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Thurles
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real feel: 17°C
wind speed: 2 m/s SSW
sunrise: 7:10 am
sunset: 7:39 pm
 

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Liberty Square Upgrade Will NOT Be Fully Completed Under Current Phase.

Reliable sources close to Thurles.Info have confirmed that the west side of Liberty Square, Thurles, will not now be completed as part of the current promised upgrade, latter which it was hoped would be completed by early 2022.

Part of the south side (Money Side) of Liberty Square is almost fully completed, with the exception of work for which the Electricity Supply Board (ESB) is mainly responsible. This includes the removal of the old, shabby ESB lamp standards etc, on which the ESB are currently working. No further works will be undertaken, travelling west, to the entrance to Slievenamon Road and finishing outside Executive Men’s Wear.

On the north side (Sunny Side) of Liberty Square, work will cease at the corner of the junction with O’Donovan Rossa Street, ( previously Pudding Lane, and Jail Street), beside AIB Bank. No lighting standards, to date, has been introduced on the North Side, with the more recent modern and attractive lamp standards introduced, removed to ‘God knows where’.

The east side of Liberty Square, running perpendicular to Barry’s Bridge and the Butler Castle; like the remainder of the overall town centre area, same over one year on, still awaits final finishes.

We are informed that work on the west side of Liberty Square, including the exit unto Westgate/ Friar Street has yet to go to tender. We also learn that Slievenamon Road is to be further street-scaped and is to be narrowed to vehicle traffic, under plans which have, as far as we are aware, not been revealed to local residents.

Tipperary County Council’s Mission Statement:

Our Vision: “To lead and deliver on sustaining, promoting and improving the social, community, cultural and economic well being of all citizens in the county of Tipperary, through a positive proactive partnership approach to service delivery.”

With parking now greatly reduced on Liberty Square, major questions are being asked by the public; latter who claim that the Liberty Square project to date, includes none of their personal recommendations, which had been requested in a survey carried out and discussed by principal British landscape architects LUC, (landuse.co.uk).

This project, to update Liberty Square, [not including the demolition of J. Griffins newsagent shop; latter which began in February, 2020] and which began in mid-August 2020, has taken to date 13 months, with work continuing non-stop during the Covid-19 pandemic. As viewers can see from the video shown above, confusion still remains (last pictures in the above slide-show taken on Tuesday last September 14th) and will continue to do so for at least another 3 months.

Two junctions; (A) Slievenamon Road / Liberty Square, Thurles and (B) Slievenamon Road / Clongower Road, Thurles.
Pic G.Willoughby

Some of the questions being asked by residents and business people are as follows:-

(A) With no designated parking areas for invalided persons in the new south-sided car park, (exited via Checkpoint Charlie) and with invalid parking promised on Liberty Square; what space has been allocated for delivery trucks conveying daily goods for supermarkets, restaurants, public houses and the few other businesses, each with no alternative but to struggle on, in Liberty Square?

(B) Why has this information not been announced by local councillors through local press; through local radio and their social media outlets?

Junction at Slievenamon Road and Liberty Square, Thurles.
Pic. G.Willoughby.

(C) With Liberty Square further narrowed for heavy vehicle traffic which prohibits even the opening fully of a vehicle door and the now proposed narrowing of Slievenamon Road, how are Fire Brigade Units, Paramedics and Ambulances expected to go about their most urgent business?

(D) While we are aware that taxpayer funding remains available for to complete the next western phase of the Liberty Square project and the southern Slievenamon Road project, should the few remaining businesses not yet forced out of Liberty Square, be asked to put up with yet further traffic congestion for at least another 6 to 9 months, as engineers seated in back offices, dream-up other ways of how to spend hard earned taxpayers money?

(E) With 4 very mature trees removed from Liberty Square over the past 12 months; where are the new promised trees to be planted? In the initial plans many trees were to be planted.
Then in a more recent update we are informed only 6 trees are due to be installed, the variety to be sown was to be “subject to the street soil quality”. However, to date no street spaces appear to be allocated to trees, unless they are destined to replace ESB poles. So where will TDs and Councillors hang their photoshopped posters?

Any plans available for narrowing Slievenamon Road, will be interesting to observe, (See Pictures above) based on past experience, which saw several times a year, large trucks removing existing so called safety railings, not to mention, sadly, one fatal traffic accident in that immediate area, back in January 2014.

Finally, despite local protests, some of which became underhanded, using dirty tricks; we can fully and reasonably understand why An Post; seeing what was coming down the track on Liberty Square, regrettably beat a hasty retreat to the comfort of Thurles Shopping Centre.

