2021 Weekly News

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2021 Weekly News2021-07-31T00:33:04+03:00

Project Description

30th July

Birdhillgate
Following the publication of the 1960’s photograph of Buckley’s house and gates in our email of 2 weeks ago, there were a number of enquiries about what became of the gates. We can reveal that the gates were removed by the County Council during works on the realignment of the junction for Newport in the late 1980’s. They are now hanging at the entrance to Cuan Mhuire behind the Church in Silvermines Village. (See accompanying picture).  Birdhill’s loss, Silvermines gain!
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SDG 17:  Partnerships for the Goals

Sustainable Development Goal 17 refers to the need for cross sector and cross country collaboration in pursuit of all the goals by the year 2030.  It is a vision for improved and more equitable trade, as well as coordinated investment initiatives to promote sustainable development across borders.  The Global Goals can only be met if we work together. To build a better world, we need to be supportive, empathetic, inventive, passionate and above all cooperative. We could start by practising teamwork at home and sharing activities among family members.  Act Local – Think Global.
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Art Exhibition
The Art Exhibition in the Pollaghs has aroused great interest, with many people coming back for a second and third look. Don’t forget to vote for your favourite painting by logging into    https://www.facebook.com/birdhillarthub/
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Arts Office Newsletter
Click here to see copy of Tipperary County Council’s Arts Office Newsletter for July.
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23rd July

SDG 16:  Peace, Justice & Strong Institutions

Sustainable Development Goal 16 calls for strong institutions, global standards of justice, and a commitment to peace everywhere.   It emphasises that all forms of violence should be eliminated. This potentially includes criminality or the least visible forms of all, violence against children, which also has severe consequences for the future of societies.
Some things that we can do:  Demonstrate a peaceful environment at home;  Use your vote and participate in decision-making processes; Be respectful and peaceful when standing up for what you believe in.  Act Local – Think Global.
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Nature Tip
Don’t forget the little creatures in our gardens during the hot, dry weather.  Fill a shallow container with water for the birds to drink and bathe.  Birds and tree-dwelling animals will appreciate water hung at various levels.  You could nail a plastic tub to a fence or hang a modified water bottle in a tree. Provide a dish filled with pebbles and water as a bee watering station – keep the water line below the stones so that the bees have landing spots.   Be sure to top-up or change the water regularly.
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Water Safety
Recent tragic events on our waterways emphasise the importance of being aware of the potential dangers of water-associated activities. 
Cold Water Immersion Shock:  When cold water makes contact with our skin, the cold shock response can cause an immediate loss of breathing, possible dizziness and panic. This dramatically increases the risk of sudden drowning even if the water is calm and you know how to swim.  For those who survive this, but are unable to get out of the water, progressive body cooling leads to hypothermia and muscle-cooling, making swimming more difficult or impossible.  Children cool even faster than adults.  If you fall into cold water, avoid swimming, stay calm and relax. Float or tread water and get as much of your body out of the water as possible. 
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Tidy Towns Newsletter
Click here to see attached National Tidy Towns newsletter for July.

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16th July

Art Exhibition
The Art Exhibition is now open for viewing in the Pollaghs. 50 works of art (and they are works of art in every sense of that term) are now hanging and ready to be admired by locals and visitors. Well done to Melissa Ryan for her tireless work in seeing this wonderful project to fruition. The exhibition can be visited at any time and details of the artists are attached to all works. But if you wish to get further information, local personnel will be in attendance at 3pm at the entrance to the Pollaghs on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
 

SDG 15:  Life On Land
Sustainable Development Goal 15 asks us to protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss. Almost 75% of the world’s poor are affected directly by land degradation.   Forests are home to more than 80% of all terrestrial species of animals, plants and insects.  We can help by developing wildlife areas in our gardens,  eating food which is in season, recycling used paper or going paperless where possible, implementing pollinator-friendly actions, etc.  Act Local – Think Global.

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Another Link Gone
We sympathise with the Buckley family of Kilmastulla on the recent death of Tess Buckley. Her passing removes a nostalgic link with Birdhill Village of a bygone era. John and Teresa Buckley ran a garden nursery where Birdhill Community Park is now located. Their house had originally been a gate lodge to the Twiss Mansion.  Previous occupiers of the lodge included Tom Thorne, Mrs Waters, Madden Family, Michael Teefy and a number of Gardai. Buckleys had extensive glasshouses on the site and were renowned for their tomatoes.  They  moved to Kilmastulla in the early 1970’s and continued the successful nursery business. John Buckley passed away in 2014 but his legacy will always be with us in 2 hybrid birch trees which he bred and patented, ‘White Light’ and ‘Birdhill Beauty’ – many samples of these stand out in the Village and on the main road towards the Church, with their white bark a notable feature. Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern planted one of John Buckley’s trees in the Park on a visit in 2006.
The attached photos show Buckley’s house in the 1960’s and a view from the house towards the impressive gates at the entrance, with the Pollaghs in the background, long before trees took the place of the trams of hay.

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10th July

Train Services
Did you know that 2021 is the European Year of Rail?  This is a European Commission initiative to highlight the benefits of rail as a sustainable, smart and safe means of transport. We are fortunate to have rail services on our doorstep in Birdhill. Maybe it’s something to which we could give some consideration and make a conscious effort to avail of the service. Irish Rail have advised that, following recent work on upgrading the line, the normal timetable now operates as follows:
Birdhill to Limerick Mon to Sat:  8.11, 11.38, 20.34;  Sun only 21.11.

Birdhill to Dublin Mon to Sat:  6.58, 17.24;  Sun only 17.49.

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Pollagh Eco Trail
Many of us regularly use the Pollagh Road to take our exercise routine in a haven of tranquility, peace and quiet.  Have you logged in to Terry’s Eco Trail recently to add to your enjoyment of the route?  Use your mobile phone to scan the QR Codes at the 6 stations along the route to access information on numerous aspects of the area. Listen to the audio commentaries which are witty and engaging. Read the details on many elements of the local flora and fauna.  You also have a second trail (Nature Trail with 15 markers) which can be followed using the leaflets available in the box at the entrance to the Pollaghs or in the Information Hub in the village.
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Art Exhibition
Just a week to go to the Open Air Art Exhibition in the Pollaghs!  All the exhibits are in and being prepared for hanging. There will be some amazing talent on display from 16th July until 15th August, including professional and emerging artists, adults, children and school groups. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to study the 50 entrants. For a sneak preview of some of the works, check out https://www.facebook.com/birdhillarthub/
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SDG 14:  Life Below Water
Sustainable Development Goal 14 seeks the prevention of water pollution throughout the world.   The oceans are our planet’s largest eco system. Over 3 billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihood. Much of the pollution of our countryside ends up in the oceans. We can play our part by not polluting our waterways, conserving water in our homes and using fewer plastic products which often end up harming ocean life, .

