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State of St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Loughtagalla, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

Two of societies golden rules remain as good today, as they have been in the past.

What rules are they, I hear you say.

* A person can check out the cleanliness of a hotel, by the state of its toilets.
* A person can check out a communities pride in its self, by the state of its local cemetery.

State of St. Patrick’s Cemetery Loughtagalla, Moyne Road, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.
Pic: G. Willoughby.

While individual family graves in St. Patrick’s Cemetery Loughtagalla, Moyne Road Thurles are kept in pristine condition, maintenance under the control of Thurles Municipal District Council, leaves a lot to be desired.

[See image above of the area upon which people are being asked to walk in an effort to reach nearby family graves.]

It is also worthy of note that St. Patrick’s Cemetery, situated at Loughtagalla, Moyne Road, Thurles, is one of the very few graveyards in Tipperary which does not list those interred there on the internet, other than one very brief mention on the charity website Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

With people across the world anxious to trace their family histories, surely a website identifying graves in St. Patrick’s would greatly benefit in attracting tourists to an area where Tipperary Co. Council has deliberately and with great success, totally destroyed the town’s past existence.


2022 Recorded A 13% Rise In Road Deaths

Provisional road collision figures, in the Irish Republic, show that the number of road deaths in 2022 increased by 13% compared to 2021.

  • 2022 saw the doubling of pedestrian deaths.
  • Drivers account for 39% of fatalities.
  • Counties Cork (13), Dublin (13) and Limerick (10) recorded highest number of fatalities with Co. Tipperary (7), featuring in joint 8th position.
  • 1,292 people seriously injured.
  • Almost 1 in 5 drivers and passengers killed were found not to have been wearing a seatbelt.
Road Deaths Per County
Road User.20212022Difference
E-Scooter Driver/Passenger.01+1

According to the Irish Road Safety Authority; a total of 155 people died in 149 fatal road collisions in 2022, compared to 137 deaths in 124 fatal road collisions in 2021. This represents an increase of 18 deaths or a 13% rise in road fatalities compared to last year.

[The figures were published by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) today Sunday, January 1st 2023, following an analysis of provisional fatal collision reports from An Garda Síochána.]

The figures also indicate that the number of pedestrians killed in 2022 (41, +21) doubled, when compared to 2021. Despite a decrease in the number of drivers killed (60, -10), drivers still accounted for the highest proportion of fatalities at 39%. The number of passenger fatalities increased (22, +4) a 22% increase. A total of 7 cyclists were killed in 2022, the same number as 2021.

Provisional figures for serious injuries indicate that 1,292 serious injuries were recorded up to the 29 December 2022, compared to 1,342 up to the same period in 2021.

Where it was possible to establish the use of a seatbelt or not among drivers and passengers killed, a total of 19% were found not to have been wearing a seatbelt.


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.


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.


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.