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Closing date approaches for submissions on Draft County Development Plan 2015-2021

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There are now just weeks left to have an input into the Louth County Development Plan for 2015-2021, with the closing date for submissions to the draft document falling on Wednesday, December 17.

To date 27 submissions have been received by the local authority and as the December 17 deadline approaches,  a renewed call is being made for as many people, groupings etc to play a vital role in the shaping of the County’s future. A number of planning clinics were held throughout November in Dundalk, Drogheda, Ardee, Carlingford and Dunleer with strong interest recorded.Interested individuals, including those representing community and voluntary groups and also those from the business community spoke with planning staff on hand at the clinics to answer any queries they may have in relation to the draft plan which is currently on display at various locations across the county.Speaking on the success of the planning clinics and calling once again for submissions,

Mary T Daly, Director of Services, said: "Louth County Council planning staff welcomed all the views and opinions regarding the draft County Development Plan and encouraged all those attending the clinics to put their views on the plan forward as a submission/observation to be an effective part of shaping the county’s future.“To date 27 submissions have been made and I would like to take this opportunity to thank those who have made submissions as they are playing a fundamental role in local democracy and forward planning."

It is hoped that many more submissions will be made in the coming weeks. County Louth has so many valued individuals, community and business groupings already taking a central role within the County.  Their opinions and input in the Draft County Development Plan would be invaluable."This is the public’s opportunity to be involved and I would ask as many as possible to take the time to look through the Plan and share their feedback and opinions with Louth County Council so that we can put forward the best County Development Plan."

For those who were unable to attend the clinics, the plan is still on display at a number of locations in addition to www.louthcoco.ie. There is still time to review the draft document and make any submission you feel will be beneficial to the future of County Louth.The display period finishes on Wednesday, December 17, 2014. Following on from this, a report will be prepared for Council on the submissions received. This will summarise the issues raised, outline a response to the various points made and recommend amendments to the draft plan where appropriate.

This report alongside the draft plan will then be presented to the elected members of Louth County Council for consideration.The Draft Louth County Development Plan 2015-2021 may be viewed at the following locations: County Hall, Millennium Centre, Dundalk; Town Hall, Crowe Street, Dundalk; Council Offices, Fair Street, Drogheda; Mid-Louth Civic Centre, Fairgreen, Ardee and at the libraries in Dundalk, Drogheda, Ardee, Dunleer and Carlingford.

It may also be downloaded at: http://www.louthcoco.ie/en/Louth_County_Council/Latest_News/Draft-Louth-County-Development-Plan-2015-2021.html

All interested parties are entitled to make submissions/observations including children or groups representing children’s interests. All such submissions/observations received within the statutory period will be taken into consideration prior to the final adoption of the plan which will govern development in Louth through to 2021.


Would you like to reduce your energy bills by 20 percent?

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Louth County Council is collaborating with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland in the delivery of energy saving opportunities to Small-Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) and other organisations within County Louth. Louth County Council is looking for participant organisations for the initiative. The initiative comes under targets set out by the Irish Government regarding national energy efficiency (2020). Participant organisations will have Energy Advisors allocated to them, in accordance with their organisational capacity.

The aim is to reduce energy bills by 10% for each participating SME or other organisation and to provide ongoing advice/mentoring for a period of three months after initial consultation to sustain that energy expenditure reduction. Louth County Council will be responsible for allocating and managing the Energy Advisors who in turn will manage the delivery of onsite energy management support at no cost to participant organisation. A progress report of projected savings will also be produced on completion.

Participant organisations will be subject to the following terms and conditions:

  • must  be located in County Louth and be committed to support the Energy Advisors and provide them with any energy related and relevant operational information as  required.
  • nominate a main point of contact for liaising with their Energy Advisors and other stakeholders and act as  the energy champion for the organisation.
  • must provide full details of and access to energy bills for the twelve months prior to the  commencement of the programme

For further information contact:  Tel: 042 9324247 Or email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


McArdle Skeath win The Irish Exporter’s Awards 2014

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Congratulations to chamber members McArdle Skeath who won the Irish Exporter Awards for 2014. McArdle Skeath beat off competition from DHL, DSV, Geodis and Keuhne + Nagel in what was the most competitive awards to date.