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2nd July

Make the Leave No Trace PledgeLeave No Trace Ireland seeks your support in making a promise to protect our wonderful environment. Click on the following link: https://www.leavenotraceireland.org/love-this-place-leave-no-trace/pledge/.   Enter your name and download the ‘LeaveNoTracePledge’ to your phone or laptop and share on social media.  By making the pledge you are making a conscious effort to adopt these principles in your life:  Keep Ireland Clean;  Respect signage; Consider your impact; Be a responsible dog owner.
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SDG 13:  Climate Action
Sustainable Development Goal 13 calls on us to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.  We can all do some simple things:  Avoid single-use plastic; Plant more trees; Take reusable bags to the shops and buy only what you need;  Maintain your car – it will let out less toxic fumes;  Make your home more energy efficient.  Act Local – Think Global.
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Directory of Services
Further to publication of the Birdhill Directory of Services last week, click here to see updated and amended version.
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Thanks to our Sponsors
We express our grateful thanks to Irish Cement Ltd and Ward & Ward Haulage, who were not included in the recent list of contributors to our fundraising efforts, for their generous sponsorship.

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25th June

Local Services Directory
Click here to see our newly-published Directory of Services with details of some of the many services available in our community. The list is not complete and can be added to at any time as it is an online publication.  Our thanks to Marion O’Brien, chairperson of our Sustainability sub-committee, for her work in compiling the list. Any other members of the community wishing to be included should contact Marion, any member of Birdhill Tidy Towns Committee, or reply to this email. We ask you to support our local service providers.
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Tipperary Repair & Reuse Directory
Birdhill is not the only one producing directories!  Environment and Climate Action Tipperary have recently compiled a Repair & Reuse Directory for all service providers that offer repair and reuse services as part of their business. Click here to see copy.   This is part of a waste prevention initiative in an effort to encourage people to repair or reuse items rather than throw them away.  It is hoped that this prevention initiative will raise awareness about the economic and environmental benefits of reusing everyday items and materials that would otherwise go to waste.  Repair & Reuse Directory is available at www.tipperarycoco.ie
To celebrate this launch, Environment and Climate Action are running an upcycle challenge in which people are challenged to use their imagination and create something new out of something old to breathe new life into an old or unwanted item or material.  So, if you can find something old and renovate it or turn it into something completely different but still reusable, then we want to see it!! Whether it’s painting an old piece of furniture, decorating a wine bottle to use as a candlestick holder – (the sky’s the limit, Folks), whatever, it is, we want to see it given a second life. Great prizes guaranteed.
Competition closes 30th July, 2021 and winners will be announced on Friday, 13th August, 2021.
For further details: https://www.tipperarycoco.ie/forms/cycling-challenge-repair-directory-environment
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Let’s act responsibly
This weekend, let’s all do our bit to protect the environment and make our Outdoor Summer a pleasant experience for everyone. Please bin your waste or bring it home.
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Arts Office Newsletter
Click here to see copy of Tipperary County Council’s Arts Office Newsletter for June. It features our forthcoming Open Air Art Exhibition on the Pollagh Trail.
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SDG 12:  Sustainable Consumption & Production
Sustainable Development Goal 12 is about doing more and better with less. Sustainable Consumption and Production has been defined as “the use of services and related products, which respond to basic needs and bring a better quality of life while minimising the use of natural resources and toxic materials as well as the emissions of waste and pollutants ”  It deals with various important problems like efficient waste management, energy consumption and promotes sustainable lifestyle habits, sustainable tourism, and scientific and technological advances in developing countries. What can we do?  Stop Food Waste;  Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repair and most importantly Rethink;  Donate any clothes you are not using to charity;  Eat and shop locally and support associations connected to fair trade, etc.  Act Local – Think Global.

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16th June

Flowers for Sale
We have a small amount of Petunias, Marigolds, Verbenas, Lobelia and Alyssum available for sale @ 50c per flower. Ring Denis (087-9355750) if interested.
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Consultation on Outdoor Recreation
The Department of Rural & Community Development’s public consultation on the National Strategy on Outdoor Recreation is open for submissions until the 23rd June. Have your say on the future of outdoor recreation here https://bit.ly/3gbIEP5
 
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SDG 11:  Sustainable Cities and Communities

Sustainable Development Goal 11 seeks to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.  25% of the world’s population live in slums. Over 3.5 billion people in the world live in cities. Over 90% of Covid-19 cases are in urban areas. These growing numbers place pressure on health services, fresh water supplies and infrastructure.  The goal is to renew and plan human settlements in a way that offers opportunities to all, with access to basic services, energy, housing, transportation and green public spaces, while reducing resource use and environmental impact.  We can all help develop a strong sustainable community by protecting our natural heritage and environment, managing waste efficiently and nurturing inclusivity for all.  Act Local – Think Global.
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Tidy Towns Newsletter
Click here to see the National Tidy Towns Newsletter for June.

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11th June

Summer Flowers
Monday 14th is our annual planting evening, when we sow summer annuals in the beds and containers around the village. Help would be appreciated. If you can drop by for an hour, anytime from 7.00pm onwards, it would be great. Many hands make light work. Every effort will be made to implement appropriate distancing.
We may have a small amount of flowers (marigold, verbena, lobelia and alyssum) available for sale after Monday night.
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Thanks to local businesses
Our recent fundraising campaign for improvements in Birdhill Community Park received great support from local businesses. We sincerely thank them for rallying to our aid, despite the many difficulties of the past year. We gratefully acknowledge the support of the following businesses:  The Old Barracks Coffee Roastery, Matt The Threshers, Larkin’s Gala, O’Donovan Marquees, Donal Ward, John Rice, Fitzgerald Plant Hire, McHales Machinery, Lyncare, Mulcair Credit Union, Poole Plumbing & Heating, The Workshop Fitness Studio, Vision Signs, GGL Security (John Delaney), Joe Shanahan, A Dog’s Life, Kilmastulla Stained Glass Studio, Newport Community Online Bingo.
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SDG 10:  Reduced Inequalities
Sustainable Development Goal 10 calls for reducing inequalities in income as well as those based on age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status in all countries. The major examples of social inequality include income gap, gender inequality, health care, and social class. We are all asked to consider how we deal with social inclusion in our activities.  Do we treat everyone equally?  Have we preconceived ideas on who we befriend?  We can all work to make sure that services and opportunities are equally available to all in our community.  Act Local – Think Global
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Available for Work
Secondary School student available for summer work. Contact Conor at 085-8634237
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Healthy Age Friendly Homes Programme
The Healthy Age Friendly Homes Programme is a new initiative that aims to enable older people to continue living in their homes or in a home more suited to their needs, live with a sense of independence and autonomy, be and feel part of their community, and support the avoidance of early or premature admission to long term residential care. Over the next two years, it is anticipated that 4,500 older people will benefit from the support of this programme.
This new programme will be jointly led across 9 Local Authority areas, Cork County Council, Dublin City Council, Fingal County Council, Galway County & City Council, Limerick City & County Council, Longford County Council, South Dublin County Council, Tipperary County Council, Westmeath County Council.
Age Friendly Ireland and the Tipperary Healthy Age Friendly Homes, Aoife Dunphy invite interested persons to participate in a virtual Stakeholder Engagement session on Thursday 17th June from 9.30 to 11.00am. An overview of the National Healthy Age Friendly Homes Programme will be included. This engagement is a key part of the effort to inform, enhance dialogue and build relationships with all stakeholders in the roll out of this new and innovative Programme.  REGISTER HERE to take part. 

