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Thurles History Destroyed As Minister Malcolm Noonan’s Office Sleeps.

“Bricks through the window now,
Thieves in the night.
When they rang on her bell,
There was nobody there.
Fresh graffiti sprayed on her door,
Shit wrapped in a newspaper posted onto the floor.”

Extract from that wonderful poem History”, by Carol Ann Duffy, DBE FRSL HonFBA HonFRSE.

A current decision by Dublin City Council planners to grant permission for a proposed demolition of yet another part of Moore Street’s 1916 battlefield site; latter to make way for another office block, has been described as “deplorable”. If relatives of the Signatories to the 1916 Proclamation and the Moore Street Preservation Trust expect help from Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Mr Malcolm Noonan, then forget it and for God’s sake don’t communicate, as we did, by email.
We base this assertion on the Ministers assistance in preventing the total destruction of the Great Famine Double Ditch, once situated at Mill Road, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

Over the past few weeks we have continued to watch as officials of Tipperary County Council and Thurles Municipal District Council combined to further continue to wipe out Thurles History.

Watch the video hereunder and sigh.

You can see from the video, that despite threats of “COVER CCTV” detecting “ENVIRONMENTAL OFFENCES”; the most of these offences I might add, were done by Tipperary County Council and Thurles Municipal District Council, whose combined destruction of this area has continued unabated.

The old 1846/47 stone walls built by starving, emaciated men, have now been totally destroyed in favour of modern wire fencing. This same fencing has removed legal access to the lands on the southern side, of the now destroyed ditch area, formerly identified as Bohereen Keagh [translated from Irish to English ‘Blind Road’]

The old stile entrance appears to has been temporally replaced, with the worst effort at stone masonry that I and many others have ever witnessed. [Compare same with left section of stile built in 1846]. Sadly, none of the original faced stone work was retained. Dog walkers are now beginning to use the stile entrance as an area to dump dog faeces bags.

Thankfully, the perennial Common Spotted Orchid, despite every possible attempt to destroy it, has survived the cement post holes. Alas, other wild flowers have since been replaced by tarmac.

The promise by Councillor Seamus Hanafin in Press and Radio Statements of February 20th, 2022, to the more gullible of his electorate, has, as we suspected, never materialized.
His quote, lest our readers forget, “This coming week contractors will begin site preparation works on the pathway running from Monakeeba to the Mill Road through the double ditches. Some vegetation will be removed and illegal dumping cleaned up“.

Five months later, this filth and unsightly dumped rubbish remains in its entirety; some 3.5 years, after we first highlighted its existence, and today remains currently hidden, courtesy of Mother Nature’s green cloak, until next autumn.

Quite a few of the newly built houses, situated north of the destroyed Great Famine Double Ditch, are now occupied.
To demonstrate their ‘gratitude’, a few of these newly housed persons have already begun to rip numerous vast breaches in the new green chain link fencing, in their efforts to gain access to lands to the south side of the now destroyed Famine Ditch.

With council officials unable to fill a pothole in Thurles streets; same are unlikely to be able to control continued acts of local vandalism to the satisfaction of Thurles taxpayers.

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Shame On Thurles Municipal District Council & TD’s.

While the wind and heavy rain experienced here in Tipperary over the past few days were a source of regret to sun worshippers; Thurles residents can breathe a sigh of relief, as the rising waters of the river Suir, have today successfully moved on its cesspool appearance and much of its stench.

Framed in the backdrop of deteriorating, graffiti sprayed, woodwork and a closed new car park under The Source Theatre and Library; a plastic sign, (crudely screwed to a broken tree support), excuses the lazy Municipal District Council’s unwillingness to cut the weeds and grass; latter claiming the area is, quote, “Managed for Wildlife” as part of an “All-Ireland Pollinator Plan”. Trust me no self-respecting Bee, Bumble or otherwise, have ever visited this blossom free area.

Pictures shown in the above video amply explain the total lack of maintenance within this area, which we once again are forced to highlight.

Plastic bollards, left behind by the disastrous, half upgraded, Liberty Square, has joined the other litter, within the rivers water.

Back in the mid 1960’s, as young people, we would have swum the base of Niagara Falls to lay our hands on and retrieve two footballs and the numerous tennis balls, currently caught in the reeds of this slow, shallow, river water. But today, in this greedy, whinging society and in an extremely rich county, it appears everything and anything is now disposable.

