Archives

What Benefits Received For Paying Local Property Tax?

I took a walk along the area beside the River Suir, commonly known as the Thurles River Walk this afternoon.
Sad to see a Swan forced to swim amongst the floating, filthy, dirty litter of a once pristine clear waterway. [See photograph immediately hereunder.]

Swan forced to swim amongst floating, filthy dirty litter, in river Suir, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.
Pic: G. Willoughby.

Further up as I moved northwards along Emmett Street; here underneath Barry’s Bridge, (latter the main thoroughfare in and out of Thurles town), two views meet my eye.

One was the fact that now two streams of fresh water, instead of one, continues to flow from what appears to be a burst pipe. We had notified Ms Sharon Scully of this fact, exactly 4 weeks ago to the very date; January 18th, 2024. No repairs appear to have taken place.
No doubt the problem was imposed, foisted off on Uisce Éireann (formerly Irish Water), who take the blame for every pothole in town. [See photograph immediately hereunder].

It didn’t rain today, February 18th, 2024, so it looks like two leaks now coming from water pipe(s) under Barry’s Bridge Thurles, Co. Tipperary.
Pic: G. Willoughby.

Speaking of Barry’s Bridge, Thurles and our previous criticism of those taxed with attracting tourism to Thurles; do take a look at this view from Emmett Street, travelling northwards. [See photograph immediately hereunder.]

Scenic view for visiting tourists, daring to walk northwards from the Thurles River walk, travelling along Emmett Street, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.
Pic: G. Willoughby.

Note, Do take care while walking along sections of the tarmac laid last year on the River Walk. Same has already begun to ravel at the edges. One major dangerous hole exists close to the “Swinging Gates”, near to, and south of, the large cherry tree; latter’s beauty which may distract you, while out rambling.

So tell me again; “What Benefits do Thurles residents receive having paid Local Property Tax?”

Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

Neglect By Tipperary Co. Co. & Thurles Municipal District Officials Continue.

A pedestrian has been seriously injured following an accident here in Thurles last night.

The named male pedestrian, a former member of An Garda Síochána, aged in his 60s and from the Thurles hinterland, was accidentally struck by a motor vehicle in the Archerstown/Mill Road area, south/east of Thurles, at approximately 7:35pm last evening, Friday February 17th 2024.

Thurles Gardaí, Thurles Ambulance Service and Thurles Fire Services, all attended at the scene, before the man was quickly removed to Tipperary University Hospital in Clonmel for urgent treatment. We understand the unfortunate victim has since been removed to Waterford University Hospital, but his injuries, while serious, are not described as life-threatening. We wish him a quick recovery.

Thurles.Info had previously highlighted the dangers to persons using the Mill Road route, as recent as February 8th, 2024, (VIEW HERE) warning of the possible consequence, if this area continued to be neglected by Tipperary Co. Council and Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII). This has been the fourth accident in this immediate area, to occur within a 40 kilometre (¼ ml) in as many months.

Meanwhile, last Friday on Kickham Street, (February 17th 2024), latter which joins this same Mill Road, at the Dublin Road roundabout, the large privately owned street sweeper was busy once again. Same was required to remove last week’s gravel, as the surface of this, the busiest road in Thurles, continues to unravel. It successfully removed the gravel, but failed to remove the craters.

On 19th May 2022, the then Cathaoirleach of the Municipal District Mr Seamus Hanafin stated on local radio, quote:-
“We’ve a significant amount of work going on in Thurles over the next 12 to 18 months to follow up on the work that’s already been done. We have Phase 2 of Slievenamon Road which will have to be done and there’s also work on Kickham Street and the approach road coming into Thurles that way. All of that work and any work being done on Liberty Square, will all need to be done on a phased basis to make sure we minimise the level of disruption in our town”.

It is now mid-February 2024, and almost two years later, and none of these 3 projects have even commenced.

On Friday February 2nd, 2024, Thurles.Info invited Thurles Administrator, Ms Sharon Scully to visit Kickham Street, Thurles. In the invitation forwarded by email [sharon.scully@tipperarycoco.ie] Ms Scully was asked as follows:-

Ms Scully,
I would like for you to visit Kickham Street this morning. I suggest you park at Ely’s Supermarket.
Walk across the road and take a look at the pavement and see at first hand the work of your two man mini road sweeper.

Kickham Street after 2 man mini sweeper swept the pavement, piling up dirt to leave same in the centre.
Pic: G. Willoughby.

Note: Ms Scully’s office, even during periods of heavy traffic is less than a 4 minute drive to Kickham Street.

As is usual with Ms Scully, we received no reply or other communication following my invitation. Obviously, Ms Scully as Town Administrator considers herself superior to those who pay her wages. (That reminds me, time to chat to the Standards In Public Office Commission again (SIPO), latter responsible for promoting transparency and accountability in Irish public life.)

