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78% Of Ireland’s Bathing Sites Have Excellent Water Quality.

  • The quality of Ireland’s bathing water continued to improve in 2021, with 97% (144 of 148) of sites meeting or exceeding the minimum standard.
  • Of these, 115 bathing sites (78%) had excellent water quality (which is the most stringent standard). This increased from 111 in 2020.
  • These improvements are a result of enhanced management of bathing waters over many years, combined with investments in treatment of urban waste water.
  • The number of beaches with poor bathing water quality reduced to two, compared with four in 2020.
  • Swimmers are encouraged to ask their local authorities to officially identify additional local bathing sites. This will ensure they are managed to protect bathers’ health.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has today published the Bathing Water in Ireland report for 2021, which shows that 78% of bathing sites have excellent water quality, while 97% meet the minimum standard. This is attributed to improved management of bathing waters over many years, combined with investments in treatment of urban waste water.
However, while bathing water quality has continued to improve overall, there are still issues which need to be addressed, to protect and further improve bathing waters. Agriculture, urban waste water and fouling from dogs on beaches still impact the quality of bathing waters. In addition, heavy rainfall can also quickly impact by washing pollution into our bathing waters. Swimmers should always check www.beaches.ie for the latest water quality information for their local bathing site.
Commenting on the report, Dr Eimear Cotter, Director of the EPA’s Office of Evidence and Assessment, said: “Bathing water quality in Ireland is high and last year saw further improvements compared with 2020. This is good news as we approach the summer when we can enjoy our local beaches and bathing areas, which are an important natural amenity for health and wellbeing.
The EPA recognises that swimming is increasingly becoming a year-round activity and encourages the provision of information that will help winter swimmers to make informed choices to protect their health. The findings and outcome of the multi-stakeholder National Bathing Water Expert Group, due later this year, will provide important information in this regard and help identify potential options to better protect bathers who swim year-round.”

The EPA report specifically highlights improvements at Lilliput, Lough Ennell in Westmeath, after three years of poor quality. During 2020 and 2021, the bathing water quality improved significantly due to actions taken by farmers in the surrounding area. This was driven by evidence and science generated by Westmeath County Council, the Local Authority Waters Programme and the Agricultural Sustainability, Support and Advisory Programme working together. As a result, the restriction on swimming has been removed.
The EPA encourages swimmers to engage with Local Authorities to officially identify additional local bathing sites which will ensure they are managed to protect bathers’ health.
Further information on bathing water and updates on monitoring results during the bathing water season (1st June to 15th September) are available at www.beaches.ie.

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TUS LSAD To Host International “Women’s Rights Are Human Rights” Exhibition.

TUS LSAD to host Internationally Acclaimed “Women’s Rights Are Human Rights” exhibition, as part of International Women’s Day.

This exhibition, by international artists, is open to the public free of charge, and also features an interpretation of the work by TUS LSAD students.

Students from TUS Limerick School of Art and Design (LSAD) are adding their voice to an International Posters Exhibition on Gender-based Inequality, Violence and Discrimination, which will open in the TUS LSAD Gallery this International Women’s Day, tomorrow Tuesday March 8th, 2022.

Limerick School of Art and Design (LSAD) Women’s Rights Expo.

The weeklong exhibition entitled “Women’s Rights Are Human Rights” will run until Friday March 11th, as one of a number of events across the Technological University of the Shannon’s (TUS) six campuses, (Thurles, Limerick, Athlone, Clonmel and Ennis), to mark International Women’s Day.

Women’s Rights Are Humans Rights: International Posters on Gender-based Inequality, Violence and Discrimination is an exhibition of posters created by both men and women to celebrate and acknowledge the vital role that all citizens play in protecting and promoting human rights, while challenging gender inequality and stereotypes, advancing reproductive and sexual rights, protecting women and girls against brutality, and promoting women’s empowerment, education and participation in society.

TUS LSAD students have responded to the exhibition and created similarly-themed women’s rights and advocacy posters using RISO print and AR (augmented-reality) elements. This work will exhibit alongside the acclaimed international exhibition, originally organized and curated by Elizabeth Resnick, Professor Emerita, Graphic Design, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston.

TUS Vice President People Culture & EDI Marian Duggan said the poster exhibition argues for the empowerment of women, the achievement of equality between the genders and the elimination of discrimination against women and girls.

“We at TUS are particularly proud of the work of our LSAD students, of all genders, who have responded so well to the theme of Women’s Rights are Human Rights. Their work brings a local as well as global dimension to the exhibition, while also giving insight into the awareness of the challenges of gender inequality among the next generation of leaders, artists and teachers.”

Tamlyn Young, lecturer in Graphic Design Communications and Animation TUS LSAD, added, “We would encourage the public to visit the free exhibition to not only view the powerful posters created by artists from all over the world, but to come and engage with our students’ work by downloading the Artivive app to their phones which will allow them to view the student’s posters through a three-dimensional augmented reality.”

