As the Cathaoirleach of the Carrickmacross – Castleblayney Municipal District, I would like to take this opportunity to wish the Carrickmacross and south Monaghan area a Happy Christmas and Prosperous 2019.
I am always proud to come from Carrickmacross, we are a town full of community spirit with organizations, charities and committees who continue to do exceptional things. We, as a local authority, will continue to work with these groups in order to continue the betterment of the area.
2018 has seen many developments in the town – the opening of the Lace Gallery and Craft shop was the culmination of years of hard work. It will be a base in the town for tourists and locals alike to congregate and take pride in the local craft which has put us on the map. In terms of housing, a number of social housing units were allocated and private development continues to provide much needed homes in the area. Over the next 12 months we will see further developments come to fruition. A contentious issue I have been raising since joining the council, the unfinished estate on the old Ardee road, Drummond Ross, will be brought to completion over the next couple of years which will benefit the entire area.
The year ahead sees a number of plans and projects that will come to fruition. The Tidy Towns, who continue to make this town a great place to live, continue their quest to win the overall title. With the help of the Council, the businesses and the community, that goal is within reach. Plans are currently underway to introduce a water feature for the town which will draw visitors from near and far and will benefit the whole community; the Municipal district council have already committed our support for this and will continue to work closely with the Tidy Towns committee to bring it to a reality.
The Group Home for Persons with Physical and Sensory Difficulties, which has been completed now for almost 2 years and has, unfortunately been left unused, has been added to the 2019 HSE budget so it is expected to be opened in the first half of the year. Newbaze, a Chinese based baby-formula company, hope to begin production this year also in the former Bose factory.
An exciting plan to rejuvenate the town has been commissioned by the council and will be out for public consultation in the coming months. This plan includes the development of strategic zones in the town that will cater for markets, outdoor eating, cultural areas and off street parking. An application has been made to the new Rural Regeneration Scheme for funding and we will continue to push for its delivery.
It has been a difficult year for many and I want to take this opportunity to pass on my deepest sympathies to those who have suffered a loss.
It has also been a difficult time for the people of Magheracloone; the mine collapse in recent months has resulted in displacement of people from their homes, of a loss of revenue to businesses in the area and the lack of facilities for the GAA club and Community Centre. I, along with my council colleagues, will continue to keep this issue on the agenda and will continue to seek answers to those questions that have yet to be answered.
Finally, I want to remind you that the Council and the local representatives are available to the community so if you need our help please do not hesitate to make contact.
Cllr. Colm Carthy (Cathaoirleach of the Carrickmacross-Castleblayney Municipal District Council) 0876837180