Local Weather

Mostly cloudy
real feel: 6°C
wind speed: 5 m/s WNW
sunrise: 8:17 am
sunset: 4:21 pm


Extended Legislation For Pub & Restaurant Outdoor Seating Areas

Regulations to clarify outdoor seating hours, as normal trading hours resume.

Minister for Justice Ms Heather Humphreys has moved to clarify the operation of outdoor seating areas, as licensed premises return to full trading hours from yesterday.

Earlier this year, Minister Humphreys brought in legislation to allow relevant outdoor seating areas to operate lawfully. This legislation is due to expire on November 30th 2021, but can be extended for six months and Minister Humphreys has announced her intention to introduce such an extension.

Liberty Square, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

The Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2021 introduced changes to allow for the sale and consumption of alcohol in relevant outdoor seating areas.

This applied where those outdoor seating areas have been permitted by the relevant local authority on public land, such as a path, or where they are on private land abutting the licensed premises, such as an abutting yard, as provided for in the Act.

These outdoor areas, by virtue of the Act, were subject to the same trading hours as applied to the licenced premises itself – which, until now, have been Covid restricted trading hours. From today, however, the restricted hours no longer apply and normal trading resumes.

The Minister is conscious the extension of the licensed premises to private land outdoor seating areas was not made in the application for the licensed premises.

Given the emergency nature of the legislation introduced earlier this year, and with trading hours returning to normal, Minister Humphreys therefore considers it appropriate to regulate the opening hours of outdoor seating areas which operate on private land abutting the licenced premises.

This is being done in the interests of communities and with the principles of fairness. The Department has been in contact with industry groups to inform them of these measures.

The regulation sets out that alcohol cannot be sold or consumed any day after 11 p.m. in the outdoor seating areas on private land abutting a licenced premises. The regulation will come into effect today, 22 October 2021.

This regulation is not intended to apply to:

The trading hours permitted by local authorities for the authorised outdoor seating areas in public lands. The emergency legislation of last summer already provides for the adherence to the conditions of the permits granted by the local authorities (which include restrictions on trading hours).

The existing conditions for trading hours attached to the licensed premises, which already includes an outdoor area within that license, and where such areas are not benefitting from the emergency Act.

Minister Humphreys stated:

“I brought in emergency legislation to allow for outdoor seating areas to operate lawfully. This Act remains in place until 30 November 2021, but can be extended for up to 6 months at a time, with a positive resolution of the Houses of the Oireachtas.
We want to ensure there is certainty for business and work is underway to proceed with an extension.
As trading hours return to normal in line with the easing of certain Covid restrictions, I have introduced a pragmatic regulation for outdoor seating areas for private land abutting the licensed premises that are covered by the emergency legislation.
This sets out that alcohol cannot be sold or consumed any day after 11:00 p.m. in the private land outdoor seating areas, which benefit from the emergency legislation.
This is in line with similar trading hour restrictions on the outdoor seating areas authorised by local authorities. It does not impact the trading hours attached to outdoor areas that are within the existing licensing arrangement as part of the licensed premises.”


Barney & Beakey’s Family Almost Ready To Travel.

Just hatched. Photo: G. Willoughby.

We wrote about a second clutch of 4 swallows being reared by “Barney” and “Beakey” some 15 days ago, soon after all their eggs hatched, on August 14th, 2021. Now 14 days later, look how they have grown, filling their second mud nest, on a diet of Thurles insects.

Almost ready for the long road ahead. Photo: G. Willoughby.

Swallows have been around on our planet for a very, very long time. A remark found in Aristotle’s (384BC–322BC) best-known work on ethics “Nicomachean Ethics” reads “one swallow does not a summer make”.

The play “Timon of Athens”, latter a sharp satire on wealth, greed and betrayal and written by William Shakespeare between 1605 and 1606, contains the phrase, “The swallow follows not summer more willing than we your lordship”.

On coming here to Thurles the swallow, in many cases, travels well over 6,500 miles from sub-Saharan Africa to spend the summer with us. They come to take advantage of our longer hours of daylight; our abundant sources of flying insects and the lack of other competition to their ‘on the wing’ food source. Were they to remain in their African winter-quarters, swallows would have to share their airspace with at least a dozen other related flying species.

Thus this small bird, that weighs less than an ounce (20 grams) is prepared to fly north-westwards, at great personal risk, to take advantage of our more temperate latitude, a classification we share with most of north-west Europe.

Swallows navigate using the Earth’s magnetic field; polarised light and visual landmarks, which incredibly allow them to return to the very same area here in Tipperary, where they were originally born.

Soon around mid-September of the current year, their return journey will take them back, south-eastwards, across the North Atlantic sea.
Since swallows feed entirely on flying insects, they don’t need to fatten up before departing, rather they will grab their food, on the wing, along their chosen flightpath; over their six week journey, covering up to 200 miles each day. They will, using day light, cross western Europe; breaking their journey, to drink or feed as they feel the need. They will congregate on headlands before taking flight to cross the Mediterranean Sea; then across the Sahara Desert; the jungles of equatorial Africa, until Table Mountain comes into their vision; thus signalling to each that they have at last reached the approximate vicinity of their wintering quarters.

