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Thurles
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sunrise: 5:43 am
sunset: 9:32 pm
 

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Liberty Square, Thurles, Co. Tipperary – So what’s the Plan?

“Fail to plan and you plan to fail”

The €9 million plus rejuvenation of Liberty Square, Thurles is surely be welcomed. Improvements have been made both below ground and above ground, and most people will agree that the lighting fixtures and granite pavement choices for the square are aesthetically pleasing.

Nevertheless, the persistent presence of a maze of barricades, coupled with the disappearance of beloved trees and the apparent narrowing of the roadways, has prompted quite a lot of head scratching, eyebrow raising and questioning among locals of late.


With 4 traffic lanes reduced to 2, in Liberty SquareThurles ; [See HERE] how will ordinary street traffic pull out of the way, to avoid emergency vehicles, latter responding to any emergency incident. e.g. Ambulance / Doctor / Fire Brigade services?
Pic: G. Willoughby

Here are just some of the questions being asked by our readers and Thurles residents.

(1) When will the rejuvenation project actually finish? Rumours abound, but at best it is estimated to be possibly March/April 2022 and at worst it could be July/August 2022.

(2) As the pedestrian areas on Liberty Square expand and increase while road space decreases, will there actually be sufficient space for ordinary traffic to pull over to avoid emergency vehicles, e.g. ambulances and fire engines, latter responding to emergency incidents, not to mention the ability of 20 wheeler delivery trucks, to pass, travelling in different directions? [See picture above.]

(3) If plans are being aimed to deter traffic and attract pedestrians, what impact will this have on our surrounding streets and roads?

(4) Having removed our healthy trees in an act of what can only be described as sheer savagery, are there any plans to replant same?

(5) We have beautiful pavements and an abundance of pedestrian space, but what is going to be done to get foot fall on these footpaths?

(6) What plans are in place to support and stimulate the Liberty Square economy?

Finding the answers to these questions is proving difficult based on current plans.

Although limited consultations have taken place with local residents, business owners and other interested parties, same appear to be little more than token in nature with none of the submissions by residents being implemented.

Indeed, it would appear that a final version of the plan for Liberty Square’s rejuvenation has yet to be released to the public. Some locals worry that the absence of a final plan and completion date may be indicative of inadequate planning. As the saying goes “fail to plan and you plan to fail”. Let’s hope that this isn’t the case.

We could all do without the continued wastage of public time and money, as was experienced with the planning on the Clongour Road and Slievenamon Road Junction.

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Thurles – This Week & Next Week At A Glance

Remembering that men make plans and God laughs.

Two more, very healthy, mature trees on the sunny side, east on Liberty Square, Thurles, alas, have been removed courtesy of an unforgiving chainsaw massacre.

“They took all the trees, and put em in a tree museum
And they charged the people a dollar and a half to see them
No, no, no
Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone
They paved paradise, and put up a parking lot.”

Extract from song ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ (Lyrics by singer Joni Mitchell).

Same were 7 year old trees initially, when sown by myself and 4 others, all members of a Thurles Tidy Towns committee, back in 1988, giving them an age of just 40 years.

On the day we sowed them some 5 members of Thurles Chamber of Commerce, came along to protest, claiming that their window displays could no longer be observed by the general public.

These trees had been subjected to having gravel and resin replaced at their base late last year, which in turn left people with the hope they would be retained. More money, again wasted, but rate payers have very deep pockets for such dainty projects.

While promising to return trees to the now, new look, upgrading of Liberty Square, one wonders why no unpaved areas are being left to accommodate new replacement trees. Then again, maybe same are to be planted where the old street ESB standards are waiting to be removed. Who knows? As many will attest, there has been only a token public consultation with residents within the town; with local unqualified councillors calling the shots.

Temporary Road Closure on the R-660 Abbey Road, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

Temporary Road Closure on the R-660 Abbey Road, Thurles, Co. Tipperary are expected from 07:00am on next Monday July 12th 2021, to 7:00pm on Friday August 20th 2021.
This temporary unexpected closure, [the second this year] will be in place to facilitate road resurfacing and safety improvement works to the Abbey Road Roundabout, opposite Lidl Supermarket E41 N520. Traffic Management will be in place and major delays are to be expected.

