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Congratulations Leaving Certificate Students 2022.

This year’s Leaving Certificate results were issued on Friday last, September 2nd, 2022. Congratulations to all the pupils in Tipperary and nationwide who received their results. Sitting the Leaving Certificate exams, particularly at this time, is an enormous achievement in and of itself.

We at Thurles.info wish you every success for the future.

As is customary, pupils have been deservedly celebrating this milestone ahead of taking a new path; be it to work, an apprenticeship or college. Pubs and nightclubs have been busy all weekend playing the classic graduation songs in honour of our wonderful Leaving Certificate pupils.

Every graduation year has its own special song, but here at Thurles.info, to wish you all well for the weeks and years ahead, we’ve chosen the lesser known hit “My Wish for You” from the American Country music band Rascal Flatts.

My Wish
Composers Steve Robson & Jeffrey Steele.

I hope the days come easy and the moments pass slow
And each road leads you where you want to go
And if you’re faced with a choice, and you have to choose
I hope you choose the one that means the most to you
And if one door opens to another door closed
I hope you keep on walkin’ ’till you find the window
If it’s cold outside, show the world the warmth of your smile
But more than anything, more than anything
My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to
Your dreams stay big, your worries stay small
You never need to carry more than you can hold
And while you’re out there getting where you’re getting to
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too
Yeah, this, is my wish
I hope you never look back, but ya never forget
All the ones who love you, in the place you left
I hope you always forgive, and you never regret
And you help somebody every chance you get
Oh, you find God’s grace, in every mistake
And always give more than you take
But more than anything, yeah, more than anything
My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to
Your dreams stay big, your worries stay small
You never need to carry more than you can hold
And while you’re out there getting where you’re getting to
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too
Yeah, this, is my wish. Yeah
My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that want it to
Your dreams stay big, your worries stay small
You never need to carry more than you can hold
And while you’re out there gettin’ where you’re gettin’ to
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too
Yeah, this is my wish (My wish for you)
This is my wish (My wish for you)
Hope you know somebody loves you (My wish for you)
May all your dreams come true (My wish for you)


Top Fifteen Graduation Songs for Leaving Cert Class of 2022

In honour of the Leaving Certificate Class of 2022, we’ve pulled together a Top Fifteen of Graduation songs, together with their links.
Enjoys these wise words and wishes!

From Wicked the Musical: For Good. [A big ‘Thank You‘ to our Teachers]
American Authors: Best Day of My Life.
Bill Withers: Lean on me.
Green Day: Time of Your Life.
Rascal Flatts: My Wish for You.
Tyrone Wells: Time of Our Lives.
Bruno Mars: Count on Me.
Phil Collins: I’m on My Way.
Lee Ann Womack: I Hope You Dance.
Take That: Greatest Day.
Joan Baez: Forever Young.
The Beatles: In My Life.
Joe Cocker: With a Little Help from My Friends.
Dusty Springfield: Goin’ Back.
Dolly Parton and Kenny Rodgers: You Can’t Make Old Friends.


New Guidelines Published for Parents on Children’s Data Protection Rights.

The Data Protection Commission (DPC) has recently published four short guides for parents on children’s data protection rights under General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). These guides are intended to help parents to understand their children’s rights and to answer questions that can arise in typical situations where those rights apply.

Protecting children’s personal data is an important priority for the DPC, and is one of the five strategic goals of our 2022-2027 Regulatory Strategy. The DPC has also published our ‘Fundamentals’ guidance on children’s data protection rights to help organisations provide the special protection required when they process children’s personal data. These guides are part of the DPC’s work to give effect to the goals stated those documents.

My child’s data protection rights – the basics
The above link outlines some of the issues that can arise when a parent seeks to exercise data protection rights on behalf of their child.

Children’s data and parental consent
The above link looks at the meaning of the ‘digital age of consent’ and outlines when parents’ consent may be needed for processing their child’s personal data, and how parents can approach those cases.