The launch of the “Women’s Rights Are Human Rights” exhibition will take place in the TUS LSAD Gallery, Clare Street Limerick at 6:00pm on March 8th, 2022 and will run until Friday March 11th, 2022.

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Ministers Announce Waiver Of Fees Associated With Special Exemption Orders Until End Of April 2022.

The Minister for Justice, Mrs Helen McEntee TD, and the Minister for Finance, Mr Paschal Donohoe TD, are both pleased to announce that the court fees and their associated excise duty, relating to Special Exemptions Orders, or so called SEOs, will be waived until the end of April, 2022.

This follows a previous waiver that was in place from October 19th, 2021 to December 31st, 2021.

Prior to the lockdowns, Nightclubs and Late Bars needed to obtain a Special Exemption Order from the District Court for every occasion they want to trade past normal trading hours. SEO permit extended opening hours until 2.30am subject to the Gardaí and Courts agreement.

The Court fee for each Special Exemption Order was €300 and an excise duty of €110 per application was payable to the Revenue Commissioners.

Making the announcement after Cabinet today, Minister McEntee said, “I know that the lifting of restrictions will be warmly welcomed, perhaps no more so than by those working in nightclubs and late bars.
All licence holders, but particularly those serving in the late night trade, have found themselves in such a difficult situation as a result of COVID-19. The Government is committed to supporting these businesses and the night time economy, to get back on their feet in 2022.
We initially introduced the waiver in relation to SEOs for late night trade licence holders, who traditionally trade past normal opening hours in October of last year, and I am delighted to be able to extend this exemption until the end of April, 2022. It will be still necessary for the SEO court application to be made and the order to be obtained by the licensed premises.
I look forward to further changes in this area as part of my reforms to the licensing laws in the forthcoming Sale of Alcohol Bill.”

Minister Donohoe said, “The waiver of court fees and excise duty for special exemption orders recognises the particular difficulties experienced by the sector, where many businesses have been closed for a significant period of time or had to operate at a reduced capacity on reopening last October.”

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Fundraiser For Upgrade Of Loughtagalla Park, Thurles.

Ms Breada Ryan, Community Development Worker, North Tipperary Development Company, Reports.

“As I stated in my report yesterday on Thurles.Info; the main purpose of the Loughtagalla project is to develop people and child friendly facilities, taking into consideration all age groups, but in particular children and young people, some with intellectual, sensory, and special needs, and all who regularly visit the area, as well as the social needs of the older generation.

GoFundMe Page.

To this end, a GoFundMe page has now been set up in recent hours.

The organisers and community would greatly appreciate the support of Thurles, for this Fundraiser for the upgrade of Loughtagalla Park, and invite you to make a donation, however small, and ask you to ‘spread the word’ amongst friends of Thurles Town, both at home and abroad.

I thank you most sincerely for your support.”

Signed: Breada Ryan, (Community Development Worker, Thurles.)

Donations: To donate to this very worthy project and follow closely its continued progress, please click HERE.

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Proposed Upgrade Of Loughtagalla Park, Thurles.

Proposed Upgrade Of Loughtagalla Park – Supported By Sicap Under Their Empowering Communities Action.

Ms Breada Ryan, Community Development Worker, North Tipperary Development Company Reports.

North Tipperary Development Company under their Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme, in conjunction with Loughtagalla Residents Group, came together in 2018 to develop a 3–5 year plan. The first objective of this plan is to upgrade the facilities of their local park.

The main purpose of the project is to develop people and child friendly facilities, considering all age groups and in particular children and young people with intellectual, sensory, and special needs as well as the social needs of older people.

North Tipperary Development Company engaged the services of Ron de Brun of Silva Build Cork, to develop a set of Concept drawings for the upgrade of the park. To progress, NTDC decided to carry out a survey in July 2019 to get community agreement on the key priorities for the Loughtagalla area.

These survey findings identified plainly that the community very much welcomed the proposal to develop the park, which visualized a mixture of active and passive recreation areas, areas for quiet contemplation and more robust play, enhanced play equipment for younger children.

The provision of a sensory garden was supported to address issues of social inclusion and provide the first such garden for Thurles and its hinterland. The use of a modern form of design in the provision of equipment developed around the theme of biodiversity was another highly preferred option. All these ideas were considered to progress the design to the next stage.

Work has been continued behind the scenes by a dedicated subgroup to progress to the next stage, seeking planning permission for the development. A planning application was prepared and submitted in late summer to Tipperary County Council and permission was granted in late autumn of 2020.

During early 2021 a lot of work took place to prepare for a Request for Tender which was advertised on E- Tenders, latter the Irish Government’s electronic tendering platform administered by the Office of Government Procurement.

Concurrently the steering subgroup also assisted with material for a promotional video (See above) which was funded by the North Tipperary Development Company and co-ordinated by their SICAP Worker. This video completed in July 2021 will be used to support the Loughtagalla Park & Residents Committee fundraising activities to source the elocal contribution of €40,000.

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