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New EU Regulation For Tipperary’s Self-Catering Sector.

The Irish Self-Catering Federation (ISCF), the largest representative body for self-catering properties in Ireland, says tomorrow’s anticipated signing of the EU’s Regulation on short-term rental data collection and sharing in Brussels will have positive, long-term consequences for the sector in Tipperary.

Once signed and after official publication in the Official Journal of the European Union, EU Member States will have a 24-month period to establish the mechanisms for data exchanges, which are already being prepared with the support of the Commission.

Ms Máire ní Mhurchú, (Chair of the ISCF) speaking at a recent Tourism Networking event in March last 2024.

By setting a data collection and sharing framework for the EU Member States, the EU Regulation harmonises registration requirements for short term lets when introduced by national authorities, clarify rules to ensure registration numbers are displayed and checked on online booking platforms, and streamlines data sharing between online platforms and public authorities.

Ms Máire ní Mhurchú, (Chairperson of the ISCF), who has travelled to the European Parliament for the signing process, says the EU Regulation will quantify the amount of available self-catering in Tipperary and will raise and maintain standards across the industry.

Ms ní Mhurchú says the move will also strengthen the sustainability of the sector by highlighting the economic important role played by small family-run businesses in rural communities.

The ISCF CEO is warning, however, that the implementation of the STTL Register must be accompanied by the introduction of clear planning guidelines around the development of glamping and other self-catering businesses, the absence of which she says is exacerbating the ongoing critical shortage of available bed nights in Ireland.

“The Register, adapted to the standards of the EU Regulation, will help to support the further development of the self-catering sector as making rural communities economically viable is core EU principle,” she explained. “For far too long in Ireland, hotel accommodation has been legislated for and promoted which is of little benefit to rural communities as such developments are only regarded as economically viable for large urban centres like Cork, Galway, Waterford, Limerick and Dublin as evidenced in the Saville and Crowe reports into the domestic tourism and hospitality market.”

She continued, “We also welcome the appointment of Fáilte Ireland as the statutory authority with responsibility for implementing the Register. This move will place the self-catering sector on a par with other tourism organisations, such as the Irish Hotels Federation and Camping Ireland.”

Commenting on the requirement for updated planning legislation for the development of short-term tourist lettings in Ireland, Ms. ní Mhurchú said, “The planning issues for short term rentals needs to be urgently reviewed. Currently, self-catering accommodation is looked on as housing units rather than economic value units.”

Ms Ní Mhurchú warned that the supplementary income of many families operating within the sector will be significantly impacted unless full clarification is issued regarding the planning permission process ahead of the implementation of the STTL Register.

“We are calling on Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin and Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien to sit down with the ISCF to ensure no self-catering businesses, many of which are small family rural tourism businesses, are lost. Issues with planning need to be sorted first, with a derogation for all existing STTL businesses. Clear guidelines for planners and owners are essential before the Register is introduced”, she concluded.

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€10 Million Including €8 Million For Thurles Roads Announced.

Yes, there are local elections taking place shortly.

Proof of same is the announcement of the well kept-secret by Thurles Municipal District councillors that a schedule of Municipal District work, same valued at over €10 million, has now been approved by the Department of Transport.

We are also happy to announce that after a three year wait, temporally work has eventually begun on Kickham Street in the town, this morning April 5th, 2024.

Crater at Junction of Croke Street and Croke Gardens, same measuring 61cm (2ft) by 74cm (2.4 ft) across, approximately. (Compare size with stop tap included in picture.)

The work schedule for the area includes roads improvement and pothole maintenance, to the tune of €8 million including Barry’s bridge, [latter announced for repair back in May 2023].
The €10 million overall approved upgrade will include work on footpath improvements, safety schemes, housing maintenance, street cleaning, burial ground maintenance, maintenance of amenities and drainage works all within the Thurles District.

€1.5 million will be assigned to maintaining burial grounds, parks and open spaces, as well as street cleaning, with some €200,000 granted under the General Municipal Allocation to Village Enhancement Works, for Christmas lighting, festivals, grants and residents association supports.

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Brace Yourself, Price Hikes Are Coming In April 2024.

Households across Ireland are bracing themselves for further price increases on Monday next “All Fools’ Day”, April 1st 2024. But the price increases promised for fuel, broadband, mobile phone and television should not be seen as just a practical joke or hoax.

From midnight on April 1st, the cost of petrol and diesel will rise with the price at the pumps rising by an extra 4 cent per litre for petrol, 3 cent per litre for diesel and 1.5 cent for marked gas oil. These increases are a step by the Government to restore excise rates to the levels they were at before a temporary cut was introduced due to the war in Ukraine.

You have two days to fill vehicle tanks, before fuel price hikes take effect.

From April 1st also, customers of Vodafone and Eir will see their bills go up by 7.6 per cent. Customers of Three will see their prices rise by a flat 4.5 per cent. Sky and Virgin Media have not committed to an annual automatic price hikes as yet.