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4th June

Park Reopening

Birdhill Community Park will reopen on Monday 7th June. The work took longer than anticipated and we apologise for the delay. The fundraising campaign in support of the work was very successful and we extend sincere thanks to the many people who contributed through the GoFundMe page or by private donations. We acknowledge in a special way the generous contribution of the Lynch family, in memory of Terry who spent so much time in the Park until her untimely passing. Her work, her ideas and her gentle urgings have helped make the Park the wonderful recreational, environmental and educational amenity that it is today. Her input and her knowledge is greatly missed, but her legacy will long be with us. Indeed, we remember the many people who have contributed to the development of an important community amenity since it opened in 2003.
The GoFundMe page will remain open until 13th June for anyone still wishing to contribute.
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Park Rules
In the interests of the safety of all users of the Park, the following rules will be implemented:
  • Bicycles, scooters, roller skates or skate boards are not allowed in the Park.
  • No climbing trees
  • Do not throw anything into the pond
  • Dogs must be kept on a lead. Owners should clean up after their dog.
  • Litter should be taken home.  There is a bin provided in the Park, but someone has to empty it.
  • All people visiting the Park are responsible for their own safety and for the safety of those in their care.
We seek the cooperation of parents in ensuring that the above rules are adhered to.
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SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
Sustainable Development Goal 9 aims to build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation. We can help by shopping local, supporting local markets and co-ops and helping to build developing countries. Act Local – Think Global.
Summer Flowers 2021
Our flowers are much later this year than heretofore. We hope to be able to sow our summer annuals around the village on Monday 14th June. Help would be appreciated, commencing at 7pm.
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Messages from Fr O’Keeffe
  • Update On Works At Birdhill Church
    Works have now been completed, and the total cost of these works is 19,631.90. This cost covers the cleaning, plumbing and heating, painting, new floor coverings and hire of scaffolding and hoist. The donations to the Birdhill Church Fund, to help pay for these works, currently amounts to €3,950.00. On behalf of Fr Delaney and myself, we thank you for your donations to this fund. The fund is still open and, needless to say, all further  donations will be gratefully welcomed.  Please mark your envelope Birdhill church fund, and if paying by cheque, please make it payable to  NewportParochial No. 1 A/C, as with all all cheques for the parish.
  • Sacristan Retiring
    Anne Sheridan is retiring  at the end of this year from her role as Sacristan at Birdhill Church, a position she has  undertaken for the last twenty years. On behalf of all the people of the Birdhill Community, I wish Anne all the very best in her retirement, and thank her for all the work she did during those years. The task in hand now is to hopefully find Anne’s successor(s) for a role that is vital for the running of Birdhill Church. Any persons who have an expression of interest in this position are asked to contact Fr O’Keeffe by the end of June to discuss this matter further.

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29th May

3 Steps for a Better Birdhill
All members of the community have a role to play in creating an attractive environment in Birdhill. You could help by considering the follow simple steps:

  • Remember the word ‘Plogging’ we introduced to you a while back – a combination of jogging/walking and picking litter. Could you bring a bag with you and pick some of the unsightly litter you find on the roadside while out for a walk?  Or maybe you might get involved in a rota for the regular collection of litter in your area!
  • Nurture and preserve wildlife and their habitats around your home.
  • Lay out a schedule for regular maintenance work required around your house, frontage and roadside boundaries.
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Is Tidy Towns all about ‘Tidiness’?
It depends on your definition of tidiness. To many people, tidy simply means ‘clean’, in which case it would be wrong to describe TidyTowns as dealing purely with cleanliness. However, tidy also means ‘well-ordered’, ‘considerable’ and ‘substantial’, which are far more relevant descriptions. TidyTowns is fundamentally about doing things properly – good planning, well maintained buildings and public spaces, appropriate landscaping and respect for natural amenities. It is also important to remember biodiversity, clean and uncluttered thoroughfares and, most importantly, community engagement. In order to reach the highest standards under the TidyTowns programme, a deeper understanding and engagement with the needs of an area is required rather than just good presentation. Securing community involvement and adopting a strategic and systematic approach to all activities are as important as the standard of presentation to ensure improvements are long-term and sustainable. Like most things, concepts of best practice evolve over time as we learn more about the world we live in and the consequences of our actions.  TidyTowns has seen these concepts change over the years and has adapted accordingly. So ideas from, say 20 years ago, would not necessarily be reflected in TidyTowns today (From the Tidy Towns Handbook – https://www.tidytowns.ie/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/TidyTowns-Handbook.pdf).
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Tidy Towns Newsletter
Click here to read the National Tidy Towns Newsletter for May.
 
SDG 8:  Decent Work and Economic Growth.
Sustainable Development Goal 8 is about decent work and economic growth.  It targets full and productive employment and decent work for all, including those with disabilities, along with equal pay for work of equal value.  It aims to eliminate forced labour, slavery, and human trafficking.   
What can you do?  Shop local; Promote education and training; Support community activities; Increase aid for developing countries; Improve resource efficiency in consumption and production; Support local entrepreneurship and creativity.  Act Local – Think Global.

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20th May

SDG 7:  Affordable & Clean Energy

Sustainable Development Goal 7 seeks to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.  13% of the global population still lacks access to modern electricity. 3 billion people rely on wood, coal, charcoal or animal waste for cooking and heating.  Energy is the dominant contributor to climate change, accounting for almost 60% of total global greenhouse gas emissions. Indoor air pollution from using combustible fuels for household energy causes millions of deaths annually.
What can we do:  Adopt energy-saving measures; Reduce our reliance on fossil fuels; Take steps to increase our use of renewable energy; Educate ourselves on the world wide efforts to achieve affordable and clean energy.  Act Local – Think Global.
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Volunteering
This week (17th – 23rd May) is National Volunteering Week to celebrate all things volunteering. This year’s theme is ‘Small Actions, Big Impact.’  Volunteers do fantastic work throughout the length and breadth of the country, giving their time to help a not-for-profit activity. One of the better known benefits of volunteering is the impact on the community. In Birdhill, we can truly say that volunteers are the glue that holds the community together.  We applaud the many volunteers who drive local organisations, provide activities for us to enjoy and work to ensure a better tomorrow for current and future generations.

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Plean Bee

Deaglán Ó Mocháin advises us all that TG4 will broadcast a documentary on Thursday 20th May at 9.30pm to mark “World Bee Day 2021.”  The documentary is called ‘Plean Bee’, and it focuses on how the All Ireland Pollinator Plan was designed to reverse pollinator decline across all of Ireland by mobilising individuals and communities to provide pollinator friendly habitats in window boxes, gardens, sports clubs, farmland, roadside verges, hedgerows – anywhere really that could provide food and shelter for our wide range of pollinators, and the critical work they do in pollinating crops, flowers and trees.  Here is a short trailer of the film documentary:  https://u.pcloud.link/publink/show?code=XZUMM1XZGozo1g3RGghAFHVk6nyYYhMPFpbX
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Fitness Bootcamp
See attached flyer with details of a 4 week outdoor fitness boot camp to be held at Birdhill F.C.’s new grounds, commencing on 22nd May.

