Saturday, July 29, 2006


Church gate collection Sunday

Our annual church gate collection took place on Sunday. This year we managed to cover more churches than in previous years. We did the main ones, such as Laytown, Duleek, Ashbourne, Dunshaughlin, Ratoath, Donore and Dunboyne, but also we attended smaller ones such as Monknewtown (outside Slane) and Curragha. It went very well. The vast majority of people were very receptive, although one man seemed less than pleased to see us, and he started shouting, "Labour! Labour!" from across the street, whilst waving his fist in the air. I think he was agin us. Another man came up to the table and told us:

"You have a cheek coming up to this church and collecting here"

"Why's that?", we replied, not really knowing what to expect.

"You supported Mao in China, you did", he spat.

He sauntered off into the church, leaving us to wrack our brains trying to remember what our Asian policy was in the '50s. That's one of the problems about having policies. There's always one smart-alec who'll disagree with them.

The playground at Dunshaughlin opened a few weeks ago. It's a fantastic facility and is probably one of the best in the country. Certainly, when the issue of ownership is sorted out at Laytown, we should put something of the same quality there.

I spoke to many residents in the area around the playground (estates such as Greenane, The Downs and College Park) to get their views on the area.

"You need more bins there, because more people are around the park now" I was told by one resident.

"It's grand during the day, but at night time it's a disaster. Could you not have thought about sealing it off and putting in gates?" asked by a lady in Greenane.

"Are you getting a lot of hassle from it?" I inquired.

"They're using the skateboard park all night, until five in the morning, and with the warm weather I have to have the windows open. I didn't get a wink last Friday night!" she complained.

Of course, just after she mentioned the warm weather the heavens opened. Myself and the team were caught off-guard without jackets and started to get very wet.

Dunshaughlin canvas in the rain
Shelter from the storm - Who said that canvas leaflets were useless?

The storm only lasted ten minutes before we were able to resume our canvas. Many people commented in a similar vein. People in general welcomed the playground, see it as a great boost for the youth in the community, but wanted a more secure design and a higher lever of maintenance and cleaning.

On the way to our advice centre the next day I got a phone call from one of my constituents at Tower Cross, Mornington. He had come across the scene of a serious crash on the Garra Road.

I was in the area so I dropped by and met "Mojo" at Tower Cross. The crashed vehicle had missed a 90 degree bend, gone straight ahead and the car had flipped over and hit an eircom pole and a speed limit sign.

Accident Scene at Tower Cross
Eircom workers reinstate their services - within an hour of the crash

Mojo informed me that this happens every four months or so. When I got back to my advice centre I wrote to the engineer, telling him about the crash and asking him to erect another warning sign and road markings on the approach to the junction.

That evening I went to Dalymount Park to see the 2nd leg of the UEFA match. The Drogs were playing Helsinki. The match started brightly enough, with Drogheda on top. Close to the end of the first half the Finn's went ahead, against the run of play.

The second half was nail-biting, and Drogheda went level with about 20 minutes left. From then on there was only going to be one winner. In extra time we stuck two penalties past the hapless Finns.

Dejected Finn
Guardian-referenced local historian Tom Reilly celebrates the Drogs third goal

The result puts us through to the next round. A fantastic result for the team. The first time we have won a match in Europe.

After quite a bit of delay we finally got started on Donacarney junction this week. The fist step is for the ESB to make some connections. Once that is done the council will begin remedial works at the junction.

ESB at Donacarney
ESB staff tackle their backlog of work in East Meath

The ESB have come in for some stick in the area recently. For instance, there have been months of delays waiting for poles lights to be turned on in Donore and for the toilet to be connected at Laytown. It's probably a function of the sheer workload they are faced with in this part of the county.

The engineers have told me that the roadworks at the junction will be finished by the end of August, in time for school re-opening (and the Laytown Races!).

A great blog Dominic, fair play to you.

Well done to the SuperDrogs, though now that Keith Fahey has returned to his rightful home we won't be long in challenging you again!

Great to see the reception you're getting and I'm sure you're well on the way to winning a Labour seat and serious representation for the people of Meath East.

Dermot Looney

Dominic your experience outside the church gates remind me of a similar experience I had here in Waterford about 10 years ago. I and another party member were collecting outside the gates of a country church when the parish priest came and told us to "get away from here. The Labour Party are no friends of the church." The following week Fianna Fail were collecting unhindered outside the same church. Some things never change I suppose!! Keep up the good work.
best site
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