Wednesday 25 April 2018

Community news: Blackrock

John Horan, Richard Martin, Brian McElroy and Joe Bailey at the national Tidy Towns awards at the Helix theatre in DCU
John Horan, Richard Martin, Brian McElroy and Joe Bailey at the national Tidy Towns awards at the Helix theatre in DCU

Blackrock retained its gold medal status and also received a Department of the Environment Special Award for Blackrock Park in the 2017 Tidy Towns competition. The village increased its points again, earning a total of 325 out of a maximum of 450. It remains the second highest scorer in the county behind Tallanstown and firmly in the top five per cent of the 859 towns and villages in Ireland who entered the competition.

The adjudicators complimented the local committee on making the most 'of your stunningly attractive setting for both the community and visitors to enjoy. There is a strong sense that the Blackrock residents are extremely proud of their location. A clean and tidy environment was evident throughout.'

Commenting on the park, the adjudicators said 'is very well integrated into the residential areas and the location of this multi-faceted park is nicely overlooked by surrounding housing, providing a safe environment for children and younger users of the facility.'

John Horan of Blackrock Tidy Towns congratulated everyone in the village who contributed towards this outstanding result, including their hard-working committee members, litter patrollers and other volunteers, the Community Employment Scheme under supervisor Pat Rafferty, Tús scheme workers in the park, the Probation Service, the Park Committee and Park Volunteers, residents associations in the various housing estates, private residents, Blackrock businesses, Louth County Council management and staff, and all sponsors including Haggardstown Garden Centre, Tiernan's Centra, Rock Cabs and Mace.

'It is a huge achievement for Blackrock to be awarded a gold medal again this year, and every single person in the village can feel justifiably proud', said John. 'We are very fortunate indeed to have such co-operation from the residents, businesses and all organisations in Blackrock because this could not have been achieved through the efforts of Tidy Towns alone. I want to reiterate the absolutely critical role our most dedicated CE Scheme played in all this, and would also like to congratulate our colleagues in all the other towns and villages in the county on their achievements in the competition.' he added.


Both the Tidy Towns and Park Committees will reflect on wonderful years, crowned by the awards in the national tidy towns competition, when they hold their annual general meetings this week.

The Tidy Towns hold its annual review in the Community Centre at 7.30 pm on Monday 2nd October.

Everyone in the village was invited to go along to appoint a new committee who will take responsibility for the appearance and presentation of Blackrock, as well as local development of the village, for the next 12 months on behalf of the whole community.

The Committee is always looking for new committee members.

The Park Committee meet tonight (Tuesday) also in the Community Centre at 8.00pm and all those interested are most welcome to come along and appoint the new committee for 2017/18, hear about planned park projects and meet with the out-going committee and Park volunteers.


Blackrock resident Tom Rowley had one sliver of consolation on the day his native county, Mayo, lost out to Dublin in an epic All-Ireland final when his football related story was broadcast on the morning of the match on the popular RTE radio programme Sunday Miscellany.

Tom, a former senior journalist with The Irish Independent and later a Government media advisor, has been a regular contributor to the programme, which has an average listenership of almost 250,000, for more than two decades.

On All-Ireland Sunday his story, 'The Curse of 'The Curse'", told how Mayo people are plagued year after year by people from the other 31 counties wanting to talk, once Mayo football is mentioned, about a curse that was supposedly put on the Mayo team after they last won the All-Ireland back in 1951.

As Tom said in his broadcast story; 'Every year the Curse of 'The Curse' crawls out of winter hibernation and sets about stalking Mayo people. The story goes that Mayo's victorious cavalcade in 1951 passed through the town of Foxford while a funeral was taking place. The local priest became incensed at the failure of the team to show proper respect for the deceased and mourners and vowed that Mayo would not win another All-Ireland until every player of that team was deceased.

But when you look into it, there's not a shred of evidence. There was no funeral in Foxford that day that anyone can recall, and nobody who was with the victory parade remembers any priest ranting and raving. But somehow, somewhere, the story was started, and it stuck. Call it a piseog or old wives' tale or balderdash if you like, but the reality is, ever since it started, 'The Curse' has been clinging to us Mayo folk and making life miserable".

And that misery continued this year as Mayo fought heroically against the much fancied Dublin but in the end of an epic encounter were edged out by a single point.

But just like Mayo's footballers, events move on and Tom, who now works as a freelance writer and Public Relations consultant, is looking forward to the publication

in a few weeks of a new book that will feature one of his stories. The book, 'From the Candy Store to the Galytmore', is a collection of stories from Ireland's showband and ballroom era of the 1950-1970's.

It is published by Ballpoint Press which two years ago brought out 'Around the Farm Gate', a collection of stories about growing up in rural Ireland, which became a bestselling book and was lead off by Tom's story 'The Bend at the Church', a poignant account of growing up on a farm in Mayo while his father worked for many years on construction sites across Britain. He broadcast an edited version of the story on RTE radio's Countrywide programme.


The jackpot rose once more in the Geraldines lottery with no winner of the €13,200 prize. An extra €200 is added to it for this week

The numbers drawn were: 2, 20, 22 and 28.

Joan Murray Clooneveen, Haggardstown won the match three prize of €200.

Another honour for David

Rock Celtic's David Ward has again been selected to play for the Irish Masters. He has been named in the squad to travel this Thursday to the Czech Republic

David was called up to the squad that played Northern Ireland and suffered a two nil defeat in May.

David has continued to show good form for his home club. He is still an integral part of the team competing in Division One of the North East League, and has been a key member of the over 35 squad that reached the North East League final on Friday night last.

He had an outstanding season although Rock was demoted for the first time last year from the Premier Division of the North East League, bagging 21 goals.

Road disruption

Road closures, diversions, temporary traffic lights, have been too much a part of life for motorists in the village over the last week.

The appearance of road closure and traffic diversion signs caused a lot of disruption and inconvenience, especially at peak traffic times in the morning and lunch time and indeed throughout the day, with considerable more time added to normal journeys.

It certainly tested the patience of those travelling to and from work and dropping to and collecting pupils from schools in the village.

Understanding that the measures are only hopefully temporary would have been increased by prior notice of when the works were to take place and what the nature of the works were.

A lot just ran into them and were faced with virtually all the inner part of the village being closed and traffic rerouted.

Fund raising

The Community Alert Committee is preparing to run two fundraising events to help defray the cost of their annual Christmas party for senior citizens and the vulnerable in the area.

Table quiz

They have arranged to stage a table quiz on Friday, November 17. Tickets costing €20 for a table of four are now on sale from committee members, or it's open for teams to turn up on the night.

Already there are quite a few prizes sponsored by local businesses for the event.

Church gate

The Committee has also been granted permission to run a church gate collection outside the local churches on Saturday and Sunday, October 21 and 22.

Christmas party

Dundalk Golf club will once again be the venue for the Christmas party. It has been booked for Sunday, November 26.

The Argus