Dundalk Chamber held a successful information meeting this day last week, attended by Councillors, Chamber members and the general public. Apologies from Declan Breathnach TD; Imelda Munster TD and Fergus O’Dowd TD and Senator Jed Nash
Paddy Malone outlined the successful lobbying carried out by the Chamber. The result was that the original 2040 draft plan was significantly overhauled putting huge emphasis on the M1 Corridor from Drogheda, Dundalk and Newry. Paddy praised the work carried out by Anthony Abbott King, senior planner Louth CC, and his staff on identifying the M1 corridor as the only way to get the Region its due recognition.
Paddy explained that we took Anthony’s idea and added Newry. Dundalk Chamber was the only organisation which identified all three towns in its submission and one of the few which addressed both Northern Ireland and Brexit.
The draft regional plan was released in November with briefings for this area in Ballymun, Tullamore and Naas. The Chamber felt that for the Leinster counties from Wicklow to Louth there should be another briefing in the Northern section . When this was not arranged we went ahead.
The draft plan again sees the M1 corridor as the main growth area outside Dublin for the region and indeed the country. It places great emphasis on close workings with Newry and Northern Ireland. It envisages both Drogheda and Dundalk growing to over 50,000 people by 2031, achieving city status.
There were a number of suggestions on specific projects raised from the floor. People were advised to make submissions by Wednesday. Paddy supplied contact details.
Councillor Colm Markey who sits on the assembly as one of 38 confirmed that he and Councillor Tommy Byrne had had to explain why Louth had “won”.
Colm also acknowledged the significant contribution the Chamber’s submission had had in Government thinking. He explained that there were 11 local authorities asking why the 12th Louth was signalled out for favourable treatment.
What was important now was to retain that position.
Projects identified as requiring further emphasis included St Nicholas Quarter, Tourist infrastructure in Carlingford Lough; upgrading of road going west from Dundalk; the need for a Regional Hospital possibly serving Newry; the Southern Relief Road in Newry to allow Warrenpoint Port access to the M1.
Paddy thanked all those present and stated that the Chamber was glad that they had a good working relationship with the Council. He invited any businesses present to either join or become more active in the Chamber.