Saturday, June 24, 2006


Laytown Pitch & Putt club gets €30,000 grant

This is the week when grants are awarded to local clubs to enable them to carry out improvements to their facilities. I met with Pat O’Brien, of Duleek soccer club to discuss their application.

Pat explained that there are a dozen teams using the facilities but that once winter comes they have to drive across to Navan, because of the lack of an all-weather pitch. They were seeking a grant of €100,000 to help develop an all-weather facility.

Pat O Brien at the soccer club

The club takes players from all across the East Meath area and recently was very successful in winning the County final at United Park. I promised my support to Pat.

As a Board Member of Meath Leader I was invited along to the “completion party” for a new art studio in Rudder, Bellewstown. Dave Newton, a local artist, had successfully received grant funding from Meath Leader to assist in the construction costs.

Dave Newton celebrates Meath Leader grant

About sixty people attended the party on a lovely early summer evening.

The proposals for St Pats GFC, Stamullen continue to be developed. Myself and my fellow councillors met with the St Pat’s steering group to thrash out a few details about the framework plan. I am very hopeful that this stays on course. The facilities being developed would be of great benefit to the entire community.

This month’s local area meeting was held in the Newgrange Lodge. The lodge has recently opened and is serving the needs of travellers to Newgrange / Bru na Boinne.

I hit out at the Area Manager for the continued failure to commence works on the Laytown pedestrian bridge. The construction of the proposed Laytown playground is being held up because they need to use the playground location as a site works compound for the bridge construction. I questioned why land on the other side of the railway bridge, could not be used, but was told that it would be too expensive.

I was fairly frustrated about the whole issue of council expenditure. We approved funding for community projects a year ago (such as the proposed boardwalk at Bettystown) and still they haven’t got to the construction stage. The process seems to be excruciatingly slow!

Some good news was the awards of grants to local groups. The council official proposed to award Duleek soccer club €50,000. Unfortunately, despite the fact that there is €200,000 going a begging (I clarified that with the Area Engineer), the other councillors would not agree with my proposal to increase the grant from the €50,000 proposed by the council officials to the €100,000 that the club wanted. I was a bit disappointed; the club deserved more.

However we did get a result on Laytown Pitch & Putt club. The officials suggested a grant of €20,000, but I successful argued for that to be increased to €30,000. On this occasion the other councillors supported my proposal. Grants were also awarded to St Colmcilles GFC, the Boyne Canal and Broomfield and Starinagh Residents Community Group.

After the meeting I got a tour of the new lodge. I travelled extensively around the world a few years ago, and spent most of the time in traveller accommodation, so it brought me straight back to those days. The facilities are excellent, and there are great views across the Boyne to Dowth. The rooms are comfortable and offer value for money. I am sure it will be a great success.

The proposed refurbishment of Alverno Heights estate in Laytown continues. I attended a meeting in The Neptune Hotel, Bettystown to discuss the proposals. 25 houses were represented out of the 120 houses affected. The council proposes to construct an additional 18 houses in the estate in an attempt to try and reduce the amount of anti-social behaviour. The residents who attended were very concerned about this amount of additional housing. I will be liasing with them over the coming weeks to get a steer on the best way forward.

On Friday Pat Rabbitte came down to the constituency. We toured Dunshaughlin, Ratoath and Ashbourne before visiting Donore Primary School and Ard Ri estate in Drogheda.

Party leader visit to Meath East

The residents of Woodside, Bettystown are concerned about the Management Charge payable to the Estate Management Company. Pat & I met with a representative of the residents association and discussed the various options open to the residents.

We concluded the day with a visit to Laytown Train station, where we met commuters returning home.

Party leader visit to Meath East

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