Local Weather

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Warning To Motorists Travelling In Thurles Area This Weekend.

Persons driving on the Mill Road area, (South east outskirts of Thurles), are being warned to take great care this weekend.

Crater No. 1, Mill Road, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.
Pic: G. Willoughby.

Over the past 12 months two craters have developed close to the Lady’s Well entrance, latter situated immediately on the corner, having exited the stone bridge which crosses the Drish River. View HERE

The Mill Road, over the past 24 months, has become the preferred choice of cars and heavy duty vehicles, same anxious to avoid Thurles town centre, because of major traffic delays caused by the recent upgrading of half of the Liberty Square town centre area.

Crater No. 2, Mill Road, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.
Pic: G. Willoughby.

Because of a number of issues, which include (A) the flooding of the Drish river; (B) massively increasing & speeding traffic, which also includes heavy transport vehicles; the road surface has begun to now slide into the river.

From what we understand, (although it is difficult to say for certain these days) this roadway is the responsibility of Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), whose purpose is to provide sustainable transport infrastructure and services, thus delivering a better quality of life, supporting economic growth and respecting the environment.

We first wrote about this issue last April 20th, 2023, and again on October 15th, 2023, alas, to no avail, despite notification having been sent to Tipperary Co. Council.

Currently, the true dept of these craters is being camouflaged/disguised/concealed by the presence of muddy, oily water.
No advance warning signs are currently in place, despite regular users of this roadway being forced out past the centre of the roadway, into oncoming traffic, on a bad corner bend.


Tipperary County Council May Be Unable To Continue Delivering Basic Public Services.

Tipperary County Council may be unable to continue delivering basic public services next year, due to rising inflation costs unless the government reinstates a special funding stream normally provided for local authorities.
Last year, the government made available a special funding stream for local authorities to deal with rising inflation costs., however, no such extra funding for rising inflation will be coming from government this year, for 2024.

This issue, it is believed by officials, could seriously impact on as yet unidentified maintenance; enhancement works; and other various community projects like unnecessary fireworks displays and festivals.

Here in Thurles the already lack of maintenance has been evident for over the past two years, [See pictures attached with more to be published here soon].

Sign on the Nenagh Road roundabout unattended for weeks, flattened by the rear wheels of an elongated truck.

A move has been supported by Councillors to now write to the Minister for Finance Mr Michael McGrath TD, and the Minister for Public Expenditure, Mr Paschal Donohoe, expressing grave concerns, and requesting a reversal of this decision.

Cathedral Street carpark resembling the cratered and pitted surface normally found in lunar geology, and believe me it has never been impacted by any asteroids, meteorites, or comets.

This issue it is believed could seriously impact on unidentified maintenance; enhancement works, and various community projects.

Could this end up with staff at the lower end of the pay scale finding themselves unemployed, while decision making officials and elected councillors remain sitting back with their feet up, retained on high salaries’ waiting for our financial climate to change.

Once again, we ask the question “What are we getting in return for compulsory Annual Property Tax Payments”.


Local Authorities Must Prioritise Environmental Protection.

Local Authorities Must Prioritise Environmental Protection To Improve Air, Water Quality & Increase Waste Recycling.

  • Local Authorities play a vital role in protecting our environment and carried out over 197,000 environmental inspections in 2022.
  • Local authorities need to prioritise enforcement of the roll-out and use of 3-bin systems to improve segregation of household and commercial waste.
  • More local authority farm inspections and follow-up enforcement is needed to reduce the impact of agricultural activities on water quality.
  • Local authorities must ensure that only approved solid fuels are available for sale, to safeguard public health from harmful air pollutants.
  • Local authorities need to prioritise and resource environmental functions to deliver the national enforcement priorities.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has today published its report on the environmental enforcement performance of local authorities in 2022. The report shows that the scale of environmental enforcement work carried out by local authorities is significant. Over 520 local authority staff handled almost 70,000 complaints and carried out over 197,000 environmental inspections.

The EPA assessed the performance of each local authority against each of the 20 national enforcement priorities (NEPs). These fall into four main themes:

  1. Waste.
  2. Water Quality.
  3. Air and Noise.
  4. Governance Processes.

Ten local authorities achieved the required standard in 70 per cent or more of the assessments. These were Kildare, Meath, Fingal, Monaghan, Leitrim, Donegal, Cavan, Dublin City, Carlow and Cork County. This is up from five local authorities the previous year.

Four local authorities achieved the required standard in only 30 per cent or less of their assessments. These were Waterford, Offaly, Kilkenny and Wexford.

