Sunday, November 05, 2006


Comments on the Strategy for Drogheda and East Meath

This week saw a meeting of councillors from East Meath, Drogheda Borough and Louth County Council to discuss comments we have received on the draft strategy for the development of Drogheda and the East Meath Area.

The group meets every six months or so and is meant to be a "Steering Committee". However, because of the infrequency of the meetings it is really little more than a talking shop to allow councillors to let off steam about the proposals.

At the meeting we discussed representations received from West Street traders, who are concerned that not enough thought has gone into the impact on retailers in that area. We also received a number of submissions from landowners and affected parties around the Stameen area (behind Grange Rath and alongside the Mill Road). A new link road is being proposed that would help alleviate local traffic. In addition, the Boyne Rugby Club would like to relocate here. However, both of these facilities appear to be dependent on some form of residential rezoning. The draft strategy states that the land in the area should be a "Strategic Reserve". Some sort of change / compromise appears to be necessary here.

RTE called me up and asked me to take part in a programme called The Constituency. It goes out on Radio 1 every Saturday and assesses the electoral prospects for the main candidates. I was delighted to get the call and duly met the presenter, Rachel English, at Dunboyne Castle Hotel.

The show can be heard here:

The other voice in the interview is Serena Campbell, who ran in the by-election. I haven't seen her in a while so it was nice to catch up. She's good company.

After the interview I dropped over to the boundary of the Hotel with the adjoining residential estate, the Dunboyne Castle estate. I'd been contacted by a number of local residents who voiced their concern about what appears to be a closing-off of the access route from the 400-home Dunboyne Castle estate to the Hotel grounds. Acccess to the Hotel was somehting that was used by the sales agent to help market the homes, and residents are concerned that this great benefit is going to be withdrawn. I got on to the Hotel Duty Manager, who assured me that that the Hotel wants to keep the access link open. I will also speak to the Area Manager and ask him to monitor the situation. In the meantime, if any residents come across a locked gate then please let me know or ring the hotel directly.

Entrance to Dunboyne Caste

A locked gate from Dunboyne Castle Estate into the Hotel grounds

While I was in the estate I noticed that some of the public lights have not been switched on. This is not uncommon, a point I make in the video below...

Residents kept in the dark over public lighting delays

On Thursday I attended a presentation by the Concerned Parents of East Meath to the Dail Committee on Education and Science. The parents gave their experiences on the failure to provide a school in Laytown in time for the return to school in September, and suggested how the system could be reformed so that other schools across the country don't have to go through what they went through. The presentation was very professional, and well delivered. The Committeee responded that it intends to incorporate their thoughts and suggestions into their recommendations to the Minister.

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