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Laugh Out Loud Book Awards Free Event for Schools.

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go”. – Dr. Seuss

Since 2016, the Laugh Out Loud Book Awards (the Lollies) have celebrated the best and funniest children’s picture books and chapter books from Ireland and the UK.

Now in its fifth year, and voted for by children, this year’s shortlist of books is among the funniest yet. With titles including “101 Bums” by Sam Harper and “Zombierella: Fairytales Gone Bad” by Joseph Coelho, everyone is sure to get a laugh from this year’s nominated books (CLICK HERE).

From Monday September 20th, schools can get in on the fun by taking part in a free weeklong online Lollies event, featuring writing activities, drawalongs and readings from the shortlisted authors and illustrators, as well as from the beloved children’s author and poet, Head Judge, Michael Rosen.

To register for a week of free Lollies fun click HERE.

For access to free resources and activity packs based on this year’s shortlisted books, click HERE.

To vote for your favourite shortlisted book visit HERE.


Liberty Square Upgrade Will NOT Be Fully Completed Under Current Phase.

Reliable sources close to Thurles.Info have confirmed that the west side of Liberty Square, Thurles, will not now be completed as part of the current promised upgrade, latter which it was hoped would be completed by early 2022.

Part of the south side (Money Side) of Liberty Square is almost fully completed, with the exception of work for which the Electricity Supply Board (ESB) is mainly responsible. This includes the removal of the old, shabby ESB lamp standards etc, on which the ESB are currently working. No further works will be undertaken, travelling west, to the entrance to Slievenamon Road and finishing outside Executive Men’s Wear.

On the north side (Sunny Side) of Liberty Square, work will cease at the corner of the junction with O’Donovan Rossa Street, ( previously Pudding Lane, and Jail Street), beside AIB Bank. No lighting standards, to date, has been introduced on the North Side, with the more recent modern and attractive lamp standards introduced, removed to ‘God knows where’.

The east side of Liberty Square, running perpendicular to Barry’s Bridge and the Butler Castle; like the remainder of the overall town centre area, same over one year on, still awaits final finishes.

We are informed that work on the west side of Liberty Square, including the exit unto Westgate/ Friar Street has yet to go to tender. We also learn that Slievenamon Road is to be further street-scaped and is to be narrowed to vehicle traffic, under plans which have, as far as we are aware, not been revealed to local residents.

Tipperary County Council’s Mission Statement:

Our Vision: “To lead and deliver on sustaining, promoting and improving the social, community, cultural and economic well being of all citizens in the county of Tipperary, through a positive proactive partnership approach to service delivery.”

With parking now greatly reduced on Liberty Square, major questions are being asked by the public; latter who claim that the Liberty Square project to date, includes none of their personal recommendations, which had been requested in a survey carried out and discussed by principal British landscape architects LUC, (landuse.co.uk).

This project, to update Liberty Square, [not including the demolition of J. Griffins newsagent shop; latter which began in February, 2020] and which began in mid-August 2020, has taken to date 13 months, with work continuing non-stop during the Covid-19 pandemic. As viewers can see from the video shown above, confusion still remains (last pictures in the above slide-show taken on Tuesday last September 14th) and will continue to do so for at least another 3 months.

Two junctions; (A) Slievenamon Road / Liberty Square, Thurles and (B) Slievenamon Road / Clongower Road, Thurles.
Pic G.Willoughby

Some of the questions being asked by residents and business people are as follows:-

(A) With no designated parking areas for invalided persons in the new south-sided car park, (exited via Checkpoint Charlie) and with invalid parking promised on Liberty Square; what space has been allocated for delivery trucks conveying daily goods for supermarkets, restaurants, public houses and the few other businesses, each with no alternative but to struggle on, in Liberty Square?

(B) Why has this information not been announced by local councillors through local press; through local radio and their social media outlets?

Junction at Slievenamon Road and Liberty Square, Thurles.
Pic. G.Willoughby.

(C) With Liberty Square further narrowed for heavy vehicle traffic which prohibits even the opening fully of a vehicle door and the now proposed narrowing of Slievenamon Road, how are Fire Brigade Units, Paramedics and Ambulances expected to go about their most urgent business?

(D) While we are aware that taxpayer funding remains available for to complete the next western phase of the Liberty Square project and the southern Slievenamon Road project, should the few remaining businesses not yet forced out of Liberty Square, be asked to put up with yet further traffic congestion for at least another 6 to 9 months, as engineers seated in back offices, dream-up other ways of how to spend hard earned taxpayers money?

