Wednesday 22 May 2019

Dermot's hard work is helping to transform Ardee's old railway line

Hubert Murphy

A virtual one man show is transforming the old railway line walk in Ardee - but for enthusiast Dermot Maguire the project is far from complete.

After a year of back breaking work, he has restored the old station wall - all 130ft of it!

It had started to collapse in places, but he has managed to save it, using a lot of the original stone from the 1800s.

A Mullingar man by birth, he fell in love with trains as a boy and brought that love to Ardee.

He has worked on the CE scheme as part of the project and the results are astonishing.

The old Ardee station opened in 1898 and took passengers to Dromin Junction until 1935. The freight section closed in 1975.

The tracks were lifted in 1987 and in recent years a walkway has been developed as a community facility.

The nearby Mid Louth garage has helped Dermot with wood to complete his task.

Dermot's dedication is all the more impressive as he suffered a heart attack last year and had to slowly get himself back to action.

20 lime trees have also been planted along with three Cherry Blossoms.

His next goal is to work on the old main platform, which is presently buried under grass and clay.

'I intend to put a flower bed on it and grow wild flowers. I'd also love to see lights added. This is the perfect start to an Ardee greenway', he explained.

Dermot has completed a number of projects in the area since he started in 2016. They include a picnic table.

He explained: 'I have found a few things including two railway chairs from 1903.' Ultimately, getting a railway signal box would be a huge goal.

Dermot said: 'This was the last piece of an historic wall and it was great to preserve it.'

Dermot's great work has been a big boost to the tidy towns effort in Ardee and with his plans, the area could prove a template for what development of these areas should look like.

Drogheda Independent