The stone dam, directly opposite Thurles indoor Leisure Centre and heated swimming pool building, has been dismantled and the two fish ways on the dam underneath ‘The Source’ County Library building, have also been allowed to crumble, both now reducing the water levels.

Manhole covers, taking water-run from our streetscapes, are left unlocked, allowing small sized litter to join the numerous bottles, cans and plastic bags; same which are quickly grabbed by slow moving water, to float on unsightly filamentous green algal growth, thus compromising the life of the river bed. Further down near the foot bridge sewage waters continue to flow, close to the swinging gates for the past 3 years.

Gone are the two water fountains which once helped to aerate the water within 50 meters of each other, close to Barry’s Bridge.

Our locally elected, powerless, doubly employed and highly paid town councillors are now only ‘stored’ as window dressing; in existence solely to provide a political presence for local unquestioning press and radio, while positively announcing leaked information from central government.
The silent Thurles electorate have lost all confidence in elected representatives; council officials and their two Dáil Éireann TD’s.
Same elected personnel reign over a town, which has long since been ignored, and no longer encourages, supports or attracts voluntarism.

The shame and lack of maintenance here in Thurles, lies clearly at the door of Thurles Municipal Council; TD’s and their lack of foresight and staff availability.

Again, I ask why are we paying Local Property Tax?
There will be a day of reckoning.

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Kickham Street Placed On Thurles Municipal District’s Three Year Roads Programme.

Two TD’s in Thurles town, yet no announcements by either Mr Jackie Cahill TD or Mr Michael Lowry TD, on Kickham Street upgrade.

Road structure in question is on Thurles MD’s three year roads programme for an upgrade, with work likely to be scheduled next year 2023, or maybe the year after, 2024.

This was the state of Kickham Street Thurles today, February 12th, 2022.
See video hereunder.
_______________________________

When there’s a funding announcement every TD and Local Councillor rushes to claim that they were part of it, despite having had no hand, act or part in any such acquisitions.
TD’s and Local Councillors have absolutely no power in current decision making, and none of them want to take responsibility when unpopular decisions have to be made.

Instead, local elected public representatives choose silence; not wanting to be associated with negativity and obvious failure, in case it should impact on their vote, come next election.
Let’s examine recent announcements all claimed by every idle local elected politician and Thurles Municipal District Councillors, regardless of their political affiliations.

  • €86,200 announced, on 22nd September 2021, for upgrade to Old Baker Street. (Nothing ever happened.)
  • €3 million announced on 18th September 2020 for a multi-functional tensile weatherproof venue, for Thurles Town Carpark, Cathedral Street Thurles, rooting up what was officially upgraded and opened to great acclaim less than 6 years ago (March 2016). (Nothing has ever happened.)
  • €.5 million for Bowe’s Corner, upgrade.
  • €9 million to €12 million for an incomplete Liberty Square upgrade, now a no-go area for most consumers.
  • €75,000, which had been allocated in February 2019, to allow for the construction of a new raised roundabout on Abbey Road, Thurles, at the junction of the entrances to Lidl Supermarket and the Kennedy Park housing estate. (Work eventually got underway in September 2021.) See Link Here
  • Cost not known for second re-alignment upgrade to the junction at Slievenamon Road and Clongower Road in just a 2 years period, caused by engineering errors.
  • Cost not known for Parnell Carpark upgrade, announced on January 12th, 2022, due we were then told to get under way in the coming weeks.
  • Cost not known for Liberty Square (Ulster Bank) Car Park, announced on January 19th 2022, and promised to start on next weekend.
  • Kickham Street roadworks upgrade, now placed on Thurles Municipal District’s three year roads programme.

Several times each week, at least, Mr Jackie Cahill TD and Mr Michael Lowry TD, travel this busiest road into and out of Thurles, namely Kickham Street (as indeed do our elected councillors). It is fair to assume they are continuing locally to chase elusive millionaires, since they rarely can be viewed, sitting in boring old Dáil Éireann.

On the 16th January 2022, we wrote to Ms Sharon Scully, Thurles Administrator, regarding neglect and waste here in Thurles town. See Link.

We wish to point out that all communications with Ms Scully were sent/forwarded to and received by Mr Joe MacGrath, Chief Executive of Tipperary Co. Council, Telephone (Work): 0818 06 5000 joe.macgrath@tipperarycoco.ie.
As was expected, no reply was ever received from Mr Joe MacGrath.

