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Failte Eolas Cuartaiochta – Welcome Visitor Information

Where exists the Welcome Visitor Information in Thurles?

“A shade of sadness, a blush of shame, over the face of the leader came,”
Extract from the poem “Barbara Frietchie”, by John Greenleaf Whittier .

As people will be fully aware, the Thurles.Info website has in the past; and indeed, is fully committed to the continuation of granting assistance to Thurles Municipal District Councillors; latter persons difficult to predict because of their perverse and self-glorifying comportment.

So, here our elected representatives, are a few thoughts worthy of sharing at the next County Council meeting. Keep in mind that same in turn will give the impression to the Thurles local electorate that councillors are fully awake, when, having reflected, they announce on their facebook accounts, “what they thought they ought to have stated”.

Thurles Tourism

As one of the great unwashed members of this community, I am not sure if the word ‘Tourism‘ ever appears on Co. Council monthly agendas, despite fully committed promises given every five years by Municipal Councillors prior to local elections.

Regardless, we are informed that a minimum of 250,000 visitors come to visit Holy Cross Abbey each year. The now welcome new motorway entry signs, erected last October, (of which Thurles.Info were first to highlight the need), stand clearly visible on the Dublin / Nenagh / Horse & Jockey and Templemore roads, entering into Thurles.

However the Holycross Road, which possibly points most of the few tourists to visit Thurles, in our direction, has been totally overlooked, in favour of signs “Welcome To Thurles Home of Erin Foods”, (Factory Closed some 12 years ago), and requesting that visitors take advantage of ‘Disc Parking’, latter no longer in vogue for many years and which was first introduced by greedy / grabbing Co. Council officials, leading to the total destruction of a prosperous Town Centre, that was Thurles town.

Thurles Town Centre

Talking about Thurles Town Centre and tourism; we note that the filthy dirty Victorian cast iron ‘Welcome Visitor Information’ signs (Irish: Failte Eolas Cuartaiochta) have now been hijacked by “The Source” Theatre, in Cathedral Street, controlled by Tipperary Co. Council.

The signs; one positioned outside of the Ulster Bank building and one more central on Liberty Square, were originally introduced to indicate tourism information, e.g. Lár Na Páirce GAA Museum; Angling; Numerous excellent Sporting facilities, Hotels; B&B’s etc. etc.. Yesterday, January 7th, 2020 same signs displayed ‘Theatre Posters’; programmes dating back to last year, 2019, and a poster by Thurles Chamber, dated prior to March 29th, 2019, latter calling for a Public Rally & Protest March to stop a business from moving their premises in Liberty Square, just 500 meters, to the more profitable area of Thurles Shopping Centre.

Many Thurles people have remarked on the divisions being driven between Liberty Square and Thurles Shopping Centre, latter demonstrated by the failure to provide public Christmas lighting, which should have joined both business communities for the benifit of all. After all, is Christmas not the time to display that kind of love which is devoid of hostility and ill will.

Management at ‘The Source’ Theatre; officials within Thurles Chamber and elected Municipal councillors, should and must now immediately remedy these issues, explaining the reason for their lethargic and lacklustre attitude currently being played out on the ratepaying business people of Thurles.


St. Pat’s Graveyard Gates Returned, Beautifully Restored

Here in Thurles, Co. Tipperary, our St. Patrick’s graveyard gates have been returned, fully restored for Christmas 2019.

Gates Replaced, Superbly Restored.

Over the past number of days, the five entry gates to the cemetery have now been hung back on their respective pillars. Congratulations to those who undertook this physical work; demonstrating true ability and craftsmanship, through their skilled restoration.

Fifty-Eight Years Without A Coat Of Paint.

The issue of the state of these gates was first raised here on Thurles.Info on July 9th, 2018. [Click Here]. The matter was totally ignored for 12 months, despite Tipperary Politicians, Cabinet Ministers and Municipal District Councillors, of all political affiliations, passing through these graveyard portals, several times per week in some cases; in their efforts no doubt to ingratiate and influence their particular political groupings, with the family members of deceased persons being interred.

We realised in April 2019 that local elections were imminent and the double jobbing, Municipal District Councillors, would once again appear on radar, each applying for that attractive little extra bonus of €20,000 per annum, before vanishing yet again into the woodwork, emerging every Monday to spew the party line on TippFm radio.

So, on April 28th, 2019 (almost one year later) we again raised this graveyard gates issue, using the heading “Suitable Doorstep Discourse For Campaigning Thurles Councillors”. (Viewed by some 2,508 silent readers, the composed article also contained video, shown hereunder.)

