Carlingford Can’t Be Without A Tourist Office – Cllr Watters

Sinn Féin Councillor Antóin Watters has sought information from Louth County Council regarding the future of Carlingford’s Tourist Office.

The tourist Office in the village closed recently leaving the area with nowhere for tourists to visit for information.

Cllr Watters said “Carlingford and the Cooley Peninsula are bustling with visitors and tourists from all over the world who come to see the stunning scenery and to experience the wealth of history in the area going back 800 years. In 2008 we received Europe’s Destination of Excellence Award and quite deservedly so. We have grown from strength to strength and yet, we no longer have a Tourist Office.”

Cllr Watters said “no matter where tourists go, their first port of call is always to the local tourist office to pick up maps and find out where the local areas of interest are or to get information on where to stay etc. It is essential that Carlingford, being a tourist hub for the North East, provides that service. It is unacceptable that we are left without one and this needs to be redressed as soon as possible.”

“Following the abrupt closure of Carlingford Tourist Office, I have received numerous calls from parties who would be interested in leasing the building itself. It is essential that this building, which is in a prime location in Carlingford Village, remains in use and I have no doubt that there are many local businesses and groups who will be interested in leasing it.”

“In the meantime I will be contacting the Tourism Board to find out the reasons behind the sudden closure and to ascertain any plans for re-opening it albeit at a different location.”

Cllr Ruairí Ó Murchú at Carlingford’s D’Arcy McGee International Forum

Gen John de Chastelain, Cllr Ó Murchú & Jane Urquhart

Sinn Féin Councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú has paid tribute to the organisers of this year’s D’Arcy McGee International Forum event which was held in Thomas D’Arcy McGee’s hometown of Carlingford.

Thomas D’Arcy McGee born in Carlingford in 1825 . He was a revolutionary Irish nationalist who later became a Canadian parliamentarian and was assassinated in 1868. He was a complicated character containing a lot of the complexities of Irish history.

Cllr Ó Murchú said “it is a great event with a myriad of political opinions, backgrounds and identities all brought together under the roof of the Holy Trinity Heritage Centre. The idea of the forum is to ‘bring together interested parties from across Canada and Ireland, to

Ruairi with Jane Urquhart

discuss and debate, to explore new ideas, and to question old ones.’ This is much needed.”

Cllr Ó Murchú said “This year’s theme was ‘Canada and Ireland – exploring new beginnings in uncertain times’ and with the chaos of Brexit looming, I feel this is very apt.”

The event was opened by Kevin Vickers, the Canadian ambassador. The James M.

Flaherty lecture was given by the Canadian novelist and poet, Jane Urquhart, who spoke

Ruairi with General John de Chastelain

eloquently about her Irish roots and the issue of her Quinn antecedents converting to Protestantism.

Cllr Ó Murchú also paid tribute to General John de Chastelain who will be awarded the Thomas D’Arcy McGee Award. “General de Chastelain

was Chairperson of the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning and had the unenviable job of overseeing the weapons issue as part of the Irish Peace Process. He is very deserving of this award and I wish him all the best going forward.”

 

Cllr Antóin Watters: End to Waste Plant Proposals on Carlingford Lough ‘a Huge Relief’

Sinn Féin Councillor Antóin Watters has welcomed the withdrawal of the application for a waste plant for hazardous waste which would have been sited on the shores of Carlingford Lough.

Concerns were raised when the application was submitted for Warrenpoint Harbour and last week Cllr Watters had asked that the plans be made available in Dundalk so that concerned residents and stakeholders on this side of the Lough would have access to them and be able to submit any concerns they may have had.

Cllr Watters said “it is a huge relief that following pressure from community groups and environmental activists and concerns raised by Chris Hazzard MP and myself, Warrenpoint Harbour took the decision not to allow the waste facility on its site.”

“Regen Waste then later confirmed that they were withdrawing the application and are ‘no longer advancing plans for such a facility in Warrenpoint Harbour.’ This is a huge relief to all those who value the delicate ecosystem in and around Carlingford Lough.”

Cllr Antóin Watters Seeks Warrenpoint Waste Facility Application to be made available in Louth

Plans to put a hazardous waste facility in Warrenpoint, Co Down on the shores of Carlingford Lough has caused concern on both sides of Carlingford Lough.

ReGen Waste plans to develop a new waste management facility in Warrenpoint Harbour but given the delicate ecosystem in Carlingford Lough, unprecedented interest has understandably been sparked.

Cllr Antóin Watters who represents the Dundalk Carlingford area said “I have been approached by a number of constituents who have expressed concern that the plans for this facility were being advanced behind closed doors and away from public eyes. Following contact with our newly elected MP for the South Down area, Chris Hazzard, ReGen Waste representatives assured him that there will be a comprehensive community consultation process taking place over the summer ‘to ensure full transparency around this project and to give stakeholders an opportunity to have any concerns around this proposal addressed.’ I welcome that confirmation.”

“Chris Hazzard MP has called on the people in his area to scrutinize these plans and I am calling on people from North Louth to do the same. In order to help facilitate that scrutiny, I have today asked ReGen Waste to make a copy of the application available to Louth County Council so they can make it available for viewing in Dundalk.”

Chris Hazzard MP

“Given the delicate environmental setting of Warrenpoint Harbour on Carlingford Lough, we need to be very careful and wary of the development of anything that would be detrimental to that.”

Cllr Watters welcomed the fact that the “licence application for this project has been made available to the public in Warrenpoint Town Hall from Monday 10th July. I hope to update the public in Louth as to when it will be available in Dundalk. I would urge as many as possible from North Louth to study this application and I also call on Louth County Council to be very familiar with it as well.”

“We expect that as time goes on this project will attract interest from environmental campaigners from further afield but it is of the utmost importance that local people on both sides of the Lough are familiar with the project and any concerns they have are addressed.”

Cllr Antóin Watters Welcomes Additional Garda Numbers

Following the latest meeting of the Dundalk Local Policing Forum, Sinn Féin Councillor Antóin Watters has welcomed plans for additional Garda resources to the Omeath/Carlingford area.

Cllr Watters said “I have been concerned at the reduced numbers for some time now. Over the past six years we have seen the Garda resources, especially in rural areas, cut to the bone.  Omeath and Carlingford are busy tourist areas as well as being a large residential area and they are just as entitled as other citizens to a Garda presence and decent resources. Locals have consistently raised their concerns with me and hopefully this will go some way to alleviating those worries.”