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No End To Wastage Of Taxpayers Money In Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

It is going to happen around mid-November, possibly before the frost sets in. Yes, Tipperary Co. Council are going to once again provide a more efficient set of traffic lights at the junction of Clongower Road and Slievenamon Road. Same are expected be more efficient than the traffic light they installed last week.

We raised the problems relating to this junction on Thurles.Info, first on December 5th, 2018; then again on December 17th, 2018; then January 29th, 2020; then on February 22nd, 2021; not to mention July 10th, 2021 and quite frankly we expect to be discussing it all again in the not too distant future, based on my observances today.

L to R Picture (1 & 2): Endless line of traffic on Clongower Rd. Picture (3): Large vehicle traffic blocked by illegal parking on Clongower Rd., forcing exiting vehicles unto a cycle path. Picture (4): New STOP sign on junction of Fianna Road (N659) and Slievenamon Road (N62).

Engineers are going to upgrade road-markings at this same junction, just installed last week, making it the third time to upgrade same in the last two years; all in an effort to ease the ongoing build-up of traffic caused by these traffic lights, which in turn was introduced by poor engineering skills within Tipperary Co. Council or Transport Infrastructure Ireland or whoever. Truth is we do not know who is responsible for anything anymore.

This continuous money wasting work unfortunately is expected just to be a reconfiguration of the existing traffic lights, with new road markings to provide for clear-ways at both the Rosemount and Monadreen exits. No mention of removing the unnecessary grass margin opposite Lidl.

Of course all that was needed initially was a low level roundabout, thus to ensure that traffic was kept flowing, significantly reducing the current totally unnecessary traffic build up which currently frustrates drivers. These so called filter lanes are expected to provide ease of access to both Lidl and Clongour Road.

But what about drivers attempting to exit Clongower Road?
Residents on both sides of Clongower Road find themselves unable to exit the gateways of their homes due to the long continuous lines of traffic tailed-back, all caused by poor quality engineering design.

Traffic entering Clongower road are further hampered by large vehicles illegally parked on a cycle path, while their occupants work on a house in the area. Same parking is holding and preventing large trucks, which must wait for traffic exiting that road, timed at the rate of 5 cars every 4 minutes.

We watched today as frustrated drivers continuously ran red lights, and as (parents please take note) small primary school children using pedestrian crossings, took chances.

It therefore comes as no surprise that a motorist in sheer frustration was clocked doing almost twice the speed limit in a 60km/h zone at Clongower (N62) on National Slow Down day this week. The motorist was clocked doing 114 km/h; just 6 km/h short of travelling at double the speed limited to that road and making national headlines.

This is a now a new problem created by a road engineer. Get rid of these traffic lights and employ a road engineer with proven experience and knowledge to solve this continuous logjam.

The amount of taxpayers money which continues to be wasted on this one junction demands a public enquiry, followed by sackings for those who have displayed total incompetence.

Meanwhile, with the whole town suffering the same fate, as shoppers struggle to enter the town from all directions, note the new problem on Slievenamon Road, delaying traffic (See image above). Vehicles, for the sake of a spanner to tighten a nut and bolt, are being asked to STOP on Slievenamon Road (N62) instead of on Fianna Road (N659). One wonders who’s side will be supported by Gardaí, in the event of a serious accident?

Meanwhile, as I am here standing on my soapbox; could elected councillor please inform SSE Airtricity to turn off the feckin lights during the daytime on almost every road and street in Thurles Town? They are operating 24 hours each day.

Now you understand why we are expected/forced to pay property tax?

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No Maintenance Planned For Thurles Projects.

Regular maintenance is essential in every village, town or city. Same enables us to keep our work environment clean, safe and reliable. Inadequate maintenance leads eventually to dangerous situations, near accidents and even serious health problems.

Here in Thurles local political factions are ‘quick off the mark’ to announce something new, whether involved or not, mostly not, each failing to realise that we the taxpayers are paying the bill for what they are announcing. If we raise issues, we are being negative, non-progressive and failing to be positive in our attitudes, as same TD’s and Councillors crowd around waiting to have their photo taken.

