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Traffic Light Failure On Clongour Road Exiting Onto Slievenamon Road.

Junction of Clongour Road west & Slievenamon Road east (N62).

People entering Thurles from the west via Clongour Road, travelling unto Slievenamon Road should be aware that the traffic lights are out of sequence. Motorists are playing Russian Roulette in their efforts to cross the area, attempting to gain access to Lidl Supermarket on the east side; the N62 travelling south to the Horse & Jockey and the N62 entering Thurles Town travelling north.

While the sensor sequence, does work sometimes, this evening, traffic was held up for some 20 minutes eventually forcing vehicles to drive through a red light.

Locals in the area state that sensors on the road were affected by the recent upgrading of the road and since Thurles Municipal District Officials don’t get out that much, same has gone unnoticed for over a week.
Best to avoid the Clongour Road junction, instead use the Stradavoher Road, entering Thurles town centre via Friar Street or Croke Street.


Kickham Street, Thurles, Co. Tipperary Saga Part 3.

Contrary to what I thought; this female Jackdaw photographed hereunder, working on Kickham Street, Thurles, is not suffering from Bird Flu symptoms and hence she is not attempting to blow her nose.

No, truth is that due to the failure to employ a sufficient number of employees with which to deliver services, Thurles Municipal District Council officials supported by Thurles elected councillors and Tipperary Co. Council have decided to teach Jackdaws to pick up “indiscriminate littering” from under parked cars, where a recently purchased mechanical street sweeper has failed to reach. Read HERE.
Same project, if successful could lead to less drains becoming blocked within the town and leave areas more litter free, before the arrival of King Charles III to Thurles, expected next month.

King Charles III, as you are probably aware, has been invited by councillors to visit the grave of his ancestor Lady Liz of Thurles, despite nobody knowing where she is buried, since no grave site exists. [Don’t tell Alison O’Reilly in the Cork Examiner Newspaper.]

This new experiment with Jackdaws, if proven successful, could see a reduction in the Councils already badly depleted workforce, leading to a reduction in the amount of Local Property Tax paid by Thurles householders, who get absolutely nothing in return for their forced annual generosity.

Jackdaw collecting litter in Kickham Street, Thurles.
Pic: George Willoughby.

Now, all humour aside and speaking of ‘Local Property Tax’; I was sick of not being replied to by local Fianna Fáil TD Mr Jackie Cahill and his friend Independent TD Mr Michael Lowry; so one year ago, I wrote to the Fianna Fáil leader, the then Taoiseach Mr Micheál Martin and his coalition partner, the Fianna Gael leader and now Taoiseach Mr Leo Varadkar.

My reason for communicating with both men, was the possibility of acquiring the possible acquisition of a waiver in relation to this same Local Property Tax (LPT), due to the failure by Tipperary Co. Council to sort out, over the previous 5 year period, the road surface and drainage issues effecting every home on Kickham Street.

As everyone is aware, Kickham Street remains the busiest road, both for exiting and accessing Thurles town. I had pointed out that Tipperary Co. Council officials were trying to make the homes of residents uninhabitable.
A link shown HERE, was forwarded, in the vain hope that same would achieve even some reaction.

The office of Mr Leo Varadkar as expected, failed to reply, while the office of Mr Micheál Martin sent a prompt notification to me, redirecting my communication to the then Minister for Finance, Mr Paschal Donohoe TD.

The reply came from Mr Alex Costello (Private Secretary to the Minister for Finance) on April 12th, 2022 at 09:22am.

Dear Mr Willoughby.

The Minister for Finance, Mr Paschal Donohoe TD, has asked me to refer to your recent email, addressed to the Taoiseach, Mr Micheál Martin TD, concerning a waiver of Local Property Tax. Your correspondence was passed to Minister Donohoe for attention and direct reply to you, in view of his responsibility for the Local Property Tax.

