Newtown will be new base for club
The long awaited announcement that the FAI and Louth County Council are to develop the 30 acre site at Newtown has been a long time coming - but well worth the wait say those behind the project.
It was September 2013 when planning permission was sought on the United Park site for a three storey 93-bed nursing home and a two storey convalescent step down facility to cater for 34 people. It was also to feature a restaurant , some retail and a pharmacy. The 10 year application would allow for phased development at the site.
Permission was granted in 2009 for 110 houses on the site but that didn't go ahead.
United had planned a move to the former Coca-Cola site but the location at Newtown came into the equation in recent years.
"I am delighted to see that Drogheda United , Louth County Council and the FAI have reached agreement on the provision of playing pitches for sports people in the town. I first raised this issue at an area meeting in 2013 and held a number of meetings with club reps in 2014. I tabled a motion at the council meeting in 2015 calling on Louth County Council to engage with the FAI and other bodies to partner the provision of playing pitches similar to what was done by Dublin City Council in Clontarf,' Cllr Pio Smith stated. 'It is very pleasing to see that the idea has now come to fruition. For too long, clubs in the town had to beg and borrow for sports facilities that should have been provided years ago. Now at least there is a bright future"
Michael O' Dowd who helped set up a committee to get Municipal playing pitches for the town five years ago has welcomed the announcement. 'We engaged with the Council and helped identify the location on the Termonfeckin Road. Municipal playing pitches are arguably the most important part of this proposal as they will relieve huge pressure on voluntary clubs that are their wits end looking for playing surfaces and create valuable sporting resources for the growing population. It's taken a lot longer than hoped for to get to this stage , but it's a welcome position to be in. We need to keep the momentum going,' he urged.
For Cllr Tommy Byrne, the timing is great and with Drogheda United celebrating its 100th anniversary next year, he'd love to see a special memorial erected, two players, in the red and black and the claret and blue, to show the history of both Drogheda Utd and Drogheda FC.
'I had the privilege of representing Drogheda FC at League of Ireland level and was the last player manager of Drogheda Utd, prior to the amalgamation with Drogheda FC,' he remarked.