Protecting my child’s data
The above link is intended to help parents understand the rights that they have in relation to their children’s data and gives some useful advice on how to protect their children’s rights.

Finally: Are there any limits on my child’s data protection rights?
This above link shown outlines some important limits to how and when children’s data protection rights may be exercised, whether by children themselves or by parents on their behalf. It outlines some common situations where these can arise and suggests ways in which parents can address them.

The DPC hopes that these guides will be useful not just to parents and guardians, but also to educators and anyone interested in children’s safety and wellbeing online.

If you have any questions about anything you read in these guides, you can email or call the DPC and they will be happy to answer your questions. You can find more information about how to contact the DPC HERE.


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”.


Chief Executive Of Tipperary Co. Co. Breaks Silence To Respond To Thurles.Info.

In a reply, received from Mr Joe MacGrath (Chief Executive of Tipperary County Council), through his Secretary Ms Evelyn Harty, Mr MacGrath breaks a 3 year silence to discuss road craters on Thurles Roads.

Mr MacGrath has specifically requested that we publish his reply, now shown hereunder in full.
To refresh the memory of our readers, please read HERE, the blog which we published seven day ago, highlighting the current state of just about every road in Thurles town, and to which Mr MacGrath now replies.

But First It’s Competition Time:

Guess on what road surface this 15.24 centimeter (6 inch) deep crater exists in Thurles. Answers can be posted HERE.
A prize of a €20 Eason book token awaits the first person to identify the spot. Competition is open to all Tipperary Residents.

The reply sent by Mr MacGrath via his secretary Ms Evelyn Harty was composed on Tuesday April 18th at 10:02am, but did not arrive in my mailbox until yesterday morning April 19th.

Note: A copy of my initial email correspondence to Mr MacGrath HERE was carbon copied to Mr Eamon Lonergan, Ms Sharon Scully (Thurles M.D) and engineer Mr Thomas Duffy, by Mr MacGrath or an instructed staff member.

In accordance with Mr MacGrath’s wishes, please find his reply printed in full hereunder:

“Dear Mr. Willoughby,
Thanks for your email in relation to damage to roads at various locations in Thurles.
I have arranged to have these locations examined and can advise that:
The first photo is an Uisce Eireann excavation which is not the responsibility of Tipperary County Council.

The second photo is on the N75 bridge crossing in Thurles. TII has programmed works for this section of road which we expect will be undertaken by the end of May.
The third photo is Clongour which is on the 2023 works programme to get a full road reinstatement within the next month.

I note that you have published this matter on social media in advance of giving the Council an opportunity to respond, which is disappointing.
Please confirm that you will publish the full text of this response on the same social media outlets to ensure that a full, fair and balanced picture is conveyed to readers

Best regards,


In a reply sent today, we seek to thank Mr MacGrath for his reply and indeed we express our surprise at receiving such, since over the past 3 years; and despite forwarding a complaint to the Standards In Public Office Commission (SIPO), Mr MacGrath had failed to reply to information requests sent directly to him.
Complaints were also sent to SIPO regarding elected local councillors and their officials, but to no avail. Please see full details in relation to SIPO published on September 8th 2020, HERE and HERE.

Instructions sent by Corporate Services, at Tipperary Co. Council, in September 2020, regarding the then Code of Conduct by local Municipal District Councillors, their local officials, you Mr MacGrath and Mr Marcos O’Connor, in relation to the destruction of Thurles Heritage, namely “Great Famine Double Ditch”, were totally ignored; hence the need to publish “this matter on social media in advance of giving the Council an opportunity to respond” and which you describe as “disappointing”.

Your intending ‘chastising statement’, quote “I note that you have published this matter on social media in advance of giving the Council an opportunity to respond, which is disappointing”, is viewed by me personally as being gravely duplicitous, since you and your officials have refused to respond to any previous queries sent by me in the past.