On February 10th 2022 last, (two years ago), following a complaint by me regarding a pothole outside my home; I received the following email from Ms Scully:-

Mr Willoughby.
Further to your email below dated the 9th February, I can confirm that we are continuing to follow up with Irish Water to ensure that work is carried out to rectify reinstatement works carried out recently outside your property on Kickham Street.
As previously stated, Tomas Duffy, District Engineer inspected the location on Kickham Street, outside your property on the 8th February.
[Note Mr Duffy must be a psychic having examined this, my problem, one day before I reported the issue to Ms Scully.]
Mr Duffy reported that the water ponding is directly due to reinstatement works associated with water main works, carried out by Irish Water recently.
The complaint was referred to Irish Water in order to rectify the matter.
Mr Duffy then followed up the report directly with the Water Services in Tipperary County Council and impressed on them the urgency to have this work rectified.
Regards
Sharon.

Lower picture above shows: Track cut by Irish Water, under the guidance of Mr Thomas Duffy, to remove water from a large depression, latter the full responsibility of Tipperary Co. Council.
Top picture above shows: The exterior of this house, was freshly painted in August of 2023. It further shows the failure by Tipperary Co. Council, latter led by Chief Executive Mr Joe MacGrath and his staff, which leaves my home and front window pelted by stones and filthy water on almost a daily basis, over the past 2 years.
Pics: G. Willoughby.

The picture above, shows the corrective measures undertaken.
Corrective measures, took 5 minutes to complete; involved 2 men; a lorry, and what appeared to be a Stihl TS420 14in Cut-Off Consaw. The workers cut a small track, the width of a 50 pence piece, to enable water to flow from the pot hole, latter the responsibility of Tipperary Co. Council, past the reinstatement works, associated with Uisce Éireann (formerly Irish Water).
This small track filled with grit and dust 3 days after being cut, resulting in a total failure to solve the problem. The report by Mr Thomas Duffy, sent to Ms Scully, was totally incorrect and both these officials failed to follow up on how the repairs were dealt with.

Meanwhile, directly opposite my front door the pictures, immediately hereunder, show the current state of Kickham Street, Thurles, today, after the gravel was swept up on Friday last.
Possibly, because of my daring to complain, the last visit by Tipperary Co. Council workers, which took place on January 9th, 2024, failed to repair this section of roadway.

Just two sections of road surface, on Kickham Street, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.
Pics: G. Willoughby.

On the same local radio station, used by Fianna Fáil Councillor Mr Seamus Hanafin, back in 2022; today reported that local Fianna Fáil TD Jackie Cahill welcomed (through whoever writes his PR), the fact that €35 million had been allocated towards improving and maintaining roads in Tipperary.

The problems being experienced on Kickham Street, a route driven by Mr Jackie Cahill TD, at least twice each week, as he travels to Dail Eireann; gets no mention.

The waste by Tipperary Co. Council and Thurles Municipal District Council officials continues.

Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

EPA Announces Funding Of €14.3m For New Research.

  • EPA announces funding of €14.3m for 33 new research projects to address climate and environmental challenges. This represents a 34 per cent increase in investment from the previous call in 2022.
  • EPA funding is building essential research capacity in Ireland with over 40 per cent of lead researcher applicants in 2023 new to the EPA Research Programme.
  • The funding covers research in the areas of climate change, the natural environment, the green & circular economy, and the environment & human health.
  • Reflecting the need for cross-sectoral research, the EPA is working in partnership with Met Éireann and Geological Survey Ireland to co-fund some of the research.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced new funding for Environmental and climate research in Ireland, with funding of €14.3 million awarded for 33 new research projects. This represents a significant increase over previous years and reflects the EPA’s ongoing commitment to funding environmental and climate research. These innovative projects will support the development and implementation of environmental policies in Ireland, as well as building research capacity in strategically important areas.

This funding will support more than 200 research staff across 13 organisations to conduct projects in innovative areas such as:

  • how blue light can affect human health and biodiversity.
  • societal transformation required to address climate, environmental and social challenges.
  • digital twins for coastal areas.
  • nature-based solutions for water quality and ecology.
  • the circular economy for batteries.
  • sustainable tourism.
  • air pollution in Irish towns.

Announcing the awards, Ms Laura Burke, (EPA Director General) said: “Scientific research and innovation are playing an increasingly important role in informing how governments and society can respond to the challenges posed by climate change and environmental degradation. The projects announced today will address knowledge gaps, both current and future, to provide robust evidence to support the implementation of effective environmental policies in Ireland.
This EPA funding will also help to build transdisciplinary research capacity and talent in Ireland in key areas relating to sustainability transitions and societal transformations. These specialist skills and expertise are essential to enable Ireland to effectively leverage the full range of environmental, economic and societal opportunities offered by the green transition. I congratulate the successful research teams and look forward to seeing the project outputs making a positive contribution to environmental protection in the years ahead”.

The EPA places a high priority on promoting the uptake of funded research to inform policy and to maximise the impact of research and innovation. Reflecting the need for an integrated, cross-sectoral approach, the EPA is working in partnership with Met Éireann and Geological Survey Ireland to co-fund a number of projects.

Of the successful lead research applicants supported through the call, over 40% had not previously applied for funding to the EPA, broadening the base of the researchers and institutions engaging in research relevant to environmental policy.