The judges said that "this was an extremely competitive category with so many great companies putting themselves forward to support Ireland’s strategic vision to get exports ‘off the island’. It became a battle of exceptionality. McArdle Skeath are a proven exception in the supply chain, the export industry simply cannot function without this type of company."

The Irish Exporters Association (IEA) is the 'Voice of the Export Industry' in Ireland. The Irish Exporters Awards was created to recognise the success of export companies in Ireland, including management strength, ability to innovate, strategic initiatives and financial performance.

Commenting on the award, Micheál McArdle, General Manager, McArdle Skeath said: "We are delighted to be recognised by the Irish Exporters Association as a leader in Logistics in Ireland. I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of all the staff and management in McArdle Skeath. This award reaffirms that Indigenous Irish Businesses continue to invest in order to complete globally".



Dundalk Charity Santa Fun Run 2014

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Dundalk Charity Santa run will take place on Friday 5th December at 6.30pm. The distance is only 1 mile and you can walk or run it.

Registration days are ever day Monday to Sunday in the Santa run Shop in Park St  formally  Pulse Pacemaker Dundalk till the day of the run. Registration Fee is €10 per Adult and €5.00 per child which includes Santa suit and tag for the Guinness Book of Records .

Last year’s event raised over €60,000 for charities so the committee are hoping that you and your family club or school would take part in this fantastic event again. Some of the charities that will benefit this year are Maria Goretti Foundation, Samaritans, Simon Community, Make a wish, Netwell Centre, Dundalk Dog Rescue O.N.E Michael Mc Neela Branch, Ronald Mc Donald House , Order of Malta , Cara Cancer Support Centre and Children’s Heart Centre Crumlin.

It was one of the highlights of the Christmas season last year and I would encourage you to bring your family and friends to this wonderful evening and get in the spirit of Christmas while helping many good causes. Last year’s event had over 5000 Santa’s taking part and we hope to get 10,000 on board this year so fingers crossed!

Log on to http://www.facebook.com/dundalksantarun and don’t forget to like and share the page. You can also register on line on  http://www.dundalk.ie/santa

For more information call Tracey or Kerryann in Dundalk Chamber of Commerce on Tel: 042 9336343 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Support the Christmas Lights

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Pictured is Paddy Malone of Dundalk Chamber presenting a cheque for €2000 towards the Christmas lights in Dundalk to Tom Muckian of Carroll’s Book shop and Margaret Brennan of Aidan Brennan Jewellers.

Tom and Margaret are part of the local organisers of the Christmas Lights and are asking that all businesses and traders in the town centre would support them financially. Tom said that he recognised some traders were hard pressed but even a small donation would help.

Paddy Malone stated that this cheque was honouring a commitment the Chamber made at the public meeting it organised concerning the Lights and the new taxi ranks. The Council has engaged very proactively with the Chamber on the latter.


Here comes Santa Claus

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Santa is coming to Marshes Shopping Centre, Saturday 29th November with a spectacular fireworks display at 5pm and Santa’s amazing arrival at 5.15pm. Santa’s arrival in explosive style follows Dundalk’s Festival of Light & Culture, Friday 28th November with entertainment from 4.30pm.

Come along Saturday and immerse yourself in the Christmas spirit!


Louth Business Awards Night a huge success!

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The Fairways Hotel was the place to be last Saturday night when Dundalk Chamber of Commerce hosted the Louth Business Awards 2014.  The glittering, Black tie event is now the Business event of the year and a highlight in the social calendar in Dundalk. A sell out crowd compromising of local companies, business leaders, local politicians and dignitaries suggested this really was the event to be with just under 500 guests on the night. Tickets are always at a premium for this occasion and this was the largest number of bookings ever for this fantastic networking event.

