Local Weather

real feel: 13°C
wind speed: 1 m/s N
sunrise: 6:10 am
sunset: 9:01 pm


Covid-19 – From Whence Did It Come?

To date, per Johns Hopkins University (JHU), centre for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE), there have been worldwide, 579,028.597 cases of Covid-19 contracted, with 6,404,533 deaths; 58,962 of which deaths occurring within the past 28 day period, up to 8:00pm this evening.

Here in the Irish Republic, on Wednesday, July 27th, (last published figures) some 523 PCR and 429 Antigen confirmed cases were identified with total deaths in the Republic, to date, since the beginning of the pandemic identified at 7675.
As of 11:30am this morning there 27 patients in ICU’s and 435 patients in our hospitals across the State.

Covid-19 – Where did it come from?

Two scientific studies, which were published in the earlier part of last week demonstrated that the earliest known Covid-19 cases were clustered around Wuhan’s Huanan seafood and wildlife market.

Using genetic information, one of the studies tracks the timing of the outbreak and suggests that there were two variants introduced into humans in November / December of 2019, with this evidence suggesting that Sars/Cov-2 was present in live mammals that were sold at Huanan market in late 2019.

Scientists are now of the opinion that the virus was transmitted to people who were either employed or were consumers, shopping at the market, in two separate events, where a human randomly contracted the virus from an animal present.

Same crowded live animal markets, scientists agree, can provide an ideal transmission centre for such new diseases to spread from animals to humans, as a separate study showed that nearly 50,000 animals of 38 different varieties / species were sold at markets in Wuhan.

Scientists believe that the pandemic was most likely to have been the consequences of unhealthy, cruel and unhygienic practice, and these and other developing studies will correct the political wrangling, suggesting that such viruses was created deliberately in a laboratory.


Grass Won’t Pay No Mind.

With the weather good, an invitation by singer/songwriter Neil Diamond, to everyone to take a romantic walk in nature, here in Co. Tipperary; in the knowledge that the grass won’t pay any attention.

“And the time will be our time, and the grass won’t pay no mind”.

“And the Grass Won’t Pay No Mind”

Singer Songwriter: Neil Diamond.

Listen easy, you can hear God calling,
Walking barefoot by the stream.
Come on to me, your hair softly falling,
On my face as in a dream.
And the time will be our time,
And the grass won’t pay no mind.

Saying nothing, lying where the sun is,
Baking down upon our sides.
My lips touch you, with their soft wet kisses,
Your hands gentle in reply.
And the time will be our time,
And the grass won’t pay no mind.

Child, touch my soul with your cries,
And the music will know what we’ve found.
I hear a hundred good-byes,
But today I hear only one sound.
The moment we’re living is now.
Now, now, now, now.

Young bird flying, and a soft wind blowing,
Cools the sweat inside my palms.
Close my eyes and hear the flowers growing,
As you lay sleeping in my arms.
And the time will be our time,
And the grass won’t pay no mind.
No the grass won’t pay no mind.
No the grass won’t pay no mind.



New Covid-19 Recommendations Endorsed By Niac

The Irish Republic’s Minister for Health, Mr Stephen Donnelly made public on yesterday afternoon, that a number of new recommendations have been endorsed by the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (Niac) and also by interim Chief Medical Officer, Professor Breda Smyth.

Five new recommendations include:

  • A second mRNA booster vaccine for healthcare workers.

  • A third mRNA booster vaccine for those aged 65 years and older, and those aged 12-64 years who are immunocompromised.

  • A second mRNA booster vaccine for those aged 12-49 years who have an underlying medical condition or are residents of long-term care facilities.

  • A second mRNA booster vaccine for those aged 50-64 years.

  • A second mRNA booster vaccine for pregnant women at 16 weeks or later who have not already received a booster vaccine in their current pregnancy.

The National Immunisation Advisory Committee has also recommended that Covid-19 vaccinations can be administered at the same time as seasonal influenza vaccines are being dispensed.

The Minister has urged anyone who has not yet received their primary course or booster vaccine, to do so at the earliest possible convenience.


Liberty Square Thurles, Ireland’s Oxford Circus.

The offensive, unpleasant stench of raw sewage, emanated from the manhole covers in lower Liberty Square, Thurles, again yesterday, warning us of possibly some other impending future danger.
Motorists slowly passing through this now drive-through only area, quickly closed their car windows as they queued up in dense traffic to exit.

Local people passing through the Square, will have noted that in the late evenings over the past week; since the Thurles Music Festival, there has been a major effort to wash the dark stains from the pale coloured, Chinese granite stone; sadly to little avail.

The stains despite all efforts still remain, as Thurles.Info had pointed out in their initial planning submission; latter requested by Tipperary Co. Council, from the public, some four years previously; none of which, as expected, was ever read and certainly not heeded.