Local Property Tax (LPT) proceeds collected by the Revenue Commissioners are subsequently transferred to the Local Government Fund which comes under the responsibility of the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage. The funds are ultimately redistributed to local authorities in accordance with Government policies on funding allocations. Annual LPT allocations to local authorities are published on the Gov.ie website HERE

LPT along with other revenue streams is used to fund essential local services such as, public parks; libraries; open spaces and leisure amenities; planning and development; fire and emergency services; maintenance and cleaning of streets and street lighting – all benefiting citizens directly. LPT income supplements income from commercial rates, from the provision of goods and services and from other Government grants. All of a local authority’s LPT allocation is used to help provide services within the local authority area. The benefits of these services accrue to all members of society. The decisions on and implementation of these services are matters for each individual local authority and the councillors for each.

The LPT legislation provides for exemptions from LPT in relation to properties that are unoccupied for an extended period due to illness of the owner; purchased or adapted or built for use by incapacitated persons; used by a charity or public body providing special needs accommodation; owned by charities for recreational services; registered nursing homes; properties certified as having pyritic damage; properties constructed using defective concrete blocks; properties fully subject to commercial rates and properties of North-South implementation bodies. As you can see there is no LPT exemption in relation to the circumstances outlined in your correspondence.

The Programme for Government commits to requiring each council to publish an annual statement of accounts to all homeowners and ratepayers, giving a breakdown of how revenue was collected and how it was spent. Information on individual local authority expenditure is generally available from their respective websites including Annual Budget documents and Annual Financial Statements and Annual Reports. In addition, the Annual Service Delivery Plan is prepared in accordance with Section 134 (A) of the Local Government Act 2001 which requires that each local authority prepare such a plan. The plan sets out the principal services that the local authority intends to deliver in the relevant year and is to be consistent with the provisions in the local authority budget of the expenditure estimated to be necessary for the local authority to carry out its functions during the local financial year to which that plan relates. The Annual Service Delivery Plan of Tipperary Co. Council is at this link HERE
A number of councils also publish documents outlining how LPT monies are spent in their area or divisions thereof and the effects of local variation decisions. An example is at this link HERE. [No it is not, for same has been moved with no forwarding address.]

The Local Authority Performance Indicator Report is published annually by the independent National Oversight and Audit Commission (NOAC) to provide independent oversight of the local government sector. This is a matter for the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage. The NOAC reports present the performance of local authorities for a wide range of services. The performance indicators are categorised by local government functions: housing, roads, water, waste/environment, planning, fire services, library/recreational, youth/community, corporate, finance and economic development. NOAC’s report for 2020 is accessible HERE.

I hope the foregoing is of assistance.

Yours sincerely
Alex Costello, (Private Secretary to the Minister for Finance).

So there you go folks, I relate to you all this, in the event that you might want to review your voting preferences, come next elections.

Over the next day or two tune in for “Kickham Street, Thurles, Co. Tipperary Saga Part 4”.


Clongour Road Jumps Ahead Of Kickham Street For Resurfacing.

Kickham Street mystified as to why Clongour Road Thurles, has jumped ahead, in relation to resurfacing requirements?

In a notice issued to all householders in the Clongour area, situated south of Thurles town, in the past few days, Tipperary County Council are advising that this area [L-4017] will be closed for resurfacing, with access only permitted to local residents.

Members of the Tipperary farming community attending Thurles Mart, should please take note.

Works, we are informed will commence, between Glasheen’s Pub and the Traffic Lights at Lidl, beginning on Monday May 15th, continuing until Wednesday May 17th inclusive, with contractors operating between the hours 7:00am and 7:00pm each day, during the estimated resurfacing time-frame.

This road surface had become seriously damaged by heavy machinery during the construction and installation of the town’s first set of traffic lights and the demolition of the Erin Foods factory and subsequent erection of the new building, now occupied by the German International discount retail chain ‘Lidl’; latter who operate over 12,000 stores across Europe.

Blocked drain & sunken footpath on Clongour Road, Thurles.

Hopefully a survey has been undertaken in advance of this now scheduled work on Clongour Road; noting that a blocked drain, first notified to Thurles Municipal District Council officials and local councillors in February 2022, still remains choked.

Here also exists a sunken footpath, close to the junction, where water gathers every time it rains. [See picture above]. Will this now be a case rather like St. Patrick’s cemetery where the road surface exists above the pavement, devoid of proper kerbing; the surface to be dug up later, wasting taxpayer’s valuable money? See Here.

