BLACKROCK Tidy Towns are not going to let lie the axing of the third phase of the Rock Road footpath project.
Totally the opposite in fact, says the chairman. Stressing again the utter disappointment evoked by the decision of Louth County Council, John Horan said the Tidy Towns will pursue the issue whatever way and as far as they can.
Speaking on behalf of the body, John Horan said: “I will go to anybody I can to try to have the decision reversed. We are not going to let it go. Needless to say we are extremely disappointed and very unhappy with the result.”
This was the announcement not to proceed with the Elm Park to Rock Road East stage of the scheme which was something of a bombshell when the Tidy Towns and the community at large was expecting the work to begin.
A number of aspects was particularly irksome to the Tidy Towns and furthermore of great concern.
A grant of €100,000 sourced and obtained by the body through the town and Village Renewal scheme for the work, as indeed were other sums for earlier parts of the footpath improvement scheme on the road.
The Tidy Towns are working on drafting a response to the council on the untoward development and to try to prevent the money being lost. The council and the area can ill afford to have such precious funding taken away since the local authority has had for many years precious little available to spend on badly needed projects, and the Rock Road has been waiting in the pipeline for far too long.
Without question, the particular stretch of the road is the most urgent and most in need of being done for it is very dangerous at the point where there is a sharp blind bend, and most agree a serious or indeed fatal accident is only waiting to happen.
The road as a whole is a popular walking route, and used by children attending the two local national schools, St Francis’s which is on one end of it, and St Oliver’s not much more than a stone’s throw away on Sandy Lane.
The Tidy Towns chairman concurred that there is a “health and safety issue” with the road and the danger that it presents to pedestrians and young school going children.
The increasing population and rise in traffic in the community places a much greater demand for a footpath along the full length of the roadway, and not stop at Elm Park, to which point two earlier phases have been completed, providing a pavement to walk on from the junction with Wallace’s Road.
The question whether the €100,000 grant has been returned or can be retrieved is something that the Tidy Towns are very anxious to pursue.
The reasons advanced for abandoning the work after two years work had gone into it haven’t had a convincing ring, with the council attributing outstanding land owner permissions and inability to complete the work in the time frame set out.
People and the Tidy Towns are sceptical over whether there is a boundary issue and feel there was plenty of room to lay a footpath.
ANOTHER feather in the cap of the village was sharing the runner-up place in its category in the Pride of Place competition.
Blackrock was invited to represent Louth in the Island Coastal Communities section of the event organised by Cooperation Ireland in conjunction with IPB Insurance.
The results were announced at a ceremony in Killarney, and the village represented by Eileen Carter from the Park Committee and Tidy Towns, along with Mandy Fee of the community centre, finished joint second with Tullaghan in Leitrim. Spanish Point in Clare was first.
A sizeable amount of work went into village’s audio video presentation narrated by Mary Reilly, compiling a compendium of local community life, and how the various sporting, community, business sectors interact and work together. The Tidy Towns co-ordinated the village’s entry.
The outcome was viewed by the Tidy Towns as an acknowledgement of the “great community” in the village and all that it has to offer.
THE countdown has begun to the village’s Raft Race, with the event taking place on the June bank holiday Sunday after a Covid enforced break.
A change of organisers has taken place, with the Tidy Towns stepping down from the role, after inaugurating the event in 1996, and ran it every year since till 2020 when the pandemic caused much of life to stop.
They have handed over the task with every blessing and co-operation to the new Blackrock Social Group, providing every help they can including rafts and safety equipment, such as helmets and buoyancy aids for competitors to wear.
The new group have put together a supporting programme, which will comprise tug o war, volleyball and sandcastle events, and intend to hold a Busking competition on the main promenade.
THE jackpot has risen to €7,000 in the Geraldines lottery, with players drawing a blank in last week’s draw with the main prize and the Pick Three prize of €200 not won. That means that €400 has been added to the jackpot.
The numbers drawn were 15, 16, 17. and 19.