Politicians – Rule Breakers.

Congratulations to whoever sowed the wildflower seeds on the west side of Liberty Square in Thurles and also opposite Thurles Shopping centre roundabout, which can be found when exiting unto the junction of Pearse Terrace, close to Davis Road.

Wild flowers on Liberty Square.
Pic. G. Willoughby.

Meanwhile, hopefully Thurles Municipal District Council Officials have begun to issue invoices to two of our politicians for failing to remove their posters within the required time period, following the local and European elections held on June 7th last (2024).
The first and main offender was Aontu’s Ballydehob, Co. Cork based Mr Patrick Murphy who was threatening to “Put Ireland first in Europe”.

Mr Patrick Murphy who failed to be elected as an MEP.
Pic. G. Willoughby.

Mr Murphy failed to remove at least 3 of his posters here in Thurles; one on the junction of the Jimmy Doyle Road and the N62 Templemore Road, and two posters on the Nenagh Road, opposite LIT Thurles.
According to these posters, we learn from the small print that same were sponsored by Mr Peadar Tóibín, a current reigning TD, who readers will remember resigned from Sinn Féin on November 15th 2018; due to his anti-abortion views, after opposing the party whip on the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018. So possibly best to send the invoice to him.

Mr Murphy’s poster erectors broke several rules. Posters remain attached to road signs. Same signs where posters are attached are below head height and posters do not meet the minimum height of 2.3 metres above both footpaths,

The second offender was newly elected Fianna Fáil councillor Ms Kay Cahill Skehan, sister of reigning TD, Mr Jackie Cahill, who up to yesterday, June 23rd 2024, saw her image topping a street lamp pole in the centre of Liberty Square.

Newly elected Fianna Fáil Councillor Ms Kay Cahill Skehan.
Pic. G. Willoughby.

Earlier, before the local election, poster erectors showed little respect for the environment, using a ‘Pozi Driver’, to screw a poster of Ms Cahill Skehan unto a tree on the N62 close to Thurles Golf Club, South of Thurles. The poster was later ripped off, but the three screws sadly remain buried in the unfortunate tree-trunk.
Rules regarding election posters state that same should be securely fixed to poles (not trees) using cable ties, to facilitate removal without causing damage. Cable ties should also be removed when the posters are being taken down.

Only today, June 24th, was Ms Cahill Skehan’s poster displayed in Liberty Square removed, so the invoice can still be sent.

The rules were made quite clear, prior to the election date; ‘All posters must be removed by Friday 14th June 2024 (midnight). If posters are in place outside of this date, fines will be issued by the Council at the rate of €150 per poster.
The four posters identified here should yield €600 to benificiares Thurles Municipal District Council, per the Litter Pollution Act 1997, as amended by the Electoral (Amendment)(No.2) Act 2009.


Free Property Marking Services Available At Venues During May 2024.

Tipperary Central Community Policing Unit will be out and about at venues across Tipperary from today, Friday May 24th, until May 31st, 2024.
They will be offering a ‘Property Marking Services’ in each community visited, giving people the chance to have any valuable property marked with their Eircode.
Gardaí would especially like to see owners of high value items e.g. Trailers / Lawnmowers / Power tools etc. attend at the venues tabled hereunder. (For more details visit )

May 24th.12:00pm – 4:00pm.Knockanrawley Community Resource Centre, Tipperary Town.
May 26th.3:00pm – 7:00pm.Rahealy Primary School, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.
May 27th.3:00pm – 7:00pm.Ballinunty, (opposite graveyard), Killenaule, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.
May 28th.3:00pm – 7:00pm.Moyne GAA Club, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.
May 29th.3:00pm – 7:00pm.Kickham GAA Club, Dundrum, Tipperary, Co. Tipperary.
May 30th.4:00pm – 7:30pm.Lattin GAA Field, Lattin, Tipperary, Co. Tipperary.
May 31st.3:00pm – 7:00pm.Borrisoleigh, GAA Field, Thurles, Co. Tipperary

Gardaí will also use this opportunity to speak to those in attendance on all aspects of safety (including personal security, online security and in particular, road safety).

So please do come along to the named venues during the times stated above.


Rock’s Peony, In Full Bloom, In Thurles Co. Tipperary.