Meanwhile, travelling south on Slievenamon road in Thurles, latter which converges west unto Clongour Road; same small carriageway stretch constructed and surfaced less than two year old on the N62; has already subsided. [See picture hereunder].

Collapsed new road surface on Slievenamon Road [N62] found close to Thurles traffic lights and the junction of Clongour Road.

Same road, Slievenamon Road, has already been repaired in relation to two other areas of subsidence, ignoring, for some reason, the pictured above three other areas of collapse, just a few meters from the repairs.

Details of the upgrade to Clongour Road was notified to Thurles.Info by Mr Joe MacGrath (Chief Executive of Tipperary County Council), through his Secretary Ms Evelyn Harty, and can be found published HERE.

The link to this post has been forwarded to Ms Sharon Scully (Thurles Municipal District Administrator) and Mr Joe MacGrath (Chief Executive, Tipperary Co. Co.).


Kickham Street, Thurles, Co. Tipperary Saga Part 2.

A series of press releases were published in 2021 in relation to Road Works on N75, Kickham Street, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Please note the date of the Press Releases were Tuesday, 2nd March, 2021.

Tipperary County Council (Tuesday, 2nd March, 2021- PR notice is now removed from their website.)

Headline: Road Works N75 Kickham Street, Thurles.

“Tipperary County Council wishes to announce that funding for urgent roadworks on the N75 at Kickham Street, in Thurles has been secured from Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII).
Due to the urgency of the works, works are scheduled to take place immediately and will commence on Monday 08th March until Thursday 11th March 2021.

The works have been programmed to take place at Kickham Street, between the roundabout at the Mitchel Street Junction and the Mill Rd Roundabout.

Given the location of the works, an urgent road closure is required.

In order to facilitate the diverted outbound traffic, parking restrictions will take place on Mitchel Street, from Sunday 07th March at 18.00pm until Thursday 11th March at 18.00pm.

Once this section of works has been completed surfacing works will move further out the N62 road to a section of carriageway in the vicinity of the Anner Hotel.

Traffic at this location will be controlled using a stop/go system and a road closure will not be necessary.
The contractor will then relocate to the N62, Slievenamon Road to resurface a section of carriageway between the Dunnes Stores Roundabout and Kavanagh Place junction (Outside Thurles Garda Station).
Again, traffic will be controlled at this location using a stop/go system and there will be parking restrictions in the vicinity of the works to facilitate the free movement of traffic.

Tipperary County Council wishes to acknowledge the disruption these works may cause to businesses in the town. However, it is essential that works are completed before the expected easing of Covid -19 restrictions in the coming months, when it is hoped the economy will re-open.

Minimising disruption and the safety of road users will be a priority given the high footfall and the prominent businesses in the area.

Home Frontages on Kickham Street, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.
[Date Photographed 12th February 2022]
Pic: G. Willoughby

The above press release phraseology, indicates the disintegrated state of the road surface, which can be easily confirmed by local residents and by the use of Tipperary Co. Council’s own press release, quote – “urgent roadworks” and “Due to the urgency of the works”.

For at least 3 years previously, this busy narrow stretch of Thurles roadway, under the watch of Tipperary Co. Council officials and their Chief Executive Mr Joe MacGrath, had been totally ignored.
Talks over a previous 30 year period of a Ring Road to remove unnecessary heavy trucks from the town were never properly pursued by local politicians, except promises at election time, from TD’s with little clout at national level.

In a further back slapping, political press release, sent to the Tipperary Star newspaper, Ms Sharon Scully, (Thurles Municipal District Administrator) stated:

“We welcome the funding from TII and the commencement of these urgent roadworks in the town and acknowledge the commitment of the Council and the Elected Members to improve the safety of road users and improve traffic flow.
This project demonstrates the commitment of Thurles Municipal District to support the development of Thurles town. While I understand further disruption to businesses in the town will be frustrating, the delivery of such roadwork projects is necessary in order to benefit both businesses and communities in the long term.

For further information contact Mr. Thomas Duffy, District Engineer, Thurles Municipal District email: thomas.duffy@tipperarycoco.ie, or Sharon Scully, District Administrator email: sharon.scully@tipperarycoco.ie or by telephone @ 0818 06 5000.