Patrons were treated to a fantastic champagne reception, followed by a four course meal. Mizu Health & Beauty sponsored Best Dressed Lady while Tony McDonnell Menswear sponsored the Best Dressed Gent. It really was a glamorous occasion with beautiful dresses and accessories. The staff of the Fairways Hotel pulled out all the stops to make it a night to be remembered. Local company Wow Wow weddings supplied a photo booth on the night and patrons had a fantastic time getting fun photos with plenty of props.

MC for the night was Michael Duffy who provided the rapport with the audience and the finalists. The band on the night was Sugartown Rd. and they got all the audience up from the very first number and made sure the crowd were entertained until the early hours with a brilliant selection of songs. The dance floor was packed to capacity the whole night and local businesses donated fantastic spot prizes also which really added to the occasion.

The results for the Louth Business Awards 2014 were as follows:

  • Best Customer Service Award sponsored by the Argus was won by Terry Kelly Wallpaper & Paints.
  • Best Retail premises for both exterior and interior visual impact sponsored by The Fairways Hotel was won Ruby’s Vintage Style Tearoom.
  • Special Community Group Award sponsored by Dundalk Credit Union was won by Dundalk Santa Run.
  • Age Friendly award sponsored by myhomecare.ie was won by Colman & Ann O Flynn Pharmacy.
  • Business Growth Award sponsored by Vhi Healthcare was won by Prometric.
  • Best Exporter of the year award sponsored by Enterprise Ireland was won by Ovelle Pharmaceutical.
  • Best Pub/Bar Award sponsored by Diageo  was won by The Castle Bar.
  • Best Training Initiative sponsored by Louth & Meath Education Board was won by Walk Peer Programme.
  • Best Tourist Attraction sponsored by The Crowne Plaza was won by The Spirit Store.
  • Dundalk’s Best High Growth SME sponsored by Louth County Enterprise Board was won by Loughran Family Malt.
  • Best  Use of Internet Technology sponsored by Oriel Hub was won by McArdle Skeath.
  • Best Marketing Campaign sponsored by AIB Bank was won by Matthews Coach Hire.
  • Best Eating Establishment sponsored by Tesco was won by Fitzpatrick’s Bar & Restaurant.
  • Corporate Social Responsibility Award sponsored by Prometric was won by Horseware.



Louth County Council continues as a main sponsor for Dundalks Christmas events

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Louth County Council is continuing with its support of Christmas initiatives within the county with a major sponsorship involvement in Dundalk Festival of Light & Culture and Dundalk on Ice.

Dundalk Festival of Light & Culture takes place on Friday and Saturday, November 28 and 29 with a huge variety of events for all ages located in and around Dundalk town centre.

The festival will also see the official opening of Dundalk on Ice, the first enclosed real ice rink to open at the Market Square, which will be in operation for the Christmas season.

Joan Martin, Chief Executive, Louth County Council, confirmed the authority’s continued support of local initiatives concentrating on keeping seasonal spending local while creating a unique Christmas atmosphere for Dundalk people and visitors alike.

"Co-operation between local businesses and groupings, including the local authority is vital in ensuring that towns can put their best foot forward at this time of the year. This is why I am happy to say that Louth County Council is once again a major sponsor in the Dundalk Christmas events programme, including the Dundalk Festival of Light & Culture and Dundalk on Ice.

"In offering the best attractions possible to our townspeople and visitors, we can play a part in keeping expenditure local and in doing so, benefit all of us beyond the Christmas season.

"Retailers, business and community groupings have been working hard to put together events that as many people as possible can enjoy and it is very important that Louth County Council does what it can to help through funding and other supports to ensure that we all enjoy what Dundalk has to offer this Christmas season."


Festival of Light & Culture highlights confirmed

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As the countdown continues to the Dundalk Festival of Light & Culture 2014, further highlights for the Christmas Festival, taking place on Friday & Saturday, November 28th & 29th have been confirmed.

Dundalk FC Manager Stephen Kenny, will join Louth County Council Cathaoirleach, Oliver Tully in officially switching on the town centre’s Christmas illuminations on Friday as well as perform the official opening of the Dundalk on Ice indoor 'real' ice rink.

