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Thurles Eye In Sky Unveils New Hidden Landscaping Of Thurles River Walk.

Pictured hereunder is the first published picture of the newly landscaped Thurles river walk stretching, sandwiched and running parallel between the west bank of the river Suir and the new proposed Lidl Supermarket Site.

Yes, it is nicely landscaped, with grass seed sown on both sides of a narrow, winding, tarmac pathway; reminiscent of the yellow brick road taken by Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Lion in the musical fantasy film ‘The Wizard of Aus’.

From what we can see, a few, fast growing, short lived Alder trees have also been planted; each dotted here and there along this 130 metre stretch of the river bank.
Wire plastic coated fencing attached to wooden stakes, divides the Supermarket chain’s intended new premises from the public right-of-way river walkway.

“Beware, beware the hawthorn
Lest it strike you down
For if you take an axe to it
You’ll rue that you were born”

(Giles Watson)

All of the above, to my mind, ineffective changes come at the cost of one pair of Song Thrushes being made homeless; their nesting site and eggs destroyed.
Flowering Queen Anne’s Lace, Plaintain (Slánus), Bindweed, Cow Parsley, Hogweed, are just a few of the species all once sheltering beneath a 130 metre stretch of healthy Hawthorn trees (May Tree) were also annihilated to be replaced by sod all.

Alas, these Hawthorn trees were not obviously inhabited or protected by fairy folk, worse luck, as legend suggests, so gone for good are 130 metres of native spiny branches, whose flowers will no longer spread their heavenly sweet scent, on late May and June evenings.
Gone are 130 metres where normally honeybees, bumblebees and a great variety of insect species, flitted urgently, immersed in their intricate work of gathering nectar and pollen, thus making it an important part of our ecosystem, and at a time when land-based insects are rapidly disappearing.

The European Commission has clearly stated that there has been an alarming decline in pollinator species, with 10% of bees and butterflies nearing extinction. The loss of wild pollinators remains a cause for grave concern, because around 80% of crops depend, in part at least, on their ability to pollinate.

Here in Ireland, a third of our wild bee population is facing the threat of extinction; that’s according to the National Biodiversity Data Centre in Waterford.

Gone are 130 metres of Hawthorn hedging, which each year offered a mass of red berries to birds, as their autumn and winter feed.

One law for the general public, another law for developers.

Under the terms of the Irish Wildlife Act, hedge-cutting is only permitted between September 1st and February 28th. This law aims to protect and maintain wildlife diversity by establishing areas where, in particular, birdlife can thrive during the nesting season. The law also prohibits the cutting, burning, grubbing or deliberate destruction of vegetation.

  • So who gave the developers of the Lidl site, in Thurles, permission to destroy biodiversity in this area?
  • Will they be sought out and prosecuted?
  • Will they be forced to replace the Hawthorn trees they ripped up?

Most likely not; but remember “What we do to the environment we ultimately do to ourselves as humans”.


Ireland Will Not Meet 2020 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Targets.

Ireland will not meet its 2020 greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets.
Action is needed now to meet 2030 EU targets.

  • Ireland will not meet 2013-2020 EU targets for greenhouse gas emissions reduction.
  • Ireland can meet our current EU commitments over the 2021 to 2030 period, if all current plans and policies are fully implemented.
  • Projections indicate that under the best case scenario, with all the measures set out in the 2019 Climate Action Plan fully implemented, Irelands 2030 emissions will be 24 per cent lower than 2018 levels.
  • In order to achieve a 51 per cent emissions reduction by 2030 significant new measures will need to be identified and implemented across all sectors.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has today published its Greenhouse Gas emissions projections for the period 2020-2040, which will form part of the discussions at the EPA Climate Conference taking place tomorrow.

