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Ireland Removes Russia & Belarus From Short Stay Visa Waiver Scheme.

Ireland will no longer recognise Russian travel documents issued in occupied foreign regions.

The Minister for Justice is today announcing an amendment to the Short Stay Visa Waiver Scheme in respect of citizens of the Russian Federation and Belarus.

Russia (left) & Belarus (right) flags flying side by side.

The Short-Stay Visa Waiver Programme is established under Article 3 of the Immigration Act 2004 (Visas) Order 2014 (S.I. No. 473 of 2014), as amended. The Short-Stay Visa Waiver Programme allows nationals of certain countries , who have entered the United Kingdom on foot of certain UK short stay visas, to travel to Ireland without the requirement to obtain an Irish visa. They instead may use the time remaining on their current leave to remain in the UK.

The Russian Federation and Belarus are currently listed, under Schedule 3 of the Order, as countries whose nationals may avail of this Scheme. The Cabinet has today noted that the Immigration Act 2004 (Visas) Order 2014 will be amended by the Minister for Justice to remove the Russian Federation and Belarus from the list of countries who may avail of this Scheme.

In announcing this change today the Minister for Justice, Mrs Helen McEntee T.D. stated, “The decision of the Russian Federation to invade Ukraine, and to recognise a number of non-government controlled areas, including Donetsk and Luhansk, as independent entities is a severe breach of international law. Ireland continues to support action at a European (EU) and United Nations (UN) level to call for an end to the unjustified war on Ukraine. With active Irish support, the EU has initiated the largest ever package of sanctions against the Russian leadership.

While, as a non-Schengen Member State, Ireland is not bound to comply with the Schengen approach. However as well as always requiring individual visa consideration for applications made directly to Ireland, I have today recommended to the Government that we fully align our policy on waiver of visas granted in the United Kingdom. I have now signed a Statutory Instrument to remove Russia and Belarus from the list of countries who may avail of the Short Stay Visa Waiver Programme in light of the continued Russian aggression against Ukraine.”

The Minister also announced that, in relation to the Russian practise of handing out ordinary Russian passports to residents of non-government controlled areas in Ukraine and Georgia; “The Government is clear that this is a grave infringement of international law and the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of both countries. In alignment with the approach being taken by the Schengen Member States, Irish authorities will not recognise Russian passports issued in occupied foreign regions for the purpose of issuing visas and crossing external borders.”

The Short-Stay Visa Waiver Programme will now only relate to the following: –
Bahrain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Columbia, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kuwait, Montenegro, Oman, People’s Republic of China, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Republic of North Macedonia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

In relation to visa applications from Russian citizen, Ireland currently assesses all visa applications from Russian nationals on a case by case basis. Every application is assessed according to criteria appropriate to the category of visa sought and includes evidence of financial standing, health insurance, and where appropriate, an employment permit etc.
Checks are also carried out for any adverse immigration history or criminal record.

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Thurles Local Councillors Shift Responsibility For Thurles Flooding To Someone Else.

Councillors at a Thurles Municipal District Council Meeting on Monday last were calling for ‘a plan’, latter to be drawn up 40 years too late, in an effort to tackle unprecedented flooding in Thurles on Sunday night.

Fianna Fáil Councillors Mr Seamus Hanafin and Mr Sean Ryan; the former confirming that the issue was a 40 year old inheritance problem and blaming Tipperary County Council; while the latter councillor acknowledged that this was the 3rd such incident over the last 18 month period.

As non-red faced Councillors verbally “passed the political buck” yesterday, local dissatisfied residents were seriously asking the question; “What were both above named, paid and elected public representatives doing for the past number of years, while both were members of this same Tipperary County Council, led by Chief Executive Mr Joe MacGrath?”

The answer of course they already know, same being; “Mostly talking party politics and further destroying Thurles town’s valuable, rich, history, to the detriment of our local tourism industry”.

Meanwhile, according to a recent ‘Press Release’, Irish Water yesterday outlined its investment in water and wastewater infrastructure projects across the Premier County, since 2014.

Surprise, surprise, Thurles is not targeted for future upgrading except under the “Leakage Reduction Programme”, but we learn that between 2014-2019, the utility invested €69m into various projects in Tipperary, with an estimated €65m, once again being ‘pumped’ (pardon the pun) into other un-named projects, up until 2024.

[None of which I might add, includes even a sandbag or a sewage blocker, being offered to Thurles town businesses or residents, and OMG, do you think, with local elections occurring in 2024, will the local electorate remember?]

Pending the ‘Commission for Regulation of Utilities’ approval; a further €136m will be also invested beyond 2024.

Speaking after a meeting with Tipperary County Council’s elected representatives yesterday, ‘Operations Lead‘ speaking for Irish Water, Ms Catherine McDonough said; “Irish Water is committed to providing quality water and wastewater services for the people of Tipperary. There is a strategic and targeted approach to infrastructure developments and proper investment is allocated for improving water and wastewater treatment plants, strengthening networks, supporting housing and economic growth, and protecting the environment. All of which are providing a more quality service for now and years to come.

As part of the Leakage Reduction Programme, almost 30km of old and problematic watermains across the county have been replaced in Newport, Kilcommon, Garrykennedy, Ballyglass, Tullakeady, Clonmore, Thurles, Clonmel and Templetouhy; and next year we plan to replace approximately 17km throughout the county.

This year has been challenging so far for certain parts of Tipperary with the warm weather and drought we experienced. This put some water supplies under immense pressure and resulted in some water restrictions, outages, loss of water pressure, and in some cases, Boil Water Notices.

I want to thank the people of Tipperary for playing their part in conserving water throughout the Summer and for having patience while we tried to restore their water supply. We have invested a lot in the local infrastructure to limit the impact this can have. We have accomplished a significant amount with our colleagues in Tipperary County Council over the last number of years, and we have more work to do as we continue providing a quality service for the people of Tipperary “.