As the festival gets underway, it’s over to the live music stage at the Courthouse and Voice of Ireland winner, Brendan McCahey, has confirmed that he will make a special guest appearance on Friday evening.

Another highlight of the weekend will take place on Saturday evening with the arrival of Santa at the Marshes Shopping Centre on a huge Kenworth truck. The Kenworth truck is the biggest of its kind in Ireland and Festival goers will have the chance to see for themselves this giant of American trucks when it arrives in Dundalk, with Santa on board, on Saturday evening as the Fantastic Firework display brings the Festival to its conclusion at the Marshes Shopping Centre.

Speaking on Santa’s mode of transport this week, Harry Traynor said "It’s understandable that we give the reindeers a bit of a rest in the run up to December 25th and we always like to offer Santa different ways to arrive at the Marshes Shopping Centre.

"The Kenworth Truck is absolutely huge. In fact, we had to check and see was it actually possible to drive such a wide truck through the streets. It’s certainly going to be an unforgettable sight of this year’s Festival."

All the latest additions to the Festival of Light & Culture, along with previously announced highlights including Dundalk on Ice, Titan the Robot, the Festival Train, Letters to Santa and Animal Farm & Blessings are included in the Festival programme now available from outlets throughout the town including the Dundalk Tourist Office/Dundalk BIDS Office, Marshes Shopping Centre

You can also keep up to date by following the Dundalk Festival of Light and Culture on Facebook or via Twitter @dlkfest. Please like, share and retweet to spread the word!

Dundalk Festival of Light & Culture is funded and supported by the following without whose generosity holding this community event would not be possible: Louth County Council, Marshes Shopping Centre, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Dundalk BIDS, Dundalk Chamber of Commerce, Dundalk Tidy Towns, PetSafe, Haribo and Dundalk Bureau de Change via Dundalk on Ice


Library Ireland Week - Open for Business

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The theme of this year’s Library Ireland Week (17th to 24th November) is "Open for Business", focusing on the role of libraries in serving the business community and in supporting entrepreneurship, job skills and creation, innovation, and much more.

Library Ireland Week was officially launched on November 12th in Drogheda Library by Gavin Duffy, entrepreneur, business coach and Dragon’s Den investor. He was joined by Paddy Matthews, President of Dundalk Chamber of Commerce, Jane Cantwell, President of the Library Association of Ireland and Bernadette Fennell, Louth County Librarian.

Gavin Duffy, entrepreneur & Dragon’s Den investor; Chamber President Paddy Matthews; Jane Cantwell, President Library Association of Ireland & Bernadette Fennell, Louth County Librarian

Jane Cantwell, President of the Library Association said "The Library Association of Ireland is proud to support Library Ireland Week 2014. Librarians from all kinds of libraries all over the country have been busy organising events, seminars, talks and exhibitions to showcase how libraries support jobs, innovation and business. During this week and throughout the year, our libraries are definitely open for business. Library Ireland Week will showcase the wonderful resources available in all libraries to support business, whether that’s a new start-up, an existing business or an individual looking for help with job searching or preparing a CV."

Businesses, students, job seekers, entrepreneurs and local traders are urged to check out the supports available in their local library. These include meeting spaces and training rooms; WiFi access, printing and scanning facilities; books, journals and databases on careers, business and education opportunities. Libraries support lifelong learning by providing computer classes, language learning workshops, CV preparation and career talks. Digital resources include access to a host of databases and online learning resources.  Libraries work in collaboration with third level institutions, Local Enterprise Offices, SOLAS, Education and Training Boards, Chambers of Commerce, Government Departments and Agencies.

Gavin Duffy highlighted "Libraries are no longer just full of great books that entertain and enlighten you. They have transformed into invaluable community resource centres of online information to help you with your studies, job searches, personal development, business, genealogy etc. Whether it’s from between the covers of a book or through a digital window there are so many fascinating untold and untapped stories and opportunities just waiting for you".

For further information on local library events check out http://www.libraryirelandweek.ie.  To be in with a chance to win an iPad like and share our Facebook page Library Ireland Week and also follow us on Twitter @libraryweek2014.

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