They show Ireland is projected to have exceeded its 2013-2020 EU Effort Sharing Decision target by 12.2 Mt CO2 eq, but that it can meet its current EU 2021-2030 target with full implementation of the measures in the 2019 Climate Action Plan. This would result in a 2% per annum emissions reduction pathway from 2021 to 2030.
Commenting on the figures Ms Laura Burke, (Director General, EPA) said:
“These projections show that the next decade needs to be one of major developments and advances in relation to Ireland’s response to climate change. Full implementation of all current policies and plans by all sectors would reduce Irelands greenhouse gas emissions by 2 per cent per year, which is the minimum needed to meet our current 2030 EU targets.”
Ms Burke added:
“However, for Ireland to meet the more ambitious targets as presented in the European Climate Law and Ireland’s Climate Bill, and to transform to a climate resilient, biodiversity rich and climate neutral economy by 2050, there needs to be a significant and immediate increase in the scale and pace of greenhouse gas emission reductions. A ‘green recovery’ will give Ireland an opportunity to rebuild our economy and generate new jobs while responding to this challenge.”

The projections show the impact of Covid-19 lockdown on emissions for 2020 and 2021 as a result of a dramatic decline in economic activity and travel in the short term. To avoid a surge in emissions as the economy recovers, as a minimum the full range of actions already committed to must be implemented without delay. These measures are projected to contribute to emissions savings of 58 Mt CO2 eq. by 2030 when compared to existing measures. These include:
A reduction of at least 16.5 Mt CO2 eq. between 2021 and 2030 is achievable by accelerated uptake of measures such as low emissions slurry spreading techniques and switching to stabilised urea fertilisers for crops and pasture.
Almost 1 million electric vehicles on our roads by 2030, including 840,000 passenger EVs and 95,000 electric vans and trucks, will help achieve a projected additional emission saving from the sector of 13.2 Mt CO2 eq over the period 2021 to 2030.
Renewable energy providing 70% of electricity generated is projected to lead to a 25% reduction in Energy Industries emissions by 2030 requiring both on- and off-shore wind energy projects.
Home Heating
The installation of 600,000 heat pumps and the retrofitting of 500,000 homes for improved energy efficiency by 2030 is projected to reduce the energy used for space and water heating in our homes by 44% by 2030. This will make our homes healthier and more comfortable places to live.

Commenting, Mr Stephen Treacy, (Senior Manager, EPA) said:
“Ireland needs to improve on its past record of performance in the implementation of climate policies and measures. As far back as 2015 EPA projections indicated that 2020 EU targets could be met with the implementation of identified measures. Faster than anticipated emissions growth from key sectors and slow implementation of measures resulted in the target being missed by a wide margin.”

See full detail on the Greenhouse Gas Emission Projections 2020 to 2040 on the EPA website HERE.

See EPA Greenhouse Gas web resource HERE.


EPA Announce €625,000 Funding For Innovative Irish Businesses In Circular Economy

  • The EPA’s Green Enterprise: Innovation for a Circular Economy fund worth €625,000 is now open for applications.
  • Applications for project funding in the range of €50k to €100k are invited, to support Irish businesses develop circular solutions in product and service design, production, distribution, use of resources – including raw materials and waste reduction.
  • The fund is aimed at business-ready innovative projects targeting the areas of food; plastic; construction and demolition waste; and resources & raw materials.
  • Circular business models contribute to a climate-neutral, resource-efficient economy, but also offer competitive opportunities, and appeal to customers and consumers looking for sustainable options.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today launches its €625,000 funding opportunity for Irish enterprises to innovate, demonstrate and implement circular economy approaches in their business models.

Speaking about the Green Enterprise: Innovation for a Circular Economy funding call, Ms Laura Burke, (Director General of the EPA) said:

“A ‘circular’ economy reduces waste throughout the economic cycle and ensures that materials are used as efficiently as possible. Circular businesses reduce costs and environmental impact by reusing, repairing and recycling materials already in use. These approaches can advance the green transition, accelerate digital transformation and can deliver new jobs and skills as Ireland implements its National Recovery and Resilience Plan.”