We received a ‘slap on the wrist’ contained in Ms Scully’s reply of two days later, which read as follows:
Firstly let me say that the issue of road signage facing in the wrong direction will be addressed.
District staff will be asked to rectify this issue over the coming weeks.
However, resources can only be dedicated to this task when more urgent works such as housing repairs, burials and roadworks allow.
Four weeks later and nothing has been achieved.
Ms Scully went on to highlight the good work that has been carried out, by her office, such as works on Liberty Square and the River Suir Walkway, as well as funding that had been secured to redevelop Thurles Market Quarter. No mention of TD’s being involved in these acquisitions by Ms Scully, despite TD’s claims.

Then came the verbal ‘slap’, “When we highlight only the negatives, in a public forum, it misleads people as to all the town has to offer and paints the town of Thurles in a light that I’m sure neither you nor me want.

We have often been “Slapped on the Wrist” before. Ms Scully, Local Newspapers, Radio and Thurles.Info continuously discuss Drugs, Crime within the Thurles area. Should we stop, in the interests of “not painting the town of Thurles in a poor light”?
Yes, we at Thurles.Info are the only people who refuse to publish the “positive spin” from the MDC’s offices. From last year, we refuse to accept weekly press releases from local TD’s; contents of which can be clearly characterized as occurring only in fiction from those on vast salaries and wishing to remain on them courtesy of their electorate..

Well as everyone in this town will be aware, I most certainly do not want to denigrate Thurles. However, one word stands out in Ms Scully’s reply; note the single word “roadworks”.

“TII’s purpose is to provide sustainable transport infrastructure and services, delivering a better quality of life, supporting economic growth and respecting the environment.” – According to TII’s own Website.

Early last year 2021, we logged a serious issue with Tipperary County Council Service Desk [reference number T-151500-F3F10761 065000]. The problem raised questions about the ability and failings of Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), regarding work on Kickham Street, Thurles.
Mr Thomas Duffy, (Senior Executive Engineer), contacted me by phone, following my complaint. I was led to believe that action to correct the roadworks would be undertaken, thus protecting the houses and homes on Kickham Street, Thurles.

On 8th March 2021, almost one year ago, local radio and local newspapers announced, (quoting from one source):-
“The first area to be tackled is the N75 at Kickham Street which will continue until next Thursday. District Administrator Sharon Scully says this will result in a road closure.
Traffic leaving the Square – so outbound traffic – will be diverted up Mitchell Street. We will keep a two-way traffic flow on Mitchell Street but that will mean there will be parking restrictions.
So the diversion will be up Mitchell Street – up as far as the Mace shop – and then you’ll be brought back over onto Kickham Street.
Inbound traffic then will be diverted at the nursing home at the Mill Road junction – along the Mill Road and back onto Slievenamon Road.”

Transport Infrastructure Irl., employees worked Monday & Tuesday, a half day on Wednesday and then left the area, but not after their road sweeper had removed/sucked-up all the tarmac/asphalt from the holes they had patched. A depression outside my own home was never included in their repairs.  Mr Duffy was sent pictures of TII’s handywork via Tipp, Co. Co. customer service. 

On January 19th 2022, almost one year later from my initial Customer Relationship Management raised issue; I again communicated with Ms Scully, stating:- “As your office is aware Kickham Street is now the busiest and the most dangerous road in Thurles, and all I requested from your Mr Thomas Duffy (Senior Executive Engineer) was to fill one depression outside my home to stop water being splashed, damaging the front wall of my home. (See Video). I asked that asphalt be used and not cold tarmac, to avoid gravel also being fired at my front window. Evidence was provided – Nothing was done. See link and date HERE and also HERE.

The reply, by return, from Ms Scully stated:- “I have followed up with the District Engineer in relation to the CRM you have quoted below.
He has confirmed that the road in question is on Thurles MD’s
three year roads programme for an upgrade, with work likely to be scheduled next year. The District Engineer confirmed that any drainage issues and chambers will be addressed during those works”
.

Despite my badly stinging wrist; Ms Scully added:- “My email to you of the 18th January was in no means meant as a criticism of you. I apologise if you saw it as such.”
This was followed by what I interpret as some sort of humour from Ms Scully;- “I think it is very important that any town has strong community engagement where issues that are of importance can be highlighted and discussed. However, when this is done in a public forum it can paint the town in a negative light, particularly when the positives are not also highlighted.” View Here.

With regard to “strong community engagement”; what was the individual costs of both re-alignment upgrades to the junction at Slievenamon Road and Clongower Road last year, including the cost of added new traffic lights?

