by Cllr Sharon Tolan
Spine Road named Tara Road
By now a lot of you will have already driven, walked or cycled along our long-awaited Spine Road, and I’m delighted with the response from all of you who have gotten in touch. I think it’s fair to say that this link road has already significantly improved the traffic flow in East Meath, and I can’t wait to see the difference it makes to all of the students starting back to school this month. I am delighted that the contractor managed to get the extra pedestrian crossings completed at the Coast Road end of the avenue before schools start back, as this has been a dangerous spot for students and parents crossing. The car park will be finished mid-September and all that’s left is for the ESB to switch on the lights.
Following a public poll to select an official name for the Spine Road, you the public chose Tara Road, in recognition of our connection to the Tara Brooch which was found here in East Meath in 1850. I have already thanked all of our Meath County Council team for their efforts in ensuring a project of exceptionally high quality was delivered, but I should also mention the main contractor John Craddock Ltd and their Site Agent, Martin Boyle who was so professional throughout and kept me updated on a weekly basis, so that I could keep you updated. Clifton Scannel Consultancy also played a major role is assisting Meath County Council throughout the Design and Construction Phase of the scheme, and did an amazing job.
The delivery of this road has been such a major learning curve for me on a personal and professional level, and I am confident that the knowledge I have gained over the past 7 years will help me to serve you well as a local representative in the coming years.
Donacarney to Bettystown Footpath & Cycle lane
I have been putting exceptional pressure on everyone involved in the delivery of this scheme, and I am delighted that the Planning team have at last confirmed to me that all reports are now complete and that the Part 8 Planning Application is now ready to go on public display. Keep an eye on my social media over the coming weeks, where I will confirm details for you all. As with all major infrastructure schemes, planning, tender and construction will take time, but this is a major step in the right direction. As always, I will keep the pressure on and make sure this important footpath and cycle lane is delivered as quickly as possible, and completed to the highest standard!
I want to thank our amazing Beach Wardens for their work this summer, in ensuring the parking area reserved on the beach for Age Friendly and Disability spaces were not abused by those who don’t need them. It’s not an easy task, and they did it in such a courteous and fair manner! Well done & thank you!
Beach Building, Library & Community Facilities
Plans for the new library and community building at Seaview Terrace are progressing well, and the second phase tender documents are almost complete. I am hopeful that the contract will be awarded in Autumn, and builders on site soon after! I am working on delivering a Community Centre also for the area. I am all too aware that this new Library facility will not address all of our community needs, and that a separate community centre is badly needed, so rest assured I will keep working on this! I was delighted that €1,450,000 has been allocated in our new Capital Investment Programme for new community facilities and I am working with the team on identifying a suitable site for a new community centre. Watch this space!
Bus Shelters & Bus Stops
Due to Covid restrictions, the delivery of the bus shelters I secured last year have been delayed. I have been assured by our Transportation team that the shelters at Deepforde and Coney Hall will be installed in the coming weeks, and the 6 new bus stops along the Golf Links Road have now been completed and of course are also wheelchair accesible. I am still working on delivering more shelters for the area, as I know how important it is to have some small bit of comfort when waiting for the bus in all weathers! It is these small provisions that encourage more people to use public transport.
Another great weekend of beach volleyball action on Bettystown beach at the end of August. My thanks to Volleyball Ireland for arranging to leave volleyball poles and nets in place on the beach for the coming months, so that the public can give it a try! It would be great to get a new club set up if there was sufficient interest in the sport!
Sporting Highs & Lows
There have been so many amazing sporting achievements in our small community over the past number of months! Well done, of course, to the Meath Minors on their All Ireland win, and especially our local St Colmcilles lads who played significant roles in both getting the team to the Final and the win itself on the day – we are all so proud of you Christian Finlay, Shaun Leonard, Danny Ehicoya, Oisín Ó’Murchú, Luke Conlon, Eoin Gillick and Eoghan McCloughan!
Evan Ferguson is doing us all proud on the other football pitch, now playing for Brighton and named in the U21’s Ireland squad, all at the tender age of 16!
Congratulations to Tadgh Duff on his selection for the U18 Leinster Rugby squad, and from pitches to courses – Alex Maguire is a very bright and shining star on the golf circuit and crowned this year’s Winner of the North of Ireland Amateur Open as just one of his many successes of late.
From course to courts – congrats to Hugh Butler and Jack D’Arcy for their tennis success!
I have no doubt missed someone, that’s always the danger with naming names, my sincere apologies if I have.
Of course, the most significant low to hit any of our sports clubs and community, is the tragic loss of Dave Conroy, Direct of Football and manager of the U17’s at Laytown Utd FC, Drogheda Utd U14’s coach, mentor, husband, father, son, uncle, neighbour and friend. His tragic death has left us all in shock and with a deep loss. Rest in peace Dave, your memory and legacy will live on forever.
Walk-in Vaccination Clinics
If you haven’t already received your Covid-19 vaccine or an appointment as yet, please check out the details of walk-in vaccination clinics near you on www.hse.ie/screening-and-vaccinations/covid-19-vaccine/get-the-vaccine/find-a-covid-19-vaccination-centre/
or alternatively, check out my social media pages for information and links.
I hope you all managed to enjoy a break and some easing of restrictions over the summer months. Best of luck to our schools and colleges reopening! Please do all you can to support them in keeping students and staff safe! Do take care, and if I can be of any assistance please get in touch by dropping me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or giving me a call/text on 086-3669852. Sharon