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Holycross Village Bi-Weekly Market, Tomorrow Saturday July 24th.

A reminder that the bi-weekly Holycross Village Market is taking place tomorrow, Saturday July 24th, from 1:00pm to 3:00pm.

Ann Lanigan Reports:

Experience the ultimate village market in Holycross, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, this Saturday July 24th from 1:00pm to 3:00pm.
Indulge in a coffee, hot food or an ice cream, as you check out all this unique market has to offer.
Browse the lovely art and crafts stalls and savour local fresh produce, including fruit, vegetables, meats and artisan bakes.
Enjoy the live music and poetry, while the children have their faces painted and hair braided.
There’s something for everyone to enjoy in the beautiful surrounds of the historic village of Holycross, and there is ample free parking for all, behind the Abbey, with stewards on hand to help in anyway necessary.

Please continue to spread the word and looking forward to seeing you all there tomorrow.

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Trailer For Tipperary Film ‘The Last Duel’ Now Released

The first trailer for the new historical drama movie, ‘The Last Duel’, which was partially shot in Cahir Castle, Cahir, Co. Tipperary, (also in Dublin, Meath, Wicklow and Kilkenny), has now been released.

‘The Last Duel’ is expected to open here in Irish cinemas (fingers crossed due to our Covid-19 pandemic) on October 15th next, 2021.

Based on the book by Eric Jager and directed by Ridley Scott of ‘The Martian’, ‘Black Hawk Down’, and ‘Gladiator’ fame; the film stars performing included Matt Damon as ‘Jean de Carrouges’, Adam Driver as ‘Jacques Le Gris’, Jodie Comer as ‘Marguerite’, and Ben Affleck as ‘King Charles VI’.

Same tells a story of sexual violence, betrayal and vengeance, set against the brutality of 14th century France.

It is also stated to be based on actual real events centred around France’s last sanctioned duel, which took place between Jean de Carrouges and Jacques Le Gris, previously two friends, and later turned bitter rivals.

Carrouges was a respected knight, known for his bravery and skill on the battlefield, while Le Gris was a Norman squire, whose intelligence and eloquence made him one of the most admired nobles at court.

Co. Tipperary remains a favourite location for the film industry with just 10 of the many films todate, made here, immediately coming to mind including:-

The Green Knight (2021). Director: David Lowery.
Excalibur (1981). Director: John Boorman.
Barry Lyndon (1975). Director: Stanley Kubrick.
Barbarian Queen II: The Empress Strikes Back (1990 Video). Director: Joe Finley.
The Quiet Hour (2014). Director: Stéphanie Joalland.
Garage (2007). Director: Lenny Abrahamson.
Stella Days. Director: Thaddeus O’Sullivan.
Trampoline (2014). Director: Thomas Ryan
Eviction, Director: Tom Waller
Territorial Behavior, Director: Peter Bergin.

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Boat Catches Fire On Lough Derg.

Five people have been rescued from a boat which caught fire on Lough Derg, this afternoon.

On arrival at the scene, search & rescue personnel established that all five persons on board had been previously evacuated safely on board other private vessels in the area and had been transported to safety to Portumna, where they were met by ambulance paramedics and Coast Guard personnel.

All those rescued, thankfully, were found to be unharmed and not in need of any medical attention.

It had been confirmed that there were gas cylinders on board the boat, resulting in a radio message being issued to rescue crews at the scene.

After the blaze was brought successfully under control, the badly damaged craft was eventually towed from its navigation channel into shallow waters at Carrigahorig, Co. Tipperary, [latter located 7 km (4.3 mls) east of Portumna], before the rescue operation was eventually stood down.

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“Battle-Axe” Gleason From Fishmoyne, Borrisoleigh, Thurles.

Patrick Jerome Gleason, (April 25th 1844 – May 20th 1901) known then to American’s as “Paddy” to others as “Battle-Axe”, was born in Fishmoyne, (Fia Múin), Borrisoleigh, Thurles, Co. Tipperary; latter situated east of the river Gramoge. He was one of ten children born into a family, with a long tradition of fighting local oppression. His father had once boasted, before a magistrate in court, that he was the father of nine boys and he thanked God that each one was a rebel.

The smallest of his nine brothers, Patrick in his prime, stood 6ft-1in in height and weighed almost 18 stone (250 lbs). As a young adult, he excelled at boxing and was a champion local shot putter.

Patrick emigrated to New York at the age of 18 years, in 1862, and fought alongside four of his brothers, for the Union side, in the American Civil War.

