DROGHEDA has presented a united front at a public meeting in the Westcourt Hotel to push for a new Community College on the North side of the town.
Those at the meeting pledged to keep up the. pressure to ensure that the town and St.Laurence’s Community College get the promised new college.
The Minister for Education Niamh Bhreathnach informed Deputy Michael Bell that she has approved the project and the purchase of a suitable site.and that she will provide funds for it in the 1996 allocations.
Those at the meeting expressed a determination to see the project through. “There is no way we are going to let happen again what happened ten years ago when we were promised a school and the whole thing fell through,’ said Chairperson of the Parents’ Council Margaret Aspell.
‘We are desperately anxious that the new school be built but we are only past the first hurdle. We the Parents’ Council are urging you to please help in any way you can to help secure the land for our building.
CEO Brendan McDermott told of the delight he experienced when the Minister’s approval was conveyed to him.
And while he thanked all the public representatives and the parents’ council for their hard work in campaigning, he warned that there would be plenty of ‘difficulties and delays’ along the way. ‘I want to say to people to keep up the great work.’
The meeting was chaired by Cllr. Jimmy Mulroy, Chairman of the Drogheda VEC, who pointed out that it was organised by the Parents’ Council in association with the board of the VEC in order to outline the various stages of planning necessary to bring the new school to fruition.
‘As Chairman of the VEC I would like to thank the Minister for her decision which she made following an extensive review of the situation. I would thank all those who helped to bring this decision about, all the Oireachtas members who made representations over the years, the parents’ council, the CEO and of course all those people who signed the petition as well as the staff and pupils of the school,’ she said.
The Chairman pointed put that he was part of a sub-committee formed ten years ago to investigate possible sites for a new school.
Alderman Fergus O’Dowd, VEC Vice-Chairman, praised Deputy Michael Bell for the ‘fantastic job’ he had done in campaigning the Minister. ‘I think it would be very churlish of us not to acknowledge that. If we didn’t have Michael working for us day in, day out, week in, week out the town would not be benefitting as much,’ he said.
He said that along the way the VEC had had many helpers from all political parties and also praised Deputies Seamus Kirk and Dermot Ahern, who were both present on the night, for making themselves available over the years to the VEC.
‘I don’t think we can be complacent, though. Remember we’ve gone this far before and the thing didn’t happen. I’m very pleased that there is a complete and absolute commitment that the school is definitely going ahead but we have to keep the pressure up,’ he added.
Cllr. Patsy Kirwan, a member of the VEC committee, outlined the role of St. Laurences as a college for further education pointing out that some 3,60 students attend courses there and this number is set to rise again in the year ahead.
Vice-Principal of St. Laurences Community College Teresa Stack expressed her hope for the future of the school with the new building.
‘The students have had to put up with a lot but they tell us that they like the school, the relationship they have with the teachers and the excellent tuition,’ she said.
She highlighted the fact that Drogheda was the largest town in Ireland without a Third Level College.
Deputy Seamus Kirk said that it had taken a bit of time to convince the Department to sanction the project and urged that all the ground work be carried out as soon as possible.
Deputy Dermot Ahern praised the Chairperson of the Parents’ Council Margaret Aspell and the lobbying that they had done to secure the green light and he also paid tribute to the work of the Drogheda VEC. ‘Many efforts have been made to do away with the town of Drogheda VEC and I think that is something else we should watch out for,’ he said.
Cllr. Finian Brannigan said that it was people power which had made the Minister review the situation and grant the building of a new school. ‘This is not about politics but people power and the pressure must be kept up,’he said. . ‘ .
Termonfeckin student Vicky Clifford also spoke from the floor and said that in 1989 when she decided to.attend St. Laurence’s many people were disappointed that she was not going to a ‘better school’.
‘I had heard a lot of reports about St. Laurences, some good, some bad and unfortunately some lived up to my expectations. Of course I’m talking about the building and not the students or staff - they were and still are great but they just did not have the building to match their excellence,’ she said.
‘We had to battle through adverse conditions such as rooms being too hot or too cold because of no proper heating or air conditioning systems; rooms being flooded by heavy rain the night before; going from prefab to prefab in the rain and because of that the constant threat of illness,’ she said.
Club did not want ex United man to ref
The loyal Rovers fans who made the journey to Stamullen on Sunday for the clash of Boyne Rovers and St. James’ Gate, returned home disappointed, as no game took place, due to the non-arrival of the referee. With both teams out on the field, Mr. Tommy Byrne, the ex-Drogheda full-back, offered to take charge, but the Dublin side would not play without an official referee. On Sunday next, however, fans will be seeking compensation by way of a Rovers’ win over Bray Wanderers in the second round of the Intermediate Cup, when the sides meet at the Carlisle Grounds, Bray. A win for Rovers would leave them with an away quarterfinal’ clash with the winners of Bluebell and Belgrove and a win in that match would mean entry to the F.A.I. Cup, and a meeting with the bis League of Ireland sides.
While Rovers will start slight favourites for Sunday’s match, Bray will be hard to beat with home advantage. Michael McManus leaves the final selection of the side until just before kick-off but names this panel of 14 for Sunday—P. Boylan, T. Garry, N. Lynch, F. Taaffe, A. Farrelly, P. Malonc, D. Berrill, Brendan Coyle, Barry Coyle, E. Murphy, E. Wilton, P. Crilly, D. Gardiner. G. Martin.