If you are a flower lover and you happen to be in the Thurles area of Co. Tipperary over the coming days, a visit to O’Driscolls Garden Centre; [latter the home of rare trees and plants], situated on the Mill Road, Thurles, is a ‘must visit’.

Rock’s peony in bloom in Thurles. In reality, this photographed bloom is the size of a small coffee saucer and the photo does it little justice, in displaying its true beauty.
Pic: G. Willoughby.

The Paeonia rockii, or Rock’s peony, latter a woody species of tree peony, was named after Austrian-American botanist and explorer Joseph Rock (Josef Franz Karl Rock).
It is one of several species given the vernacular name ‘tree peony’, and is native to the mountains of Gansu and adjoining provinces in China.


Beautiful Magnolia.

Beautiful Magnolia.

Magnolia Flower.
Pic: G. Willoughby.

Beautiful Magnolia.

Poem Courtesy Canadian Poet William M. Wismer.

Oh beautiful Magnolia, you’re blossoming again.
It’s early Spring and there you are, like you have always been.
Your glorious Spring time beauty is wondrous to behold,
But it is such a little while until your blossoms fold.

It only seems a day or two from when you’re in full bloom,
That petals start to flutter down and leave me with sad gloom.
The reason I feel gloomy is that just once each year,
I see your gentle beauty, then wait another year.

Upon this wondrous earth of ours are many lovely things.
In spring I marveled at the sights the kind your beauty brings.
Oh beautiful magnolia, you are by Heaven blessed.
Spring time has many wonders, but you’re one of the best.



‘Hydrangea Limelight’ On Liberty Square, Thurles.

Currently growing in the centre of Liberty Square Thurles, replacing what use to contain parking spaces, which in turn generated town centre footfall for once thriving businesses, we now find growing ‘Hydrangeas’. Same are of the medium-sized deciduous shrub variety known as ‘Limelight’.

Hydrangea Limelight‘, (Liberty Square, Thurles, Co. Tipperary).
Note: Because the street is now so narrow, due to poor planning; heavy traffic (In this case, more recently, a tractor and trailer) is forced unto the flowerbed in order to progress forward. (See also recent picture below).
Pic. G. Willoughby.

The leaves on this shrub are pale green, same attached to grey-green stems and from mid-summer to autumn their flowers display magnificent conical shaped panicles, emerging as a delicate ‘pistachio green colour’, before fading slowly to ‘death brown’ as it naturally drops its leaves.
An easy plant to grow and particularly beautiful; they will bloom year-after-year in the right location with little maintenance required, other than pruning them, once a year, enabling it to generate new flowering wood.

Hydrangea Limelight holds the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Award for Garden Merit.

Traffic forced to invade Liberty Square flower beds in Thurles town centre due to simply poor planning.
Pic. G. Willoughby.

It is a very important task, each year, to prune ‘Limelight’ hydrangeas, as they flower only on new wood (In other words the shrub develops its flower buds only on new growth), with annual pruning producing a flush of new stems to carry the future year’s flowers.
‘Limelight’ hydrangeas are commonly pruned between late fall and late winter, when the plant is most dormant, and before the plant sets its buds for the next upcoming summer.
With the shrub having lost its leaves; one can get a better look at its shape and also get easier access, to the branches, to make clean pruning cuts.

Sadly, the ‘Russian Sage‘ plants, sown on the outside, to frame these ‘Limelight’ hydrangeas, are not looking so healthy presently. Also a recipient of a Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Award for Garden Merit; this deciduous hardy plant, with its upright, bushy grey-green leaves, attached to tall silver-grey flower-stems, should this year produce violet-blue flowers, attractive to pollinators.

‘Russian Sage’ was chosen because of its tolerance to salt, and it is hoped Co. Council trucks spreading salt on the icy winter street surface, would shield the ‘Limelight’ hydrangeas, enabling them to survive.
We wait in eager anticipation.

Again, poor engineering plans and even poorer administration, will decide the future of these shrubs and the town centre itself, with the upper unfinished half section of Liberty Square, now threatened with the loss of an estimated further 19 car parking spaces, if and when it is decided to undertake this now long awaited update.
Sadly, soon we may have a deserted town centre, with little or no footfall, if misguided government officialdom is allowed to make its delusionary progress.