This latter article [View Here] also laid bare the designated misnomer that Tipperary County Council; under the leadership of Mr Joe MacGrath (Chief Executive), and through its ‘Community and Economic Development Statement’, continued to maintain the widely held false belief that Tipp. Co. Council continually strives to provide a place where its people can enjoy a ‘great quality of life’, ‘Fairness’, ‘Co-Operation’, ‘Communication’, ‘Teamwork’, ‘Partnership’ and ‘Collaboration’.

Three months after the May 2019 local elections; in early August of 2019, the gates were removed for restoration, no doubt by order of red faced officials of Tipperary Co. Council, who charge €90.00 for planning permission to erect your own headstone.

Had even one of our double jobbing, €20,000 extra salaried, disinterested, Municipal District Councillors, or their officials, taken the slightest notice of this project back then last August; a power-hose would have been summoned within the last 4.5 months, to undertake the descaling of the grimy walls. [Watch the slideshow again and weep.]

But not so; this week the gates have now been hung on dirty pillars, attached to walls, solidly engrained by half a century of black mire and moss.
A stagnant 10 years of dead moss and leaf mold, sheltered from the wind piles up on the ground outside the main entrance.
Giant pot holes and muck; same demanding visitors to wear wellingtons, still exists; the holes permanently full of water.
The continuous dumping of weeds, excess gravel, dead flowers and wreaths goes on, without any reduction in intensity; same clearly visible, particularly on the east side.
The unsupported banks of clay remain to erode unto the pathway.
The ivy, with an added two more seasons of growth, further hangs over the exterior graveyard wall, forcing pedestrians, unnecessarily, to walk out, unto a narrow, unlit and dangerous roadway.
We won’t discuss the new carpark and the money wasted. To publically discuss how taxpayers money was spent afterall, outside of Co. Council meetings, could be seen as rather trivial and banal; and should not be overheard by the ears of the great unwashed or the less desireable RTE’s “Prime Time”.

We have listened to councillors “calling” for a Sensory Garden for Thurles in recent months. Thurles already has two Sensory Gardens, [See Here and also Here], we also have a graveyard that is ignored and is a public disgrace, demonstrating utter disrespect to those currently interred.

But worst of all, our community residents have now given up on the idea that they can in some way influence change; hence, for now at least, their continued deep and deathly silence remains deafening.


Too Many Pigs, Not Enough Tits – Abraham Lincoln

“Too Many Pigs, Not Enough Tits to Nurse Them” – Former US President Abraham Lincoln once commented, referring to those who sought highly paid political appointments.

This morning we learned that pay rises, sought by powerless city and county councillors, many of whom ‘double job’, are expected to be recommended to be in the region of an €8,000 increase. However, they will only be allowed if they are backed by wider public sector pay talks in the coming year.

This comes from a background today, where a press poll indicates that only one in five of our elected TD’s know the true value of the current basic minimum wage.

We heard, with some hilarity, councillor representation claiming, in recent months on TippFM radio, that council work involved 24 / 7 dedication.

Mr John Paul Phelan (Minister of State for Local Government) is expected to inform TDs, at an Oireachtas committee meeting this morning, that any future councillor’s pay increases will have to compete with rival public sector demands.

An 18-month Government-commissioned report due to be unveiled next month, is expected to recommend a potential €8,000 increase to councillor’s salaries, latter who receive €17,060 per year, in addition to unvouched expenses of between €2,286 and €2,667, and vouched expenses of up €5,000.

There are currently 949 councillors elected here in Ireland, thus a predicted €8,000 pay increase could cost the taxpayer in excess of €7.5m.

One wonders if one of our Municipal District councillors could arrange to have fixed the two sets of traffic lights currently (and for some weeks), a health and safety issue, at (1) Cathedral Street Thurles and (2) the area close to Semple Stadium.


Taxpayers Buy Printer Too Big For Leinster House

Regularly we highlight the waste by our own Tipperary Co. Council and its senior officialdom, latter devoid of an actual workforce, with regard to wasting taxpayer’s money. The list includes; unnecessary expensive High Court actions; failures with regards to ever recurring Health & Safety issues; overall neglect of our town of Thurles, and double jobbing, overpaid, powerless councillors etc.; we will spare you the details, since we have already shared same in the past.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Who shall keep the keepers themselves?

One would assume that our present minority Fine Gael Government would have devised a proper system of cheques and balances to protect the taxpayer. However, governments down the years have successfully persuaded taxpayers that day to day spending comes gifted by that same government of the day and in no way should be associated with funding gifted by overburdened taxpayer.

How many people have read the report, today, by Irish Times newspaper journalist Mr Craig Hughes and were shocked by his revelations?

First rule of carpentry: Measure Twice – Cut once

Warning: Please be sure you are sitting down before you read further and Please Note: This is not a Joke.

