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Wednesday, 31st May 2023

Census figures underline Drogheda’s need for city status and its own council

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“By any measure, Drogheda is a city and needs as a matter of urgency the establishment of a city council so that we can properly plan what’s coming down the line” - Drogheda City Status Group Chair, Anna McKenna. Photo: Anthony Murphy.

Figures show Drogheda and East Meath is Ireland’s fastest-growing urban area

Census figures published yesterday make the Drogheda City Status Group’s argument that Drogheda should become the country’s newest city incontestable. They underline the urgent need for a decision at government level to make the change of status official so that Drogheda can become a city in its own right with its own local authority and city manager.

The population of Drogheda grew by 13% between 2016 and 2022, this is 5% ahead of the average national growth rate. The population in one area of Drogheda, St. Mary’s, grew by an incredible 38.55%, the highest growth rate of any electoral district in the entire state.

When taken together the number of people living in the areas of Drogheda in both Louth and Meath plus the East Meath villages of Laytown, Bettystown, and Julianstown, the population of the greater Drogheda is now at a record 67,114 which has prompted DCSG chairperson Anna McKenna to saythat Drogheda is already Ireland’s newest city.

“These figures reaffirm what we have been saying for several years now – that Drogheda is Ireland’s largest town, fastest-growing town, and as it merges with the East Meath villages, it is in fact already a city” said Anna.

“The census reinforces the pressing and undeniable need for Drogheda to be officially declared a city, so that we can properly plan the future of what will soon be Ireland’s newest metropolis,” the chairperson said.

Ms McKenna also pointed out that considerable further residential development is planned, particularly to the north of Drogheda, where the new Port Access Northern Cross Route, currently under construction, will allow 7,000 residential units to be built in the coming years, bringing in the region of 20,000 new inhabitants.

Population growth rate overall in Ireland from 2016 to 2022 was 7.6% - In Drogheda it was 12.7%

“By any measure, Drogheda is a city and needs as a matter of urgency the establishment of a city council so that we can properly plan what’s coming down the line.”

On the jobs front Ms McKenna said that the exceptional population growth means we will need up to 30,000 jobs locally.

“We want to ensure the educational infrastructure is in place to deal with the massive increases that have occurred and which look to dramatically rise in the coming years. We look forward to the establishment of a university campus to serve Drogheda and the region.”

“We also want proper planning for sustainability and integration, and a plan for the protection and promotion of the area’s rich heritage because Drogheda is situated amidst the most important and significant monuments and historical remnants anywhere in Ireland, including the Unesco World Heritage Site of Brú na Bóinne.”

The population in the St. Mary’s area of Drogheda grew by an incredible 38.55%, the highest growth rate of any electoral district in the entire state.

Some 32% – almost one in every three – of the working population of Drogheda and its outlying villages commute daily to jobs either in the capital city Dublin or elsewhere. There must be a meaningful effort now to create a sustainable community that can work locally and live in an attractive and vibrant city.”

 “We want to see the completion of the Port Access Northern Cross Route to take heavy goods traffic out of the centre of Drogheda. We also want to see the construction of a railway station on the main Dublin-Belfast railway line on the north side of the city.”

Drogheda is growing faster than most other Irish cities. Its growth rate of 13.2% exceeds those of Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford.

“The facts speak for themselves. Drogheda is now a city and requires its own local authority and city manager to allow Ireland’s newest city to grow to its full potential,” Anna McKenna concluded.

Drogheda City Status Group is calling on people living in the area to complete an online survey at: https://forms.gle/pWik6h5qoipuxf4YA

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