Within Hours Councillor Mr Jim Ryan, Welcomes Funding for Kickham Street Resurfacing on his Social Media Platform.
Too be fair, Mr Ryan was the only local elected Councillor to raise the problems associated with the Kickham Street crater ridden road structure.

Cllr. Ryan stated quote -“Thurles Independent County Councillor Jim Ryan has this week welcomed the news that Tipperary County Council has been given the green light to carry out a full and proper resurfacing job on the roadway along Kickham Street in Thurles. Cllr Ryan states that he was informed of this good news by the local District Engineer (Mr T. Duffy) in an email last week, after bringing up the issue of the road on numerous occasions at both local and county council meetings.

I am delighted to announce that Tipperary County Council were informed recently by Transport Infrastructure Ireland who are responsible for the road, that money has been approved and allocated towards the full resurfacing of Kickham Street from the Mill Road roundabout to the roundabout at Cathedral Street.

I am thrilled with this news as I have been raising this issue with the council for some time now. The road surface is in an awful state with large potholes appearing all of the time despite the best efforts of the outdoor staff of the council.

Simply filling in the potholes never works at this time of the year due to the very poor weather and also because of the huge volume of traffic that uses Kickham Street on a daily basis. Areas such as those at Circle K and near Aldi have deteriorated to such a bad way that cars are being damaged. Pedestrians are also being drenched from cars driving into puddles of water that have lodged on the roadway.

The road engineer is earmarking later this year for the resurfacing job to be carried out when the weather improves and also to avoid further traffic disruptions while the works on Liberty Square are being carried out. In the meantime I will ask him to continue repairing the potholes until the job is carried out.

I would like to compliment and thank the local engineer for what he did in persuading Transport Infrastructure Ireland to give the go ahead for these works and to say that as the local County Councillor I am thrilled that my representations on this matter have proved successful.

Finally, I would like to confirm that the works won’t happen for a few months, because of the reasons I outlined above and also because of the current COVID-19 restrictions so a bit of patience will be required before the roadway is back to the way it should be.
Cllr Jim Ryan.

AGAIN: Date of both press releasesTuesday, 2nd March, 2021.

This work contracted out by Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) of course was never completed, and involved only the replacement of some 150 yards of resurfacing at either end of the street.

The Transport Infrastructure Ireland contractors came and went, leaving the craters in the centre and the drains blocked by their gravel.

Contacting Mr. Thomas Duffy, District Engineer, and Ms Sharon Scully, District Administrator yielded no benefit to pedestrians, including schoolchildren forced to sit in wet stockings all day, having been splashed by muddy water, as they traversed the street’s footpaths on the way to and from schools in the area.

Problems caused by Uisce Éireann (Irish Water) excavations.
Note: Tipperary Co. Council retains responsibility for Uisce Éireann and queries continue to be accepted by the Water Services Section of the Tipperary Co. Council.
[Date Photographed 12th February 2022]
Pic: G. Willoughby.

As a house owner on the street, I have to suffer gravel and dirty water being pelted constantly against my front window, each autumn, winter and early spring, together with water coming though my letterbox and through the wall of my home. I contacted all elected Councillors and our two local elected politicians (Mr Jackie Cahill & Mr Mick. Lowry), all to no avail.

After some months an employee of Tipperary Independent TD Mr Michael Lowry replied by email.
Mr Martin Lynch’s reply, arrived on Tuesday, 22nd Feb, 2022 @ 17:25 and as is usual no reply from Fianna Fáil TD Mr Jackie Cahill.

Mr Martin Lynch’s reply, in full, read as follows:-

“Afternoon George,
I hope your all safe and well.
Just replying to your email concerning Kickham Street. The office has also contacted Irish Water and asked them to provide an update for when they will rectify the water ponding.
Upon receipt of a reply from Irish Water I will contact you again.
Kind regards,
Martin Lynch, (Parliamentary Assistant to Michael Lowry T.D.
Constituency Office, Abbey Road, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, E41 HV08 Phone: 0504 22022. On behalf of Michael Lowry T.D).”

To date, not surprisingly, no further reply was ever received from Mr Michael Lowry’s office.