According to Mr Hughes, the Houses of the Oireahteas (better known as the Irish Tax-Payer), spent €808.000 for a printer, before paying in excess of a further €236,000 to have it installed, because the original measurements forwarded to allow it to gain entry, were incorrect.

Because of these incorrectly measured dimensions, the Komori Corporation manufactured printer, (which has now been fitted), was unable to be installed for some 10 months, because the original measurements supplied failed to ensure that the machine had the necessary 3.1m (10.17ft) clearance required.

And no, the story doesn’t end there – There’s more!
Not surprisingly public servants are now refusing to be trained to operate this state-of-the-art equipment, until they receive a pay rise.

Stay seated, there’s more!
Due to the installation problems the printer was stored for free, initially, by Komori’s Irish agent, Portman Graphics, but eventually storage fees of €2,000 per month were charged. The printer could not be returned, because the purchase contract had already been signed.

The Houses of the Oireahteas, in May of last year, decided that the temporary removal of a door frame in Kildare House, should solve the issue, however the Office of Public Works informed them that a more substantial project was required in order to complete the installation.

Of course, we can’t truly blame our TD’s for this financial waste, same focus must now rest with the line management of public servants. In the private sector heads would roll, but in the public sector, tape-measure wielding employees are protected forever.

Well of course you could always accuse out elected representatives of being silent on the matter (Known in the Dáil as a ‘cover your arse exercise’).

One wonders will the Public Accounts Committee now become involved, embroiled even, in this inky mess and will this be followed by 50 Fine Gael apologies.

Surprisingly none of the government’s opposition TD’s were aware of this problem, obviously they hadn’t used their fobs to sign-in on that particular day.

Never mind, taxpayers are looking forward to getting an improved swanky calendar this year, after all they will have paid for it.

Now you also can understand why Thurles will not get its long promised ring-road before 2040 at the earliest.


Hypocrisy Personified

The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” [Isaiah Chapter 29 – Verse13.]

Hypocrisy – The practice of claiming to have higher standards or more noble beliefs than is really the case.

Readers will remember that in early July 2019, Ireland’s High Court granted Tipperary Co. Council an injunction, compelling members of the Travelling Community to vacate an area where their halting site was regarded as “constituting a public danger” to themselves and others. Another more serious, yet similar Health & Safety issue has once again reoccurred in our Cathedral Town.

I refer, of course, to the ever moving pedestrian crossing / traffic lights, outside of Thurles Cathedral. Here again, same busy crossing is “constituting a public danger” to over 600 school children, as they attempt to cross twice daily, getting to and from rural school buses, not to mention the several hundred church pilgrims and local shoppers; all pedestrians, going about their daily business here in Thurles, each day.

Pedestrian Crossing, on Cathedral Street Thurles, once again struck by a high-sided vehicle. [Picture taken on November 15th 2019, G. Willoughby]

We here at Thurles.Info have highlighted the issue of the constantly moving pedestrian crossing traffic lights, outside of Thurles Cathedral, at least five times in all, first on February 1st, 2018. [Almost one year and ten months ago.]

The problems associated did not need the benefit /advice of a qualified County Council Engineer. It was obvious to the dogs currently permitted to fowl our streets, that when two high sided trucks attempt to pass in a narrow space, then such manoeuvres are bound to result in something being adjusted. On this present occasion even the steel pole supporting these traffic lights has now become somewhat curved from its original and previous straight condition.

This issue, we highlighted once again, on July 16th, 2018; and yes, readers will recall that we highlighted this same problem for the third time on January 22nd, 2019.

On April 2nd, 2019, we highlighted this topic yet again, rightly accusing Tipperary Co. Council of wasting rate payers money.

On September 10th 2019, we did not highlight this problem, in the real fear that our readers would think that we were suffering from paranoia.

Today however, November 16th, 2019, in view of recent High Court actions relating to several Health & Safety issues, each constituting a public danger, here in Thurles, we feel we should draw attention to this serious concern one more time, before someone has to be scraped off our Cathedral Street pedestrian crossing.

We are well aware by now that our Templemore /Thurles Municipal district councillors are totally powerless, but in the case where same Councillors have now been made aware, once again, of this issue; keep in mind that the above photo and web post will enable compensation costs to be more easily collected from Tipperary Co. Council. After all, they were and are fully aware of this ever present danger.

Time now, after almost two years of continuous repairs, to finally move these offending traffic lights to a safer distance, apart from each other and to pursue the need for that long awaited Thurles Ring Road, thus removing 21st century, 18-wheeler, freight-carrying-trucks from our 12th century, narrow streets.

Having been completely failed by our current Fine Gael minority government and their supporters, with regard to the promised Thurles Ring Road, one wonders why we are presently bothering to up-grade Liberty Square next year or whenever.