Sunday, September 03, 2006


Laytown race-field takes shape

The annual horse races in Laytown are taking place next week and the village is preparing for the influx of thousands of day-trippers. It’s one of the busiest days in the year for villagers and one of the most exciting.

This year there is a bit of a cloud over the event, what with the situation in relation to the lack of space in the local school. I’ve been talking to people about it all week and feelings and emotions are running very high on the issue. At this stage the situation is delicate and the next week is very important.

Laytown Race field

Preparations are made on Laytown Race Field

Other schools in the area are also not without their problems. At Donacarney school the children returned to school this week to find that the roadway outside was being dug up. This is despite the fact that the area engineer assured councillors that the works would be finished by the end of August. I was contacted by numerous parents who were perplexed that the work wasn't finished.

Donacarney trench

Roadworks continue outside Donacarney School.

On Friday I met with the Area Administrator and the Area Engineer to discuss the matter. It transpires that the work was help up by the ESB, who didn’t come on site until too late and who didn’t complete their works until the end of August, a full month after they had originally planned to do. As a result the council wasn’t in a position to commence the works until Monday. Why the engineer couldn’t have predicted the delay I don’t know; we all know that the ESB have a very poor delivery record in the area.

I dropped over to the school to talk to a few parents. While there I chatted to a couple of the workmen on the site and it looks like the roadwork could continue for up to six weeks. Looking at the traffic movements I still have concerns about the safety of the works, and I have brought these concerns to the attention of the engineer. I think that there should be more supervision of the traffic during the morning and afternoon school opening and closing times. The engineer countered by saying that he felt that the situation was safe. I disagree and I told him so. I will be raising the matter with the Area Manager and asking him to improve safety at the school.

The village school in Slane is also a matter of concern. A planning application is about to be decided upon which, if approved, will allow a temporary road to be built through the school car–park and the child drop-off point. The road will be used by construction lorries on their way into a development site where 35 houses are to be built.

It’s a very strange case, because the planners have already given permission a few weeks ago for the 35 houses, despite that fact that the field they sit in is landlocked and has absolutely no current road access. This second planning application seeks to provide that access. I met and spoke to several local residents; they really don’t understand how this could have got the go-ahead. Frankly, I'm at a loss to explain it myself. It's one of those decisions that leaves people scratching their heads and wondering what exactly is going on.

I will be meeting with the planners this week to get an explanation for their decision and to see what can be done. Meanwhile I advised residents to bring the case to An Bord Pleanala.

Thanks for the 'heads-up' on Slane N.S.
From your experience, can you suggest the most effective / efficient method or route for bringing such cases to An Bord Pleanála?
I am someone who has always voted left(ish)parties and candidates because I have always believed that both Fianna Fail and Fine Gael are, and have been for some 70 years, systemically corrupt.

I am incandescent with rage that Enda Kenny has been allowed to get away with claiming his party as the "Party of Probity"!?!?

When is Labour, amongst others, going to call a spade a spade?

Or must we wait for all tribunals to report?
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