The problem opposite my own home, as indeed with other houses on Kickham Street and Mitchel Street, is one of depressions in the roadway caused by slow moving, heavy, vibrating traffic; same rolling over surfaces dug up by Irish Water, (Uisce Éireann) who had been granted permission by Thurles Municipal District Council.

The link to this post has been forwarded to Ms Sharon Scully (Thurles Municipal District Administrator) and Mr Joe MacGrath (Chief Executive, Tipperary Co. Co.).


Excuses By Tipp Co. Council’s Chief Executive & Thurles District Administrator.

For the benefit of Ms Sharon Scully (Thurles Municipal District Administrator), may we confirm that the blocked drain outside of McCabes Pharmacy, on Kickham Street, Thurles, has caused major flooding yet again today, (see image hereunder), photographed also today, May 11th, 2023.

May we also confirm that the blocked drain featured in the same picture hereunder, can be found east of the Pallottine College entrance, on Kickham Street, Thurles. Same has been blocked since we contacted you on February 20th, 2022. For confirmation see picture No 2. [bottom left HERE ].

Kickham Street, Thurles Co. Tipperary.

There are only 3 drain ports positioned on the lower south side of Kickham Street, two of which are blocked, with the water cascading like a river down the northside of the street, courtesy of the inefficiency of Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII). Hereunder, see Video which was also communicated to local councillors and officials on Feb.13th 2022.

If you need further proof of the inefficiency of your office, see video hereunder, first published Feb.12th 2022:-

Dear Readers; at the request of Ms Sharon Scully, (Thurles Municipal District Administrator) the communication addressed to both Ms Scully and Mr Joe MacGrath (Chief Executive, Tipperary Co. Co.) on Sun, 7th May is printed in full hereunder.

George Willoughby to Ms Sharon Scully (Thurles Municipal District Administrator) and Mr Joe MacGrath (Chief Executive, Tipperary Co. Co.) Sun, 7 May, 22:47

“Please see attached video of flooding on Cathedral Street, Thurles, which took place on Saturday last, May 6th.
Water flowed from No.12 Kickham Street unto Cathedral Street, with shores blocked at McCabes Pharmacy, Kickham Street, for the last 8 weeks, and at ‘The Source’ and Ursuline Convent, on Cathedral Street, for at least 4 weeks.

Please see a photograph of the damage caused to a drain outside the Ursuline convent front door, where work was recently undertaken by ‘Tar Stone’ has been fully lifted up by a water surge. See damage to roadway, same being further evidence of the sheer neglect of our town of Thurles.

Please also see the link; https://www.thurles.info/2023/05/06/wellingtons-necessary-when-traversing-newly-upgraded-e650000-bowes-corner/ .

Note up to 7:00pm today, flooding on pavement at Bowe’s corner has not subsided.

I will be highlighting further evidence of the neglect of Thurles, and continued money wasting, HERE this week, happening under both your watches and that of your “Executive Engineers”.

Signed: George Willoughby.

Wed, 10 May, 16:44 Ms Sharon Scully, to me

Dear Mr. Willoughby,

Thanks for your email below.
I can advise the following –

[A] The first photo is an Uisce Eireann excavation which is not the responsibility of Tipperary County Council. Please send a location associated with the photo so we could ensure it is communicated to Uisce Eireann for follow up.

[B] Picture number two would be normal after a flood event, whereby there is an accumulation on the gully from indiscriminate littering. It should be noted that there is regular street cleaning of footpaths and roads in Thurles town. Please send a location associated with the photo so we could ensure that it is presently clear.

[C] It would appear that picture number three is the same as picture number one Cathedral Street Video – all gullies in the town are on a rotation list for cleaning. However the network is susceptible to flash flooding of this nature. Locations as listed below will be examined.

[D] With regard to the video published on the Thurles Info website in relation to Bowes Corner – The contractor has not yet fully completed works to bring the gullies at the commencement of ramps up to surface level – these works will be completed in the coming weeks. In addition, at the aco-drain there was a temporary blockage to prevent excess grout from paving works entering the combined network – this has since being removed.

[E] Please confirm that you will publish the response of Tipperary County Council on the same website which published the video above to ensure that a full picture is conveyed.

Regards, Sharon.

