By Joan Pollard Carew
The “Tipperary Star” dated Thursday 8th September ran a feature article on its front page advising readers of yet another shopping centre for Thurles. Development of our town is close to my heart but not at the expense of the town centre.
This new facility will have 397 car parking spaces, no doubt free for customers of the centre. Surely this begs the question of shoppers, why would they shop in the town centre and pay for limited parking.
Traders in the town centre need to form a traders’ association to have a representative body arrange an urgent meeting with Thurles Town Council.
As traders and rate payers in the town centre it is imperative that we lobby for free parking for our customers. This would enable us to compete on a level playing field and give shoppers a fairer choice.
When parking charges were introduced we were told that the money earned was to be utilised for traffic management. I wish someone could point out that project to me. Apart from unnecessary traffic lights there is no visible traffic management that I can see.
Most retail business in our town centre is family run and employs local people. Most of these shops are in business for decades and in some cases are being operated by second and third generations.
It would be a very sad day to witness the demise of these family run businesses at a time when we should be encouraging people to cherish the old Thurles.
Regarding local employment for this new shopping centre, I would like to believe that locals would be employed, but anyone with any knowledge of such undertakings in Thurles can contest that statement.
Will our town centre be like the historic market house that once existed on Liberty Square, removed because someone in Thurles planning thought it was an eyesore? Yes folks history is often repeated but sadly no lessons are learned.