As our elected representatives announce “that new something”, they fail to put into place even a smidgen of required maintenance in their thought process. Now, having watched the slide-show above, let us take a look at the undeniable evidence of which I speak about here in Thurles.

Tipperary planning authority granted developers on the new Lidl site, (latter accessed from Slievenamon Road in Thurles), permission to remove 150 meters of mature deciduous Blackthorn (Prunus spinosahe) during the nesting season, same against EU law. They sowed 8 small saplings to replace same. Today 4 of these tree saplings are dead. No maintenance.

All over the town, buildings both public and private display poor quality graffiti, (no evidence of the pseudonymous England-based street artist Banksy so far), now a common site. After weeks of watching the offensive graffiti Vaccines Kills, we contacted Thurles Town administrator, Ms Sharon Scully last. Ms Scully immediately replied, “Mr Willoughby, Thank you for your email. I have asked the Town Foreman to remove the graffiti at his earliest convenience”. It was still there today. No maintenance.

Exercise areas beautifully provided in our town park, which was officially opened by Councillor Mr Seamus Hanafin (27th March 2016 only 5 years ago), are now badly vandalised, smashed up over 2 years now.
‘Hedge Bindweed’ (Calystegia sepium) climbs the metal fences.
Here again spray-can graffiti is everywhere.
Bye-laws governing consumption of alcohol are openly flouted.
Some 22 metres, exactly from a public toilet and in an area where children play and adults walk, we have undeniable evidence of human excrement.
Emulsion paint spread over newly dried cement now lies on the ground at the new foot bridge, since last winter. No attempt to sweep it up.
Electric lighting is working day and night on the footbridge and Thomond Road. No maintenance.

Clothing Pods and Glass Pods in Parnell Car-Park and elsewhere is left unattended and regularly overflowing. No maintenance.

River Suir is turned into a cesspit.
A stone embankment beside Barry’s Bridge, built by the late Mr Wilbert Houben and myself, was destroyed over the past 14 days when several ton of sand and other building materials were dropped onto its surface by those employed to repair the underbelly section of the bridge.
A Grundfos stainless steel pump, generously donated by Cantwell Electrical, Gortnahoe, and which airated the river, as a performing fountain, has vanished without a mention. No maintenance.

‘The Source’ building is now the dirtiest looking building in Thurles town. Initially paid for by rate paying local businesses, same is run by Tipperary Co. Council.
Tipperary Co. Co operate this latter complex, plus a gym and swimming pool, in competition with other local restaurants, pubs, hotels and theatres. It greedily eats up massive arts grants not readily available to its competitors.
Alongside ‘The Source’ the 3 wooden tubs have now disintegrated over 3 years ago and their Box hedging contents remain an embarrassment. No maintenance.

Now let us take a look at the Liberty Square upgrade.
First let me say the actual workmanship is very professional, while the design itself is an absolute disaster.
Allow me to explain. The 3 tiny litter bins provided in this area to date overflow by noon every day. An employee armed with a handheld mechanical reach extender (grabber arm, helping hand, trash picker, picker-upper, extended gripper, long arm gripper, extended reach grabber, grabber tool, call it what you like), wanders about grabbing objects that should have found a home in a litter bin.
Some shopkeepers now work on the assumption that they are no longer responsible for the plastic cups, cans, cardboard cups and other disposable item discarded by their customers, same involved in outdoor eating outside their premises, sitting on free furniture paid for by the taxpayer. Should we insist that no further disposable items be used on Liberty Square one wonders?
Signage is erected too close to narrow lanes of traffic. Same are already bent after just a 3 day exposure. Engineers have learned nothing from previous pedestrian crossing traffic light problems and associated money wasting.
Tyre tracks are already evident on pedestrian areas, as motorists attempt to find parking @ €1.60 per hour.
Will this new granite brickwork be regularly cleaned? Presently there are no plans. No maintenance.

Perhaps our five local elected councillors and two Tipperary elected local TD’s would like to join me for a stroll, before dark some evening. I promise to give each and all of you massive publicity, as I record your lame excuses.

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Waste Within Tipperary Co. Council’s Motor Tax Office.