(E) With 4 very mature trees removed from Liberty Square over the past 12 months; where are the new promised trees to be planted? In the initial plans many trees were to be planted.
Then in a more recent update we are informed only 6 trees are due to be installed, the variety to be sown was to be “subject to the street soil quality”. However, to date no street spaces appear to be allocated to trees, unless they are destined to replace ESB poles. So where will TDs and Councillors hang their photoshopped posters?

Any plans available for narrowing Slievenamon Road, will be interesting to observe, (See Pictures above) based on past experience, which saw several times a year, large trucks removing existing so called safety railings, not to mention, sadly, one fatal traffic accident in that immediate area, back in January 2014.

Finally, despite local protests, some of which became underhanded, using dirty tricks; we can fully and reasonably understand why An Post; seeing what was coming down the track on Liberty Square, regrettably beat a hasty retreat to the comfort of Thurles Shopping Centre.


Try Your Hand At Upcycle Challenge 2021

Mywaste.ie are looking for individuals, schools, community groups and professionals to enter their 2021 Upcycle Challenge and to be in with a chance to win 750 euro.

To enter this competition, hopefuls need to find something old or unwanted, photograph it, upcycle it (restore or transform it into something new, creative and imaginative), document their upcycle journey and then finally, submit their entry by clicking HERE.

The closing date for this year’s entries is October 15th. To find out more and to view some of last year’s incredible winning entries click HERE.


Fundraiser For Upgrade Of Loughtagalla Park, Thurles.

Ms Breada Ryan, Community Development Worker, North Tipperary Development Company, Reports.

“As I stated in my report yesterday on Thurles.Info; the main purpose of the Loughtagalla project is to develop people and child friendly facilities, taking into consideration all age groups, but in particular children and young people, some with intellectual, sensory, and special needs, and all who regularly visit the area, as well as the social needs of the older generation.

GoFundMe Page.

To this end, a GoFundMe page has now been set up in recent hours.

The organisers and community would greatly appreciate the support of Thurles, for this Fundraiser for the upgrade of Loughtagalla Park, and invite you to make a donation, however small, and ask you to ‘spread the word’ amongst friends of Thurles Town, both at home and abroad.

I thank you most sincerely for your support.”

Signed: Breada Ryan, (Community Development Worker, Thurles.)

Donations: To donate to this very worthy project and follow closely its continued progress, please click HERE.


Proposed Upgrade Of Loughtagalla Park, Thurles.

Proposed Upgrade Of Loughtagalla Park – Supported By Sicap Under Their Empowering Communities Action.

Ms Breada Ryan, Community Development Worker, North Tipperary Development Company Reports.

North Tipperary Development Company under their Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme, in conjunction with Loughtagalla Residents Group, came together in 2018 to develop a 3–5 year plan. The first objective of this plan is to upgrade the facilities of their local park.

The main purpose of the project is to develop people and child friendly facilities, considering all age groups and in particular children and young people with intellectual, sensory, and special needs as well as the social needs of older people.

North Tipperary Development Company engaged the services of Ron de Brun of Silva Build Cork, to develop a set of Concept drawings for the upgrade of the park. To progress, NTDC decided to carry out a survey in July 2019 to get community agreement on the key priorities for the Loughtagalla area.

These survey findings identified plainly that the community very much welcomed the proposal to develop the park, which visualized a mixture of active and passive recreation areas, areas for quiet contemplation and more robust play, enhanced play equipment for younger children.

The provision of a sensory garden was supported to address issues of social inclusion and provide the first such garden for Thurles and its hinterland. The use of a modern form of design in the provision of equipment developed around the theme of biodiversity was another highly preferred option. All these ideas were considered to progress the design to the next stage.

Work has been continued behind the scenes by a dedicated subgroup to progress to the next stage, seeking planning permission for the development. A planning application was prepared and submitted in late summer to Tipperary County Council and permission was granted in late autumn of 2020.

During early 2021 a lot of work took place to prepare for a Request for Tender which was advertised on E- Tenders, latter the Irish Government’s electronic tendering platform administered by the Office of Government Procurement.

Concurrently the steering subgroup also assisted with material for a promotional video (See above) which was funded by the North Tipperary Development Company and co-ordinated by their SICAP Worker. This video completed in July 2021 will be used to support the Loughtagalla Park & Residents Committee fundraising activities to source the elocal contribution of €40,000.