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Census results show urgent need to address Drogheda’s eligibility for city status

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Drogheda City Status also added that there is an urgent need for a university campus.

Drogheda City Status also added that there is an urgent need for a university campus.

Drogheda City Status also added that there is an urgent need for a university campus.

droghedaindependent

The Drogheda City Status group insists that last week’s preliminary Census results re-enforce the need to urgently bestow city status on the town.

The group believe the Government can no longer ignore the urgent need for a new city administration with the town’s population jumping by over 5,000 in the last seven years. 

"Both Louth and Meath have shown population growth in excess of the national average,” said Anna McKenna, Chairperson of the Drogheda City Status Group (DCSG). “And when you extrapolate the very significant level of housing completions in the Greater Drogheda area since Census 2016, it is clear that there will be yet another significant increase in the local population when those details emerge in a few months time.”

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Labour TD, Ged Nash said, “The growth of Drogheda continues apace. Our assessment is that Drogheda is now at 46,280, with Dundalk (including Blackrock and Haggardstown) at 43,850 and Swords trailing both at 42,780.

“The Drogheda figure includes the estates like Grange Rath in Co. Meath and the census has included these areas with ‘Drogheda, Co. Meath’ addresses in recent times.

“The incredible growth of the south Drogheda and Donacarney and Mornington areas neighbouring the town continues with the ‘St. Mary’s Electoral District’ having grown by 38.6 percent since 2016, adding over 4,500 people.”

Anna noted that this rapid growth has occurred despite the long delays encountered in finally commencing housing developments recently on the Port Access Northern Cross Road (PANCR), which will add further momentum to Drogheda’s growth in the next census.

“The PANCR plan goes further than delivering much needed housing. It will also open up a new access route to the Port of Drogheda from the M1 motorway, removing HGV traffic from central Drogheda where it currently creates traffic congestion; noise and air pollution and serious road safety risks,” said Anna. "National and Local Government need to urgently work with developers to deliver this much need route, which will also create job opportunities.

“Government and its agencies cannot continue to ignore Drogheda. The days of Greater Drogheda being managed remotely from Dundalk and Navan have to end. We need a new locally based administration headed up by an official of Deputy County Manager rank to co-ordinate all local authority services in the Greater Drogheda area and reporting to a Greater Drogheda Municipal Authority that includes Councillors from Drogheda; East Meath and South Louth. As well as housing, Drogheda could currently be described as ‘an IDA jobs black-spot’ – we need substantial jobs created locally by both the Public and Private sector.”

Deputy Nash added, “The astonishing growth of the south Drogheda area goes to show how much of a cop-out the 2017 Boundary Review report was.

“It was a heavily politicised process and I am convinced it was hobbled by the government. The development of Drogheda and the interests of people of the town and its environs have been suffering since.

“We are still waiting for a local area plan and a vision for the area, five years on. We are still waiting on the appointment of a local authority ‘manager’ for Drogheda which was promised during the last Dail.”

Drogheda City Status also added that there is an urgent need for a university campus, with Anna saying, “A new ‘University Quarter’ could be created by combining the old Abbey Centre with the properties in Narrow West Street, backing all the way up to Fair Street, reviving the town centre and allowing easy public transport for students and staff alike.”

DCSG are encouraging students; their parents; teachers and all interested parties to share their own ideas on the priorities for a local university campus with DCSG by emailing droghedacitystatusnow@gmail.com as the group are scheduled to engage Education Minister Simon Harris in the near future.


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