Commenting on the findings of the report, Dr Tom Ryan, Director of the EPA’s Office of Environmental Enforcement said: “Local authorities have a vital statutory responsibility in the protection of our local environment and are responsible for enforcing much of our environmental protection legislation. While the scale of environmental enforcement work carried out by local authorities is significant, in many areas it is not delivering the necessary environmental outcomes such as improved water and air quality and waste segregation.”

Unfortunately, many key environmental indicators are static or trending in the wrong direction:

There was no significant improvement in water quality in 2022, and more local authority farm inspections and enforcement are needed to reduce the impact of agricultural activities on water quality.

Greater enforcement is needed by local authorities to ensure failed septic tank systems are fixed.
In the waste sector, there are challenging recycling targets that need to be met.
Localised air pollution issues continue to have a negative impact on people’s health.

Dr Ryan added: “The effective enforcement of environmental quality standards at the local level is essential. Local authority leadership is critical in delivering better environmental outcomes through the prioritisation of environmental enforcement and the appropriate allocation of resources.”

Overall 2022 Assessment Result for Co. Tipperary:
According to the report Tipperary County Council officials, and municipal district councillors, led by Chief Executive Mr Joe MacGrath, sadly met the required standard of a ‘Strong or Excellent’ result, for only 45% of the National Enforcement Priorities (NEPs) in 2022, while the national average was 59%.
Local authorities are expected to meet the required standard in 100% of the NEPs, by the end of the 2022 – 2024 three-year cycle.
Additional focus is now required in the work areas where a Limited or Moderate assessment result was achieved.

Regular failure to empty bottle banks.


Poor waste segregation remains an ongoing problem with households and businesses still putting most of their waste in the wrong bin. Local authorities need to enforce the roll-out and use of 3-bin systems, to improve segregation and increase recycling of both household and commercial waste.

Mr David Pollard, Programme Manager of the EPA’s Office of Environmental Enforcement said: “The EPA’s recent waste characterisation study shows that many households and businesses are still failing to properly segregate their waste. Improving recycling rates through better segregation of wastes into the general, recycling and organics bins is essential if, as a nation, we are to turn waste into a valuable resource and reduce the amount of wastes we are sending to incineration and landfills. Local authorities have a vital role to play here by targeting their enforcement at the roll out and proper use of the 3-bin system.”

Water Quality:

River Suir, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, close to Barry’s Bridge.

Overall water quality is not good enough, with just over half of rivers, lakes, estuaries and coastal waters in satisfactory condition. Agriculture continues to have a significant impact on water quality, causing excess levels of nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) to enter our waterways.

While the number of local authority farm inspections increased during 2022, the number is still too low. More farm inspections and follow-up enforcement is needed to reduce the risk of agricultural activities negatively impacting on water quality and to drive compliance with the Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) Regulations. The National Agricultural Inspection Programme, which commenced in 2022, sets out a risk-based approach to the targeting of inspections using the EPA’s Targeting Agricultural Measures Map. A priority for this winter (2023/2024) is that local authorities monitor that there is no spreading of soiled water, slurry or fertiliser on farmlands in the closed season or under unsuitable weather or soil conditions.

Air and Noise:

Local authorities assign a much lower level of resources to air and noise enforcement than waste and water enforcement. Whilst air quality met the standards in the Cleaner Air for Europe (CAFE) Directive in 2022 there are concerning localised issues relating to fine particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide that impact negatively on people’s health. Continued focus is required by local authorities to ensure that only approved solid fuels are available for sale, to reduce air pollution from the combustion of solid fuels for home heating.

Greater local authority action is needed to prevent noise pollution impacting on people’s health and wellbeing. Most local authorities struggle to implement their own Noise Action Plans developed under the Environmental Noise Regulations. Local authorities need to allocate adequate resources to deal with noise issues. In particular, they should co-ordinate actions with other bodies responsible for transport and roads and designate quiet areas in towns and cities.

The Focus on Local Authority Environmental Enforcement – Performance Report 2022 report is available on the EPA website to download HERE. (Scroll to page 28 of 32 to view Co. Tipperary report.)


Email Data No Longer Safe With Website Temu.

If you are a frequent online shopper, there is every chance that you’ve come across a site called Temu. It’s a Chinese-owned digital marketplace.
Customer who have purchased items from the Temu Ireland website, should not be surprised if they get an image shown below in their Email accounts.

