Main Street of Tipperary town
There is no point in looking for a bypass for Tipperary town in the short term, and Tipperary will not recover its old family run retailing shops, heard this month’s Tipperary Cashel Municipal District meeting.
That was the stark message from Pat Slattery, Director of Community and Economic Development at Tipperary Co. Council, to Councillors. Mr Slattery, a native of Tipp town, also warned Councillors that a planned protest march would not stem the decline of retailing, which could only be done through collective action from local groups, business people, and public representatives.
RTÉ Primetime recently broadcast from Tipp town, during a section highlighting the decline of the ‘high street’ in rural Ireland. RTE’s David McCullough interviewed Padraig Culbert of #march4tipp, Des Brasil of Brasil's Restaurant and Shane Kelly of Tipperary Town Chamber of Commerce.
“The march on October 20 is a critical opportunity to get political action to revive our town,” read a statement from organisers. “We need everyone on the street that day. That will be the first march, only the first action. There will probably need to be more. There will be challenges along the way, but we will prevail as a community together.”
Mr Slattery outlined what the Council and local agencies are doing for Tipperary. The town has changed significantly in the last 40 years, from market town to service centre, he said.
Tipp’s population in 1961 was 4,600 and in 1981 it was just under 5,000 people,and its current population remains the same.
It is not a dormitory town as 1,300 workers commute each day and over 2,000 jobs are located in Tipp town. Of the residents living there, a total of 39% work locally, 23% elsewhere, 16% commute and over 20% are considered ‘mobile’. Can we attract more mobile residents, asked Mr Slattery. 44% of Tipp town workers have third level education. Over 4,400 of local people work in Limerick, 1,200 work in Waterford.
In relation to the N24 bypass, long-term it’s “critical that the MD re-examine the town inner relief road to take traffic off Main Street,” and they should identify sites for executive style housing. “There’s a need to provide executive housing for commuters,” added Mr Slattery, “and protect amenities for those who will invest their future in the town.”
Full unedited story in this week's Tipperary Star, page 39