Sunday, July 16, 2006


Dunboyne trucks

I got more representations about the number of trucks going through Dunboyne village. It is strangling the place and I’d say that it’s definitely the number 1 issue for anyone living in the area. We are trying to introduce new byelaws to ban lorries from the village. However, the issue is complicated by a few factors and despite councillors raising it every time we meet, action has been too slow.

There may be a possibility of some development on the issue shortly. The County Engineer is introducing traffic byelaws for Enfield town. If there aren’t challenged and pass into law then he has said that he will use these “test case” byelaws in other locations, such as Dunboyne. We will keep on at him to do this.

The County Development plan proposes to rezone Cushenstown as a graig (small village). Cushenstown is currently a tiny hamlet of about 15 houses and a school. I attended the school, as did the late CJ Haughey.

One of the local Councillors proposed to rezone the area as a graig, to allow further residential development in the area. The planners advised against the move. All the other councillors voted for it, but I abstained, as I wanted to get a view from the local community.

Cushenstown school
Standing in the field proposed for housing at Cushenstown

I dropped out to have a chat and spoke to a few families about their fears and worries about the proposal. It turns out that there is over 300 acres of proposed rezoning within a mile of the school. This is in the middle of the country, six miles from the nearest village or town. Crazy stuff. I’ve promised to come back out to the residents with some more information, so that we can work out how to respond to the proposals.

The Laytown Races will take place on the strand in the first week of September. I attended the launch night of the Laytown Races at the new Bettystown Court Hotel. The night was a chance to get an advance briefing on the event, and the reception was attended by local residents, politicians and journalists. From the sounds of things the day at the races promises to be as good as ever.

I met Irish Independent journalist Willie Dillon there. He commented on the letters in the Drogheda Leader in response to the previous week’s letter. Each of this week’s letters was very supportive of me and it was really nice to see that people took the effort to write in. Willie informed me that he was writing an article on gay politicians in Saturday paper (which duly appeared).

Meath has a small budget for public works of art and this week one of its newest, the kite flyer of Bettystown, was unveiled in Bettystown Square.

Statue Unveiling at Bettystown
Myself, Cllr Tom Kelly and Denis Boyle in Bettystown Square

I attended with my fellow councillor, the Arts Officer and the Area Administrator. It’s an unusual work, but form talking to a few locals I think it’s quite well liked. The only adverse comment we got was from some passer-by, who wanted to know whey we were spending money on sculptures and not on hanging flower pots.

The village of Dunshaughlin is another location where traffic volumes choke the centre of the village. A bypass is coming in the next few years, and that should alleviate traffic problems. It was one of the main issues raised with me when I canvassed the area this week. I also got feedback on the new park in the village. It opened three weeks ago and so far so good. The locals like it and it looks like it is being well used. Now we just need to build some more of them!

There are still 20,000 cars and 2,000 trucks going through Julianstown every day. What are you doing about that!
Hi Anonymous of Julianstown.

Thanks for your comment. Here are some things I have done...

1. I got a motion passed by Meath County Council calling on the National Roads Authority to reduce truck tolls on M1 by 50%. NRA ignored our request.

2. I backed a motion calling for a bypass of Julianstown - awaits funding from central governement before it can proced to design stage.

3. I approved funding of €300,000 for traffic calming in Julianstown, which should lead to fewer trucks going through the village. Work to commence shortly.

4. I've been on local radio calling on truckers to use the M1 and avoid the village.

5. If the Enfield bylaws work, I'll ask the County Engineer to consider applying them to Julianstown.

If you have any suggestion for what else I can do to help I'll do it, but I don't have a magic wand so I can't make the problem go away by myself. You can either post it as another anonymous comment or contact me and we can have a chat. Thanks, D
hi Dominic, you seem to be doing a lot for our local communities. I've been dismayed with some of the members of the county council of late - local authorities really need to get their act together in relation to procedures in their varying departments e.g. HEG, FOI etc. It seems that the Department of the Environment's customer charter has not been implemented. I have also found that customer service at the council in regard to particular departments needs revision. Upon contacting the council you get the impression that the council does not realise it is responsible to the people and not the other way round. I guess it is perhaps like Rousseau stated democracy really only comes to the fore every '4' years when a general election is called.

Anyway, I just wanted to say that from your website it looks like you have a 'vocatio' to serve the people and I'll be thinking about labour in the next election. I think that the only caveat I have is the abortion issue, that has prevented me from moving away from the more traditional parties. Yet, it's nice to see there are articles being written about gay politicans.

Best wishes,
Sean, Navan
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