First note the picture above and also retain in your memory that something which views as too good to be true, most likely is untrue; note: Temu do not send Mystery Boxes to their customers.

This is a Spam Text Message and Phishing at its very best, attempting to seeking personal detail and on no account should you click on the links requested on every line of the notification.

In yet another picture, shown immediately above, you will be asked to unsubscribe. Should you attempt to do so you will again be asked for personal details, so refrain from doing so.

Today, we contacted Temu [help@support.temu.com], re. the hacking of email data on their website and received the following reply in the form of a rather ‘limp apology’.

A portion of their reply message read: [Temu Ticket 1699871874096499]
“Thank you for contacting the Temu Customer Service Team.
We care deeply about privacy and data protection. We strictly abide to our Privacy and Cookies Policy. We believe in transparency and are committed to keeping your information safe.
From the picture information you provided. After verification, this is indeed not an official website and our team is currently taking necessary measures to resolve the issue.

We have already filed a complaint to the Message publishing platform.”

But of course they have failed to kept personal email data/information safe, as proven by the images shown above. They now join the ranks of Adobe, Dropbox, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, to name but a few, who in the past have each allowed Email addresses, Employers, Geographic locations, Job titles, Names, and Social media profile data to be compromised.


Are Smartphones A Smart Choice For Our Children?

Fianna Fáil Minister for Education Ms Norma Foley TD, has announced that she is bringing a policy to Cabinet that will support parents not to buy ‘Smartphones’ for primary school children. Many in society will welcome this move, given mounting evidence that so called “Smartphones” are NOT a smart choice for our children.

The term ‘Smartphone’ refers to the now ubiquitous touchscreen phone that is so ‘smart’ it can perform any number of diverse functions; including stream movies, access the internet, email, access social media, take high quality video and photos, pay your bills and show you how to get from ‘A‘ to ‘B’ with built-in satellite navigation tools. Indeed, the potential of smartphones is unlimited given their ability to download applications (apps) for just about anything.

Despite their benefits and utility, increasingly, scientists, educationalists and parents are highlighting that they have the capacity to cause real harm, when put into the hands of children and teenagers (and some adults too). Smartphones enable unlimited access to social media platforms with multiple studies highlighting links between social media and increased levels of anxiety, depression and bullying.
Dove recently launched its “Cost of Beauty” campaign, and a short film, that is a stark warning to all parents about the devastating impact various platforms can have on young minds when these platforms enable them (and some would argue encourage them) to scroll through thousands of images of impossible beauty standards.

We are repeatedly warned of the dangers of excessive screen time and with apps purposely designed to keep users online and engaged, it’s impossible for adults, let alone young minds, to get offline. As well as spending too much time online, smartphones enable anyone to access anything online. You may think “that’s fine my kids only watch YouTube and Tiktoks”, but even these familiar apps can lead children to dark and strange content.

Please do take the time to watch, to the very end; this ‘Ted Talk’ video, shown immediately hereunder:

As well as the dangers of social media, screen time and exposure to inappropriate content, smartphones and apps are potentially invading our privacy. Our actions are constantly monitored and our data used and misused. It’s worth watching the documentary “The Social Dilemma” to get an insight into this area of danger.

Less dangerous, but troubling all the same, are the warnings about smartphones and the damage they are doing to our intelligence and creativity. We never get bored, never need to remember anything and never experience quiet solitude when in the presence of our smartphones.

Boredom and offline time is essential to learning, imagination and creativity. Indeed, back in 2018 “The Times” published an article entitled “Why the Silicon Valley titans who got our kids addicted to screens are sending their own children to tech-free schools”. Why? The Silicon Valley titans know the value of tech free time, hands-on learning, boredom, imagination and creativity and they want this, not their high tech, for their kids. It is even said that Steve Jobs, creator of the iPhone and iPad, did not allow his own children to use the very devices he created.

Many parents get their child a smartphone for understandable reasons. They want to be able, for example, to contact their child about ever changing after school activities, sports matches or visits with friends. This is important but you don’t need a smartphone to achieve this.

All you need for children is what’s known as a “dumb phone”, [View here for “dumb phone” ]. Dumb phones are so-called because their functions are limited. All you can do is make a call, receive a call and send and receive texts (some readers may remember these prehistoric devices). With all the negatives associated with smartphones these days, maybe “dumb phones” aren’t that dumb after all.

And whilst politicians don’t always get things right (“Do they ever”, I hear some of you say), Minister Norma Foley may be making a ‘smart’ move/decision here, and if her advice is followed, one that will really benefit our children into the future.