Deputy Fergus O’Dowd, Minister Simon Coveney, Minister of State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works (OPW), Patrick O'Donovan, T.D. and Rosemary Collier, Assistant Secretary OPW at Oldbridge House as Minister O'Donovan visits Oldbridge Estate and Drogheda to view St Laurence’s Gate and the site of proposed flood relief works. Photo: Jenny Callanan.
Local Fine Gael TD, Fergus O’Dowd, has said that meetings he had yesterday with government colleagues on the future development of Oldbridge House and Laurence’s Gate were very productive.
Deputy O’Dowd said “Over the last number of months I have had a number of meetings with my colleague Minister for OPW, Patrick O’Donovan, to really highlight and drive home the importance of developing key historic OPW sites in our historic town.
“My main focus is to increase our tourism numbers and to tie any development in with the existing Failte Ireland strategy including the Destination Town Project and Urban Animation Scheme which will see nearly €1.2m of investment in our town.
Yesterday, Minister O’Donovan and Deputy O’Dowd met at Oldbridge House on the first stage of a day-long visit to the area. They were joined at Oldbridge by Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney.
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“I have held a number of discussions on the massive potential the Oldbridge site possesses, there are exciting opportunities to not only boost visitor numbers but also branch out as a destination to facilitate high level meetings on what is key historic site.
“Our colleague Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney joined us to discuss the massive potential of the site and how best to progress its development.
“I then brought Minister O’Donovan to the historic St Laurence’s Gate to see first-hand the potential of the site and what the OPW would need to do in order to open to visitors on special occasions, the OPW are currently carrying out a structural assessments on the monument and we should have details on the future viability of the site in the very near future. This was also a chance to meet with LOVE Drogheda members Trevor Connolly and Niall Kierans to update the Minister on some of the excellent work they are undertaking in the community.
“We concluded our visit on the North Quays where we met council and OPW engineers to discuss the progress on the Drogheda and Baltray Flood Relief Scheme which recently received a boost when Minister O’Donovan confirmed the appointment of consultants to carry out the design of the scheme.
O’Dowd added “These vital flood works will protect 183 residential and 198 commercial properties in Drogheda with a further 73 properties protected in Baltray against a flood event with a 1% probability of occurring in any given year (more commonly known as the 1-in-100-year flood). Public consultation is due to commence in the near future and I would encourage residents to engage with the process.”
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