“We have the potential to be the most green and heritage rich city in Ireland that offers an exceptional lifestyle, adjacent to the coast" says Anna McKenna of the Drogheda City Status Group.
“We have the potential to be the most green and heritage rich city in Ireland that offers an exceptional lifestyle, adjacent to the coast. But we have been denied reaching our full potential by political and policy obstructions. It’s time to change all that.” So said Anna McKenna of the Drogheda City Status Group in a press statement issued yesterday.
In their statement the Drogheda City Status Group (DCSG) called for urgent action from the newly formed coalition government to address several critical issues in the Drogheda region, affecting the 80,000 people living in the wider catchment of what they hope will be Ireland’s next city.
“Top of these needs is accelerating the long overdue Port Access Northern Cross Route to enable the construction of almost five thousand new homes and enhance the business potential of the port and the adjacent area” said Anna McKenna, Chairperson of the DCSG.
DCSG also want to see the establishment of an IDA Business Park in Drogheda with IDA, Enterprise Ireland and LEO staff located there to co-ordinate job creation in the region.
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Another ask of DCSG, one that would be very popular with the people of Drogheda, is the creation of a new Local Authority structure that would see a “…senior management team based in Drogheda co-ordinating key functions such as housing, heritage and planning for the future city instead of Drogheda being managed by local authority staff headquartered in - and generally living - in Dundalk and Navan.”
DCSG are concerned that, as the Central Statistics Office prepares for Census 2021, National and Local Government needs to be “…much more advanced in planning forward for the emerging City of Drogheda.”
Incredibly, they note that population projections for the current version of the “Ireland 2040 Plan” only deal with the five cities of Dublin; Cork; Limerick; Galway and Waterford.
“In Census 2016, Drogheda-LBM (Laytown; Bettystown and Mornington) had a population of 52,828 that was on par with Waterford City’s 53,504” Ms McKenna said.
“Meantime, virtually all IDA Foreign Direct Investment is being directed to Dundalk-Blackrock with its smaller population of 39,004.
“Drogheda-LBM sees a daily mass exodus of workers leaving the area, yet IDA continue to pump overseas investment into Dundalk-Blackrock which has a substantial daily inflow of workers, in marked contrast to our future city.
“For so many reasons, including tackling pockets of social deprivation, all politicians in Drogheda; South Louth and East Meath need to combine forces and demand fair play for the Greater Drogheda Region from the incoming Government.
“We have a new Mayor and a relatively new Borough Council, and we concur with Councillor Paddy McQuillan that the three Drogheda T.D’s also need to work together for the common good, along with the two recently appointed Senators from East Meath.
“Business and Community organisations across the Greater Drogheda Region also need to come together to demand change. We have been ignored for far too long.
“We have a young, growing and talented population who deserve the opportunity to secure good, local employment. We can offer businesses an unrivalled location and infrastructure.
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