According to Ms Scully, it took Mr Thomas Duffy (Senior Executive Engineer) 7 days to examine the depression housing a reservoir of filthy, leaf filled water, outside my home; same transferred by speeding traffic every 5 seconds onto the window, door and wall of my home. He never got around to clearing the drains reported to his office, last July, 2021, still on view today.

On February 10th, 2022, just before planned litigation was due to be put into operation, Ms Scully informs us that:- “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 (No Not 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.
Mr Duffy reported that the water ponding is directly due to reinstatement works associated with water main works carried out by Irish Water. 
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.”

Now, some 12 months later, Mr Duffy has decided to correct the situation by “passing the buck” to another internal Tipperary Council organisation.

To add to this current ludicrous and humiliating failure, that is Kickham Street, Thurles, today, one year on; last week contractors currently working on the Widows Homes; latter also under the direct control of Tipperary Co. Council housing department, have chosen to spread their construction waste, muck and gravel on east Kickham Street.

This main thoroughfare into Thurles, today, looks like an unkempt, waterlogged, farmers laneway, as our video above shows. Pedestrian traffic-safety-islands are filthy and damaged signage from same islands; for several months, now not replaced, yet clearly on display, dumped in the Thurles MDC’s Parnell Street carpark.

These issues raised today are factual, shameful and a disgrace, as Thurles attempts to attract tourism from home and abroad.
Why do we continue to pay ‘Property Tax’, when home owners are obliged to purchase traffic cones, in order to protect the fronts of their property, from the failed actions of our Municipal District Council officials?

Thurles Municipal District have now been given a further 7 days with which to repair at least portion of the damage being caused by Kickham Street traffic, to property, before litigation is once again entered into.

The Department Of Transport and all local councillors and local TD’s have been notified in person.

Let’s be honest, come next Local and National elections, the people of Thurles have no one person worthy of their vote.
Sad to say, Fianna Fáil, Labour and Fine Gael have no one person fit or capable of representing their particular political party in County Tipperary.

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National Transport Authority, Grant Over 6.5 Million For Tipperary Infrastructure.

Last week Tipperary Co. Council were informed that they had receive €6,666,601 from the National Transport Authority (NTA), for the provision of walking and cycling infrastructure in the county.

One long overdue project, namely the extremely dangerous junction situated at Bowe’s Corner, (latter connecting Friar Street west, with Abbey Road (west – R660) and Matthew Avenue north, with Butler Avenue/Iona Avenue (south), not forgetting the Colm Yard Lane (west) and Railway Road (west) in Thurles, has been allocated .5 million euro, same to be spent in an effort to make this area safer for both pedestrians and more importantly in this case for motorists, latter often blinded by late evening sun and objects obstructing full clear visibility.

No timeline for this work has yet been determined, however Thurles (west side) can again expect considerable disruption in the area, while this works is being carried out. Hopefully, “Yield” and “Stop” signs will end up facing in the right direction, unlike same presently being neglected in Thurles town over the past 9 months. [See HERE.]

“You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

Following this announcement, some inactive local TD’s and Councillors, from various political persuasions, were quick off the mark; “like the proverbial bat out of Hell”, each claiming responsibility for acquiring this ‘grand chunk’ of funding.

Thurles Independent Councillor Mr Jim Ryan expressing particular delight stating that since being elected as a member of Thurles Town Council, he had been raising this issue. He further stated that he was thrilled that this .5 million will be spent in the area, thus guaranteeing a safer experience for all pedestrians, cyclists and motorists. “This is very good news for Thurles and I compliment the county council engineers and staff for pursuing the project”, he stated.

To be fair, our records do show that indeed Councillor Jim Ryan was the first to highlight this dangerous junction, and was even responsible with successfully forcing some safety changes in the past, undertaken by the local Council.

Not suprisingly, Tipperary Fianna Fáil TD, Deputy Mr Jackie Cahill quickly grabbed the headlines, according to local press reports, stating he was absolutely delighted to receive confirmation from none other than his colleagues in Government, that the Bowe’s Corner Junction Improvement Scheme had been allocated .5 million for major improvements, all courtesy of his imaginary imput.
He failed however to name his colleague in Government who informed him, but reiterated his delight in seeing his hard work paying off. He also was gracious enough to include fellow local Fianna Fáil councillors, namely Mr Seamus Hanafin and Mr Seán Ryan, for working on this and other numerous road and footpath projects in the county.