It is no coincidence that all price rises across telecom industry providers, continue to hike their prices by a similar amount and at a similar time each year. However, consumers can save on their broadband and TV bills each year, by switching. Remember, mobile phones can be used to create WIFI hotspots for internet connectivity with most devices, (USB-tethering), while switching to other, cheaper providers.

Also, from April 15th, 2024, the price of certain beers will be hiked by a 6% increase on Diageo products, namely Guinness, Carlsberg and Smithwick’s, which when tax is included, will come to almost a 10% increase.

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Thurles Town Leads In Nominations For 5 Coveted National Awards.

Breaking News!

Thurles.Info are proud to inform its readers that Thurles Town has been nominated for no less than five Irish National Awards, for the first time in the Town’s history.

We attempted to contact Ms Sharon Scully (Thurles District Administrator) to announce the news, on Thursday March 14th last, however Ms Scully failed to answer her telephone.

We then attempted to contact Tipperary Co. Council’s Chief Executive Mr Joe MacGrath, however all we got was the usual automated email reply which read; [(Thu, 14th Mar, 11:25) “I am away from my office until Wednesday 20th March, 2024. Please re-send your email to evelyn.harty@tipperarycoco.ie, if this matter requires urgent attention. Since it wasn’t, we didn’t.

Full details of these “Five Irish National Awards”, (much coveted by other competing counties I might add), were contained in a communication delivered by registered post, to the offices of Thurles.Info. today.

The communication received reads as follows:-

Dear Mr. Willoughby,
It is with great pleasure that I, as President of the Pothole Preservation Society of Ireland (PPSI), can inform you that Thurles has swept the boards in our annual “National Pothole Awards Competition”.

As you will be possibly aware the foundation of our Society came about because of the need to maintain the high standard and quality of all road potholes in Ireland, and to recognise and reward those local authorities who contribute to the making of new potholes and who also support the improvement of those already in existence, by not filling them in, thus destroying their original structure and cultural Irish diversity.

You have highlighted the pothole situation on many occasions with fine photographs from your local area and a number of these are now on permanent display in our Library.

As you know, potholes have been an intrinsic part of our heritage for centuries, in fact ever since the invention of the wheel. It is a matter of record that many blacksmiths all over our green and pleasant land, have made a good living, for many years, from the refurbishing of wheels on donkey carts, horse-drawn carriages and caravans, as a result of the careless driving through, rather than around, our nation’s numerous potholes.

Similarly, in modern times, tyre companies have contributed greatly in reducing unemployment figures as they attend to the needs of motorists who fail to recognise the need to avoid potholes at all times, especially at night. Speaking of which, our Society is extremely conscious of the difficulty of this latter point raised, and is presently engaged in active discussion with the Road Safety Authority on the possibility of providing Pothole Warning Lights (PWL), for night-time driving.

Adjudication:

Judging of all the major towns in Ireland has just been completed and, while the final official ratings from our headquarters will not be available for some weeks. Delay is due to the practice by some County Councils, who insist on filling potholes that have already been nominated for an award.

However, I am in a position to inform you that, to-date, Thurles has been awarded first place in all of our major categories.

These categories include:

  • Highest Overall Number of Potholes.
  • Lowest Number of Streets with no Potholes.
  • Highest Number of Potholes impossible to avoid while driving.
  • Potholes that simply will not vanish.
  • First-time Potholes Filled In, but still causing serious bumps while driving.

Your town of Thurles is expected to finish top of the list outstripping, by a huge majority, all other leading contenders in their race for National Award recognition.

It is a matter of great pride for our Society to highlight the fact that the municipal authority, within the Thurles Town Municipal District area, has set new standards of preservation with regards non maintenance of potholes in the town and its environs. and have set new standards for others that will be most difficult to emulate into the future.

Yours sincerely,
T. R. McAdam, Honorary Secretary,
(Pothole Preservation Society of Ireland).

Readers please keep your fingers crossed, the race is on.

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Thurles St Patrick’s Day Parade 2024 – Part 2

An estimated 2,500 viewers attended at the Thurles St Patrick’s Day parade on Sunday afternoon last, March 17th; encouraged out by the bright spring sunshine and the slight increase in the local temperature.

Possibly the largest crowd ever in the history of such parades; people from the Republic of the Philippines, Ukraine, England, São Paulo in Brazil, China, Poland, Italy and Stockholm in Sweden, joined the large number of local residents, who turned out for this most enjoyable of events.

The huge crowds (See also Video Part 1 HERE) that packed Thurles streets, from Friar Street west, through the town centre and unto Barry’s Bridge, were extremely impressed by the colours of floats; the marching groups representing numerous clubs and societies; the bands and other individuals; all taking part.

A huge “Thank You” to the work undertaken by Mr John Kenehan and his committee, and to the many people ‘in yellow jackets’, who successfully ensured the health and safety of the public in attendance.

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