, lecturers and students, and leading engineering employers from across the Mid West.

As the open day returns to an in-person event, so too does the renowned seminar on the Leaving Cert Engineering Special Topic. Students can attend the 30-minute seminar on “Principles of Operation and Applications of Artificial Intelligence in smart Manufacturing Techniques” during the Engineering Open Day.

TUS Engineering Open Day Co-ordinator Mr Peadar Heneghan said,
“The TUS Engineering Open Day is unique as it allows leaving certificate students with an interest in engineering, and their parents, see first-hand the variety of careers available in engineering by meeting students, lecturers and employers across all disciplines. The visiting student can go on a journey from choosing a course to choosing a career in just a few short steps, as they learn from those who have travelled the road before them.

We encourage leaving cert students to question our lecturers and students about specific courses, and then meet potential employers and indeed employees who undertook the course to discuss career options.

The opportunities for a career in engineering are varied, with something to suit almost everyone interested. TUS on March 12, 2022, from 10am to 1pm is the place to be to discover the college and career path that best suits each individual,”
he added.

TUS Engineering Open Day is free and those interested in attending are asked to register: HERE