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13th May

Resurfacing Pollagh Road
It is planned to carry out some remedial work in the Pollaghs on Saturday 15th, commencing at 10.00am. The road has deteriorated over the winter months, posing difficulties for all users. Can you spare an hour or two to help fill potholes on this much-loved amenity? Bring a shovel, rake or yard-brush.
A recent application to have the Pollagh Road tarred under a County Council Local Improvement Scheme was approved. However, the local contribution required makes the project prohibitive. The proposal will be shelved for now, but there are further possibilities which may be pursued at the end of the year.
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SDG 6Sustainable Development Goal  6 seeks to ensure access to water and sanitation for all.  Water scarcity affects more than 40% of the world’s population.  One in three people live without sanitation. 80% of wastewater goes into waterways without adequate treatment.  We can improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimising release of hazardous chemicals and materials. We can promote good hygiene, implement rainwater harvesting systems, support Trócaire and other development charities, use reusable cups and bottles. etc.  Act Local – Think Global.

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1921 – 2021
2021 is the centenary of a momentous year in Irish history. We commemorate the struggle for freedom in our little memorial on the approach to the village (picture attached). The dove represents the peace which we now enjoy due to the efforts of our ancestors. We are called on to foster and nurture the spirit of peace in our community and throughout the world.
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Sustainable Gardening Course
Tipperary County Council Environment and Climate Action Department will be delivering an Online Sustainable Gardening Course for biodiversity by Aoife Munn. 
This 5 week course covers; Reducing your waste, Wildflower areas, Planting for pollinators, growing your own veg and much more. To get a place on the course you must be available for all 5 sessions. Each session lasts one hour and will be from 10am to 11am on Wednesday 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd  and 30th of June.  The course will be delivered online and is free of charge. There are limited places available on the course and booking is essential. People should only register for the course if they can commit to attending all of the sessions.  Please find link for course:  https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/tipperary-sustainable-gardening-course-registration-151461093207

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8th May

Paint a Stone Competition
Congratulations and well done to all students who participated in the Birdhill Tidy towns ‘Paint a Stone’ competition. The standard of work was impressive, and the students used their brilliant creativity to convey the message that we must all save water all of the time.
Winners were:
Group 1: Junior Infants, Senior Infants and 1st class:   Charlotte Ryan
Group 2: 2nd class and 3rd class:   Grace Whelton
Group 3: 4th class, 5th class and 6th class:  Eric Bates

See accompanying pictures attached of winners and their entries

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Generation Tech:  Support for Digital Connections for over 65yrs

Generation Tech would like to bring your attention to a volunteer digital engagement support service for over 65+ – it is a helpline to support older people with digital engagement.  They help with Tablets, Phones, PCs, software, other hardware, and facilities such as Alexa, Google Assistant, broadband, Skype routers, Wi-Fi and any other IT issues.
Anyone aged 65+ on the island of Ireland can access the service and it is free of charge.  No-one will be asked for any personal details such as access to their bank details, cards etc.  During a help session, it may be necessary to install a support tool, but that can be uninstalled, and the caller is encouraged to do so, immediately after the call
For further information and support contact Generation Tech directly @  01-9633288
For further information see  https://www.tipperarycoco.ie/community-and-economic-development/volunteer-tech-helpline-older-people-cocooning-ireland

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Be Summer Ready 2021
The Government of Ireland recently launched the ‘Be Summer-Ready’ campaign to provide information on issues that may affect the general public this summer. During summer months, more people visit the countryside, engage in outdoor pursuits and visit family farms.  This year, there is a particular focus on water safety as Ireland’s waterways and beaches become very popular in the summer. Sadly, this can lead to associated risks including drowning accidents.  So  everyone is asked to ‘be alert to water safety’. For More tips and information at: Be Summer Ready Campaign

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Know Your Locality

The Irish Archaeology Field School are delighted to offer a FREE* online course that will take you step-by-step through the available online sources that will allow you to paint a picture of the geological, archaeological, and historical events that happened close to where you live.  The course will be delivered through five online tutorials every Tuesday and Thursday over two and a half weeks commencing Thursday 13th May 2021. We will begin by looking at the very bedrock under your feet, examining the geological processes and glacial events that shaped the landscape and formed the soils. The course then focuses on the impacts of humans on that landscape over time, from pre-history to the last century.
The course will also outline how these skills can be used to make your own submission to the ‘KnowYour5k’ initiative by the Heritage Council and National Museum of Ireland. Gathering these submissions for your county is a key outcome of the course.
* Supported by Tipperary County Council (Heritage Office) and the Heritage Council.   You can register through the following link:  https://iafs.ie/know-your-locality-tipperary-may-2021/

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SDG 5
Sustainable Development Goal 5 aims to achieve gender equality and to end all discrimination against women and girls.  Gender bias is undermining our social fabric and devalues all of us. It is not just a human rights issue; it is a tremendous waste of the world’s human potential. By denying women equal rights, we deny half the population a chance to live life at its fullest. Political, economic and social equality for women will benefit all the world’s citizens. Together we can eradicate prejudice and work for equal rights and respect for all.

Act Local – Think Global

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30th April

Park Development
Work in Birdhill Community Park has commenced and is progressing well. It had been hoped that access to the Park would be permitted at weekends. Unfortunately, for health and safety reasons, the Park will remain closed until work is completed.

 

Health & Fitness
The Workshop Health & Fitness Studio is a new venture established by a group of young Birdhill entrepreneurs. Currently, they have an online class that may be of interest to you. 
Do you want to improve your balance, coordination, posture and overall strength while helping prevent injury in the process?  Pilates is  a great way to exercise for all levels and benefits your body in many ways. The Workshop Health & Fitness are running online Pilates classes every Sunday at 10am with Tracy, a very experienced and qualified instructor. 
Why not join us on Sunday May 2nd and try it out for yourself.
Contact Conor on 0862489794 or email: theworkshopnewport@gmail.com to get involved
 
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SDG 4:  Quality Education
Sustainable Development Goal number 4 seeks to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.  Nearly one fifth of the world’s children aged 5 to 12 years are not in school and more than half of all children and adolescents worldwide are not meeting minimum proficiency standards in reading and mathematics. What can we do?  Share our knowledge and skills; Support funding for education; promote reading and numeracy; promote equality of access to education for all, etc.   Act Local – Think Global
 
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Nature Tip:   Create Wildlife Corridors
Most creatures don’t like open spaces, so creating corridors of long grass or foliage for them to hide and providing gaps through fences will help them move around more freely. Check out this website to help encourage wildlife into your garden: https://www.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/activities/nature-on-your-doorstep/garden-activities/createnaturehighwaysandbyways/
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23rd April

Closing of Park

Work in Birdhill Community Park is due to commence on Monday 26th April. The Park will be closed for approx 2 weeks while the work is ongoing. It will be open on Saturdays and Sundays. Sorry for any inconvenience.
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Gardening & Literacy
Get gardening with your children. Grow literacy and gardening skills together. Sign up for a weekly one hour learning experience. See attached flyer for details of course by Tipperary Education and Training Board.
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Arts Office Newsletter
Click here to see copy of Tipperary County Council’s Arts Office newsletter for April.
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SDG 3:  Good Health & Well-Being
We can all work to ensure healthy lives and promote the well-being of all ages through a combination of physical, social, intellectual and emotional actions.   Avail of the many local walks, trails and amenities. Become involved in local activities. Volunteer for involvement in community organisations. Advocate for the promotion of good health habits and the prevention of substance-abuse. Connect with your community.  Act Local – Think Global.
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16th April

