Coun­cil will in­vest in Drogheda ahead of the Fleadh - CEO

Drogheda Independent - - NEWS - BY FIONA MA­GEN­NIS

LOUTH County Coun­cil Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Joan Mar­tin has vowed to make sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment in Drogheda and make im­prove­ments to the much ma­ligned Nar­row West Street.

Re­spond­ing to con­cerns raised at the Novem­ber meet­ing of Droghea Mu­nicpial District, when coun­cil­lors were asked to ac­cept a re­duc­tion in their dis­crep­tionary bud­get of €15,000, Ms Mar­tin said there was no ques­tion that this money would go to­wards the Fleadh. ‘ There will be money spent in Drogheda for the Fleadh. There are ar­eas here in Drogheda like Nar­row West Street that need work, I’m as con­cious as you are of the look of Nar­row West Street. That will be done,’ she said.

She said a long term plan for the fu­ture of Nar­row West Street is cur­rently be­ing worked on and will go on pub­lic dis­play in the near fu­ture. ‘It is a long term project but stage 1 will be pro­gressed,’ she said.

The Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer went on to say that she be­lieves the Fleadh will have a huge im­pact in pro­mot­ing Drogheda and the re­gion and boost­ing tourism num­bers to the area. ‘ The Fleadh to me is a huge event, it will bring a lot of money to Drogheda,’ she said.

‘I also see the de­vel­op­ment of tourism as a legacy of the Fleadh. I en­vis­age na­tional TV ex­po­sure which will put Drogheda on a much stronger foot­ing in terms of visi­tors and tourism.’ The CEO went on to re­spond to crit­i­cism from coun­cil­lors, who said they be­lieve Drogheda has been over­looked and has not re­ceived the in­vest­ment and in­fra­struc­ture it de­serves, par­tic­u­larly since the down­grad­ing of Drogheda Bor­ough Coun­cil. ‘Drogheda has not been ne­glected,’ The CEO in­sisted, point­ing out a num­ber of projects cur­rently in the pipeline in­clud­ing the rede­vel­op­ment of the Tholsel build­ing and the ma­jor re­fur­bish­ment of the old coun­cil of­fices on Fair Street at a cost of €12m.

She said the plans for this are cur­rently at de­tailed de­sign stage.

‘ The costs for in­sur­ance are go­ing through the roof. They’re costs we just have to meet but I fully recog­nise the im­por­tance of both Drogheda and Dun­dalk as the key towns in terms of eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment,’ she said. ‘I would not ac­cept that we are short­chang­ing Drogheda in any way.’

Se­cur­ing the Fleadh for Drogheda was seen as a ma­jor coup for the town and is ex­pected to bring mil­lions of euro in rev­enue with more than 400,000 visi­tors from all over Ire­land and abroad ex­pected to de­scend for the event in 2018. The an­nounce­ment that Drogheda will host next year’s Fleadh was made at the head­quar­ters of Comhal­tas Ce­oltóirí Eire­ann back in March.

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