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Pobal’s Deprivation Index makes for grim reading for Ardee

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Ardee at night, photographed in 2015. Photo Credit: Conor McEneaney.
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This article originally appeared on ThisIsArdee.ie

Ardee is the most deprived small town or village in Louth, according to the latest national deprivation index from Pobal which is based on statistics from Census 2016.

According to new newly released data, Ardee town has a deprivation score of -7.04. The deprivation score if made up of a number of factors including unemployment rates, age dependency, lone parent ratio and third level education numbers.

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Ardee town’s score compares unfavorably with neighboring Carrickmacross who scored -5.20. These towns are not described as disadvantaged in the index, but are categorised as ‘marginally below average.’ No areas in either town are categorised as affluent.

Dunleer (-1.45), Dromiskin (-1.02), Togher (-3.52) and Tallanstown (-4.36) all have considerably better deprivation scores than Ardee, with Collon and nearby Slane holding positive scores. Ardee is not as bad as urban areas as Drogheda and Dundalk who have the highest levels of deprivation in the county according to Pobal.

Split into it’s electoral divisions – Ardee Urban and Ardee Rural – the new data shows that unemployment rates in the town are much higher than in the outskirts of the town. 24.34% of men and 19.59% of women are unemployed in Ardee town, compared to 10.56% and 8.34% respectively in rural hinterlands.

The figures also show that 23.59% of town dwellers hold a third level qualifications, compared to 29.09% in rural areas.

Pobal say that Moorehall Close is the most affluent area of Ardee – holding a 7.13 score, classified as ‘marginally above average.’ It’s unemployment rate is the lowest in the town while 46.79 of it’s adult residents hold third level qualifications. The Stoney Lane and Heathergate area, as well as Currabeg and Bohernamoe, are also classed as above average.

The majority of the town is described as ‘marginally below average’ based on the criteria applied by Pobal.

The John Street/Hale Street is categorised as ‘very disadvantaged’ in the index, with unemployment levels amongst men and women at 37.93% and 22.22% and the percentage of those residing with third level qualifications at 16.04%. These figures should be considered knowing that such an area is lived in by older people.

De La Salle, Dawsons Demesne, Campbells Park, Hale Street, Sliabh Breagh, Tierney Street, Castle Street, Sean O’Carroll Street and Ferdia Park are classified as ‘disadvantaged.’ The latter has has the highest rate of unemployment as of the Census 2016.

Nationally, the research from Pobal also shows that small towns have experienced more deprivation during the past decade than any other type of community.  It says that disadvantage is a long-term and geographically entrenched feature of society.

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