In relation to all pictures in our report; Thurles.Info identified where the craters were to be found, in order to allow your engineers to quickly grab a shovel.
I should confirm that Picture No. I was not caused by operations undertaken by Irish Water, and was repaired on same day as was reported by us, (on April 13th, I am reliably informed on Facebook).
Irish Water or not; please look at the picture again while noting that Tipperary Council retains responsibility for Irish Water and queries continue to be accepted by the Water Services Section of the Council.
This initial pothole repair was undertaken by ‘Highway Maintenance’, before it ravelled yet again and was left for some 5 weeks, before local residents got fed-up driving around it.

The crater on Photo No. 2, at the Barry’s Bridge crossing, latter the main escape route out of Thurles when seeking employment, and which you expect to be fixed by the end of May next, was fixed two days ago, having existed since before Xmas.

The crater on Photo No. 3; one of a multitude of such on Clongour Road, caused by machinery which operated on the now sinking, newly built, Slievenamon Road area, (between Thurles Shopping Centre and Lidl); local residents are happy to note that same “will get a full road reinstatement within the next month”. However, based on my experience, we warn residents of that area about holding their breath.

We now invite Mr Joe MacGrath, when driving next to Nenagh District Office, “To Halt Awhile” here in Thurles and view the state of our current road structure.
We haven’t identified the area of the crater posed in the Competition Picture shown above, other than to state that same is on a roadway in Thurles. By failing to identify the positioning of same, it is hoped that those responsible for road maintenance in Thurles, may be stirred into action, thus winning our Eason book token.

Competition Clue: The crater in the picture above has existed since at least November of last Year (2022).
Same further confirms that Thurles residents get nothing in return for paying vehicle road tax and nothing for paying local property Tax (LPT), as successive governments continue to permit the ‘skinning’ of motorists through the purchasing of diesel, petrol, electricity and parking charges.


Visit To Thurles, Co. Tipperary, By Asenath Nicholson. [Part 2]

In a rare book, [edited with an introduction by Alfred Tresidder Sheppard, (London 1871-1947)], entitled “The Bible in Ireland” (Ireland’s welcome to the stranger or excursions through Ireland in 1844 and 1845 for the purpose of personally investigating the conditions of the poor), written by Asenath Nicholson; we learn of her visit to Thurles, Co. Tipperary and other nearby villages, including Gortnahoe, Urlingford, Cashel and Holycross.

See Part 1 of her story Here

Asenath Nicholson writes: “The celebrated estate of Kilcooley, (Gortnahoe, Thurles, Co. Tipperary) has descended by hereditary title, from the days of Cromwell, till it is now lodged in the hands of one who shares largely in the affections of all his tenants, especially the poor.

The wall surrounding his domain is said to be 3 miles in extent, including a park containing upwards of 300 deer and a wild spot for rabbits. A church and an ancient ivory covered Abbey, of the most venerable appearance, adorn part of it.
But the pleasure of walking over those delightful fields is enhanced by the knowledge that his tenants are made so happy by his kindness.
To every widow he gives a pension of £12 a year and to every person injuring himself in his employment, the same sum yearly, as long as the injury lasts.

His mother was all kindness, and her dying injunction to him was ‘to be good to the poor’. His house has been burnt*, leaving nothing but the spacious wings uninjured. An elegant library was lost.”

Note on ‘Burnt’ *. A huge accidental fire partly destroyed the property, causing it having to be reconstructed in the 1840s, during which the family occupied the old abbey. The interior today mostly dates from after that fire.

His mother, whom he ardently loved, was buried on the premises and his grief at her death was such that he left the domain for 12-months.
He supports a dispensary for the poor, who resort to it twice a week, and receives medicine from a physician who is paid some £60 a year for his attendance. I was introduced to the family of this physician, to see his daughter, who had been a resident in New York some 6 years, and hoped soon to return thither to her husband and child, still living there.
As I was seated a little son of 2 years old, and born in America stood near me. I asked his name. Yankee Doodle, ma’am was the prompt reply. This unexpected answer brought my country, with every national, as well as social feeling, to mind, and I classed the sweet boy in my arms.
Let not the reader laugh; he may yet be a stranger in a foreign land. This name the child gave himself, and insists upon retaining it. O! those dear little children! I hear their sweet voices still: ‘God bless ye, lady, welcome to our country,’ can never be forgotten.

