Councillors from Ardee Municipal District have been granted a meeing with representatives from Transport Infrastructure Ireland – but they might have to vie for their attention with colleagues from Louth County Council.
At last Thursday’s January monthly meeting, the six councillors heard that TII had responded to a request sent last year for a meeting in regards to road infrastructure in and around Ardee, namely the proposed N52 western bypass of the town. The body said they would be willing to sit down and discuss matters that the elected officials brought to the table.
However, there was confusion among councillors as the TII correspondence seemed to be directed towards Louth County Council as a whole, and not specifically the Ardee Municipal committee – raising concerns amongst local representatives that the pressing issue of the Ardee bypass could be sidelined and lost amongst other county-wide discussions.
“We have specific issues we want to raise as a Municipal. I would be inclined to respond back to them with specific things we want to raise in relation to the Ardee and Mid-Louth,” Colm Markey remarked. “A number of key issues spring to mind – at the top of that is the Ardee bypass.
“We need to make sure that our aspect of it is the main priority. I know for instance, people from the Dundlak Municipal may have issues to be raised about the N53.
“I’d be worried that our issue – that should be the priority – would just be one of a number of issues raised. I think we should consider contacting them directly in relation to the issue we have. Our point might be lost.”
Dolores Minogue – the Louth County Council vice chair – sought the meeting through council chairperson Paul Bell and after he wrote directly to TII, they responded in kind and agreed to a meeting.
“We wrote to the Minister, looking for a meeting and we didn’t hear anything back. I put in a motion to write to TII but it fell. I was told to wait until the minister wrote back but he didn’t write back. In my own capacity as chair, I asked Paul Bell to write to the TII to ask for a meeting and this is the repsonse.
“It is all about the bypass as far as I’m concerned,” she said in confirming that her initial request for a letter to be sent to the TII was solely in relation to Ardee bypass.
The councillors were told at the meeting that the local authority have since been in touch again with TII in relation to arranging a date for a meeting and when that has been secured, details such as the nature and size of the delegation to attend the meeting will be looked at.