Wednesday 22 May 2019

Restoration of the old abbey is key for judges

Hubert Murphy checks out what the 2018 Tidy Towns judges had to say about the region

Kevin Callan, Chairman, Tidy Towns, with John Bannon and Eugene Branigan at the Old Abbey
Kevin Callan, Chairman, Tidy Towns, with John Bannon and Eugene Branigan at the Old Abbey
The acclaimed Augustinian Garden

Drogheda - 2018 Marks: 323. 2017 Marks: 317. What the judges said: 'It is pleasing to see that there is a high level of participation in Drogheda with the 10 hard-working members of your committee ably supported by 50 volunteers - a sizeable group by any measure!

'We were most impressed with the focus of your committee on restoring important heritage buildings and we would like to commend the excellent work of the committee and volunteers to Old Abbey Lane - this project, which involved removing 20 years of illegal dumping and graffiti strewn hoarding to reopen this public right of way, is a triumph! In our view, it is a first-class improvement to this heritage structure and the town.

'The cleanup of the Magdalene Tower site and addition of new lighting to the Belfry Tower is similarly impressive and we enjoyed seeing the garden of remembrance to the rear of the Augustinian church in Shop Street.

'The role of your committee in restoring the thatching of Hartys Cottage is applauded and we were delighted to see that restoration of 'the thatch' on the Donore Road is underway. We would like to congratulate you on the completion of the new courthouse building and we loved its sleek modern design that is a nice variation on the more traditional architectural form that can be found elsewhere in your town.

'West End Salon, the Grey Goose and McKenna Man looked very well and we loved the cluster of modern shops around the Tholstel like Fifty 4 Seafood Bar, Kirwans, Izmoo, the Crafty Fox and Staffords. Elsewhere, Trinity Quarter is a great use of an older building while O'Caseys, the Fairgreen and Donaghys also achieved a good standard of presentation. The traditional design of McCloskeys stand out. On the quays, the Boyne Pantry and the Salthouse looked well while Clarkes Pub (near to the magnificent St Peters Church) and Nugents further up drew positive attention.

'The addition of edged limestone pillars at the 1916 garden is welcomed and we note your proposed provision of the Willow tunnel in Dominic Park. The excellent work of Breda Marron and Noel Marry under this category is acknowledged and we look forward to using the self-guided walks in your town in the near future.

'The town centre streets generally looked neat and tidy and it was clear that determined attempts are being made to keep them clean. The outer areas are generally good but some littered areas persist in some locations like the Donore Road (at the factory building in front of Lidl), the entrance to Rathmullan Road, around North Strand and on the approach road to Boyne Terrace. Evidence of litter and dumping steps was spotted adjacent to the area at the Viaduct steps and this area will need constant monitoring (perhaps using CCTV?).

'The introduction of the Schools Liaison Officer who concentrates on raising awareness of the need to control litter is also highly commended and we were delighted to hear that the majority of second level schools have volunteered to participate in litter patrols and cleanups.

'The central parts of Drogheda are packed with lovely residential streets of orderly and neat terraced housing. Although too numerous to mention, Magdelene Street, Cord Road, Liam Leech Terrace, Green Lanes, St Peters Terrace, Boyne Terrace and St Marks Terrace all stood out and they provide your town with great distinctive

character. Residential estates in the outer parks of the town are also quite impressive. We liked River View and Willow Grove off the Navan Road and the diverse planted bank at the entrance to Ashfield was eye catching.'

Drogheda Independent