While in this family, I attended the Protestant church on Mr Barker’s domain* and heard the curate read his prayers to a handful of parishioners, mostly youths and children. By the assistants of a rich uncle of his wife’s, he can ride to church in a splendid carriage, which makes him tower quite above his little flock. His salary is £75 per annum.”

[Note on ‘Mr Barker’s domain’ *. Prior to 1770 the Barkers may not have spent much time at Kilcooley and when they were present, they lived in the old abbey, which had been modified to serve as a private residence. Without any direct heir provided by the last Sir William Barker in 1818, and following his death, his estate was inherited by his nephew, Chambre Brabazon Ponsonby, on condition he adopted the surname, ‘Barker.’ He in turn passed away in 1834 and the Kilcooley estate then passed to his eldest son, William Ponsonby-Barker of whom Asenath Nicholson speaks.
Latter William referred, was himself an ardent Evangelical Christian and in the years prior to his death in 1877, he would habitually follow the example set by King David (c.1005–965 BCE), and Abishag, latter a native of the town of Shunem north of Mt. Gilboa in ancient Palestine, (See 1 Kings 1:1-4), originally brought to King David’s bed to “lie in his bosom”, chastely, to keep him warm as he neared death according to the Old Testament.
As stated, the ageing William Ponsonby-Barker would also take a young woman to bed with him, as a human hot water bottle. It is said that be choose from among the housemaids, who were lined up following evening prayers.
The story has been repeated down through the years, possibly repeated because on one occasion, the maid whom he selected, offended his sense of smell, so in the darkness he sprinkled her liberally from a bottle containing what he believed contained perfumed water. The following morning it was discovered that the bottle actually contained ink.]

Asenath Nicholson Continues: “Thurles, an ancient town in the County of Tipperary contains a good market house, fine chapel, college for Catholics, nunnery and charity school, with a Protestant church and Methodist chapel.
I took a ride of 3 miles to visit Holy Cross, (Thurles, Co. Tipperary). On our way we passed a splendid estate, now owned by a gentleman who came into possession suddenly by the death of the former owner from whom he acted as agent. Last Christmas they had been walking over the premises in company; on their return the owner met with a fall and was carried home to die in a few hours. It was found he had willed his great estate to his agent.
Holy Cross was the most vulnerable curiosity I had yet seen in all Ireland. We ascended the winding steps and looked forth upon the surrounding country, and the view told well for the taste of O’Brien, who reared this vast pile in 1076. (Today there are few remains of the original 12th/13th century church; only the north arcade of the nave and parts of the south aisle date from this time.)
The fort containing the chapel is built in the form of a cross. The architecture, the ornamental work, and the roofs of all the rooms, displayed skill and taste. We visited the apartments for the monks; the kitchen where their vegetable food was prepared, and the place where repose so many of their dead. Pieces of skulls and leg bones lay among the dust, which had lately been shoveled up and as I gathered a handful and gave them to an old woman, who acted as my guide, she said, ‘This cannot be helped. I pick ‘em up and hide ‘em, when I see ‘em, and that’s all can be done; people will bury here, and it’s been buried over for years, because you see ma’am, it’s the place of saints. People are brought many miles to be put here the priest from all parts have been buried here, and here is the place to wake them,’ showing a place where the coffin or rather body was placed in a fixture of curiously wrought stone.
The altars, though defaced, were not demolished; the basins cut out of the stone for the holy water were still entire; and though many a deformity had been made by breaking off pieces as sacred relics, enough remains to show the traveller what was the grandeur of the Romish Church in Ireland’s early history.

I stayed in Thurles with a Catholic family, and the husband endeavoured to induce me to become one church; but zeal was tempered with the greatest kindness.”

Over the coming days“Visit To Thurles Co. Tipperary By Asenath Nicholson. [Part 3],”