Landy calls for return of historic coins to County Museum

rick-on-Suir based Senator Denis Landy has asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan, to return the 81 historic coins after the initial inspection and investigation to the County Museum in Clonmel so that they can be housed there on an ongoing basis.

rick-on-Suir based Senator Denis Landy has asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan, to return the 81 historic coins after the initial inspection and investigation to the County Museum in Clonmel so that they can be housed there on an ongoing basis.

Speaking in the Upper House, he said the 81 coins dated back to the 17th century and were the most significant find since a previous find in 1947 in Laois. “They were found in Cooney’s pub, in the centre of the town, during renovations,” he said. “That pub was in the ownership of cousins of mine for almost 100 years before the current owners took it over.”

Senator Landy said the museum plays a significant role in the culture of South Tipperary. It currently houses Ireland’s first Olympic gold medal won by Tom Kiely from Ballyneal outside Carrick-on-Suir, the jersey worn on Bloody Sunday by Tom Hogan from Grangemockler, which is also outside Carrick-on-Suir, and all the memorabilia of Maurice Davin, also from Carrick-on-Suir, the first President of the Gaelic Athletic Association.

“It is only fitting that these medals be returned to the County Museum in Clonmel,” he added.

Healy condemns closure of five Tipperary Garda stations

The closure of five garda stations in County Tipperary, was criticised by Independent Deputy Seamus Healy in the Dáil. The station at Grangemockler has already been closed, he said and those at New Inn, Dundrum, Terryglass and Rearcross are being closed.

However, he said it must be remembered that it was Fianna Fáil who initiated the closure of Garda stations, started the reduction in Garda numbers and stopped the recruitment of trainees at Templemore training college. Speaking during a debate on a Fianna Fáil motion seeking the reversal of the closure of garda stations, he said it was “a case of the kettle calling the pot black”.

“During the 2011 election campaign, the parties that comprise the current Government said they would overturn all of that,” he said. “They gave commitments to support the Garda, ensure the Garda college reopened, begin a proper recruitment campaign and ensure the force was fully resourced. They have reneged on all of those commitments. They have taken over the policies that were pursued by Fianna Fáil and the Green Party in the last Government.”

The country has lost 1,200 gardaí in the last couple of years, he said. The number of personnel in the force has been reduced from 14,500 to 13,300.

“I call on the Minister to reopen the Garda Training College in Templemore immediately,” he said. “We have had no new recruits since 2009. No new gardaí have passed out since June 2011. Recruits need to be trained in Templemore if we are to fill the vacancies that are arising. During his speech, the Minister gave a clue when he spoke about the centralisation of Garda services, which is the nub of everything that is happening. We centralised medical cards and made a complete mess of it, then we centralised student grants and made a complete mess of that too. Such services, particularly Garda services, should be local and available to local communities.”

Tipperary South has suffered from political cronyism - McGrath

The constituency of Tipperary South, which includes part of wWst Waterford, has suffered because of political cronyism in this Government, Tipperary Independent Deputy Mattie McGrath told the Dáil.

Speaking on behalf of the Technical Group during Leaders’ questions, he said Fine Gael and its colleagues in the Labour Party promised us a new beginning and an era of greater transparency, honesty and integrity.

“It must have all washed down the Liffey in the recent floods, because what we are seeing now is the worst type of political cronyism,” he said. “We were all buying into the idea, as we were told by the last Government and the HSE, that the way forward was through the development of centres of excellence, one of which would be located at Waterford Regional Hospital. All the consultants and everybody down to the porters bought into this and were working towards that. We let services go, as did Kilkenny, Wexford and Clonmel in the case of South Tipperary General Hospital, so that we would have the centre of excellence in Waterford. We heard rumours before Christmas that there was a change of plan and that Kilkenny might align itself with Dublin. We received assurances from the Minister that this was not true. Thanks to our good journalists who made the enquiries under FOI, we found out that political cronyism was flying at its best. We never saw anything like it before.”

Deputy McGrath said the Ministers for the Environment and Local Government and Public Expenditure and Reform had contacted the Minister for Health and were pulling at the hems all the time.

“I know the two of them came to the Taoiseach’s rescue and saved his bacon two years ago but this is not fair to the people of the South-East or any other region who want patient care and not political slush funds in which the Government is involved in respect of the HSE and its funding with an eye to the next election because it knows its policies have failed in so many other areas, as was referred to recently in respect of the EU.”

In reply the Taoiseach said that would be “a good speech from the back of a trailer outside Clonmel”.

Clearly, he said there were different views in the South-East. It was an issue of concern from both the political and medical perspectives and relationships between various institutions and personnel all come into these discussions.

“I expect the Minister to be in a position to finalise that and the other groups around the country in the next four weeks.”