Friday 15 December 2017

Station campaign spreads to Ardee

The train station in Dunleer.
The train station in Dunleer.

Hubert Murphy

A PUBLIC meeting takes place in Muldoon's in Ardee at 8 p.m. next Monday to spark wide ranging support for the re-opening of a Mid-Louth Train Station in Dunleer.

Stop@Dunleer is a local initiative from a group of Mid Louth residents intent on securing the reopening of Dunleer railway station – a hub with a catchment of over 50,000 people.

'Whether it is looked at from a social, economic, or common-sense point of view, it is a compelling goal for the people of this region, and there is a powerful argument for it in terms of the further development of the North East,' said Niall Gallen, chairman of the action group.

'We live at the heart of the Dublin-Belfast corridor – the most populous, important and productive artery of this island and one which is forecast to generate 75 per cent of the GDP of this island by 2025, with an overall population of 2.3m. An unprecedented chasm of 40km between stations is illogical now, and bearing in mind an increase of 11.5 per cent in population 2006-11, and in tandem with these economic forecasts, if this error is not addressed it will be seen to be not only foolish, but irresponsible.'

There have been a series of meetings in Dunleer and now they are seeking support from Ardee and surrounds to get the station open. It closed for good in the early 80s.

'It is hoped that the many local residents from mid Louth, who drive each morning through the busy town centres of Drogheda or Dundalk, and endeavour to find, and pay, for car parking, and then do exactly the same every evening, will come along to support the meeting,' he added.

'Or others who, for lack of a more convenient, comfortable or affordable alternative, must drive or bus to Dublin, Belfast or elsewhere, will come to our gathering in Muldoons Ardee on April 14.'

They hope they can count upon the backing of students, or parents of students in waiting, who want to be able to consider the best options available to them thanks to better rail access.

'The input of those residents who have travel passes is warmly welcomed, and trips and visits that might today seem 'too much of a bother' might again be inviting with the comfort of a local rail link.'

They are also seeking support from local employers, small and large, including international businesses such as Glen Dimplex, ABP, Suretank and others, who must recruit from far and wide to ensure their further success, and it must be more attractive for any commuting member of staff if they have a local railway station.

'This is a live issue that is relevant now and in the immediate future for people from Tallanstown to Collon to Tullyallen, Termonfeckin, Slane, Clogherhead, Ardee and beyond, where the availability of a station in Dunleer/Mid-Louth would make a real improvement to quality of life – and not just for us, but also for those in the adjoining local towns with stations which are overcrowded at peak times.'

Drogheda Independent

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