Thurles News Summary – March 20th 2024.

Thurles Town News In Brief.

Thurles.Info’s ‘eye in the sky’ sent back some rather disturbing images this morning. The first issue was the wanton destruction, by some ‘uncouth barbarians’, of public bench-seating, situated in the Cabragh-Ballycurrane area, close to the now redundant old Sugar Factory and closer still to the Thurles Top Oil Depot, on Route 659, south west of Thurles town.

Over this St Patrick’s weekend, vandals struck, severely damaging community seating, which had a wheelchair accessible plinth (rectangular block base).

Public bench-seating in Thurles destroyed in an act of vandalism.

As locals are probably aware, this facility, over the years, was been widely used by both young, old and infirmed, e.g. those attending the Thurles Rehab Care Resource Centre, and in more recent times the Ukrainian Refugees, based at the old Sugar Factory, on Cabra Road.

This bench-seating plinth, was put in place, and paid for, some years ago by the local residents association in conjunction with Thurles Lions Club. This weekend was the first time that it was vandalised and sprayed with paint.

Hopefully our local authority will see the benefit in rushing out, to undertake necessary repairs to this community seating.

Another Bent Post.

Our second image demonstrates a failure brought about, once again, by Tipperary Co. Council’s failure to employ qualified engineers.
The picture, immediately above, shows yet another bent signpost, adding to the very large number of other bent and misleading signposts, stretched right across the town, being ignored for years.

The third picture, however, was the most upsetting personally for me. You will remember I broke the news that Thurles were in the lead to win 5 national awards in the “National Pothole Awards Competition”.

Sadly, this act carried out at 10:45 Greenwich Mean Time, this morning, will, I greatly fear, put an end to any hope of our 5 awards, as promised.

Yet Another Three Day, Single, Crater Filling, Exercise.

As you can see from the image above, our ‘Eye in the Sky’ caught a glimps of a JCB attempting, for the second time in just 6 days, to fill the same single pothole on Kickham Street, Dublin Road, Thurles.
Thankfully, none of the other 48 craters were filled in, so I suppose we should be grateful to the town’s Administrator, her local Engineer and the Chief Executive of the County Council.

One nearby neighbour, in an effort to remove my frustration and my down cast fizzog, said that the new crater filling, put in place this morning, should be gone again, over the next two days, and hopefully long before the adjudicators reach their expected final decisions. (So least said in case judges are out and about).
Luckily the JCB operator left the filling to exiting traffic, to put pressure on the craters filling, in the knowledge that he would be back again on Friday or Monday, at the latest.

It’s a funny country, our little Ireland; we give out about the cost of medical health issues and funds spent by the HSE, yet we ignore, completely, the sheer waste of taxpayer money spent at Local Government and Municipal District Council level.


Munster Hotel Car Park Closed To The Public.

Despite the statements and so called interventions by Fianna Fáil TD Mr Jackie Cahill and Fianna Fáil Councillor Mr Seamus Hanafin, yesterday’s statement printed in the Thurles Cathedral Mass Booklet correctly states, quote:-

“As you are possibly aware, the Munster Hotel Car-park has now closed for public use. This is a regrettable decision for all who visit and attend ceremonies at our Cathedral. Please be aware of this and plan your parking accordingly when visiting the Cathedral. Please note that the MIC (St. Patrick’s College)is available for weekend parking. However, due to the increased number of students the MIC carpark is not available on weekdays during College term”.

This accounts for the fact that the coin slot on the parking metre in this car park was taped-over on Saturday last, although the tape was removed this afternoon (Monday March 4th).

Thurles Cathedral forecourt with partially completed marked car parking spaces.
Pic: G. Willoughby.

Thurles.Info warned of this problem some weeks ago [January 8th, 2024], regarding parking for those attending Mass, Funerals etc at the Thurles Cathedral, and indeed the impending challenges and dangers caused by no parking for retailers/consumers, latter attempting to transact service in numerous small, nearby business premises.

