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Monday, 20th March 2023

Byrne calls for historic fire engine to be on permanent display in Drogheda

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The Merryweather fire engine which served the town of Drogheda for many years after it was bought by Drogheda Coporation in 1937.

Following calls from Sinn Féin Councillor Joanna Byrne, Drogheda’s historic Merryweather Fire Engine was on full display at this year’s St. Patrick’s Day parade.

Speaking at Monday’s Council meeting Cllr Byrne thanked both the Council and Chief Fire Officer Eamon Woulfe for their assistance in ensuring the machine was at the parade.

 “I’m overjoyed and want to thank officials from Louth County Council in assisting me in getting the Merryweather into the parade this year” Cllr Byrne said.

“I was delighted to see her in all her glory on full show for Drogheda’s spectators and I think its inclusion was a real treat for viewers both young and old, considering its historical importance to the town.

“I also want to thank the Firefighters from Drogheda who worked on the machine last week to ensure it was ready for its big showcase.”

Cllr Byrne, who campaigned in 2019 to get the Merryweather returned to Drogheda from Dundalk, has re-iterated her call to Louth County Council to find an indoor exhibition space to display the machine in the town.

The popular ‘green machine’ which responded to Belfast’s may-day call during the Belfast Blitz in World War II (1941) is of sentimental value to many past firefighters who served on the machine, their families and to the wider townspeople who still take great pride in this machine.

It was restored in recent years and according to Cllr Byrne it’s “nothing short of dishonourable to the town’s history for it not to be on proud display and available to the Fire Service to showcase at events.”

Cllr Byrne tabled a motion back in 2019 for the Council to secure a space to publically display the machine and received a commitment that the Council would seek such an exhibition space. She has now re-iterated this call and asked Director of Service Thomas McEvoy to follow up on this commitment and find a proud public place for the Merryweather to rest and finally call home, and for the townspeople of Drogheda to enjoy.

Find out more about the history of the Merryweather fire engine here.

 

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