Closing of Park

Work in Birdhill Community Park will not now start until Tuesday 27th April. The Park will be closed for approx 2 weeks from that date, but will be open to visitors on Saturdays and Sundays. The GoFundMe page will remain open until the end of April. A big ‘Thank You’ to all who have contributed to date.
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SDGs Goal 2:   Zero Hunger
What can we do?  Think about the food that we waste!  Can we grow more of our own food?   How can we support the estimated 850 million people worldwide who are undernourished?
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Tidy Towns Work
Litter-picking and painting are ongoing over the forthcoming weeks.  All help appreciated. Contact any Tidy Towns committee member to arrange work.
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Know about Butterflies
How many different species of butterfly can you name?  Ireland has 32 resident and 3 common migrant butterfly species. To help identify them, a free downloadable ‘crash course’ in butterfly identification is available by following this link:
See About butterflies – Biodiversity Ireland for more information.
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9th April

Park Development

A big thank you to all who have contributed to our fundraising appeal to date. Contributions can  be made through the GoFundMe page (https://gofund.me/373800de) or directly to any member of Birdhill Tidy Towns committee. Work is expected to commence in the Park on Thursday 15th April. It will be necessary to close the Park, for safety reasons, while work is going ahead. It will, however, continue to be available for visits on Saturdays and Sundays.
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Pop Up Stall
When:  Saturday & Sunday 10th & 11th April.
What:   Plants, Seeds, Books.
Where:   Birdhill Community Park.
Come along at any time and help yourself to something for your garden or some reading material to while away the remaining lockdown days and nights.
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Sustainable Development Goals
The Sustainable Development Goals are a collection of 17 interlinked global goals designed to be a “blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all”. The SDGs were set in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly and are intended to be achieved by the year 2030.
SDG 1:  No Poverty.  This is a commitment to end poverty in all forms and dimensions by 2030.  This involves targeting the most vulnerable, increasing basic resources and services, and supporting communities affected by conflict and climate-related disasters. We can play our part in our own community through local charities and supporting local causes. Act local, think global.
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Art Exhibition
There has been an amazing uptake in the Open Air Art Exhibition proposed for July and August. The exhibition is limited to 50 pieces and there are only a few spaces left.  Check outBirdhill Art Hub | Facebook for full details.
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Any surplus paint?
Have you any left-over interior water-based paint that you want to dispose of?  Participants working on their submissions for the Art Exhibition would gladly avail of paint that you don’t need. It would be appreciated if you would drop off any spare paint to Birdhill Community Park this Saturday or Sunday 10th/11th April.
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Paint a Stone Competition
Reminder to local children: Don’t forget  the stone-painting competition, details of which were circulated through the local school before Easter. See attached flyer for full details.
 
Tidy Towns Newsletter
Click here to read the April edition of the National Tidy Towns newsletter. 
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Tidy Towns Work
1. We have lots of painting to be done over the next few weeks. If you can spare an hour any day, any time, please contact Denis 087-9355750.
2. The week commencing Monday 19th April is Spring Clean Week in Birdhill.  Litter has already been picked on many of the roads in the locality – thanks to all who helped out. Can you give a hand to ensure that your area is clean and tidy?  Let us know if you need bags, high viz, gloves, etc or if bags need to be collected after pick-up.
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31st March

Stations of the Cross
Parishioners will be unable to attend Easter ceremonies in our churches this year. Neither can we hold the usual Stations of the Cross in Birdhill Community Park. However, images of the Stations will be placed around the Park on Good Friday and people are invited to come along at any time during the day for private prayer and reflection. Appropriate distancing is advised.
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Local Open Air Art Exhibition
The newly formed Birdhill Art Hub is organising an exciting Open Air Art Exhibition this summer.  This will be a unique community event, at a time when such events are likely to be limited.  Local artists, amateur and professional, individuals or groups, are invited to participate. The first step is to declare your interest in partaking. See details attached or check out (2) Birdhill Art Hub | Facebook  and then email birdhillarthub@gmail.com or call Melissa Ryan on 087-9064401. Arrangements will  then be made to fill out an application for the exhibition.
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Go Fund Me
Our fundraiser for development at the Community Park has made a good start with many people donating through the Go Fund Me page (https://gofund.me/373800de ) or contributing privately. Your support would be appreciated in helping to enhance an important community amenity.
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Tidy Towns Work
During the next 2 weeks, we hope to carry out the following work:  1. Washing Signage & Street Furniture;  2. Painting timber work in the Park and around the village. Help would be appreciated at any time. Contact Denis (087-9355750) or any member of the Tidy Towns Committee if you can spare an hour.
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Easter Camp Activities:
– www.playact.ie Online drama & theatre
– From 3 – 18 years
– Duration: From 31/03 – 02/04: 11:00 – 12:00 – 3 – 6 years; 12:00 – 15:00 – 6 – 18 years
– Cost: €50 – €112.50
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– www.artzone.ie Drawing, painting, collage, clay construction etc
– For 8 – 14 years
– Duration: One hour daily for 4 days
– Cost: €40 for each 4 day camp 
 
– For 7 – 12 years
– Duration:  06/04 – 09/04 Two sessions daily 10:00 – 10:45 & 11:00 – 11.45
– Cost: €80 including a pack of specialist materials posted out

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25th March

Appeal to fund new development at Birdhill Community Park
Since it opened in 2003, Birdhill Community Park has developed as a wonderful recreational, environmental and educational amenity. It now hosts many events and visitors throughout the year, none more so than when Uachtarán na hÉireann, Michael D Higgins came in 2018. More recently, the addition of an Autism-Friendly play area has added considerably to its appeal. Facilities at the Park have been provided, developed and maintained by the local community, with generous assistance from Tipperary County Council.
To further enhance the amenity, to make it more accessible for wheelchairs, prams and buggies and to make it more attractive to all visitors, it is now proposed to lay a tarmac surface on all the paths throughout the Park.  At the same time, the Park’s role in the preservation and promotion of nature and biodiversity will be maintained.
An appeal is hereby made to local people and businesses and to residents of the wider catchment area to support a campaign to fund the proposed project, which is grant-aided by the Department of Rural & Community Development’s Town & Village Renewal Scheme. However, there is a local contribution required to ensure that the work is carried out.
With current restrictions making it impossible to organise any functions or events, we have to look at other ways of fundraising. You can support the project by making a direct contribution to any member of Birdhill Tidy Towns Committee or by donating through the GoFundMe page which has just been set up.  Visit https://gofund.me/373800de to make a donation.  We earnestly request your support for this very worthwhile community initiative.
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Services Directory
All information for inclusion in the Birdhill Services Directory should be submitted by the end of March. This is an ideal opportunity for all business concerns and service providers to ensure that local people are aware of what they have to offer. This will be an online publication and can be amended later as required.
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Promoting biodiversity in your garden with nest boxes
Watch this video from Bird Watch Ireland which demonstrates how you can encourage biodiversity in your garden by making and erecting a nest box:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEa8fTHHI0w

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Easter Camps for Kids (mini breaks for adults too by default!)

