Community news: Blackrock Bulletin
The Geraldines are all ready to show off their new showcase pitch, which was revamped under the expert guidance of Croke Park's Stewart Wilson.
The Grounds Supervisor at GAA headquarters took in hand the redevelopment of the main McGeough Park playing surface, and expertise from Croke Park headquarters was put at the club's disposal and other clubs invited along to learn and put the knowledge they gleaned to good use with their own pitches.
The McGeough Park pitch was prone to waterlogging and soil compaction problems which spurred the club to take on with the re-development project.
They were fortunate that living virtually on their doorstep was Stewart and he kindly agreed to lend his expertise and assistance.
The project involved lifting the top layer of the pitch, re-sowing it and the drilling of a well and setting-up a new water irrigation system.
The signs augur well that the work is doing what was intended with the heavy rain before Christmas not visible on the surface within minutes of the downpour stopping.
The club in the event have decided to give the surface every chance and nature to work it's magic.
They could have put it back in play, but are waiting until the start of the new season.
They also are looking at an official re-opening of the pitch with a special game.
Park to be lighted
After another successful year for Blackrock Park, another ambitious and illuminating phase in the amenity's development is taking place with the proposed installation of sustainable lighting in the amenity.
An application for planning permission has been lodged and the Park Committee is hopeful that the project can start this spring.
The plans were on public display throughout November and early December, and the cost will be jointly met by funds by Louth Leader Partnership, Louth County Council and those raised by the Park Committee.
The project will provide five lights powered by a wind turbine, photovoltaic panels and a battery and will run 'off-grid'. It will also include a number of charger units, to be located adjacent to the picnic tables, where park users can charge their mobile phones and other devices whilst visiting the Park.
As far as the committee are aware this sustainable lighting will be the first of its kind to be located in a public park in Ireland. The project is very much in keeping with the manner in which the park has been developed and managed with the emphasis on sustainability, biodiversity and care for the environment whilst at the same time providing a space and facilities for the whole community.
In 2018 the Park retained its Green Flag status for the third year in a row and it is short-listed for the LAMA (All Ireland Community and Council Awards) having been nominated by Councillor Liam Reilly.
The results will be announced on February 9 at an event in Croke Park Stadium. Park activities throughout the year included Art Hive Workshops, regular weekly gardening by Park volunteers drawn from the local community, the maintenance and upkeep of the park and the development of further areas of planting and plant management by the park committee and volunteers.
Tree shredding service
It might be back to normal for most with Yuletide festivities over. More accurately it is time to try to get back to normal and get everything in shape again.
This usually starts with taking the decorations down and putting them safely away so that hopefully you can put your hands on them come next Christmas.
Those that chose the traditional tree, it can be a problem to dispose of it.
However, this should not be the case in the locality with the Tidy Towns organising a free shredding and re-cycling service.
This is the third year that the committee will provide the service at the Community Centre, Sandy Lane, Blackrock on Saturday next January 12, and will run between 11.00am to 3.00pm.
This is part of their waste minimisation initiative. The service is open to anyone who brings along their tree. For those unable to transport a tree to the Community Centre Pelican Promotions are partnering with Tidy Towns in a free collection service to cover the following areas: Blackrock, Haggardstown, Dromiskin and Knockbridge. To book collection of your tree email: email@example.com giving Name, full address, contact number and EIRCODE. EIRCODE would be most helpful to the Pelican staff who are looking after the logistics and co-ordination of the collections.
Collection requests should be booked before January 9. Please make booking for collection as soon as possible. This will make it easier for Pelican, who are giving their services and vans for free, to plan the collection routes.
Complimentary tea and coffee will be available in the Community Centre for those dropping off a tree and anyone else passing by the Community Centre during the day."
Popular jackpot winner
The New Year provided local man Neil McIntyre with the gift that most would wish for with pockets depleted after Christmas.
More to the point it was the Geraldines, as the jackpot came up for him in the club's lottery , resulting in a cash injection of €11,400 at the most appreciated time, although a windfall is always appreciated.
A home winner as this was privately means more to those associated with running what is a very onerous and time consuming but essential weekly event to provide funds for the club.
As it happens joint vice-chairman of the club, Bernard McIntyre is Neil's father, and has one of the biggest inputs into the lottery as a driving force behind it.
So within the winner's family and the club there was natural cause for rejoicing.