|Annual Report 2012|
DUNLEER COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BOARD
Annual Report 2012
Well what a year it has been in Dunleer. With the Children's Playground completed, the Board has now turned its attention to the restoration of the Market House project, formerly known as The Old Parochial House, Main Street.. However, it is important to give you a report of how the work has been going over the past year, and I shall commence now to do so.
After our Annual General Meeting in November 2011, we did not hold a meeting in December, but we did take stock of where we were, and we enjoyed the ‘Turning On The Christmas Lights’ and the arrival of Santa to Dunleer. The town does indeed look beautiful with its Christmas decorations.
January 2012 arrived, and after the Christmas break, we hit the ground running.
Fundraising was almost complete for the community playground, with our very successful ‘Fitness Fundraiser’ sponsored weigh-in, held in FELDA Fitness, Fairways, Dundalk.
Our winner was Mrs. Jayne Healy, of Woodlands, Dunleer. A deserved winner. Special thanks to FELDA Fitness for sponsoring the event.
The Board also received a substantial donation from Councillor Colm Markey who ran the Dublin City Marathon the previous October in aid of a number of charities, The Dunleer Children's Playground Fund being one of them. We are extremely grateful to councillor Markey for his donation.
We were close to commencing construction now, and in February 2012, the contractors and sub-contractor moved onto site, and so began work. At the same time, we held our very successful ‘Walk from GPO Dublin To Dunleer’ which was undertaken by Mary-Rose Rafferty and Jim Gibney. Special thanks to both. It was a physically demanding undertaking for both, and we thank you both most sincerely. The Board also commenced some cleaning work on the Market House.
In March 2012, we completed construction of the wonderful new Playground, with an official opening arranged for March 31st. The Children’s Art Competition was also held to pick the child who would cut the ribbon on the opening day. This competition was adjudged by local Artist Mr. Dahmane Hocine, and the winning entry was by Ms. Aaliyah Flood. Congratulations to all the entries.
On the Opening Day, we held a Children’s Party, with music provided by the very talented Philipstown Youth Orchestra, Dunleer, and support by DJ Conor Farrell. The ribbon was cut by Ms. Aaliyah Flood, assisted by the Chairperson of Louth County Council, Councillor Oliver Tully.
Special thanks must also go to the Board of Louth Leader Partnership who awarded a grant of 75% of the total cost of the playground and to Louth County Council who provided the site free of charge.
In April, The Board facilitated a meeting to discuss the need for space in Scoil Bride on the Ardee Road. Kieran McGrory, representing the Parents Council, explained the pressure on space in the School, and that there was no free space for the children to play safely. The Board assured him the Board supported their efforts to solve the problem.
May was our last meeting before our traditional Summer recess, and it was an invaluable meeting, in that we had as our Special Guest Speaker Ms. Alison Quail, BCL. Alison gave a presentation to the people at the meeting about the upcoming Personal Insolvency Bill 2012, which will become law later in the year. She explained that this was a very important piece of law, as it will introduce a framework that will allow individuals seeking to renegotiate their debts with the banks. All those present on the night agreed it was an excellent presentation by Alison, and she accepted the invitation for a follow up meeting in early 2013 to present the final version of the Personal Insolvency Bill once it comes into law. We expect a strong turnout for this seminar in the new year.
During our summer break, the Board engaged in major preparatory work for the Market House project. Work commenced in conjunction with Dunleer Tidy Towns who took on the role of cleaning up the Market House and making it suitable for Board meeting of the DCDB. In addition, a fund raising committee was set up, chaired by Eugene Conlon. The Board also decided to hold a competitive tender process for the role of professional adviser in the restoration of the Market House.
A competitive tendering process was initiated, and after several professional tenders were received, the Board selected Shane Wherity and Co. Quantity Surveyors as the most suited firm to engage in partnering with the Board. The Board would like to thank Joe McEvoy and Noel Philips, Planning and Building Consultants respectively, for their advice and knowledge in the selection process.
It will be the job of Shane Wherity & Co to bring the Market House back to it’s original design purpose, while incorporating as many uses, sustainable and renewable technologies as is feasibile within the established fabric of the House and it’s Campus. In addition, they have been charged with preparing a bill of quantities, which will allow the Board to put the restoration work out to tender before the end of 2012.
During the summer break, the Board was approached by the outgoing organisers of the Santa Claus committee with a view to taking over the organising of such a prestigious event.. The Board held a series of evaluations and due diligence with the outgoing committee, and later in the year, after the matter had been thoroughly researched, they agreed to take on the organising of the Santa Claus night. It was felt that the continuation of the festive tradition was something that was essential to the town, and brought much fun and happiness to children.
This is a massive undertaking for the DCDB, and it will be a long term commitment in seeing the Market House restored to it’s original design purpose - the facilitation of trade and commerce in Dunleer Town. With the agreement to also take on the organising of Santa’s Arrival Night and the Christmas Fair, we feel this complements the Market House well. There is more to come!
In September, we returned from our break, and we held a well attended meeting, with our Special Guest Speaker being Ms. Karen Devine. Ms. Devine was the representative for the Digital Switchover liaison officer for County Louth. She held an informative question and answer session with the members of the public, and sought to allay their concerns about what they could and couldn’t view on their televisions after October 24th.
In October, it was decided that although we were working hard on a number of issues, there was no particular item on the agenda for discussion, so we postponed our next meeting to the Annual General Meeting, set for sometime in December 2012.
At the time of writing, the Board was busy preparing for the arrival of Santa on Thursday, December 6th, and the Christmas Fair in the Market House, being held on Saturday, December 8th, from 10am to 5pm.
The board decided to build on the success of the Santa night by extending the Christmas activities to include a number of events at the Market House and Scoraiocht Lannleire.
The Christmas Fair was very much a part of Dunleer life up until the early 70s, and the Board are now re-launching the fair at the Market House. This event will provide both young and old with the opportunity to purchase Christmas gifts and other needs from local arts, crafts and food producers, who will be exhibiting on the day.
It is also planned that on the Saturday, also in the house, some traditional pastimes and skills will be reawakened and handed over to the younger generation.
A reception will be held in the Market House on Thursday, the 22nd of November at 7pm to promote and launch the events.
The Dunleer Community Development Board like to thank everyone who helped in the fundraising for the playground project and to the people who assist the Board voluntarily during the year in many ways. The Board is extremely grateful for the community's support and we look forward to seeing that support continuing in the future.
Finally we would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Peaceful, Prosperous New Year to all our friends and families.
See you all again in 2013.
Gerry Hoey,Vice Chairman,November 2012.
Dunleer Community Development Board
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE: TONY MALLON (CHAIRMAN), MARY ROSE RAFFERTY (SECRETARY) GERRY HOEY (VICE CHAIRMAN), JOHNNY BRENNAN (TREASURER), EUGENE CONLON, BARRY BRENNAN, MARGARET MCCONNORAN, DICKIE KIERAN