Look skyward as you pass the former Munster Hotel building, latter Thurles town’s number 1 eyesore, believed to be owned by Mr Martin Healy (Member of Thurles Chamber of Commerce), as metal material is ready to displace itself from the Hotel’s roof.
Pic: G. Willoughby.

Right at this moment, while public car parking still occurs at the carpark in question; vehicle owners should be aware that our ‘eye in the sky’ has identified a large section of what appears to be metal material, that has broken loose from the roof of this Thurles town eyesore (Munster Hotel) and is due to descend into the car-park, therefore likely to strike a school bus, or other parked vehicle, or indeed likely to land in Cathedral Street, same propelled by a sharp south westerly wind blowing outside today.

Meanwhile, Thurles Cathedral (see pic. above) has partially undertaken, this morning, to mark out limited car-park spaces and pedestrian lanes on its tiny forecourt, in the interest of public health and safety.

‘The Source’ Car Park, paid for by Rate Payers, (which cannot accept buses) continues to remain closed today following an arson attack last year.
Pic: G. Willoughby.

The Source Car Park, paid for by Rate Payers, still remains closed, although the streamers, ripped from roof insulation which was left uncovered, appears to have been removed, indicating a possible opening in the near future and will, no doubt, be welcomed by Fianna Fáil TD, Mr Jackie Cahill or Independent TD Mr Michael Lowry.

Bicycle bays remained empty this morning as Thurles Town continues to becomes a “no go area” for motor vehicle parking.
This situation should be etched on the electorates mind, when local elections take place shortly, in our once thriving town.
Local newspapers and local radio stations should now be highlighting and publishing this wanton destruction of a town centre, instead of reposting/publishing, ‘willy-nilly’, the press releases of Local Councillors and resident TD’s.


Funding To Protect Historical Landmark – Too Little Too Late For Thurles.

A total of 26 rural towns; including one in Co. Tipperary, have been approved for a scheme which will see a million euros spend on tackling dereliction and creating new community spaces.

The Town Centre First (TCF) initiative aims to enable areas to pursue projects like redeveloping a derelict site; creating a community park; a river walkways; boosting tourism or protecting an existing historical landmark.
Sadly, this latter funding was not available to save the Great Famine, Mill Road, Double Ditch, same allowed to be destroyed by Tipperary Co. Council, and their officials, led by Chief Executive, Mr Joe MacGrath.

Destruction of Thurles, Great Famine Double Ditch, by Tipperary Co. Council, led by Mr Joe MacGrath (Chief Executive). and local Fianna Fáil Cllr. Mr Seamus Hanafin.

Note Well: The following commitments, posted on the Tipperary Co. Council website have since been deliberately deleted; but not before being read by thousands of Tipperary and world wide readers. SEE HERE.
E.G. “The aim of the plan is to connect the citizens of Tipperary to their heritage and to make it an integral part of everyday life at the core of our communities”Fianna Fáil Cllr. Siobhán Ambrose, Tipperary County Council.

“Our heritage is a precious asset and one we must look after. Part of looking after it is to raise awareness of what it is and its value to us as citizens of Tipperary.”Fianna Fáil Cllr. Roger Kennedy, Tipperary Heritage Forum.
Same should be remembered by their electorate, prior to next local election due this year.

These new towns join 26 others, one in each county, whose final action plans were published by Minister for Rural and Community Development Ms Heather Humphreys and Minister of State for Local Government Mr Kieran O’Donnell, today.

The named town situated in Co. Tipperary is Carrick-on-Suir.

Ms Humphreys stated that the scheme is about empowering people, to develop a vision for their town, thus making it a better place to reside, work, invest in and enjoy. New town regeneration officers will ensure that the projects on vacancy, will have a strategic and coherent approach at local level. Although it is unlikely that local people will have any say in how this limited funding is used.