Cookery:
www.healthyeverafter.ie 
       -From 8 – 14 years  – Duration: 2 hours Saturday 10/04 15:00 – 17:00   – Cost €20
www.thecoolfoodschool.ie    – From any age  – Duration: 3 days from 29 – 31 March 11:00 – 13:00 daily      – Cost: €20 for 1 day or €50 for 3 days
www.aniarrestaurant.ie          – From 8 – 15 years    – Duration: 8-week course starting 11/04 every Sunday 11:00 – 13:00 (Yes, Sunday dinner cooked for 2 months 🤭)   – Cost: Full course €250, individual classes €35

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18th March

Lá Fhéile Pádraig

Follow this link to view messages to and from Birdhill for St Patrick’s Day. Thanks to all who submitted images and videos and a special thanks to Erin for putting it all together. Guímíd gach rath ar mhuintir Cnocán An Éin Fhinn ar Lá Náisiúnta na nGael. Bain taitneamh as.
https://youtu.be/G6qzz8MZY3E

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Work Schedule
The following tasks need to be carried out over the forthcoming weeks. We appeal for your help and support in ensuring that Birdhill and the surrounding areas will look their best for 2021. With restrictions in place, it is not possible to organise work groups, so we hope that individuals or family groups will come forward and undertake some of the tasks outlined below. Contact Denis (087-9355750) or any member of the Committee for further details.
Week commencing Monday 22nd March:  Removing debris from paths and grass areas.
Week commencing Monday 29th March:  Sweeping.
Week commencing Monday 5th April:  Washing signage and street furniture.
Week commencing 12th April:  Painting
Week commencing 19th April:  Spring Clean – collect litter on all roads.
Week commencing 26th April:  Clean/Weed shrub beds
Week commencing 3rd May:  Prepare beds and containers for planting
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Tipperary Arts
Click here to read the Tipperary Arts Newsletter for March
Also, why not get all the family to join Nenagh Arts Centre on 28th March at 5pm for a Painted Easter Eggs Workshop.  Check out full details on Painted Easter Eggs Workshop – Nenagh Arts Centre
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Tidy Towns Newsletter
Click here to read the National Tidy Towns newsletter for March
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11th March

Join the Parade!

Final Call for St Patrick’s Day picture or video. All submissions to be in by 14th March.

Pictures or videos do not need to be elaborate – it might be just a drawing or painting, a greeting, a photo of yourself dressed to celebrate St Patrick’s Day, a photo of your room or house displaying appropriate decorations, a video of your own family parade, etc.  Maybe you might ask members of your family who are away from home to submit a greeting or you could include a greeting to them!
Remember: Pictures/Videos should be in landscape (not portrait) format only.
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Ten things to do in the garden
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What is a Weed?
A weed is a plant considered undesirable in a particular situation. It is often described more accurately as “a flower growing in the wrong place.”  Weeds such as dandelions and clover are important pollinators and attract large numbers of butterflies and bees. Why not leave a section of your lawn or garden grow wild – less work for you, more resources for the bees.
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Volunteer for an Hour!
Next week we will publish a list of tasks that need to be done during the next few months. Many of these will be a once-off job, others will be ongoing. Can you commit an hour to help make your community a better place?  We’d love to hear from you!
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7th March

Community Pantry
Many thanks to those who deposited food items in our ‘Little Community Food Pantry’ in the Information Hub (telephone box) in the village during the past 4 months. As there was not a lot of ‘movement’ in the items, we have decided to discontinue the initiative and have removed the remaining food. All foodstuffs which are still consumable have been donated to St Vincent De Paul.
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Springing into action!

This is the time of year when our thoughts turn to planting.  Please consider sowing pollinator-friendly shrubs when you get into the garden during the next few weeks. You will be rewarded later in the year when a variety of bees and butterflies come to visit.  Click here to see list of summer-flowering perennials for your consideration.

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Flying the Green in Birdhill

Have you submitted an item for inclusion in our St Patrick’s Day virtual parade?   In the absence of a St Patrick’s Day Parade or festivities, we want to afford the people of Birdhill the opportunity to connect with each other and with the Birdhill diaspora in a collaborative effort to mark our national feast day.
People are invited to submit a picture or a short video which will all be compiled into a presentation showing Birdhill residents reaching out to the community and to the world.  There will be no prizes, just an opportunity to highlight our Irishness, our culture and our sense of community.
Pictures or videos do not need to be elaborate – it might be just a drawing or painting, a greeting, a photo of yourself dressed to celebrate St Patrick’s Day, a photo of your room or house displaying appropriate decorations, a video of your own family parade, etc.  The possibilities are endless. Maybe you might ask members of your family who are away from home to submit a greeting or you could include a greeting to them!
Pictures/Videos should be in landscape (not portrait) format only and be submitted to birdhilltidytowns@gmail.com not later than Sunday 14th March.
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Facts & Tips
During the past 2 years we published weekly 100 facts mainly on environmental issues. Prior to that we had 52 tips on Zero Waste and 100 tips on Saving Energy. That’s 5 years of messaging and advice!  Did it have any impact?  How  would another series be received? Any ideas for a theme?
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2nd March

Message from Fr John O’Keeffe P.P.
 

Works At Birdhill Church

1. Major overhaul of heating system recently completed
2. Planned Works:  Full cleaning of church by industrial cleaners;  Painting of inside of church;  Replacement of floor covering in sacristy;  Refurbishment of outside gates; Repainting of outside statues.

Church will be closed for the foreseeable future, until inside work is completed, except for distribution of Holy Communion on Sundays from 11.30am to 11.45am.

The Parish Funds would really, really appreciate if additional contributions could be made to defray the costs of these works.


Thank you all for your understanding, help and support in these difficult times.

Fr John O’Keeffe P.P.
 
Click here to see Copy of Parish Accounts for 2020  _________________________________________________________________________________________________

27th February

Winning Essay
Congratulations to Brett Fitzpatrick who was the winner in our recent Essay Competition. Click here to read his essay.
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Flying the Green in Birdhill
In the absence of a St Patrick’s Day Parade or festivities, we want to afford the people of Birdhill the opportunity to connect with each other and with the Birdhill diaspora in a collaborative effort to mark our national feast day.

People are invited to submit a picture or a short video which will all be compiled into a presentation showing Birdhill residents reaching out to the community and to the world.  There will be no prizes, just an opportunity to highlight our Irishness, our culture and our sense of community.
Pictures or videos do not need to be elaborate – it might be just a drawing or painting, a greeting, a photo of yourself dressed to celebrate St Patrick’s Day, a photo of your room or house displaying appropriate decorations, a video of your own family parade, etc.  The possibilities are endless. Maybe you might ask members of your family who are away from home to submit a greeting or you could include a greeting to them!
Pictures/Videos should be in landscape (not portrait) format only and be submitted to birdhilltidytowns@gmail.com not later than Sunday 14th March
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Nature, Creativity & Recycling
Some simple easy-to-make Bird Feeders
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Services Directory
Work is progressing on the compilation of a local Directory of Services. If you have a business or provide a service, be sure to forward details for inclusion.
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Newsletter
Click here to read the February Tidy Towns Newsletter.
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19th February

Essay Competition:  Final Call
The closing date for submission of essays for our competition is this Saturday 20th February. Send your literary endeavours about your experiences in Birdhill during Lockdown to birdhilltidytowns@gmail.com.  Don’t forget to include your name and which category you are entering.

