Welcome to The Briefing. This is LouthNow.ie’s morning bulletin, brought to you in association with Ardee Credit Union. Every weekday morning, 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 / Candidates for the Louth constituency begin their third final day of canvassing today with now less than 72 hours left to put their best foot and policies forward to the voting public. The third and final leaders debate took place on RTE last night and now, for the most part, it’s over to the candidates themselves.
The bookmakers, as ever, have already had their say on the matter. In Louth, Ruairi O Murchu has made significant traction in the last week. Paddy Power considers him the overwhelming favourite to top the polls in Louth at 1/12. That would seen him handily earn a seat in Dáil Éireann, just as his predecessor Gerry Adams did in consecutive elections. The bookies also say Louth looks like a Sinn Féin two-seater, with Imelda Munster backed at 1/7.
Declan Breathnach, Ged Nash and Fergus O’Dowd are also considered odds-on by the bookmakers. Green Party’s Mark Dearey and Peter Fitzpatrick, Independent, are even money so should certainly not be discounted at this stage.
TWO / LouthNow.ie will be at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin today for the launch of the new 2020 SSE Airtricity League season, with players and coaches from Dundalk FC and Drogheda United in attendance.
For Dundalk, they go into this season as they do every campaign these days – intending and expecting to win, although they wouldn’t necessarily admit the latter. This season, they haven’t lost any players any absolutely crucial players in the close season – although fans of Robbie Benson may argue otherwise. In fairness, injuries put paid to him fulfilling his immense promise at Oriel and he wears a St Pat’s shirt in 2020. Additions a plenty have been made – Darragh Leahy and Greg Sloggett have caught the eye in pre-season – so there’s much to get excited about.
Drogheda will be looking forward to the season too. They are considered by many as favourites for promotion to the top tier in 2020, after two near misses. Tim Clancy has also done well to keep hold of most os his key players, the exception being goalscoring centre back Luke McNally. A new stadium remains a distant speck on the horizon and Limerick’s licensing woes mean the Drogs have had to endure fixture confusion in the close season. But Clancy will have his young team ready, whatever comes next.
THREE / Last night, we were in attendance at the Dundalk Municipal District meeting at Town Hall where Councillor Sean Kelly called on the National Driving License Service to set up a part time office at the new RSA Driving Test Centre on the Newry Road.
The motion was met with unanimous agreement across the board, with the feeling among councillors that it would especially benefit pensioners in the north of the county, who have to travel to Drogheda to renew their license. It was felt that were it to start out as a part time office, it could soon become a full-time one. We’ll have more on this story later today.
FOUR / And finally, Louth County Council and Social Innovation Fund Ireland are hosting a Funding Roadshow event at the The Mill Enterprise Hub in Drogheda on Friday (February 7) at 11.30am.
Attendees can learn more about Social Innovation Fund Ireland’s funds which are currently open for application, including their Ability to Work Fund and Social Enterprise Development Fund. They will also get the chance to meet Social Innovation Fund Ireland staff, previous Fund Awardees and ask any questions they might have.