BIDS Manager delighted that Dundalk a postcard town again following President Joe Biden’s visit

BIDS Manager Martin McElligott with Supt. Charlie Armstrong before the arrival of President Joe Biden to Dundalk. Photo: Ken Finegan/

The Argus

“Dundalk is back”, exclaimed a proud BIDS Manager, Martin McElligott following the visit of President Joe Biden to the town last week.

“Dundalk is back to the postcard town that it once was. Somewhere along the line we lost it, but Dundalk is a very important place”, he added.

“It was an incredible turnout really given the rain, which probably put some people off, but we are still talking thousands of people”.

Many observers commented upon how well the town centre looked with the Facades project - which has involved painting the first floor frontage of shop fronts over the past five years - really popping with the vibrant colours much in evidence on the television news coverage.

“You have to be doing those things to be ready for a day like this. You have to be mowing the lawns and planting the flowers to capitalise on such an historic occasion”.

“It was a defining moment”, he added.

The BIDS Manager outlinedhow well everyone pulled together to put Dundalk on the best footing for the second visit of an American President to the town, from senior management at council level right through to retailers who decorated their premises and shop windows in stars and stripes.

“The forward team were getting a bit anxious about the lack of bunting and flags around the town in the lead up to the event, but then on Wednesday morning they were bowled over by the way the town was looking”.

Martin explained how he had bunting and flags ready to erect, but waited until the last moment so that everything was as fresh as possible.

“Myself, Paddy Mackin and Sam McClenaghan worked from 6pm on Tuesday evening to 1pm on Wednesday morning getting everything in place for the visit”.

Prior to this the entire town centre from Church Street, Clanbrassil Street, Market Square and Earl Street was power washed and dis-infected”.

Speaking on Thursday morning, the morning after the day before, Martin explained that he was away on holiday when he first learned of the impending visit of President Biden.

“I was back home on Sunday, April 2 and got a text from a Council official the previous Friday giving me a heads up that I would be pretty busy when I got back to work on the Monday”.

Heading for a well-earned rest, he said the symbolism of the visit cannot be over-estimated for Dundalk and augurs well for the days and years ahead.