UHL Had Highest Number Of Patients Without A Bed During June 2024.

According to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), over 9,437 patients, including 70 children were admitted to our Irish hospitals, without a bed, during this past month (June 2024).

Reception Area University Hospital Limerick.
Pic: G. Willoughby

This figure represents a 14% increase when compared to June 2023.

The hospital with the highest number of patients was University Hospital Limerick, latter serving North Tipperary with 1666 patients without a bed, in June.

University Hospital Galway had 1051 patients on trolleys this month, with 824 patients in Cork University Hospital also without a bed during the same period.

The figures remain as clear evidence as if same was required, that our health service remains far too reliant on a hospital system that does not have the sufficient bed capacity for an ever increasing Irish population.


Tipperary Marginally Below National Average In Pobal HP Deprivation Index.

Tipperary is marginally below the national average level of affluence, according to the 2022 Pobal HP Deprivation (Poverty) Index.

The Index, which is Ireland’s primary social gradient tool, found a nationwide improvement in measures such as employment and population growth, with levels largely returning to those observed in 2006, however persistent disadvantage remains for many communities.

Since the 2016 general election, County Tipperary has been a parliamentary 5 seater constituency that has elected to Dáil Éireann, 5 TDs, (Teachtaí Dála). In August last, 2023, an Electoral Commission, because of population increase, has recommended that Tipperary revert to a 2 x 3 seater constituency (6 TD’S), representing North and South Tipperary, in the next general election; same expected to take place at the latest in 2025, if not sooner.

Those 5 TD’S elected in the previous 2020 General Election, together with their vote counts are shown in the table hereunder.

Party [2020 General Election].Candidate. Vote Count.
IndependentMichael Lowry 14,802
Sinn FéinMartin Browne10,004
IndependentMattie McGrath9,321
Fianna FáilJackie Cahill7,940
LabourAlan Kelly7,857

The Pobal HP Deprivation Index uses data from Census 2022, analysing ten measures of an area’s levels of disadvantage. These include educational attainment, employment status and the numbers living in individual households. Almost 19,000 small areas, including 640 in Tipperary, (50-200 households) were indexed, leading to the development of a detailed map of the relative affluence and disadvantage.

Ms Anna Shakespeare (CEO of Pobal) has recently stated “The 2022 Pobal HP Deprivation Index is created to inform national policy and ensure that resources can be properly directed to where they are most needed. There has been an overall improvement for the majority of communities in Ireland, however we must also recognise that this is not being experienced equally.
At Pobal, we are committed to working on behalf of government to support communities to
combat disadvantage. This tool helps to create an understanding of the challenge of disadvantage and where it is prevalent, which is an important step towards achieving social inclusion for all.”

The 2022 Pobal HP Deprivation Index, is available on Pobal Maps HERE, (latter a free online Geographical Information System map viewer), which outlines the deprivation score for various geographic units such as county, constituency, electoral division or small area. Percentage data for the area is provided under a range of categories such as unemployment, educational attainment, and population change. The data can also be extracted for further analysis, through the geoprofiling viewer and compared between the
2022 Index Census and the three previous editions.

The two questions which now must be asked are:-

  • Why has Tipperary, with 5 Teachtaí Dála, been allowed to fall behind on the Pobal HP Deprivation Index?
  • Should the Tipperary electorate now change their choice of candidates, when it comes to voting in the 2025 General election?

Slievenamon Road Upgrade – Final Nail In Thurles Town Centre’s Coffin.

It has become perfectly obvious that urban city planning ideas are now being mandatory enforced on rural, agricultural towns like Thurles, Co. Tipperary with disastrous consequences, forcing trading retail businesses to either close or fold their tents to move elsewhere.

Anyone who visited Dublin City recently will know that only public transport, cyclists and pedestrians can now get into and around its increasingly menacing streets, with any degree of efficiently.

The busy prosperous Liberty Square of the 1960’s.

That is all well and good in Dublin with its network of buses, trams and taxis. Here in rural Thurles such public transport is very limited. There isn’t a Dart tram line to be found running from rural Upperchurch or indeed Two-mile-Borris or Littleton villages every 15 minutes. Indeed there is not one single bus shelter to be found in Thurles, to protect a prospective bus passenger from our inclement weather.

For those who wish to view what exactly will be forced on the residents and businesses of this once prosperous midland town, take a look here: N62-Slievenamon-Road-Phase-2.pdf

NOTE Page 6 of the above pdf: “Some of the key interventions that this strategy will deliver include significant investment in the provision of safe, segregated infrastructure to protect those walking and cycling on our roads, and initiatives to promote modal shift from motor vehicle travel to support environmental, safety and health objectives.”

The picturesque Liberty Square, midday in 2023, asks a Question: Where are the town centre consumers; where are the cyclists; the walker, and the vehicle parking spaces.
Answer: Driven out with the businesses. Gone to support German international discount retailers on the outskirts of Thurles, who offer very little local employment, while selling a considerable amount of German processed produce.

See also what is planned in the Draft Discussion maps for Slievenamon Road, shown here: N62-Slievenamon-Road-Map.pdf.

Question: Where are the Cycle Paths either on a half upgraded Liberty Square, town centre or on this newly designed, still to be revamped, Slievenamon Road plan?
Answer: Non existent.

This October 2022 plan will most certainly drive home that final nail in our town centre’s coffin. However, the local electorate, (now remaining surprisingly silent), can express their anger, during local elections, expected to be held possible next March.


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”.