University College Cork (UCC) received the highest number of successful research awards in 2023. Professor Mr John Cryan, (UCC Vice President for Research and Innovation) said: “I would like to thank the Environmental Protection Agency for continuing to award talented researchers. This allows them, through scientific research and innovation, to tackle critical environmental, climate, health, and sustainability issues. These awards will further strengthen UCC’s position as a recognised global leader in the field of Sustainability. Aligned to UCC Futures – Sustainability, these projects will enable UCC researchers to support environmental policies in Ireland, address key societal challenges caused by climate change, and help deliver a healthier environment for all”.

The list of Awards made under the EPA Research Call 2023 is available on the EPA website HERE.

The EPA Research Programme is a Government of Ireland initiative, funded by the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications. The EPA Research Call 2024 will open for applications in April 2024. Details will be made available on the EPA website which can be viewed HERE.

Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

Benefits Of New Deposit Return Scheme

Deposit Return Scheme goes live from today.

New Re-turn logo
  1. Protect our Environment.
  2. Reduce Litter and Waste.
  3. Circular Economy Initiative.
  4. Achieve EU Recycling Targets.

From today, drinks sporting the new Re-turn logo (See Image) should start to appear in shops and supermarkets across Ireland. (Do check containers for Re-turn logo.)

Purchased containers will be required to pay a deposit in addition to the price of the drink product. The empty and undamaged container can then be returned to any participating shop or supermarket in order to obtain your initial deposit back.

A deposit of 15 cents will apply to every container from 150ml to 500mls inclusive, while a deposit of 25 cents will be required for containers over 500ml up to 3 litres.

Anything over 3 litres will not attract a charge, thus it is believed it is possible that the new scheme could spell an end to 2 litre bottles with drink manufacturing companies moving to larger 3 litre bottles. Since the deposit applies to all bottles and cans between 150ml and 3 litres per each container, the sales of large multipack minerals (slabs), same now generating an extra cost of €3.00 per 20 container pack, may also dissipate.

Any dairy drinks products in plastic containers or cartons, such as milk or yogurt drinks, are excluded from this new scheme.

Remember: Refunds can be used against any store-bought purchase or issued in cash.

Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

EPA’s Review 2023 Showcases Work To Address Environmental Challenges.

  • Carried out over 1,200 inspections of industrial and waste facilities, along with 205 urban waste water and 154 drinking water site inspections.
  • Obtained 19 convictions for environmental offences.
  • Monitored more than 2,500 waterbodies – with data showing no significant improvement in water quality – largely caused by high nutrient levels.
  • Provided real time data at 113 air quality monitoring stations– with particulate matter from solid fuel combustion and nitrogen dioxide from traffic causing poor air quality.
  • Launched new maps with up to 3 days forecast of Air Quality Index for Health.

In its 2023 Highlights the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) showcases its work in addressing environmental challenges across Ireland.

Publishing the review, EPA Director General, Ms Laura Burke said: “2023 marked the thirtieth anniversary of the EPA’s establishment. While our remit has grown, the core of what we do remains the same – we regulate activities that have the potential for significant pollution. We produce timely, reliable, trustworthy data on Ireland’s environment. And we work with others to protect and preserve our environment”.

EPA highlights of 2023 include:

Regulation

Since its establishment 30 years ago, the EPA has assessed thousands of licence applications and each year performs more than a thousand inspections of licensed sites. While the majority have operated well and in accordance with their licence, a small number have not and in those cases the EPA has exercised its full range of enforcement powers, with 19 convictions in 2023 alone. In 2023, the EPA also launched LEAP online, enabling the public to access licence, inspection, and licensee information like never before.

Knowledge

The EPA provides independent scientific evidence to inform decision making. On water quality, the EPA has monitored Ireland’s rivers, lakes and estuaries for decades, with our latest data showing no significant improvement nationally in the biological quality of rivers and lakes, which is largely attributable to excess nitrogen and phosphorous.

New forecast maps launched in 2023 predict air quality for up to three days ahead, using real-time data from 113 ambient air quality monitoring stations nationwide. While air quality in Ireland is generally good, there are concerning localised issues from particulate matter due to burning solid fuel, and nitrogen dioxide from traffic.

Waste generation continues to rise, and recycling rates are not keeping pace. Ireland remains overly reliant on unpredictable export markets for significant quantities of waste sent abroad.

EPA research shows the Irish public overwhelmingly believe climate change is already affecting Ireland, and they support climate action. While our data shows a small reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in 2022, emissions aren’t declining fast enough to meet Ireland’s commitments for 2030 and beyond.

Working with others

In 2023 the EPA partnered with a range of organisations to support the protection of Ireland’s environment. Collaborations with An Taisce and the city councils of Cork and Galway helped grow citizen science initiatives aiming to improve air quality. And coinciding with its 30th anniversary, the EPA kicked off a novel partnership with the National Library of Ireland to creatively document Ireland’s environment.

Concluding, Ms Burke said: “Three decades on from its establishment, the EPA’s role to protect, improve and restore Ireland’s environment, through regulation, scientific knowledge and working with others, is more relevant than ever”.

Further information is available in the EPA’s Review 2023, HERE

Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail