Deputy Michael Lowry has confirmed that Lidl Ireland have agreed contracts with the owner of the former Erin foods site for the purchase of a 2.5 acre section of this prime property.
Lidl group architects Clarman have completed extensive pre planning consultations with Tipperary County council and are currently in the process of lodging a formal planning application.
The proposed planning application will include the demolition and removal of all existing buildings along with clearance of the entire 8.5 acre site. Lidl intend constructing a modern new store of approx. 22,000 sq. ft with associated car parking to be serviced by means of a new entrance.
The project will take 2 years to complete and Lidl have committed where possible to use local material and trades suppliers.
The project will comprise 3 phases with:
Phase 1 of the project being the demolition of the existing buildings and full site clearance. This in itself is a very substantial contract requiring specialist contractors. It involves the removal of huge
quantities of asbestos. This is a hazardous waste. There are stringent regulations governing its removal and disposal. I have been assured by Lidl that this sensitive material will be handled in full compliance with International standards.
Phase 2 will involve the construction of a new site entrance. The site will be accessed by means of a proposed new roadway which will form the initial phase of the inner relief road for Thurles linking Slievenamon Road to the Mill Road. Also to be included as part of the development works are
significant improvements to the River walkway at the rear of the site.
Phase 3 is construction of the new state of the art retail store.
The Lidl decision to locate a new store on the Erin Foods site enables the entire site to be redeveloped. The very substantial investment by Lidl in their new store including infrastructure such as roadways, car parking, water, waste water, power supply and high end IT capability makes the
remainder of the site extremely attractive to other potential investors. It creates an exciting opportunity to revitalise a prime site which has been dormant for years.
Deputy Lowry has stated that he has already been in contact with the IDA and Enterprise Ireland to highlight the enormous potential and attractiveness of the remaining 6 acres to companies in need of a fully serviced site.
When the Lidl contract is complete it is the intention of the owner of the remainder of this landmark site to make it publically available and marketed as an ideal location for office accommodation / research and development facility or manufacturing base. This site will once again be a centre of economic activity and in due course create significant job opportunities.
Independent Deputy Michael Lowry has confirmed that EU Commissioner Phil Hogan will today formally announce the sanction and funding for a revolutionary bio-economy research project led by Glanbia Ireland. This exciting development will be based at the former Lisheen Mine Site which has been designated as a green energy hub.
This project has huge prospects for fulltime employment and it is conservatively estimated that it has the potential to create 300 permanent jobs. The initial site preparation and construction phase of the development will employ both directly and indirectly up to 160 people.
The project will involve the development of a new bio-refinery and will use technology which has been developed by Glanbia Ireland. When completed the bio-refinery will help in tackling the current environmental crisis created by waste plastic across the Country and the World.
“I am pleased to have made my contribution to ensure that this key development would be located at the former Lisheen Mine Site and I compliment all the agencies involved in the partnership which will deliver this significant bio-refinery project.”
“I wish to thank Commissioner Phil Hogan and Minister Heather Humphreys for their support, cooperation and assistance throughout this complex and lengthy process.”
Deputy Lowry Welcomes a New Garda Station for Clonmel with interim improvements sanctioned for the exciting station on Emmet Street.
Deputy Michael Lowry has confirmed that the contracts for the new Garda Station in Clonmel which will be located at Kickham Barracks will be signed in the coming weeks and the OPW has now allocated funding for the project.
Speaking on Monday morning after the announcement Deputy Lowry stated: “I recently arranged a meeting between representatives of The Garda Representative Association (GRA) with Minister Kevin Moran who has responsibility for the Office of Public Works and Flood Relief. At that
meeting the Garda Body outlined their frustration and anger at having to work in the exciting station in Clonmel under deplorable conditions. I am pleased to confirm that arising from this meeting and discussions it has now been agreed that interim works will be carried out on the exciting Garda Station in Clonmel.
These interim works involve the complete replacement and insulation of proper toilet and hygiene facilities. The replacement of the archaic holding cells with modernised units. To alleviate personnel congestion and overcrowding in the station, approval has also been given to lease additional administrative office space in the building adjacent to the current station.
It is necessary to carry out these interim works because after contacts are signed before the end of February the new building will take approximately two years to construct and fit out. It would be unreasonable to expect Gardai to continue working during the building period in a substandard building which has so many obvious defects.
Deputy Lowry concluded: “I am delighted to have worked with the GRA and Minister Moran to make the breakthrough on what is a prolonged and frustrating issue.”
Tremendous news for South Tipperary General Hospital following confirmation from Deputy Michael Lowry that the Hospital is included in the Capital Investment Plan. The Hospital is now earmarked for a substantial €50 Million infrastructural investment plan.
Deputy Michael Lowry has today confirmed what he called the biggest ever investment in a Tipperary Health Care project:
“This is ground-breaking fantastic news for South Tipperary General Hospital. I’m absolutely delighted for the Management and Staff of the Hospital and for the people of Tipperary. Since the last general election when North and South Tipperary were combined into one constituency, I made
a promise to the people of Tipperary that the investment and development of South Tipperary General Hospital was my number one priority. Originally I made the case for the much need 12 bed overflow unit to be funded and I am pleased that this is now open and in operation. Next was the provision of a 40 bed modular unit to alleviate the chronic overcrowding at the Hospital, I can confirm that the modular unit has now been designed, the preferred contractor has now been chosen and contracts are ready to be signed, funding of €16m is in place and the order for supply is ready to be placed. It is intended to have this state of the art unit functional for November 2018.”
Deputy Lowry continued:
“Over the past year I have personally made a strong case that South Tipperary General Hospital needed to be included in the Capital Investment Plan. I had extensive on going discussions with Hospital Management, Ministers Simon Harris, Paschal Donohoe and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, I am
thrilled to confirm that our efforts have been met with resounding success. The Hospital is one of the priority projects in the plan which will be initiated and concluded. I can also confirm that as part of the Capital Investment Plan for South Tipperary General Hospital the Hospital will receive €3.2m for the provision of a new Outpatient Clinic. I can also confirm that under the Capital Plan design work will be advanced for the construction of a new 50 bed unit with estimated costs of over €24
million. Overall the total investment in South Tipperary General Hospital in the short term will be a minimum of €50m.”
Deputy Lowry concluded:
“The staff and everyone involved at the Hospital in Clonmel have shown remarkable patience and resilience. They have kept the Hospital going during very difficult times and circumstances. We are now witnessing an amazing turnaround in the fortunes of South Tipperary General Hospital. It was only a short time ago since the Hospital was listed for downgrading, we have now turned the corner and there is fantastic confidence in the Hospitals future and a good atmosphere prevailing. There is
huge credit due to the Management and Staff and I am delighted that after years of being ignored and neglected South Tipperary General Hospital is now the focus of attention by the HSE, by the Department of Health and the Government I’m pleased that the multi million euro investment that
was required is now available.”
Welcoming today’s announcement Professor Paud O’Regan affirmed:
“This is one of the most important days in the history of the health services in Tipperary and certainly the most important in the history of South Tipperary General Hospital. The announcement of the much-needed development on the hospital campus with some of it being in place before the end of this year and then with the immediate development of a new 50 bed unit is magnificent news for us the staff of the hospital and for all the people of the County who are served by the hospital.
When completed it will provide a wonderful facility, with greatly improved standards of work in the Hospital. I would also like to express my personal gratitude to Deputy Michael Lowry for advancing the project from what was a standstill to what is now at a very advanced stage of development,
everyone is extremely grateful for all the work he has done.”
Professor Peter Murchan, Consultant and General Colorectal Surgeon also warmly welcome today’s news:
“The announcement today that South Tipperary General Hospital is to be included as part of the National Development Programme, can only be described as a ‘game changer’ development for health services in the county. The multi-million funding which will finally secure the future of our hospital, which for years has struggled under the weight of both gross underinvestment and inadequate financial budgeting which resulted in future concerns over its actual viability. The excellent management teams of this hospital and the South\Southwest regional group however have been planning a new 50 bed (minimum) multiple ward block to include vital units such as new Coronary care unit, High Dependency Unit, an additional surgical day- ward, among many other developments. Accident & Emergency, General Surgical, Maternity, Gynaecological, Paediatric, Oncology, Acute Medicine and in particular medicine for the elderly services will now be enhanced
significantly as a direct result of this major capital building programme which was always needed but until recently, was completely stalled. It is also envisaged that the building programme will also allow development of additional services not currently available in the hospital.
It has been apparent to everybody in the county, that hospital bed capacity and therefore service delivery, has been seriously hampered particularly in past 5 years such is the demand for services. The local & regional management teams have recently delivered a new 12- Bay overflow ward to
help alleviate casualty and more recently a 40 bed ‘modular’ unit on which, construction work will commence shortly and will have this project delivered within next 12 months, possibly earlier.
In May 2016, Professor Paud O’Regan and I, on behalf of the medical board in the hospital, approached Deputy Michael Lowry to assist us in negotiating with the relevant Ministers in the current Government to commit the necessary funding to ensure this urgent expansion to help alleviate the massive overcrowding of our busy unit in the short term. Through his direct
involvement we were able to secure the necessary ministerial approval for funding for the modular unit but more importantly then helped us hugely to navigate the plans for funding of this Phase II development, directly to Government. There are many people to thank for this development but I
am extremely thankful for Deputy Lowry’s massive input with this major project because without his intercession, I do not believe that this approval would have happened”
Maria Barry General Manager of South Tipperary General Hospital:
“I absolutely welcome this news in relation to the Capital Investment Plan and the future development of South Tipperary General Hospital and the effort put into this, it will most definitely advance the service we can deliver to our patents and staff alike.”
Deputy Michael Lowry has today confirmed that a tender has been accepted and funding sanctioned for Templemore Flood Relief Scheme. This is a very significant and welcome project which will eliminate future flooding and give an economic boost to the local economy during its construction phase.
The flooding incidents over many years in Templemore led to financial loss, personal hardship and inconvenience. The people who endured that trauma live in fear and trepidation of a reoccurrence. Since this Government was formed I have been in regular contact with the relevant authorities insisting that this project be given priority. After many years of slow progress and sporadic movement with a number of false dawns I am delighted that we now have clarity and certainty.
The overall cost of the project including design fees, construction, property compensation, and environmental mitigation measures is €10.2 million.
The Scheme was formally submitted for Confirmation to the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in August 2016.
The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe has now formally confirmed the Scheme. The Minister with responsibility for the OPW Sean Canney T.D., has confirmed to me that works will commence early June with an estimated 2 year completion period. A property on Church Avenue, Templemore has been purchased for use as site office and project management.
Deputy Lowry stated the town of Templemore which lies on the River Mall has a long history of severe flooding. Flood events with enormous consequences for homes and businesses have occurred in December 1968, November 2000, October 2004, February 2014 and December 2015 .
In 2006 the Office of Public Works (OPW) was requested by North Tipperary County Council to address the flooding problem in Templemore, which resulted in the Design Section of OPW undertaking a pre-feasibility study involving a preliminary investigation of the problem which showed that a flood relief scheme was technically possibly and economically viable. A full feasibility study was then undertaken and the outline design of a scheme was completed.
This scheme was initially exhibited in February 2009, following which progression of the scheme was put on hold. Consideration was then given to a design option for an alternative route for the diversion channel which would necessitate the purchase and demolition of a garage premises which housed an on-going business. This option emerged after the exhibition had taken place. When it became apparent that the new business owner was open to negotiations, the scheme design was amended to reflect a route through the property, utilising an open channel as opposed to the originally proposed culverts. The route alteration through this business was considered to be environmentally, economically, and technically superior to the originally exhibited route.
Discussions have taken place with the new owner of the property who has indicated full awareness of the requirements of the scheme and a willingness to deal reasonably with the OPW in facilitating the works.
A further refinement of the scheme involved removal of a portion of works north of Blackcastle Road which will now be undertaken by Tipperary County Council with funding on application provided by OPW under Minor Flood Mitigation Works and Coastal Protection Scheme.
The final approved scheme will now consist of:
A 70m-long inlet channel starting in the Mall River just downstream of Abbey Cottage.
A new outflow from the lake to run under Blackcastle Road to the inlet channel.
A defence line north of the town with Debris and Gravel Traps.
River relocation consisting of a channel diversion by constructing a new 750m long channel (with a 7.5m base-width) that begins in Short’s field and finishes 230m downstream of Small’s Bridge. As this new channel will operate all the time, its environmental needs are different to those of a traditional diversion, so in order to aid fish movement a thalweg (fish channel) will be incorporated, and there are no long culverts, unlike the proposals exhibited in 2009.
77 residential and 27 non-residential properties and the local road infrastructure in the town will be protected by the scheme.
An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) has been prepared which covers the environmental and social issues linked to the flood alleviation scheme and suitable mitigation measures have been suggested. These will be implemented during construction in order to minimise the short and long term environmental impacts. In addition to benefiting the community the scheme also provides an enhanced environment for local flora and fauna. No significant loss of habitat will result from the Scheme. Construction will be planned and executed carefully, ensuring minimal damage to the environment and minimal nuisance during the construction works.