George Willoughby, Wed, 10 May, 22:12 to Ms Sharon Scully (Thurles Municipal District Administrator) and Mr Joe MacGrath (Chief Executive, Tipperary Co. Co.)

Ms Scully,
Thank you for your reply to our email of May 7th 2023 instant at 22:55:

Note your reply will be published on all media outlets, used by Thurles.Info, as requested by you and in keeping with Mr MacGrath’s wishes, and as published HERE on April 20th last. We do this although our recent email correspondence to you both was not published publicly.
So in the interests of real openness and full transparency, it becomes necessary for us to publish all communications emanating both from Tipperary Co. Council; Thurles Municipal District Council and Thurles.Info, thus keeping our large readership up-to-date and fully informed as to what is transacted partially in secret.

Please now also let my readers & me have your thoughts regarding other issues shown via the following 3 links:-

[1] https://www.thurles.info/2023/04/22/possible-bus-shelter-for-thurles/.
What was the total cost of the full installation of the new carparks traffic barrier system including shelters, and CCTV cameras, same referred to as ‘Checkpoint Charlie’- and was there any money refunded following its hasty removal.

[2] https://www.thurles.info/2023/05/10/kickham-street-thurles-co-tipperary-saga-part-i/#comment-82959
When will repairs be undertaken on Kickham Street. Note: According to Councillor Ryan, (Littleton) same is due for reconstruction in September 2023.

[3] https://www.thurles.info/2023/05/07/thurles-taxpayers-tolerate-tipperary-co-councils-continuous-waste-of-finances/

Yours sincerely,
George Willoughby.

With regard to the four excuses and one request offered by Ms Scully above, (same identified by lettering attached by us; namely letters A, B, C, D & E,) we reserve the right to reply.

(A) The Uisce Eireann excavation is not an Uisce Eireann excavation, however if I am wrong; note that Tipperary Co. Council retains responsibility for Irish Water (Uisce Eireann) and queries continue to be accepted by the Water Services Section of the Tipperary Co. Council. So what is the issue in fixing the problem? Do they answer their phones?

(B) It is well noted that there is regular street cleaning of footpaths and roads in Thurles town, using a recently purchased mechanical street sweeper. Please give us a hint as to how this machine sweeps under parked cars, in order to reach ‘indiscriminate littering‘? It only has two brushes and no suction tube and is useful for gathering gravel every morning on Kickham Street.

(C) All three pictures sent refer to where flooding occurred- Cathedral Street. Note: I am not here to do the work of Thurles Municipal Council, you have paid employees to undertake such work. Quote by you “It would appear that all gullies in the town are on a rotation list for cleaning”.
Please explain why on the Mill Road, a short Distance from Councillor Mr Jim Ryan’s home, 3 blocked drains exist outside the new housing estate, all within the Thurles Municipal District boundary, same reported to you in Feb. 2022; leaving flood water to flow south down the Mill Road.
See Picture hereunder.

Blocked Drains on Mill Road confirmed in Feb. 2022 and photographed today, 11th May 2023, still blocked.

(C) No video was published by Thurles.Info relating to Bowe’s Corner. We did publish a picture of a blocked Aco-Drain. The surface here will not be lifted, if it is the Aco-Drain would not be needed as water would leach unto the roadway and into drains close by. The very existence of an Aco-Drain, demands a slight dip in the surrounding area to direct water. Perhaps the Aco-Drain is a bit central for those walking with high-heels, but this is the fault of the engineer’s drawings.
Any person who claims that the ‘temporary blockage‘ was to prevent excess grout (cement), from the paving works, entering the ‘combined network’, is a person who thinks you, Ms Scully, are easily fooled and I, George Willoughby, am an intellectually disabled individual. The ‘combined network’ on Friar Street has flooded at least once every year since I arrived in Thurles, some 45 years ago, as local businesses will attest.
The people (employees) who worked on that upgrade at Bowe’s Corner are extremely, highly skilled, unlike the consultants and engineers responsible for its overall design, and the elected councillors who publically came out and supported same officials.

The link to this post has been forwarded to Ms Sharon Scully (Thurles Municipal District Administrator) and Mr Joe MacGrath (Chief Executive, Tipperary Co. Co.) at their request.

The Kickham Street, Part 2 Saga will be published tomorrow.