Meanwhile, we here in Ireland are left bereft until next April. Watch them, enjoy them, while they are still around to be observed, in the knowledge and firm belief that “men may make plans, but God laughs”.


Newly Constructed Drain On Liberty Square Thurles Suffers Set Back.

Tipperary County Council values as we are well aware are, as William Shakespeare once stated; “More honoured in the breach than the observance”, especially when it comes to issues like ‘partnership’, ‘collaboration’ and the development of ‘inclusive community’, not to mention their solemn promise, (try not to laugh), ‘To protect and enhance the unique identity of built, historic and natural environment of Tipperary for future generations’.

While the final drawings for the Liberty Square €9million upgrade remain ‘kept tightly under wraps’, by Tipperary County Council official’s from even the business people who depend on their future livelihoods in this area; today we notice that one small problem has raised its ugly head.

It would appear that at least one newly designed drain, responsible for extricating water from the street area is today fully blocked. Unless of course same was placed in that area as ornamentation.

Alas, time and the prevailing elements forbade us from checking out the area fully. However the shore blocked can be located directly opposite the vacant, once licenced public house, known as T. Morris, situated on the “money side” of lower Liberty Square.

Still not to worry, as builder Mr O’ Reilly said to Basil Fawlty in Fawlty Towers, “If the good Lord ment us to worry, he would have given us something to worry about”.


Semple Stadium – Fields of Legends.

‘Semple Stadium – Fields of Legends’ – by Author Liam Ó Donnchú.

Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co Tipperary, is truly “the home of hurling”.

This illustrated history of Semple Stadium begins in 1884, when the GAA was founded in Thurles and chronicles the story of ‘Thurles Sportsfield’, from its purchase in 1910, right up to the present day.

This truly major publication features all its great days; from the development of the stadium; major games that were played there; significant players and managers; broadcasting from the grounds; the work of the groundsmen, Féile-The Trip to Tipp and other events held at the stadium over the years.

It also contains personal recollections and accounts of this place where legends are made. The publication is also richly illustrated by archive photographs and ephemera.

The Author.

Liam Ó Donnchú is a native of Hollyford, County Tipperary and now resides at Ballymoreen, near Thurles.

Having spent over four decades as a primary school teacher; Liam, now retired, is director of Lár na Páirce, the museum of Gaelic Games in Thurles and for many years, PRO of Semple Stadium. He is a former player, secretary and chairman of Thurles Sarsfields GAA club and at present its vice-president.

Liam is author of such publications as: Thurles Sarsfields GAA Story Vol 1&2, Tom Semple and The Thurles Blues, Pouldine School-Inné agus Inniu, co-author of Tipperary’s GAA Ballads, Horse and Jockey- a pictorial record and has written numerous articles on Gaelic games.

His latest book, ‘Semple Stadium – Fields of Legends’ will be published this September by the O’Brien Press and is available to pre-order online at Eason [ Link https://bit.ly/3ztEhGL ]

The book, which we highly recommend to lovers of Gaelic sports, is published in hardback; contains 384 pages and costs €24.99.



Bluebells. Photo G.Willoughby

The Bluebell.

By Anne Bronte
[Novelist, poet, youngest member of the Bronte literary family and daughter of Patrick Brontë an Irish clergyman.]

A fine and subtle spirit dwells
In every little flower,
Each one its own sweet feeling breathes
With more or less of power.
There is a silent eloquence
In every wild bluebell
That fills my softened heart with bliss
That words could never tell.

Yet I recall not long ago
A bright and sunny day,
‘Twas when I led a toilsome life
So many leagues away;
That day along a sunny road
All carelessly I strayed,
Between two banks where smiling flowers
Their varied hues displayed.

Before me rose a lofty hill,
Behind me lay the sea,
My heart was not so heavy then
As it was wont to be.
Less harassed than at other times
I saw the scene was fair,
And spoke and laughed to those around,
As if I knew no care.

But when I looked upon the bank
My wandering glances fell
Upon a little trembling flower,
A single sweet bluebell.
Whence came that rising in my throat,
That dimness in my eye?
Why did those burning drops distil —
Those bitter feelings rise?

O, that lone flower recalled to me
My happy childhood’s hours
When bluebells seemed like fairy gifts
A prize among the flowers,
Those sunny days of merriment
When heart and soul were free,
And when I dwelt with kindred hearts
That loved and cared for me.

I had not then mid heartless crowds
To spend a thankless life
In seeking after others’ weal
With anxious toil and strife.
‘Sad wanderer, weep those blissful times
That never may return!’
The lovely floweret seemed to say,
And thus it made me mourn.