Sunday, February 01, 2009


Kilmoon Cross toget €100,000 for safety improvements

It was late on Monday when a phone call came through from the Housing Minister’s Office. He called in person to tell me that he was introducing emergency legislation to cover an anomaly in the Residential Tenancies Act of 2004 and that this would be introduced on Tuesday evening.

I made some changes to my plans for Tuesday evening (moving meetings etc.) and proceeded to do some research on the Bill. As it turned out it was pulled on Tuesday evening, because of an issue raised by Labour TD Ciaran Lynch. Instead, it came into the Seanad on Wednesday morning, when I spoke on the issue.

We would have liked the Minister to improve the legislation by allowing Councillors to serve on the Private Residential Tenancies Boards and also to put them within the scope of the Freedom of Information Act, but the Minister refused to allow our amendments to do so. Nevertheless we supported the Bill in its passage through the House.

Later in the week I was glad to receive a letter from the National Roads Authority informing me that they would be spending €100,000 on safety measures at Kilmoon Cross. Many people either drive through Kilmoon on a daily basis or they catch a bus into town from there. Traffic flies through on the N2 at about 100kph and when it’s dark and you are walking or waiting on the road it can be a scary place. So, hopefully this money will be spent and the facilities in the area improved.I know that it’s something that will be welcomed by many people around the area. Our local representative Eileen Drew and myself have had many people expressing concern about the junction in the past.

In the afternoon I got to talk to a few Ashbourne people at their houses with one of our local candidates, Niamh McGowan. Although she is from Ratoath, Niamh has lived in Ashbourne for the last decade and is campaigning for better facilities for people in the town. I was surprised by how well she is known in the area. The reception we got was very positive. People are worried about their futures and aren’t convinced that the current government has the answers. They were glad to hear that we were offering a clear strategy for how to get us out of the current crisis.

That evening I travelled up to Kells to chair the selection convention for Kells Town Council. Although the convention was uncontested, the convention was packed out. We selected sitting Councillor Tommy Grimes and current Cathaoirleach Cllr Brian Collins to run for the Town Council. I addressed the convention and told them that we have an excellent chance of holding our two seats, but only if they all help out. I also told them that earlier in the day I had spoken on the Electoral Amendment Act, which will move Kells into the constituency of Meath East. The Act should become law in the next few weeks.

That completes our candidate selection for the local elections in Meath. Earlier that week we had chosen our candidates for Trim Town Council. They are Donal O’Brien (Cllr Danny O’Brien’s son) and James O’Shea. Our competed list of candidates is as follows:

Meath County Council

Dunshaughlin Electoral Area – 7 seats – John King, Niamh McGowan and Michael McLoughlin
Kells Electoral Area –5 seats - Councillor Brian Collins
Navan Electoral Area – 7 seats - Eileen Drew
Slane Electoral Area – 6 seats – Councillor Eoin Holmes
Trim Electoral Area – 4 seats – Tracy McIlhinney

Kells Town Council – Councillor Brian Collins and Councillor Tommy Grimes
Navan Town Council – Anton McCabe
Trim Town Council – Donal O’Brien and James O’Shea

Good luck to them all!

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