“Mr Waste lived across the street, right opposite the Slows,
And every weed that ever grew, in his front garden grows.
Bill Waste lost all his lesson books, Moll Waste on hers she scribbled,
And so between the pence and pounds away their money dribbled.
This story is a sad one; the end is as you fear.
Yes, the Waste’s are in the Workhouse now, Oh dear, Oh dear, Oh dear.”

In March of 2021, my car suffered from no less than three “hit and runs”, in just three weeks, while it was correctly parked close to the junction of Ikerrin Road and Kickham Street, Thurles. Same three “hit and runs” were caused by customers reversing their vehicles out from a local Supermarket in that area; the drivers failing to take the necessary due care and attention.

After the last hit and run it became necessary to have my elderly car scrapped. In doing so, I applied to rightly claim back my road tax on the now scrapped vehicle and approximately one month later, I received a cheque from Tipperary County Council, on the 28th of April, 2021.
See picture of cheque hereunder, showing repayment of €248, with date framed in red outline, note 28th April 2021.

Next, see letter received on May 7th, 2021, sent some 9 days later, stating : –

Dear Sir/Madam,
I refer to your application for refund of licencing fee in respect of the above vehicle.
Arrangements are today being made to issue a Paying Order in the sum of €248 under sep
arate cover to you. Should you fail to receive same within 6 weeks please contact the undersigned.

Yours faithfully, etc.

To date, I hasten to add, despite the latter correspondence, Tipperary County Council have correctly failed to pay me twice for this once off transaction.

The cost of sending me the refund cheque was a 95 cents stamp, plus cost of envelope and possibly duty on the cheque. The cheque had no accompanying correspondence attached, indicating what the reason was for the payment. This resulted in a telephone call by myself seeking an explanation (cost 30 cents).
Since no one in charge of cheque distribution was available to explain my query; County Council staff agreed to phone me back. The call-back came sometime later and after a 5 minute discussion, all was fully clarified, at an total cost of about €2.00 in total.

Now for the letter dispatched on the 7/5/2021, costs: 1 x Stamp – 95 cents, 1 x Typists salary – cost unknown, 1 x line Manager/Supervisor to halt any second payment – cost unknown, 1 x Sheet of Headed Paper – cost unknown, and finally 1 x large white envelope – cost unknown.

Taxpayers wonder why their hard-earned money is diminished daily in amount and why property taxes increase by 10% annually.
Within Tipperary County Council Motor Tax Office it is obvious that they are over staffed with “the left hand not knowing what the right hand doeth”.

Who cares, the strings of the public purse in Co. Tipperary remain loose, flexible and easily accessible to public servants and their officialdom.

More on the huge waste by Tipperary County Council officials in the coming days.

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Thurles Litter Problem

Last week Fine Gael Minister for Rural and Community Development, Ms Heather Humphreys TD, announced the allocation of €2.8m for the Thurles Market Quarter, latter situated close to The Source, building on Cathedral Street.
Earlier €120,000 had been mysteriously allocated in a puzzling move, for the development of the River Walk in Thurles.

Two Tipperary Teachtaí Dála, namely Mr Jackie Cahill and Mr Michael Lowry were quickly “out of the blocks”, using news hungry radio and local press to welcome these announcement, despite having taken no hand, act or part in either of these financial acquisitions.

Meanwhile Cllr. Mr Michael Smith, (Cathaoirleach of Tipperary County Council), Mr Joe MacGrath (Tipperary Co. Co. Chief Executive) and Tipperary Hurling Manager Mr Liam Sheedy all united to thank the people of Tipperary for their continued support in driving Tipperary towards a cleaner, greener and more sustainable county.

Thankfully Ms Heather Humphreys TD, did not visit Thurles Town Park or the Thurles River walk yesterday, or she might have halted the transfer of taxpayers money. Of course none of the above named individuals were to be seen on the Thurles River Walk or in the Thurles Town Park on yesterday afternoon (Saturday April 24th 2021).

It is possibly best to allow our video hereunder to tell the tale of the events of Saturday April 24th, 2021.

As viewers can observe the litter bins had not been emptied prior to this weekend. The sunny weather did encourage extra persons to gather in the Thurles parkland areas, and unable to deposit their litter in the bins, they for the most part, left same beside and on top of packed unemptied rubbish containers. A warm moderate south-easterly wind took care of the wide dispersal.

