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?”


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 [] 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.

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.


Request For Tender For An Garda Síochána Body Worn Cameras.

Mrs Helen McEntee

Statement from the Minister for Justice on publication of a ‘Request for Tender’ for Body Worn Cameras by An Garda Síochána.

Minister for Justice Mrs Helen McEntee has stated, “The government is committed to ensuring An Garda Síochána have the resources, the equipment and the technology necessary to build stronger, safer communities. This includes ensuring that Gardaí have body worn cameras, which has been a priority of mine for some time.
This Request for Tender for the procurement of Body Worn Cameras (BWC) represents another important step forward in our fight against crime.
Body cameras will be an important tool in An Garda Síochána’s armour as they fight crime, and the Recording Devices Bill, which I brought through the Houses last year, laid the groundwork for this announcement. Procuring cameras for these pilots now means that before the Summer there will be cameras on Gardaí in Limerick and Waterford, as well as two areas of Dublin City, ahead of a nation-wide roll-out.
These trials will give Gardaí a chance to understand fully what the cameras can offer, and also allow the public to provide feedback, before we roll them out across the full organisation.
The cameras will be small, lightweight, and visible and based on the experiences of other police services internationally, they will enhance accountability, reduce challenges around arrests and reduce complaints of Garda misconduct”.

Mrs McEntee continued, “We also expect they will save time in court preparation and appearances, lower costs for investigations and court appearances and improve An Garda Síochána’s ability to collect evidence for trial. All footage recorded by the cameras will be deleted after an agreed time period if not required as evidence.
Most importantly, body worn cameras will better protect victims and improve safety for Gardaí”


Thurles New Street Sweeper Machine Needs Better Brushes.

Early this morning two road sweepers made an appearence on Kickham Street, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

The big road sweeper machine passed up and down the street at least 3 times, same gathering up the gravel it failed to suck up on Friday last.

New street sweeper machine continues to be operated, while unable to suck up filth and dirt. The waste of taxpayer’s money, by Tipp. Co. Co. continues without any reduction in intensity or strength.
Pic: G. Willoughby 29th January 2024.

The small road sweeper machine with the worn out left hand brush was taxed with sweeping the footpaths; in an attempt to remove the gravel flung at the fronts of homes of street residents and unsuspecting pedestrians, by the daily heavy traffic.

You will note that this editor didn’t use the word ‘cleaned’ in any of the above text, since this small machine only collected and left a ridge of dirt and filth behind it; same neatly piled in the centre of the footpaths. (See image shown above).

Something we have learned over the years here in Co. Tipperary is that politicians, councillors and their officials are chosen mainly by their ability to provide spin. Such silence is also displayed by our local newspapers and some local radio broadcasters; latter who are supposed to generate a certain power and remain important to our democracy, but no longer can be perceived as promoters of community responsibility.

In the interests of openness and transparency, Tipperary Co. Council senior officials have been notified.


“Roots Search”, Poem By Tom Ryan.

Poem hereunder courtesy of Thurles Author & Poet Tom Ryan ©

Headstone recorded in a Tipperary Churchyard.
Pic: G. Willoughby. ©

Roots Search

The stranger, grim-faced and zealous as a Missionary,
From another space came to discover,
In this time,
His original space,
With a pride like a child for a parent.
With eyes upon me fixed, he declared:
“All my people from this townland travelled
In the year before the famine to Australia.”

It was the surest sign of Summer,
To see him pensive there,
The headstones in the graveyard scanning,
And, assisted by the priest of the parish,
Who had his family records on computer now.
This seeker was more strange than a stranger,
In his uneasiness and uncertainty,
And his late in life zeal,
To forge a continuity,
In time and space.


Tom Ryan, “Iona”, Rahealty, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.