Irish Water are also investing €65 million to upgrade and standardise disinfection systems across Ireland. In Tipperary, 21 Water Treatment Plants have had upgrades of their disinfection systems to date and upgrades at the remaining eight plants will be completed by the end of 2023.

The National Water Resources Plan is Irish Water’s plan to identify how we will provide a safe, sustainable, secure and reliable water supply to our customers for now and into the future whilst safeguarding the environment.
It will set out how we will balance the supply and demand for drinking water over the short, medium, and long term and ensure we have a safe, sustainable, secure and reliable drinking water supply for everyone.

North Tipperary is included in the Regional Water Resources Plan for the Eastern and Midlands region – and was recently adopted by IW. The remaining parts of Tipperary will be included in the Regional Water Resources Plan for the south-east which will be published for public consultation in 2023.

More limited details on the plan are available HERE.

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Work Begins On Bowe’s Corner, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

The half million funding for Bowe’s Corner, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, first trumpeted by all local TD’s; of all political persuasions, at the start of this year, 2022, saw the final design completed in June last.
According to Tipperary County Council, Rathcabbin Tarmacadam Limited, first set up in July 1999, have been appointed as contractors.

Materials being used on the project e.g. paving, kerbing etc. are to be similar to that already used on the half completed Liberty Square projected.

Work was expected to start in July, with drainage works, ducting, excavation etc., followed on with the kerbing and paving.

Little in the new plan shown above is expected to change, over what currently now exists, however there will be a few exceptions: –

  • The existing junctions will be tightened with current signage moved and upgraded.
  • The pedestrian crossing currently in-situ on Friar Street; close to Lacey’s Butcher’s Shop, will be moved closer to the existing junction.
  • A new pedestrian crossing will be introduced on Abbey Road, railway bridge.
  • All pedestrian crossings will remain uncontrolled.
  • Additional public lighting will be provided.
  • The entire junction will be a raised table.

Major delays are expected for traffic using the area.

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22nd Annual Visit To Moyasta Co. Clare, By Two-Mile-Borris Community Thurles.

Local correspondent Mr Gerry Bowe Reports: –

This long established annual visit to Moyasta, Co. Clare initially started with the Nell Galvin Music Festival back in the year 2000. Nell Galvin’s son Michael and his wife Phyllis both resided in Two-Mile-Borris for over 50 years and the late Michael was the man who first got “the show on the road”.

Pictured above are members of the Two-Mile-Borris community, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, following their recent 22nd annual visit to Moyasta, Co. Clare.


Sadly, Michael died in March 2011 and his wife Phyllis (nee Kavanagh) passed away in September 2021, thus the main impetus for the continuing of this most pleasurable of reunions.

The group stayed with Michael and Bridie Keane at the Oyster Bar Lisdeen, Kilrush Rd, Garraun, Kilkee, where once again they were treated right royally, in a most homely fashion, during their recent visit. The contact with the Keane family and with Barney and Linda Eustace, Ennis, is always greatly enhanced throughout the year by regular phone communications.

This year 25 members, from the Two-Mile-Borris community, made the annual visit to once again mark this occasion. The group visited Carrigaholt; Fanny O’Dea’s, in Lissacasey, Ennis and Murty Brown’s, in Tullycrine, on the way down, not forgetting a visit to the Keogh family, in Moyasta.

A massive “Thanks You” to all who renewed their friendship during this most enjoyable weekend and we look forward to seeing you all again next year.

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Further Extended Legislation For Pub & Restaurant Outdoor Seating Areas.

Minister Mrs Helen McEntee to further extend legislation for pub and restaurant outdoor seating areas.

  • Proposed to extend Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2021 until 30th November 2022.
  • Provides certainty for licenced premises serving alcohol in outdoor seating areas as summer season approaches.

Minister for Justice Mrs Helen McEntee has moved to further extend the operation of outdoor seating areas, as licensed premises look ahead, to the busy summer months.

The Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2021 was first introduced in July 2021, bringing about changes to allow for the sale and consumption of alcohol in relevant outdoor seating areas.

Minister McEntee stated: “Government has today approved my proposal to seek an extension to this legislation for a further six months until 30th November 2022. I will bring the necessary Motions before the Houses of the Oireachtas at the earliest opportunity in advance of 31st May.

The Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2021 gave much needed certainty to licenced premises during the pandemic, allowing publicans and restaurant owners across the country serving alcohol in relevant outdoor seating areas to operate lawfully.

Alcohol may be sold in the applicable areas until 11pm, which is considered reasonable and proportionate as a nationwide approach for private land outdoor seating areas.

While most of the Covid-19 restrictions have now lifted, I am very aware of how hard our pubs, restaurants and nightclubs have been hit by the restrictions of the past two years.

Many of these businesses are still struggling and it’s important that we give them the assistance they need to thrive as the busy summer season approaches. The extension of this legislation is a key support in that regard.”

The legislation applies where those outdoor seating areas have been permitted by the relevant local authority on public land, such as a path, or where they are on private land abutting the licensed premises, such as an abutting yard, as provided for in the Act.

Minister McEntee added that the forthcoming legislation on licensing laws – the Sale of Alcohol Bill – will help to further support and revitalise the hospitality industry and Night-Time Economy.

The Minister said: “I am committed to enacting alcohol licensing laws that reflect the changing expectations and lifestyles of 21st century Ireland. A modernised licensing system will play an important role in revitalising existing Night-Time Economy businesses.

To this end, my Department is currently working on the drafting of the General Scheme of the Sale of Alcohol Bill. This is advancing well, and it is my intention to progress this legislation in the months ahead with a view to enacting it this year
”.

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