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Nature Tip 16
Leave an old clay flower pot in a corner of your garden under bushes or shrubs, chip a hole in the side and you’ll be surprised at what comes to live there

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Enterprise Week
Local Enterprise Week takes place virtually from 1st to 5th March. Check out the following site for lots of useful talks, clinics and informative webinars on a variety of topics:  Local Enterprise Week – Local Enterprise Office – Tipperary 

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Lockdown Activities
Book Corner:  Check out this interesting site www.litvox.com for reading lists supplied based on your interests. It’s a site run by an Irish couple and it’s free or when very busy, there is a very small charge of €3. The format is you fill out a simple questionnaire and they send you back a list of recommendations. The facility is for all ages and includes some suggestions for elderly neighbours or relatives. What a lovely idea to send someone who is living alone a book to read!
Craft Corner:  See this site for lots of things to make and do for children of all ages: http://www.helpmykidlearn.ie/

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Recipe for Our Times 22
Click here to see recipe for Curried Mussel Soup with Saffron

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It’s a Fact 100
The skin of an average human replaces itself 900 times during one lifetime

11th February

Nature Tip 15
When you’re preparing for the cold weather, spare a thought for your garden birds too. This time of year is known in the scientific literature as the ‘hungry gap’ for many small birds. It’s the period when all of last autumn’s fruit and berries are gone from the trees, and before spring comes into action and we start seeing growth in hedgerows and trees. That means this is the time of year when the lowest possible amount of natural food is available. So, when a prolonged cold spell hits, it can be life or death for our small birds. Don’t wait until snow hits to put food out for your birds – put it out now so they can build and maintain their strength and fat reserves ahead of the worst of the weather.  Birds need water every day both to drink and to bathe in. When the weather is cold, all of their natural water sources (ponds, streams, puddles) freeze over and birds have to roam further and further to find water, using up a lot of energy in the process. Make it easy for them by providing water in a shallow dish of some sort.  Take the water dish in each night and put out fresh water in the morning. Remember, it’s no good to them if it has frozen overnight!  For more information see  Don’t give your Garden Birds the Cold Shoulder this week! – BirdWatch Ireland

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Notice Nature
Great to see people taking note of the fascinating activities of the flora and fauna in our local environment. Frog spawn has already been noted in the area and the attached video of an owl was well captured by a resident down near the Weir. Let us know about anything interesting that you have observed.  

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Lockdown Activities
1. Get writing:  Time is running out for our essay competition!  Local people are invited to write about their experiences living in the Birdhill area during the lockdown restrictions. The essay should be typed, not more than 800 words and not more than one side of an A4 page.  Prizes will be awarded in 3 categories:  1. Primary School Children;  2. Secondary School  Pupils; 3. Adults over18.  Entries should be emailed as an attachment to birdhilltidytowns@gmail.com before 20th February.  Make sure to include your name and which category you are entering. Winning entries will be published on our Website and Social Media platforms.
2. Make a home for hedgehogs:  A hedgehog house provides a safe habitat for hedgehogs to sleep, nest and hibernate, throughout the year. The basic design enables hedgehogs to enter and exit the box, but prevents larger mammals, such as cats, foxes and badgers from getting in.  What better pest control for slugs, snails, flat worms, etc than a hedgehog!  Easy to construct with clear instructions and pictures:
How To Make a Hedgehog House – BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine

3. Ceardaíocht le Sinéad:  Log in to a series of workshops over the next few weeks and see some practical activities for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, St Patrick’s Day and Easter.  Start this Saturday 13th February at 12.30pm. Email cabrini@glornangael.ie for the link and the list of the materials needed to take part. Bain triail as. Tuilleadh eolas ar fáil ó 083-4455914
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Recipe for Our Times 21
Click here for another recipe for a nourishing soup in this cold weather (Sweet Potato and Cashew Nut Soup)
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It’s a Fact 99

It’s a Fact 99
You can find more remains and artefacts under the ocean than in all of the world’s museums combined.

5th February

Enterprise Awards
Best wishes to Alan and Staff of the Old Barracks Coffee Roastery in the National Enterprise Awards Finals next week. Click on this link to watch the award ceremony live on Feb 11th at 6pm: National Enterprise Awards – Local Enterprise Office

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Recipe for Our Times 20
Click here to see 2 recipes for Vegetable Soup

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Lockdown Activities
1. Irish History Podcast:  Log in for some fascinating stories and an insightful look at over 1,000 years of Irish history: https://irishhistorypodcast.ie/
2. Make a mini pond and watch it develop during the months of spring – there will be great excitement watching the many creatures that come to take up residence. Any size from washing-up bowl to half barrel or old sink will do. Follow this link for instructions   How to Make a Small Pond | Ideas for Wildlife – The RSPB

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Nature Tip 14
You can semi tame a robin by feeding it at regular times of day, they even come into sheds with you when they get to know you.  Meal worms are their favourites!

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It’s a Fact 98
Scientists have named and classified around 1.5 million species of sea creatures, and there is as much as 50 million species we have yet to discover.

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30th January 2021

Directory of Services
A Directory of Services for the Birdhill area was produced in 1987 and updated in 1995. Much has changed in the intervening years and most of the providers listed therein are no longer active. Work has commenced on compiling a new Services Directory focusing on what is available in our own community. This will be an online publication only. Anyone wishing to be included should forward details of service provided, address, contact numbers, website/social media details (if applicable) to birdhilltidytowns@gmail.com, or to marionobrien1@gmail.com or to any Tidy Towns rep in your locality. Categories under which listings were made previously included Bars/Catering/Shops, Bed & Breakfast, Art/Design/Domestic Crafts, Agriculture/Horticulture, Hauliers, Health, Nurses, Schools, Consultants/Tuition, Babysitters/Childminders, Entertainment/Social, Machinery Sales/Service/Hire, Trades/Engineering, Clerical Work, etc. No doubt, new services in the fields of electronics and technology will now feature more prominently. The Directory will focus on the Birdhill Community only, but local people who have a business outside the area will also be included.

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Know Your Locality – Free online course
The Irish Archaeology Field School in conjunction with Wexford County Council and Ancient Connections are delighted to offer a free online course taking you step by step through available online resources allowing you to explore your home place through its geological, archaeological and historical past. Delivered by Dr Stephen Mandal through a series of online tutorials every Tuesday and Thursday (4-6pm) over 3 weeks from February 16th to March 2nd, further details and bookings https://iafs.ie/know-your-locality Book early to avoid disappointment

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Tidy Towns Newsletter
Click here to see the first newsletter of 2021 from National Tidy Towns.  The ‘Feed the Birds’ article provides lots of interesting information

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Essay Competition
Have you started putting your thoughts on paper for our essay competition? Have you encouraged your children to enter?  Local people are invited to write about their experiences living in the Birdhill area during the lockdown restrictions. The essay should be typed, not more than 800 words and not more than one side of an A4 page.  Prizes will be awarded in 3 categories:  1. Primary School Children;  2. Secondary School  Pupils; 3. Adults over18.  Entries should be emailed as an attachment to birdhilltidytowns@gmail.com before 20th February.  Winning entries will be published on our Website and Social Media platforms.