East Meath United 7 a side
The East Meath United 7-a-side soccer league brought a great number of boys and some parents, to the Seafield. Laytown, on Sunday morning despite bad weather. St. Patrick’s (Bettystown) 3 St. Paul’s (Laytown) 2 This shock win was a great boost for the Bettystown boys after an exciting game between two wcllmatdhed teams. Both sides had excellent goalkeepers, but this did not prevent D. Kicrans, J. Brown and D. Alwright from scoring for the winners, with Gormley and G. Lynch in fine form for Alan Lynch’s bovs.
St. Paul’s must be considered unlucky having had a spot kick saved. The Laytown stars were Ralph Lynch, Ken Piper, Mark O’Neill. Christopher Reilly and Anvil Lougheed.
Almost 30 boys were present for the seconr scheduled match between St. Kevins and St. David’s but due to a misunderstanding as to what boys were qualified to play, ‘only a challenge match took place and the league match between these enthusiastic teams is being re-fixed.
Full marks to Fergal and Niall Lynch for the magnificent turn-out of boys from the Minnistown-Bcttystown Cross areas.
Referee was assaulted
‘Four seconds of madness’ caused a 34-year-old Dublin-based footballer to punch a Drogheda referee after he was sent off for a foul, Drogheda District Court heard.
Referee Liam Flood was refereeing a match between West End United and Loughlinstown.
The court heard that the defendant had been booked in the first half and when the referee saw him elbow a player in the second half he sent him off. The defendant refused to leave the pitch and then hit the referee on the face. Mr. Flood said he sustained a cut lip and swelling to the face. The match was called off.
The player was deeply ashamed of his actions. He had been involved in amateur football for many years and had already been punished with a 10- year ban from playing football.
He ordered the defendant to pay £200 compensation and adjourned the case for payment of witnesses’ expenses.
Selling Rokeby Hall
WELL known local accountant Liam Muldoon and his family are selling their home, Rokeby Hall, Grangebellew after twenty one years. . The Muldoons have decided to sell the country mansion as their children have grown up and left the family home. The family had been using only two floors of the estate - the entrance and first floor levels - as extensive repairs are needed on the remaining two floors.
Designed in the 1780s by Armagh architect Francis Johnston, who also designed the General Post Office in Dublin, Rokeby Hall also has a conservatory designed by Turner, best known for his work on the Botanic Gardens in Dublin.
If was also owned, briefly; by the McAuley family in the early 1970s and the Dutch Belzebour family acquired the house in the 1940s and Mr John Clinton, an old Norman family bought the house in 1913. The house, which has many original Georgian features, will be auctioned on June 14 and is expected to reach £200,000. A spokeswoman for Gunne Estate Agents told the Drogheda Independent that the response to the house has been ‘excellent’ with considerable interest shown by a number of international buyers.
Good herring off Clogherhead
Following on last week’s gloomy news regarding salmon catches off Annagassan, there is some brighter news for fishermen this week. The herring fishing which has just got under way out of Clogherhead is starting to pick up nicely.
The biggest catches to date were landed on Friday last and were well up to last year’s record figures. Apart from the local trawlers, there are also vessels from Howth and Skerries chasing the herring and they arc expected to be joined by more trawlers this week as news of. the good harvest spreads.
The trawlers take their departure around seven o’clock at night for about 12 hours fishing, mainly off the Isle of Man. They return the following morning where the herring is loaded onto large transporters for shipment to the continent, with a limited amount for the Dublin market.
Clogherhead. like other major fishing ports, is observing the call by the Government for a ban on week-end fishing in order to conserve stocks. The trawlers returned to port on Friday morning and didn’t leave again until Monday night.
As the herring industry expands at Clogherhead and more and more trawlers use the port, so also does the pressure grow on the Government to repair and extend the facilities at the harbour. A major job is being carried out at present at Killybcgs. ; It is long past time Clogherhead got its share of the national fund in this regard.
While on the subject of fishing and fishermen, I would like to join in the tributes to two members of the Clogherhead lifeboat who retired recently — Michael Kirwan. the coxswain, and John Tuite, the tractor driver. Their long and dedicated service was appreciated by those who earn their living at sea. and may they both enjoy many happy years of retirement.
St. Anne’s Camogic Club in Togher have asked me to remind all in that area that Sunday next is the date for taking down those walking boots. The club is holding a sponsored 10-mile walk. Togher Cross will be the starting point and the route will be via Keenan’s Cross, Finvoy Cross, Martinstown Cross and finishing back at Togher Cross.
The starting time will be 2 p.m. and the local Civil Defence unit will accompany the walkers just in case anyone needs a rest. There will be refreshments and walkers should contact Mrs. Kathleen Mc-Cullagh. Tullydonnell; Mrs. Mary Connor, Togher, or Deirdre Byrne, Saltcrstown.
The news that the County Council have not only acquired land at Port Oriel for development as an amenity area, but have over £1.000 to spend on initial development, is being welcomed in the area.
No hint has been given as to the council’s plans for the development of such a large site, but a car park will likely be the top priority. Seats and walks could also be provided as well as picnic areas.
The trouble is that once the £1.000 or so has been spent, and that must be done before the end of the year, it could be some time before development is fully completed.
Other areas have their needs for amenities, but there doesn’t seem to be much point in doing only half a job. Why not finish the whole job and provide the necessary amenities in the Clogherhead area. Perhaps this is a point the local community council might take up with the county council.