It is yet another story, when it comes to the “Thurles River Walk”. Here the problem is no Litter Bins fit for purpose. Two small bin can be found behind the Thurles Shopping Centre building and the Kavanagh Place entrance, both of which can be found overflowing on a daily basis. One similar small bin is also situated on the western entrance on the Slievenamon Road, beside the new LIDL development. A third large bin situated at the junction of Emmet Street and Thomond Road on the North side of the walkway, at the “Swinging Gates”, is permanently kept filled by household domestic waste.

Perhaps it is now time for Cllr. Mr Michael Smith, (Cathaoirleach, Tipperary County Council), and Mr Joe MacGrath (Tipperary Chief Executive) to instruct Thurles District Administrator Ms Sharon Scully, to arrange for 5 large litter bins to be installed, at regular intervals, on this 1200 metre Thurles River Walk and the removal of the 3 existing miniature bins, as already stated, no longer fit for purpose; with immediate effect.

Perhaps also local Councillors, local engineers, together with Ms Sharon Scully, might also like to visit the Emmet Street and Thomond Road junction, about 33 metres inside the swinging gates, to experience and view at first hand the stench from the fast flowing effluent entering the river Suir. Best to undertake soon before someone is taken seriously ill.

Take care of the cents and the euros will take care of themselves

On a personal note, I must say Mr MacGrath, those large hand held posters in your PR photograph look smashing. Were they paid for out of the increased ‘Tipperary Residential Property Tax Fund’ or your salary?
Either way, perhaps you could cut costs next time, by simply following in the footsteps of our delusional TD’s, Mr Jackie Cahill and Mr Michael Lowry and, just like them, pay someone to write a press release on your Facebook or Twitter account.
Thurles is sadly rapidly running out of voluntary unpaid and ignored “Keep Tipp Tidy” personnel, who have no voice within their local community.

Readers Note: In the interests of openness and transparency, Mr Joe MacGrath (Tipperary Co. Co. Chief Executive) and Ms Sharon Scully, (Thurles District Administrator) have been notified. As is usual no reply or explanation is expected.

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How Do You Solve A Problem Like Clothes Pods?

We are informed online that during our present Covid-19 Virus Pandemic, our Clothes Pods (Textile Recycling Facilities) are being serviced as normal.

The clothespod.ie website also informs us that they have been advised by numerous County Councils that their service offered, across over 1,200 convenient locations in our Republic of Ireland, is considered part of the Waste Management Structure and currently Waste Management, both nationally and locally, is considered an essential service.

Clothes Pods In Parnell Street Car Park Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

Here in Thurles clothespod.ie; using a rather outdated website, and in an effort to direct us to our nearest Clothes Pods in Thurles, identify only two locations; namely Ardeen Nursing Home, Abbey Rd, Thurles and Thurles Greyhound Stadium.

There is no mention of the six (6) Clothes Pods available in the Parnell Street, Carpark, Thurles. This error may answer the question as to why Clothes Pods, in the latter vicinity, are not being emptied.

Note: There is also one Clothes Pod also in the front of Aldi Shopping Centre, on Kickham Street, and two others at the junction of Mitchel Street and Borroway in the town; latter three filthy dirty looking Pods, which should get an early mention in the next Thurles Tidy Towns report.


[Please do note: If clothes pods are full, you can phone one of the following Telephone Numbers: 087 222 1077 or 087 631 1698 or 01 4642676, to have same emptied.

To demonstrate the sad life we lead during this virus lockdown, we have been keeping an eye on these Clothes Pods over the past few days, to discover that same are being used as uncontrolled “charity thrift swap shops”.

People arrive to deposit their unwanted textiles, to find them packed to capacity. Having attempted to push items further in and failing in their efforts, full plastic bags are then pulled out and the now available space filled by the new depositor. Contents of the bag initially pulled out are then examined and items donated by an earlier depositor are often taken away.

The photograph above was taken on Saturday last, Oct.24th. Today anything that could be removed within easy reach in three of these clothes pods have been removed, some no doubt will end up for sale on Facebook.

We won’t even discuss or highlight the discarded single mattresses, also on view dumped between two Pods in the picture shown above.

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