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Lockdown Activities
1.  Make a St Brigid’s Cross to mark her feast day on Monday 1st February:  Making a St. Brigid’s Cross – an Easy Step by Step Guide – YouTube
2. A free 65 page downloadable workbook based on Paddy Stapleton’s book ‘Up in the Air’  Schools – Paddy Stapleton

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Nature Tip 13
Most birds will soon start building nests. We can help by providing suitable nest boxes. We can also provide homes for small animals like field mice and bank voles by cutting a hole in old tennis balls and placing them in the middle of your hedge or bushes.

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Notice Nature
It would be appreciated if members of the community would report first sightings or unusual occurrences in the world of nature around us. For example, we have been told about the first snowdrop seen on 12th January, the first daffodil in bloom on 20th January and a snow white barn owl in the Pollaghs on 21st January. Maybe you could take a photo or video and send them to us – like the  attached video of a stag taken recently from the Coosane Road.

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It’s a Fact 97
The decline in economic activity and transport due to the pandemic led to a 6% reduction in Greenhouse gas emissions during 2020.

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21st January 2021

Plogging on Saturday
We introduced you a few years ago to ‘Plogging’ (a combination of jogging/walking with picking up litter).  Why not give it a go again this Saturday afternoon when we invite you to do some plogging on the Link Road between Birdhill Roundabout and Applegreen. This road is the introduction to Birdhill, but unfortunately is seriously littered at present and creates a poor impression for visitors. Can you spare an hour on Saturday to help clean up our roads and get some exercise in the crisp January air?  Meet at Birdhill Roundabout at 2.00pm. Wear high viz and gloves.  We  will also have a supply of bags, gloves, litter pickers and high viz vests.available.  Appropriate distancing will be observed, with people working individually or in family groups.
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Farming For Nature
Follow this link to read the first ‘Farming For Nature’ Newsletter of 2021:  https://sh1.sendinblue.com/adbf4phc1ht7e.html?t=1609794184
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Nature Tip 12 & Children’s Activity
Birds can have difficulty in getting food and fresh water during the winter.  A nice project for children would be to make Fat Balls to ensure that  the birds in our garden have access to nutritious food at this time of year.   The following site gives simple instructions and a list of possible ingredients:.   How to make a fat ball to feed garden birds 
 
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New Competition
Following on from our recent Photo Competition, we intend to run a number of competitions during the next few months. For our second competition we are inviting local people to write about their experiences living in the Birdhill area during the lockdown restrictions. The essay should be typed, not more than 800 words and not more than one side of an A4 page.  Prizes will be awarded in 3 categories:  1. Primary School Children;  2. Secondary School  Pupils; 3. Adults over18.  Entries should be emailed as an attachment to birdhilltidytowns@gmail.com before 20th February.  Winning entries will be published on our Website and Social Media platforms.
 
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Community Defibrillator
The defibrillator at Birdhill Community Hall  has been serviced recently, battery replaced and new pads installed. It is now ready for use again, although it is hoped that it will not be in much demand. In the event of someone in the community needing it, please call 999 or 112.  The code to open the box is 999.
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It’s a Fact 96
The average person produces about 50,000 pints of saliva in a lifetime.  That’s about enough to fill two swimming pools.
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15th January 2021

Photo Competition
Congratulations to Paddy Barry (‘Guarding the Future’) and Mary Daly (‘AJ’s New Best Friend’), winners of our recent Photo Competition. Prizes will be presented shortly. See winning photos attached.
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Road Closure
Tipperary County Council have announced that they intend closing the R494 between Birdhill and Ballina from 15th February to 1st March to facilitate advanced works for the Killaloe Bypass, Shannon Bridge & R494 Improvement Scheme. Alternative routes are advised on the Council’s website
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Become a Digital Champion
Can you be a Digital Champion and join the Getting Started KIT community to help some of the 70% of people over the age of 65 who are not online, get online?
The digital divide has been laid bare during Covid-19 for all age groups; many children and adults, particularly older adults cannot participate in digital learning or the digital economy either for the lack of skills or access. Over half of Irish people aged between 65 and 74 have never used the internet, locking older people out of a huge range of benefits. It is not for lack of interest either: 30% of Irish households without internet access say the reason is a lack of skills to use it. It is estimated that only 3% of people over the age of 70 have the skills and access to the internet.
The Age Action Getting Started Keep In Touch (KIT) is a national learning initiative to help older people improve their digital literacy skills, so they are more connected, informed and supported particularly during periods of social distancing. The Getting Started KIT will also help people who have digital literacy skills to become Digital Champions – they can use the KIT to tutor someone who needs help. Age Action has created easy How To guides and a video tutorial in order to support older people to learn, use, and be confident about smartphones, other devices and applications. Full details on
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Recipe for Our Times 19
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It;s a Fact 95
There are more living things in a teaspoon of soil than there are people on Earth.
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8th January 2021

Covid 19 in our area

Latest figures from the Covid Tracker app show that the Newport LEA has more than double the rate of Covid-19 cases than any other part of County Tipperary. 123 cases are recorded for the last two weeks. This is a rate of 752 per 100,000 in an area which has a population of 16,355.  So the message is clear:  Stay Home; Stay Safe; Follow the Guidelines.
Don’t forget that members of the Birdhill Community Response Group are again available to help where required.  Ring any of them and they will arrange the necessary supports.
 
It’s a Fact 94
The year 2020 created many weather records in Ireland:  Temperatures averaged 10.40C  for the year, that is  0.830C  above the long-term average; Rainfall in February was more than two and a half times the normal amount expected for that month; We had little or no rain during March, April and May, but we had above average rainfall over the course of the whole year; In August, the all-time record for wind was broken for that month with a wind speed of 110km/p/h at Roches Point. As the earth heats up and the atmosphere gets warmer, we can expect to see heavier rainfall events during the winter and drier, warmer periods during spring and summer.
 
Plants, Seeds & Books for You
Members of the community and the wider hinterland will have the opportunity on Sunday 10th January to pick up a selection of Plants, Seeds or Books for free at the Community Park in Birdhill.  These will be available from 10.00am to 4.00pm, or while stocks last. Customers can leave a voluntary donation if they wish.
 
Recipe for Our Times 18
 
Activities for Lockdown
1.  This is Art!  www.thisisart.ie
If you know someone who is under 7 years old & no older than 18 years & they are interested in painting, drawing, sculpting, crafting, spraying etc then enter this competition. Deadline is 15th January 2021. Great way to keep them occupied & focused on the job in hand!
2.  Lime Tree Theatre, Limerick https://www.limetreetheatre.ie/shows/
This New Year, Lyngo Theatre is presenting a show featuring making props and sets from recycled materials and regular household items. There is a show on Saturday, 9thJanuary at 14:00, tickets are €12.
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