Independent TD, Deputy Mr Michael Lowry, despite his “Lowry Team” supporters, was last to hear of the success of county council staff, but eventually got around to welcoming the overall allocations, stating that this funding would help make urban centres, throughout the county and the country, more attractive places to live, work, visit and be unemployed.
Well one would hope so, surely these financial allocations, paid for by the Irish taxpayer, are not intended to make the county and the country more repugnant or inefficacious.

Perhaps, some of the above councillors or others would be equally as fast, as to put their ‘curser indicator to computer screen’, to answer the following.

* What Thurles taxpayers are anxious to know is when will the other half of the 12 million Euro, Liberty Square project be completed, latter financed by taxpayers and now three years in the offing, to the detriment of traders and consumers?
* Will Friar Street, in Thurles town, be completely under siege from both ends, (Westgate & Bowe’s Corner) in 2022 or will it be 2023/24 or even 2025 perhaps?
* Will GAA match followers, arriving from the north east and south by rail, now be steered up Abbey Road, through Kennedy Park, to Semple Stadium, thus avoiding Liberty Square altogether?

But sure look, when you are an ineffective councillor or a politician residing in Thurles, you have to be saying something in the press and on social media, in the slim hope that the electorate are stupid enough to vote you back into office, come next elections.

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Neglect & Waste In Thurles A Sign Of Our Times.

Pleasing everyone is just impossible, but pissing everyone off, I find, is a piece of cake, and so I go diligently to work.

Motorists will agree that, with increased traffic on our roads and streets, there are hazards everywhere, specifically in towns and other built up areas.
To this end warning road signs are normally put in place to avoid and reduce driving risks to an acceptable level, thus circumventing serious accidents. Well that is accepted normally; except in Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

As in places of employment; were there to be a Health and Safety Authority investigation undertaken presently, on the town of Thurles, our whole unit would be immediately shutdown for weeks.

The video hereunder, valued readers, is not in any way fabricated, so if you are out walking this sunny eve, “eyes to the fore please” and observe for yourself the facts, while contemplating the question, “Why should I be forced to Pay Property Tax?”

Questions:
(1) Have the local Garda Authority or the Thurles Garda Roads Policing Unit, raised the issue of the Council failing to provide adequate signage at their monthly meetings, attended by elected councillors?
(2) Have Driving Instructors reported this issue to local Council officials on behalf of their students?
(3) What do Driving Instructors say to their pupils, when explaining why necessary warning ‘STOP’ signs, for over 6 months, are facing in the wrong direction – or totally absent – or indeed never erected at all, e.g. both ends of the Ikerrin Road in Thurles?
(4) Then there are the Driving Test Inspectors; have they contacted the Thurles Municipal District Council Office regarding this utter neglect of signage, noticed when testing learner drivers?
(5) We live in a town, possibly one of the few towns in Ireland, where there exist two elected, powerless and resident TD’s; namely Mr Jackie Cahill and Mr Michael Lowry. Both TD’s appear to coexist with five elected Councillors, namely, Mr Séamus Hanafin, Mr Micheál Lowry, Ms Peggy Ryan, Mr Jim Ryan and Mr Seán Ryan. To the latter named, “What do you intend to do to protect passing motorists not familiar with our Thurles medieval streetscape, promoted by council engineers?”.

All aforementioned appear to have no shame when it comes to denying truth, defending lies, and demonstrating only a modicum of principle.

Shame is nothing more than denial of the truth and I now ask why are you all failing to protect Thurles, the area you all promised to serve, prior to you being elected.

Note, all the aforementioned elected officials reside within the postal district of Thurles. All preside over a rural town seriously neglected and decaying at warp speed; all for the want of someone skilled in the use of a sweeping brush and a spanner.

This attached video link has been forwarded by email to Mr Joe MacGrath, Chief Executive, Tipperary Co. Council, (macgrath@tipperarycoco.ie), and to Ms Sharon Scully, Thurles District Administrator, (sharon.scully@tipperarycoco.ie).
We have asked both individuals to explain this wanton neglect and permitted destruction of Thurles, “A Town that I Love so Well”.

As readers are already aware, local TD’s and locally elected councillors do not read or reply to correspondence, only when threatened by the Standards In Public Office Commission. We have therefore decided to not disturb their daily idleness.

Elected representatives and local officials, please make an effort to earn your generous salaries, paid for by the taxpayer.

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