Traffic Lights

Meanwhile, the newly erected perplex of traffic lights at the junction of Clongour Road and Slievenamon road, Thurles, will come into operation, (that is according to Tipperary County Council) on the morning of Tuesday July 13th next. (No local politician, armed with a scissors, has as yet volunteered to officially cut any ribbon). One wonders how long 12 wheeler trucks will delay traffic, as they wait to get around the junction leading south unto Clongour Road west, when forced to cross into oncoming lanes to avoid one traffic light column, latter erected unnecessarily too close to the corner on the Clongour Road section. (See left side of picture above).

Lidl Supermarket.
The new Lidl Supermarket retail outlet, (also pictured in the background above), at the junction of Clongour Road and Slievenamon road, Thurles will open on Thursday July 15th next. We wish them well in their future endeavours, as a new town centre for Thurles sadly materialises, reducing the former status of Liberty Square, all courtesy of Tipperary Co. Council’s parking charges, sanctioned by Thurles elected officialdom.

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Man Dead Following Two Car Collision Near Thurles.

A male, understood to be aged in his 80s, has died following a two-car collision on the M8 in Co. Tipperary, late this afternoon.

The collision occurred shortly before 4:00pm on the M8 southbound between junction 6 Thurles and junction 7 Cashel North.

The deceased man was the sole occupant of the car and was pronounced dead at the scene. His body has since been brought to the mortuary at South Tipperary Hospital, where the local coroner has been notified.

The sole occupant of the second car, a woman believed to be in her late 30’s, was brought to Cork University Hospital, while her injuries are believed to be non-life-threatening.

Warning: Gardaí have stated that they are fully aware of video footage and images of the collision currently circulating online. They have therefore requested that out of respect for the family of the deceased man and those involved in the collision, that people should not publicly share this material.

Investigating Gardaí are appealing for any witnesses to come forward with information, particularly road users who were travelling on the motorway at this time and who may have dash-camera footage.

Anyone with such information is asked to contact Thurles Garda Station Tel: 0504-25100 or the Garda Confidential Line Tel: 1800 666 111.

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National Walk To School Week – May 24th To May 28th.

National Walk to School Week begins today and Green Schools Ireland want to encourage pupils across the country to walk to school for some if not all of their journey.

This year’s Walk to School Week is made all the more significant given that last year, at this time, pupils could not walk because schools buildings were closed due to the pandemic.

The goal of National Walk to School Week is simple: encourage thousands of school staff, pupils and their families to get walking for one week and maybe they will walk to school more often.

Although the goal of walking to school may seem simple, the gains are many and complex, with walking having far reaching and positive environmental, health, social and financial benefits for us all.

To celebrate National Walk to School Week, Green Schools Ireland have organised a number of online talks exploring, among other topics, how walking impacts our mental and physical health, the challenge and rewards of hiking and mountaineering, as well as what it’s like to walk to the summit of Kilimanjaro and back.

All online events are free, but schools must register to access them (click HERE).

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Modern Street Lamps Being Erected In A New Look Liberty Square, In Thurles.

Lighten our darkness, we beseech thee, O Lord.

(Ref: Book of common prayer).

For those of you wondering why gaps were being left in the paving on our new, state of the art, granite style, footpaths, now taking shape on Liberty Square here in Thurles; today your silent curiosity may have been rewarded by a possible rejoinder.

The next phase of the Liberty Square rejuvenation project is underway and will see state of the art street lighting installed around our town centre.

Claremorris, Co. Mayo based firm ‘Electric Skyline Limited’ are responsible for this stage of the project. The public lighting specialists are installing dual lamplight heads that will provide lighting separately for both the footpath and the main through route.

The style of street lamps chosen [see image above] appear perhaps a shade modern when related to shop buildings, nevertheless they are sure to be admired by many, with the removal of unsightly ESB cables, that for years have relentlessly monopolized the Thurles Town centre skyline.

After months of continuous, yet necessary, plastic bollards and barriers, it is great to see some of the vision behind this major project, starting to materialise above ground level.

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