Welcome to The Lowdown. This is LouthNow.ie’s afternoon bulletin, brought to you in association with McGoey’s Pharmacy. Every weekday early evening, we will bring you what you need to know for the day ahead in a digestible, quick read so you can get on with your day.
/ONE It’s offficial. As of 12pm today, the selection of candidates you have to choose from in next month’s General Election has been decided. The Returning Officer for Louth Mairead Ahern confirmed the names soon afterwards. There’s 12 men, three women, four non-party candidates, five from Dundalk, six from Drogheda and one each from Termonfeckin, Ardee, Omeath and Knockbridge.
Of the candidates, four are sitting TDs, one Senator, three are current Louth County councillors, one is a former councillor. Farmers, journalists, magazine writers, teachers, systems analysts community organisers and retired pension managers make up the pack. It’s a reasonably varied field in terms of age and experience but only 20% of candidates are female and that feels like a low number.
Just as a point of information, each candidate is given a grace period of 24 hours so they are free to withdraw before 12pm on Thursday. That’s unlikely though. We have our full pool of candidates and it’s all systems go from here with just 18 days to go until polling day.
Read the full story here: It’s official – 15 candidates to run for Louth constituency in Election 2020
/TWO While Gardai battle on the frontline in the ongoing gang feud in Drogheda, there are a number of agencies tasked with providing support to the communities affected by the violence. An inter-agency meeting – involving the likes of HSE’s Social Inclusion Unit, the Louth Meath Education Training Board, the Probation Services, North East Region Drugs and Alcohol Task Force, Tusl and the Louth Leader Partnership Company – was held last week.
In the meeting, it was decided Louth County Council would prioritise the installation of CCTV in the Moneymore estate with the local authority saying they would impress the urgent need when sourcing funding from the State. Louth County Council will act as the data controller and will liaise with the Gardai.
Read the full story here: CCTV for Moneymore ‘a priority’ as agencies meet on Drogheda feud
/THREE This would be funny if it wasn’t so serious. This morning, we brought you the story of when after observing a driver not wearing a seatbelt, officers with the Roads Policing Unit based in Dundalk pulled a vehicle over in Drogheda on Tuesday.
When enquiries were made, it transpired that the driver of the vehicle had been driving unaccompanied on a provisional license since 1997 – 23 years ago. The driver was not displaying ‘L’ plates, nor was the vehicle taxed. Neither of those are that suprising after you hear the first bit. The part about the 23 years on a provisional license.
Read the full story here: Driver with 23 year provisional license and no tax has vehicle seized
/FOUR There was some very positive news this evening for Ardee and in particular all of the people who yearn for Ardee Castle to be made into something to be proud of. The ‘jewel in Ardee’s crown as it is known’, has been lying idle for years and has been left to deteriorate somewhat. But things are progressing.
The council have appointed Tourism Development International to undertake what they call ‘a scoping assessment based on market research which will identify tourism opportunities for the use of Ardee Castle that can deliver sustainable, motivating visitor experiences at the Castle.
As part of that proposal, a public workshop will be held in Brian Muldoon’s on Thursday January 30 at 7.30pm in which locals will be invited to have their say on the future of Ardee Castle.
Read the full story here: Tourism planners appointed to help unleash Ardee Castle’s potential
/FIVE Independent candidate for Louth Topanga Bird filed her papers today to register as a candidate in Election 2020. Never heard of her? That’s okay. But she doesn’t hold back when it comes to making a splash. She’s been talking about ‘Power to the People’ today. She wants government ‘decentralised’ and ‘devolutionised’ and she has called on the creation of neighbourhood councils which would allow people more autonomy over decisions made in their local area.
That’s not the most out there pledge or proposal you will hear this election. The Green Party candidate Saoirse McHugh has suggested something similar. So has Peter Fitzpatrick who wants Louth County Hospital’s A&E department reopened – as does Bird. She is certainly an outlier.
“I offer an independent voice, not one shackled to party politics. I stand for listening to the people of Co. Louth and meeting their needs. I stand for ‘power to the people.'”
Read the full story here: ‘Power to the people!” – Bird wants creation of neighbourhood councils