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Tipp people asked to sign-up for Concern Fast and kick-a-habit for 24-hours – such as ‘phombie-walking’

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  • Concern Fast takes place on Thursday, November 23 – when anyone can give up a habit or activity for 24-hours to raise funds for children suffering from hunger around the world
  • Phone-zombies (phombies), coffee-addicts, regular users of social media and other creatures of habit urged to take part

Tipperary people are being asked to take part in this year’s Concern Fast when they can give up any habit or activity for 24-hours to raise vitals funds for children suffering from hunger around the world.

The annual Fast campaign – one of Ireland’s longest running fundraisers, which is run by aid agency Concern Worldwide – takes place this year on Thursday, November 23.

Traditionally, Fast participants focused on giving up food for a day, but people also do ‘digital fasts’ that involve forgoing social media and online activity while others try to give-up coffee, smoking and other habits.

Another Fast idea from Concern this year is for Ireland’s ‘phombies’ to use the opportunity to try and spend a day without being distracted by their mobile phone device when walking.

Phombies, or phone-zombies, are people who stare at their mobile phone while walking and are completely oblivious of other people and their surroundings.

They can be regularly spotted ‘phombie-walking’ in every town and city across Ireland and beyond.

Concern Worldwide Marketing Executive, Christina Meehan, said: “Concern Fast is a rewarding opportunity to challenge yourself for a very deserving cause.

“We think it can also be a fun way to detox on modern habits that many people have, like looking at our phone when walking to a shop or to catch a bus.

“I think it’s important to stay present. When we are present we have the time to think about others and connect to the world and this is exactly why I’m giving up my phone for a day.

“For decades, Fast has been helping millions of children suffering from hunger – and we ask that people continue to take part and do what they can because it really does make a difference.

“For example, Irish people who took part last year helped feed 4,000 children for a month in South Sudan alone.”

Christina said that this year has been especially tragic for so many children with famine casting a shadow over four nations, including South Sudan and Somalia, where over 20 million people are still at risk of starvation.

Globally, it is estimated that 5.6 million children under five died last year and that around three million of them had hunger related illnesses.

The Fast campaign raises funds that help provide high-energy therapeutic food for malnourished children to try and prevent their conditions becoming fatal and to reduce the sobering statistics that show how many people suffer from hunger.

A €30 donation can provide emergency nutrition support to a malnourished child for one month while €300 can provide a family with enough food to eat for six months.

Concern reached 22 million people in 27 countries in 2016, largely because of the funds it received from the Irish public, including donations from Fast.

“We cannot thank the Irish public enough for their ongoing support for Concern and all of our dedicated volunteers who do street collections and other fundraising activities,” added Christina Meehan.

People can sign up for Concern Fast 2017 and find more information at Concern.net/fast or by calling 1850 50 50 55 – and participants can also engage with Concern on Twitter @Concern, Facebook, Snapchat and on Instagram.

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Lowry Welcomes Funding for Tipperary Animal Welfare Organisations

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I welcome the announcement from the Department of Agriculture today that six Tipperary Animal Welfare Organisations will benefit from €86,000 between them.

Applications for 2020 funding will be open soon. All applicants must be registered with the Charities Regulator.

Cappanagarrane Horse Rescue, Mullinahone – €6,000

Great Hounds in Needs, 7 Cois Coille, Kilcash, Clonmel – €2,000

Mo Chara Animal Rescue, Ballygemmane, Thurles – €14,000

PAWS Animal Rescue, Mullinahone – €45,000

Roscrea SPCA, Roscrea – €18,000

The Haven Rescue, Tipperary, C/o 26 The Haven, Roscrea – €1,000

Funding for Animal Welfare Organisations is vital for them to continue to carry out their work.

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Drivers continuing to receive mixed messages about NCT testing inspections

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Independent TD and General Election candidate Mattie McGrath has written to the Minister for Transport, Shane Ross, and the head of the NCT Test service, to seek immediate clarification around the suspension by the NCTS of its vehicle lift inspections. Deputy McGrath was speaking after reports were made that several NCT Centres have resumed full service; a claim that is contradicted on the NCT national website which says that the suspension remains in place across the NCT network:

“There is huge confusion around this issue and drivers are getting extremely frustrated by the mixed messages that they are receiving.

The NCTS are also saying that those drivers who have presented already and who have ‘failed’ their test due to an inability to access the underbody of the vehicle should hold on to their report to present to Gardai if challenged for a not having a valid NCT Cert.

I have spoken to a number of gardai however and they have assured me that they have received no instruction in this matter in terms of applying discretion to drivers.

Drivers need to know if they are going to have penalty points applied or not.

There is also the question of why these faults were not identified as part of routine reviews at each individual testing centre. Was there any need to suspend the inspections across the entire network?

We need answers to these questions so that confidence can be maintained in the NCT service and so that drivers can be free of the concern that they are going to be penalised for faults in the system outside their control,” concluded Deputy McGrath.

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Improved pay and conditions for childcare workers is a priority for FF – Goldsboro

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Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Tipperary Cllr. Imelda Goldsboro says her party will address the current inequality faced by childcare workers if elected to government.

Cllr. Goldsboro made the comments as thousands of childcare workers travelled to Dublin yesterday to protest against their pay and conditions.

“Early childhood care and education is one of the most important parts of any society and the people charged with taking care of our children should not have to march on our capital to have their voices heard”, said Cllr. Goldsboro.

“Many of these workers have third level qualifications but their pay simply does not reflect that.  Fianna Fáil is committed to securing a Sectoral Employment Order for staff in the early years sector to ensure better pay and conditions.

“We will also bring forward measures to make childcare more affordable for families across Tipperary and right around the country.  There are simply not enough childcare places, and the creches and early childhood centres are being swamped with additional paperwork and increased costs.

“Insurance is a huge issue for the majority of childcare providers and we have situations now that creches are closing because they can’t afford to stay in business.

“Fianna Fáil is pledging to tackle these issues head on.  We will establish a new €10 million commercial rates relief fund, which will provide important support to creches who are crippled by commercial rates. We will also increase the National Childcare Scheme subsidy for ordinary workers with an investment of an additional €81 million to increase the universal childcare subsidy from €20 per week to €80 per week.

“Yesterday’s rally led by the Early Year’s Alliance should not be ignored by any public representatives or those seeking public office. It is paramount the next government tackle this crisis head on. It is something my Fianna Fáil colleagues and I are committed too,” concluded Cllr. Goldsboro.

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