Ms Humphreys said “Government is firmly committed to strategic projects that will transform rural Ireland, such as under the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund, and we are already seeing the hugely positive impacts of investment right across the country. It is very welcome that the Department of Rural and Community Development is giving local authorities funding of up to €10,000 to establish new town teams or build up existing teams”.

The 26 successful named towns will receive €30,000 each to complete their redevelopment plan. The Town Centre First initiative is also designed to increase housing supply, by bringing vacant buildings back into residential use.

The programme’s national co-ordinator, Ms Mairead Hunt said it is hoped that many more town teams will come forward.


Irish People Continue To Be Positive About Benefits Of Climate Action.

The results of the second wave of the EPA’s Climate Change in the Irish Mind survey show:

  • Consistent with the previous study, findings show widespread agreement on many climate change attitudes and strong majority support for climate action.
  • 81% of people in Ireland are worried about climate change and 75 percent think extreme weather poses a moderate or high risk to their community over the next 10 years, with increases in worry in relation to severe storms (74 percent) and extreme heat (54 percent).
  • 89% report that climate change is important to them personally and 79% say climate change should be either a “very high” or “high” priority for Government, with high overall support for a range of climate action policies.
  • Irish people think that climate action will increase economic growth and create jobs (56%), and actions to reduce climate change will improve quality of life in Ireland (74%).

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has today published initial results from the second wave of its ‘Climate Change in the Irish Mind’ project (CCIM). This work was undertaken by the EPA and the Yale University Program on Climate Change Communication in support of the National Dialogue on Climate Action.

The findings of the nationally representative survey show broad consistency with the 2021 study, including continued high level of climate awareness (95%), acceptance of human causation (92 percent) and the personal importance (89 percent) of climate change. Key changes include an increase in worry about severe storms (74%) and extreme heat (54%) and a large increase in people who hear about climate change in the media once a week or more often (73%).

Speaking about the report Ms Laura Burke, (Director General of the EPA) said: “We know that Ireland is experiencing the impacts of climate change. These findings highlight that Irish people are aware of these impacts and are worried about the harm it may cause. People are engaged with this issue, talking about it with their friends and families and hearing about it frequently in the media.”

She added: “Despite the many challenges, including cost of living increases, people remain positive about the benefits of climate action for our economy and quality of life. There continues to be majority support for a range of climate policies. In particular, we see overwhelming support for improved public transport and renewable energy, which can deliver significant emissions reductions, air quality improvements as well as delivering cost savings for individuals”.

There has been an increase in the number of people who reported hearing weekly about climate change in the media from 51% in 2021 to 74% in 2023. This is aligned with high levels of public trust in mainstream media (68%) and in journalists (68%) on the topic of climate change. Furthermore, over 80% of people trust scientists, the Irish EPA, educators, family and friends, television weather reporters, and environmental NGOs on the topic of climate change.

A large majority of Irish people (79%) say climate change should be either a “very high” or “high” priority for Government. In addition, a majority of people in Ireland believe climate action will provide opportunities to create new jobs (56%) and improved quality of life (74%). While still receiving majority support, two policies “higher taxes on cars that use petrol or diesel”, and “banning peat, coal, and oil for home heating” received weaker support from those who had experienced economic difficulties. However, the findings show that those who reported economic difficulties in the last year expressed the same levels of worry and feelings of personal importance about climate change as those who experienced no difficulties.

Speaking about the report, the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Mr Eamon Ryan TD said: “The findings of this second Climate Change in the Irish Mind survey are very encouraging. It confirms that Irish people have a good understanding of the complex issues of climate change, that they are concerned about its effects on their lives, but importantly that they believe that taking climate action can make our country more resilient, creating jobs and improving our quality of life.
This survey also shows us that climate is not an issue that divides people as much as it unites us. It also underlines the importance of ongoing engagement and communications. As a Government, we must listen and act so that we are supporting people to take climate action that works for their community — from the ground up. Climate action won’t work if it’s a top-down, blame or shame approach. Our transition to a new way of doing things must be fair, it must involve everyone and it must ensure that things will be better”.


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?”