Sunday, June 17, 2007


Monthly Council Meeting

The monthly council meeting took place on Monday. The agenda was surprisingly light. So light in fact that we managed to finish the meeting by half past four. Generally speaking, if a meeting looks like finishing early then Councillors start raising lots of additional items on Any Other Business. Not this month, so we concluded early.

We had been expecting to debate the issue of additional social housing in Bettystown, but the item was removed from the agenda at the last minute. We’ve been told that it was just a procedural thing, and that a report on the matter will be put before the councillors within the next ten days.

Since I was in Navan anyway I used the time bonus to see the Enforcement officer about a few issues in relation to estates in the East Meath area. Although everyone is one email these days it does no harm to drop in to the officials for a face-to-face chat. I managed to get a few things sorted and was on my way home by six.

I spent the rest of the week catching up with paperwork and office stuff and even managed to get out to a bookshop for half an hour!

Sunday, June 10, 2007


What’s eating Bettystown Beach?

We had a presentation during the week from an engineering firm that was appointed to assess the situation in relation to coastal erosion at Laytown and Bettystown.

Those that have lived in the area a long time will have noted the changes. For instance, there used to be a huge difference in level between the sea wall at the river Boyne at Mornington and the beach. Now that difference has been much reduced. This is largely due to the movement of sand across the beach.

The engineers told us that if the situation is allowed to continue then in a short number of years parts of the beach might be stripped entirely of sand and the underlying rock may be exposed. This would have significant implications on the future of the Laytown races and on the amenity of the beach itself.

The engineers have come up with a proposed solution. It will cost a fair few million to implement, and will no doubt generate a lot of debate locally, but the question is, if it doesn’t proceed, what then for the beach? Oh, and they estimate that the benefit to cost ratio is a whopping 14:1. We’re hoping that the incoming government will give this project due consideration.

My advice centres resumed this week. In Stamullen I was asked for an update on eircom Broadband for the village. We contacted Eircom on Wednesday and the Head of Communications says that it’s still on course for late summer. I’ll keep on to them on this matter.

On Saturday I was asked by the Labour Party National Executive Committee to contest the Seanad elections for the Industry & Commerce Panel. I will be accepting the nomination, so for the next few weeks I must combine my council work with lots of meetings with other councillors across Ireland. It will be a tough and hard-fought campaign, but if I’m successful it means that the East of Meath gets another Oireachtas representative to fight for improvements to the area.

Monday, June 04, 2007


Normal Service Resumes

Back to work this week after the long election campaign. I had quite a bit of correspondence to catch up with. In addition, there were loads of letters to be sent out in relation to issues that I picked up during the campaign.

I also got lots of calls of support from people across the county., which was nice and of course I got a few phone calls from journalists, asking me what my plans are for the future.

Most of the weekday evenings were spent taking down posters. I actually ended up in Cavan one night because the truck was running out of diesel and at 9:40pm there are very few garages around North Meath that are still open. Luckily we got into Kingscourt just before the local garage closed. We think we’ve got them all down now, but if you spot one either up a pole or at the side of the road then I’d appreciate it if you could call our advice centre and let us know.

On the subject of advice centres, my roving advice centres resume this coming week. I am in Donore, Duleek and Stamullen on Tuesday and in Slane village on Thursday. So if you have a issue that you need help on, then feel free to come along.