War over, he moved to California where his knowledge gained from the manufacture and distillation of contraband Poitín (single malt whiskey) in the remote rural area of Borrisoleigh, (Note: Poitin remained illegal here in Ireland from 1661, until the 7th March 1997) and shrewd speculation in a portfolio of invested stocks, quickly made him a small fortune in California.

He now settled east in Long Island City, setting up a trolley car line, bringing visitors to Calvary Cemetery. Later he would lease personal property to the school district, and form the ‘Citizens Water Supply Co.’ attempting to sell water to Long Island City from his wells.

It was from here he would get involved in local politics and at the age of 42 become the elected mayor of Long Island City; in all three times; from 1887–89; 1890–92, and serving as its last mayor from 1896–97, before his office was eventually incorporated into the City of Greater New York in 1898.

Today, Gleason is remembered as one of the most colourful and charismatic figures in New York City’s history, but also one of the most reviled of characters. A totally domineering figure with a most violent temper he exercised control in the manner of a feudal lord, vastly expanding the size of local government by appointing close friends and supporters to key positions.

Often attacked by his enemies for his alleged corruption, buffoonery and brawling, he was also adored by the Long Island City’s Irish working class and especially school children, for whom he built the stately P.S1 High School, latter today a branch of the Museum of Modern Art.

Possibly best described as a ‘Democrat’, he was voted for simply as ‘Paddy’, and obeyed as ‘Paddy’, by the many people whom he controlled in a domineering, insistent and arrogant manner. Even those who were hostile to him, remembered him as ‘Paddy’ until his death.

PS1 once the largest high school on Long Island.

He had earned his nickname “Battle-Axe” when the Long Island Railroad (L.I.R.R.) brazenly fenced off its train line, allowing only ticketed passengers to cross its tracks and thus dividing the town from its waterfront, while blocking traffic to the ferry.

Gleason carefully orchestrated a raid against the L.I.R.R. in December 1888. He and some of his workmen converged on 2nd Street and Borden Avenue, informing railroad officials that they had just 30 minutes to remove their fencing, tracks and cars from 2nd Street. When the railroad failed to respond, Gleason, together with his Public Works Commissioner and 12 police officers, chopped down the fences and ripped up the tracks with crowds of delighted onlookers watching. This raid on the railroad earned Gleason the nickname “Battle Axe”, which he proudly adopted as a symbol of his office; wearing a diamond studded axe, as his favourite tie-pin.

Gleason’s volatile temper got him arrested twice. His relationship with the board of aldermen was often tempestuous leading to newspapers refusing to publish his photograph because of their intense dislike and disgust at his dominant actions.

When The New York Times printed an article detailing how Gleason had used his office, as City Mayor, to enrich himself, Gleason simply purchased almost every newspaper printed, greatly reducing the impact of their alleged claims.

In 1890, Gleason drunkenly approached an Associated Press reporter, one Mr George B. Crowley, in a hotel lobby and repeatedly insulted him, calling him a ‘loafer’ and a ‘thief’. Crowley ignored Gleason at first but when words were eventually exchanged, Gleason punched Crowley and kicked him repeatedly in the face. Bystanders took the bloodied Mr Crowley next door into the hotel’s restaurant. When Crowley later returned to the lobby to seek out his fallen spectacles; Gleason again grabbed him and threw him against a nearby cigar stand, breaking the stand’s front glass portal.

Because Gleason was Mayor, police declined to arrest him, without a warrant from a Judge. However, Gleason was eventually arrested and indicted for assault in the third degree, before being sentenced to five days imprisonment in the county jail, with a fine of $250.

The following year, Gleason dislocated the shoulder of yet another man at a meeting of the Board of Health. This time, Gleason was also arrested and charged with assault in the second degree.

Nevertheless under Gleason’s reign, in 1895, the “Queens Gazette” newspaper reported that in Long Island City, “one could walk from one end of Vernon Avenue to the other, the day after the recent (snow) storm and have a clear sidewalk to walk on.” The newspaper commented that this was probably not due to superior civic spirit by local residents, but because of new city ordinances requiring residents to remove snow from their own side-walks. [Maybe we should introduce a similar ordinance in Thurles.]

Gleason’s official office was eventually eliminated some three years later, in 1898, when Long Island City (today in the borough of Queens) joined the merger that created the five boroughs making up New York City.

Gleason’s death in 1901 (Note: he died bankrupt and discredited) was marked by a huge outpouring of grief and the largest funeral the area had then ever seen. Most notable were the hundreds of teary-eyed children who adored Gleason and lined the route to his burial place in Calvary Cemetery, which today can be found at Sec 9, Plot 585, Woodside, Queens County, New York, USA.

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