Happy New Year!
2017 in Meath has been off to a fantastic start so far. Ashbourne came 3rd overall in the IBAL Anti Litter League competition that seeks to recognise the cleanest towns in Ireland. This is certainly some achievement and is a testament to our County Council's outdoor staff, Tidy Towns volunteer, Residents Associations and general residents in the town. We should all be extremely proud!
I have spent the last couple of weeks getting back on track after the Christmas period and I am excited to face whatever challenges 2017 brings. I have attended several Council and Chamber meetings between the 9th and 18th of january, so I can assure you that plans are being put into Ashbourne to make sure that we get even more work done in 2017.
I am presently working on a letter to the principal of Ashbourne Community School to invite transition year students to the Ashbourne Municipal District Building to be present during one of our monthly meetings. This should be a great experience for the students as they will get an insight into how the Council works and makes decisions.
On the 23rd of this month, I had the privilege of turning on the lights at St. Vincent's GAA club in Ardcath. Five of the six Councillours each contributed €2,500 towards the initiative that is now up and running and providing a free lit walkway around the grounds of the club. People do not have to become members of the club to use the walkway. It will provide people with a safe place to walk or run during the dark mornings and evenings. 11 laps of the track is equivalent to 5km!
The next night, I went on a canvass around Ashewood for a few hours to gain feedback regarding pyrite and other issues identified in the estate. I was pleased to discover that there were not too many problems and the feedback was mainly positive.
At the end of this month, I will be stepping down from my role as President of the Ashbourne Chamber of Commerce after 16 months in the position. I have enjoyed the experience and have made some lifelong friends. I wish the Chamber the best of luck in the future.
I look forward to posting these monthly updates and I hope that you will get some benefit from them!
This month, I have attended more AILG training sessions in order to improve my knowledge and upskill as a Councillor. This month, I have been busy working on my newsletter which will address issues such as:
These are some of the main issues that I am presently working on, so be sure to read my newletter when it comes out later this month for more information.
I have also designed an emailed out a survey to all EU countries regarding the implications of Brexit. I want to gather a collective European perspective in relation to Britain's decision to leave the EU. I will put a copy of the survey in the 'news' section of my website.
On a local note, the Ashbourne Branch AGM was held on the 15th of this month and I was delighted to see a fantastic turnout, with both current members and new faces showing up on the night to Mancini's restaurant on Killegland Street. At this meeting, we discussed plans for the future
If you are interested in joining me in my endeavours to continually improve Ashbourne, please contact me. If you want to attend the next meeting, our Ashbourne District AGM is set to take place on the 21st of March in the Pillo Hotel so please contact me to confirm your attendance.
Thank you for reading my February blog and I look forward to seeing what March has to bring!
Hello and welcome to my March blog!
This month, I have been working on several different projects and areas of concern around the district.
A quick update on Primatestown/Kilmoon Cross junction: I am trying to get the speed limit lowered to 60km/hr here. I have been speaking with the director of services in Meath County Council get onto the TII as soon as possible for updates.
Over the last few weeks, I have been working hard on this newsletter that was delivered recently to all estates in the Ashbourne locality. PDF versions of the newsletter can be found in the news section of the website. This newsletter was 6 pages long because I had a lot of information to share with you, so I hope that you found it beneficial. I am happy to speak with you about any element of the newsletter, if you wish to get in touch with me personally.
St. Patrick's Day
This year's St. Patrick's Day festival was successful and very enjoyable despite the adverse weather conditions! Clubs, societies, groups, individuals, families, residents, and business people alike came together to celebrate our the day of our patron saint in style! A huge thank you to everyone who got involved this year - it was a fantastic day.
Gormanston Beach Clean
Did you know that there is a beach in the Ashbourne district? Gormanston beach is an approximate 30 minute drive from Ashbourne's town centre. It is a beautiful, sandy area, perfect for taking a walk, enjoying a picnic or simply wave-watching on the shore. I regularly drive out here to help with regular beach-clean initiatives and this month was no exception. We all want to protect the natural environment and clean-up days are an integral part of environmental maintenance. If you want to join me on the next beach clean day, let me know and I'll send you the details.
To conclude this month's blog, I just want to thank each and every one of you for your continued support. Every day I strive to make improvements for the Ashbourne district and I will always do so. If there is anything that I can be of assistance with, please contact me - I am always available to listen.
Each month just gets busier, but I'm never the one to shy away from hard work! Welcome to my April blog - I can't believe it is April already... the time is flying by.
A motion I put forward to protect hedgerows in rural and urban areas was passed this month; there is no need to rip down hedgerows that provide homes for wildlife to thrive, for building works or otherwise! See the Motions and Questions section on my website for the exact wording of the motion and the Council's response.
On the 9th of this month, approximately 10 volunteers comprising of residents, Councillors and Tidy Towns worked for several hours removing rubbish from the Broadmeadow River. The volunteers did a fantastic job restoring the river to its former beauty. I usually only like to promote positivity in my blogs and newsletters, but the amount of rubbish we pulled out of the river was phenomenal.
I hope that it will not get to this state again, especially since it is home to a variety of different species of wildlife. I saw with my own eyes a female duck with her 10 babies swimming down the river and I also saw two trout... every time we throw rubbish into the river, we are damaging the habitat for these animals.
Works are being carried out at present to install ramps into Alderbrook estate, so watch this space! Also thank you to Alderbrook Residents Association for mentioning me in their newsletter - see PDF link below.
More community groups have availed of discretionary funding for this year. This month, €500 has been given to the Cricket Club to buy a lawnmower, €160 has been allocated for the Battle of Ashbourne Festival, and €160 has be provided for the CIS scheme in Gerardstown to implement proper road surfaces in cul de sacs
National Hunt Museum
A presentation has been made to create a National Hunt Museum in Ashbourne. It is early days yet, but I am interested in how this development will proceed in the future.
Trad Ashbourne are organising traditional music themed, chip timed 5K and 10K Road Race in aid of Muscular Dystrophy Ireland on Sunday the 23rd of April. The race will start at 11am at the Donaghmore Ashbourne GAA Club. Register online at Eventbrite.ie or pay on the day. I will be there on the day stewarding the event, and I would love to say as many of you as possible take part. There will be great Irish craic agus ceoil, so what could beat that?!
Welcome to summer! For the past few months, I have been busy training for a Coast 2 Coast cycle in aid of Make a Wish Foundation and Abacas. In conjunction with the South Meath Fingal Lions Club, The Ashburners Cycle Club embarked on the third annual 220K cycling event over the 27th and 28th of May.
I also sent out surveys to residents along the Milltown Road looking for feedback and suggestions regarding the upgrade of the road (see news section for more information). The results of this survey were enlightening and allowed me to understand exactly what residents are looking for.
I am also very glad to announce that I have sourced an Irish supplier of dog waste bins and these will be implented at various 'hotspots' around the town. hopefully this initiative will serve to improve dog waste management as a whole by encouraging owners to pick up after their pet and also prevent people from discarding full bags into ditches and bushes!
Work doesn't stop over the summer period: I will be out and about with the Tidy Towns (especially around the river) ensuring that the area is kept clean and well maintained in advance of the proposed linear park - of which work is set to commence over the coming weeks.