The EPA is inviting business and industry applicants from across Ireland’s economy with business-ready innovative projects targeting the areas of food, plastic, construction and demolition waste and resources and raw materials.”

The EPA’s Green Enterprise: Innovation for a Circular Economy fund supports Irish enterprises develop and demonstrate circular economy approaches, designing out waste and pollution and keeping products and materials in use for longer. The types of projects being targeted include:

  • Use of eco-design to develop sustainable products.
  • Innovation to reduce the use of raw materials in product manufacturing.
  • Development and implementation of circular production processes (designing out waste, life cycle analysis).
  • Recycling, reuse and repair activities in the business and industry sector.
  • Circular services and business models (to transform consumption patterns, logistics and to foster reuse and repair).

Ms Mary Frances Rochford, (Programme Manager, EPA Office of Environmental Sustainability) said:

“The circular economy is shaping national and international business models as a viable market response to environmental and climate challenges. Moving to a circular economy is critical for Irish business as Ireland positions itself as a market leader in the provision of goods and services, while protecting the environment, protecting the economy, and protecting local jobs.”


Field Buttercups On Emmet Street, Thurles.

“There, on stems waving in the air on a warm gentle breeze,
Buttercups, ebb and flow like restless tides on rolling seas”

[Extract from the poem ‘Sun-Kissed Flowers‘, by Jenna Logan]

The hairy leaved bright yellow field Buttercups growing on the west bank of the river Suir presently, East on Emmet Street, are indeed quite striking. But soon their petals will fall, leaving behind green spiky fruit, reminiscent of tiny chestnuts.

View on Sunday last, June 13th, east on Emmet Street, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

Nowadays the younger generation are more fascinated by their mobile phone screens, rather than playing the childhood game of holding a buttercup under your chin to see if you like butter. As children adults had us believe that the colour of the flowers eaten by cows somehow got into the milk giving rise to the production of yellow farmer’s butter.

Buttercups will grow anywhere and have in the past been used to treat rheumatism and fevers.
The plants flowers contain a chemical ‘Ranunculin’, which, when the plant is broken, crushed or chewed, changes to the toxin called ‘Protoanemonin’.

Protoanemonin is a bitter-tasting oil that irritates the mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal tract, and is poisonous to horses, cats, and dogs. However, they generally don’t pose any real threat, because the toxin’s bitter taste limits the amount any animal will eat.

When dried these toxins which are part of the Buttercups makeup become harmless and so are edible for animals when found in dried hay.


Tender Invited For Provision Of Extension To Thurles River Walk.

Tipperary County Council are inviting you to submit a tender for the tender competition stated hereunder. Tender documentation and other particulars may be submitted here through the e-tenders tender box. (Reference Tcc001151E)

Thurles River Walk
Photo: George Willoughby

Detailed description:

Tipperary County Council and Thurles Municipal District are now working towards the provision of new footways/cycle paths and improvements to existing footways adjacent to the River Suir and its tributary, the Drish River. The overall development now under consideration is sub-divided into four phases as follow: –

Phase 1. Extending along the west bank of the River Suir from the footbridge adjacent to the Town Park at Thomond Road, as far as Thurles Golf Club.
Phase 2. Extending northwards along the east bank of the River Suir as far as its confluence with the Drish River and from there along the south bank of the Drish River as far as the bridge on Mill Road.
Phase 3. Extending along the Drish River from the bridge on Mill Road to the N75 National Secondary Road on the outskirts of Thurles;
Phase 4. Extending from the bridge on Mill Road for a distance of approximately 1km northwards along Mill Road to meet up with the existing footpath.

The Project, to which this Consultant’s Brief (May 2021) (the “Brief”) relates, consists of the following elements of the overall development:-

  • The preliminary design, route selection and preparation of the overall Master Plan in respect of Phases 1 to 4 inclusive, and
  • The Part 8 planning process, the detailed design, tender, construction and handover stages of Phases 1 and 2 only.

Response deadline (Irish time): – 05/07/2021 by 12:00 noon.