Sunday 22 July 2018

Community news: Mid Louth Diary

Brendan Breslin Band MD with the award
Brendan Breslin Band MD with the award

Hubert Murphy

Ardee Concert Band have just gone and won Platinum again!

Yes the highest award of the day; The Platinum award was bestowed on the Ardonians in the Finals of the National Concert Band Festival in the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester on Sunday 8th April 2018 just before 11.30 am, that's not bad for a Sunday mornings work!

After an early start the band of 47 musicians took to the college of music stage and performed 4 pieces under the baton of their MD Brendan Breslin in the community wind band section.

Partaking in an Irish themed programme they began with 'Finnegans wake' a song famous for providing the basis of James Joyce's final work. They followed with 'An Irish ayre', A warm and lyrical composition. 'Sarah's Delight' preceeded the finale of the winning programme.

The winning penultimate piece 'Gather the Gaels', is a piece written for the coming together of wind, brass and swing bands from all over Ireland for the Gathering Of The Gales' Festival In Strabane 2013.

Ardee pipped Strathclyde University Concert Band and their MD Chris Mitchell to the post with their Scottish counterparts taking gold back up North.

Friends to Ardee, Strathclyde hosted the champions in October 2015 in Glasgow for a penultimate concert in St Andrew's in the Square with Ardee returning the gesture in 2016 in the Bohemian Centre.

Returning in the early hours of Monday morning after a long ferry crossing home the band were greeted at the Bandrooms on Ashwalk with banners and balloons adorning the building to celebrate their huge efforts and success.

Castle closure is still a massive issue in Ardee

Another summer beckons and the sight of the barriers around Ardee Castle remains a huge issue for local people.

I was chatting to local woman Avril Booth recently and she says that Ardee gets a lot of tourists and they all ask - can we get into the castle?

She points out the old jail at the rear of it, as well as the building, should be a real tourist attraction and had this facility been anywhere else, it would have been fast tracked years ago.

The castle has everything going for it - but it remains firmly closed.

Cllr Dolores Minogue raised the issue again at last week's council meeting and said she thinks there will be another protest in the town if works don't get underway.

She requested an update on the castle for the next meeting.

An issue that is quite obvious is the 'temporary' fence around the building that's been there for many months now.

It came about due to an issue with falling masonary from the roof but that seems to be sorted now as during all the storms we had in recent months, no new issues were reported.

I spotted a house in the Hardman's Gardens area of Drogheda recently (pictured) which suffered fire damage. To protect the public, they placed a mesh on the roof.

Ok, it's green and not very nice, but could a clear mesh of some description be placed around the top of the castle, thus allowing the barriers to be removed.

St Finian’s NS parents association host beauty night in Slan’s pub

St. Finian's N.S. Dillonstown, Dunleer parents association are hosting a Beauty Night on Friday 20th April at 7.30pm in Slans Pub, Annagassan, new back room.

Hosted by professional Makeup artist Noelle Kirwan and Skincare Specialist Christina Hanratty.

The night will consist of 2 makeovers (1 teenager and 1 mature lady) and skincare talk and demo. Raffle on the night will include 2 makeup vouchers, hair and beauty hamper and much more. Admission €10. Finger food provided. Why not come along for a great night. All welcome.

Nicola Barry tournament

The Nicola Barry memorial tournament takes place at Stabannon Parnells on Saturday June 9. There will be 12 teams and it's a 7 a side GAA blitz that runs from 11am to 3pm.

Lee Matthews event

Ssean McDermotts present Lee Matthews on Saturday June 30 in Churchtown.

It promises to be a memorable night.

Finnan McCoy looking for a return to council life at next elections

Former councillor Finnan McCoy has declared his intention to contest the next local elections in 2019, stating that he has started canvassing already.

'There are so many issues that need to be sorted out. I'm looking forward to the challenge,' he stated.

The Fine Gael member spent 23 years on the council and 35 years on the Town Council before failing to get re-elected at the last elections.

One of his aims will be a partial ban on HVGs passing through Ardee, stating that they are causing ongoing damage to the streets and are of 'no benefit' to the town as they are simply passing through.

'Only heavy lorries with business in Ardee should be allowed through the town,' he stated.

He says traffic coming from the Collon Road should be diverted down the road to Dunleer and then join the M1 and take the Link Road around the town.

Coming from the north, they could do the same route in reverse.

'There is no toll involved in that journey and it would save the truckers time as they won't be getting stuck in Ardee's traffic. At this point in time, banning HGVs for through traffic is more important than the Western Bypass,' he claimed.

'Some improvements on the grates on the main street were carried out in October, but people have made representations to me about the staate of the streets. The heavy trucks are just going to keep damaging the place.'

He says people have come to him with various issues, including the castle. 'People are fed up with the fences around it and want action. I know it's the wish of the Chief Executive to carry out the works there but people are fed up with the slow pace,' he stated. 'Ratepayers have asked me what has been the cost of the hire of these barriers over the last 18 months and if something did fall off the castle, they wouldn't protect anyone.'

The pedestrian crossing at the Bank of Ireland is another disaster he feels and is also keen to see something done with the crossing in Collon, close to the school.

'The Fair Green is a facility that needs public toilets due to the playground,' he added.

Changes are also needed on Sean O'Carroll street and he is keen to see some kind of restrictions on traffic as residents are not happy.

The Argus