But now the town centre faces a new more sinister long-term problem, which we invite council officials, to rise up from their paperless desks and observe.

No, the problem is not failing to water the flowers; not the stench of sewage; not the failure to turn off street lighting, burning 24 hours per day. No it is not even the total lockdown of this area as Emergency Services attempt to either pass through or attend to urgent situations within this area as observed yesterday; no it’s chewing gum.

See images hereunder, reminiscent of Oxford Circus tube station, in the West End of London.

Chewing Gum – the new threat on Liberty Square, Thurles.

When Thurles street surfaces was constructed of black tarmac and much wider; to the casual observer, chewing gum went unnoticed.
Today the worst area is around the front of Historic Hayes Hotel, were teenage disco goers congregate on Friday nights. [After all, one must keep ones breath fresh in the event of that inevitable kiss, and with the non availability of suitable litter bins to accommodate ……… well enough said, what is the point, our elected representatives and officials are either totally deaf, or suffering from the Dunning Kruger Effect.]

Has Chewing Gum Ever Been Banned Anywhere?

Answer is yesSingapore – that sovereign diamond shaped island country and city-state in maritime Southeast Asia, located at the southern tip of the Malaysian peninsula.

Today, Singapore tops the list as the world’s most welcoming city, offering a safe environment to visitors, and it is one place where chewing gum is totally banned.

This ban on chewing gum was first introduced by Mr Harry Lee Kuan Yew, in 1992, adding to their other stiff laws with regard to graffiti, littering, spitting, expelling nasal mucus, jaywalking and urinating anywhere other than in a toilet. It is also against the law to fail to flush a public toilet.

Harry Lee Kuan Yew (LKY), latter a highly regarded Singaporean statesman and barrister, who served as the first Prime Minister of Singapore, between 1959 and 1990; saw the habit of spitting out chewing gum as a filthy, unhealthy habit and suggested that “if people can’t think, because they can’t chew, they should try chewing bananas”.

In Singapore today, the public will face a hefty fine for spitting out chewed gum, with same offence also doubling as “Littering“.

Time to get out the WD-40 Multi-Use and the long handled scrapers before then washing to get rid of the fish oil (WD-40).
It seems our Municipal District Council and Tipperary Co. Council are not finished wasting taxpayers money on our town centre, for the foreseeable future, as businesses vanish from the landscape.


Titanium Dioxide No Longer Authorised As Food Additive in European Union.

Titanium Dioxide is no longer authorised as a food additive in the European Union, with effect from August 7th 2022.

Titanium dioxide is being banned in the EU as a possible carcinogen. [Note: A carcinogen is a substance, organism or agent capable of causing cancer.]

A class action lawsuit, which was filed recently in California, claims that sweets company ‘Mars’ failed to adequately warn customers about the chemical, titanium dioxide, and therefore committed a fraud of omission.
Mars says that ‘Skittles‘ are made in accordance with U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations, which permit the use of titanium dioxide at less than 1% of the food’s dried weight, and that the company has done nothing wrong.

Titanium dioxide

Titanium dioxide (E171) is an additive that is used in food as a colour. Its function is to make food more visually appealing, to give colour to food that would otherwise be colourless, or to restore the original appearance of food. Titanium dioxide is used to provide whiteness and opacity to foods.

In terms of dietary exposure, titanium dioxide is often used in a variety of food categories, including bakery products, soups, broths, sauces, salads, savoury based sandwich spreads and processed nuts. It is also used in confectionary, chewing gum, food supplements and cake icing.

In May 2021, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published an opinion that stated that titanium dioxide can no longer be considered safe when used as a food additive.

Based on this opinion, the European Commission and the Member States agreed to remove all uses of titanium dioxide as an additive in food. In January 2022, a Regulation withdrawing the authorisation to use titanium dioxide as a food additive in food products was adopted i.e. Commission Regulation (EU) 2022/63.

This regulation entered into force on February 7th, 2022. However, the Regulation included a six-month transitional period to allow food businesses time to phase out the use of this food additive and to reformulate their products using suitable alternatives. This period will now end on August 7th, 2022.

Food containing titanium dioxide that is lawfully placed on the EU market before August 7th, 2022 may remain on the market until its date of minimum durability or its ‘use-by’ date has passed. Food produced or placed on the market after August 7th 2022 cannot contain titanium dioxide. The ban on the use of titanium dioxide is effective in each EU Member State, and in Northern Ireland. Some third countries, such as the United Kingdom (excluding Northern Ireland), continue to permit the use of titanium dioxide.

All food businesses currently using titanium dioxide as a food additive have a legal responsibility to comply with the requirements of Regulation (EU) 2022/63, banning the use of titanium dioxide.
The FSAI encourages food businesses to source suitable alternatives to titanium dioxide and start the process of reformulation now to ensure compliance in advance of the ban coming into force on August 7th 2022.