Dr. Martin O’Grady, one of the country’s leading fisheries mitigation experts was engaged by OPW to liaise with Inland Fisheries Ireland, and has come up with mutually acceptable mitigation and enhancement measures for the proposed new channel.
INDEPENDENT TD MICHAEL Lowry has topped the poll in Tipperary and won a seat on the first count.
This is Lowry’s eighth general election – his fifth as an independent candidate. Earlier this evening he told Pat Kenny on Newstalk that Tipperary “has had a love for me for over 28 years now”. He took
13,064 first preferences, exceeding the quota of 12,992.
“I did what Kilkenny couldn’t do – five in a row.”
Michael Lowry has now topped the poll in all five Dáil elections since 1997. His vote share has fallen from its peak of 2011, when he took 29.2% of first preferences, but his long record as one of the biggest vote-getters in the country is even more impressive this year, in the expanded Tipperary constituency.
He has a 100% record, being elected to the Dáil on every attempt since 1987, and has been a TD for the last 29 years.
Independent Mattie McGrath followed in second place – he has yet to take a seat but is close to the quota, with 11,237 first preferences.
Stirring the pot ahead of the first count results, Lowry earlier told RTÉ Radio 1 that Fine Gael’s Noel Coonan had been calling locally for transfers to Fianna Fáil’s Micheál Smith.
“I heard it with my own ears and I can’t believe it didn’t meet national publicity.”
When asked about the possibility of going into government with Enda Kenny he said:
“It was always irrelevant, I was amused at the amount of publicity it got, I predicted it would be irrelevant, other politicians were using me for their own purposes.”
“It’s been a very bad election for the government, Fine Gael made a major mistake in their strategy, they said they were a safe hand on the economy, but then in week one they went with auction politics and lost all credibility.”
Michael Lowry Independent TD announces that two new surgical suites for Nenagh General Hospital are now nearing the final stages and are due to be approved by the Department of Health in the coming weeks.
“As part of my agreed overall plan with the last Government in respect of Nenagh Hospital we are now ready for the Department of Health to sign off on the two new surgical suites for the hospital. I insisted that these operating theatres were essential for the future of the Hospital as the suites in place are antiquated and lacking in modern technologies. As a result this project was included in the HSE National Plan. During her visit to the hospital in November of 2010 to open the endoscopy suite, Mary Harney, the Minister of Health at the time announced that the two surgical suites could proceed to design and planning at an estimated cost at €3.5 million.
Since then the surgical suites have been progressed to the final stage. All consultations have taken place, theatre designs have been completed and tenders for the works have been accepted. We are now awaiting Departmental approval to allow the construction works to commence. A decision to
proceed to construction is expected in the coming weeks.
These new operating theatres will be a further boost for Nenagh Hospital and will again further its development as a centre of excellence for healthcare in the Mid-West. I believe that these units will again advance the case of the hospital and secure its future as it continues to grow and expand.
The large investment package for Nenagh General Hospital which I advanced in return for supporting the last Government has been of huge benefit to the Hospital. As the benefit of this investment becomes evident, the future of the Hospital is secure based on the huge success of these facilitates,
in particular the state of the art endoscopy suite that was developed on site. This top class facility and the other substantial interventions and investment in Nenagh Hospital have greatly increased the throughput of the Hospital.
During the period of the last Government I secured in excess of €4 million in funding for Nenagh General Hospital. The progression of the surgical suites to the final stage marks the culmination of this investment, the benefits of which are now being reaped by the Hospital and the community.
During that Government I fought for and secured a large investment package for Nenagh General Hospital which was essential to upgrade the services available there. This investment included over €2 million for a state of the art endoscopy suite, a new sterile services department, two new lifts.
All of these facilities have become fully operational with huge success.
The construction of a two-room endoscopy suite attached to the hospital was announced by myself in 2009. This project has facilitated the development of endoscopy services on site which has enhanced the delivery of gastroenterological diagnostics at the hospital and for the region. The
completion of the endoscopy suite has set Nenagh apart as an expert facility.
After speaking to Management of the HSE Mid-West, I have been informed that the new services and in particular the endoscopy suite have been of huge benefit in furthering the development and growth of Nenagh Hospital. In the past year the throughput at Nenagh Hospital and those availing of its services has increased by 40%. This is as a direct result of the endoscopy suite which greatly increases patient numbers through the hospital. The success of this suite and the improved services in the hospital have now secured the future of the hospital based on the activity created. I would like to commend the management and staff of the hospital for their hard work and determination. The efficient management and operating of these new facilities is an essential factor in their success and is a tribute to their professionalism.”