The new manager of Louth Co Council Philomena Poole comes to Louth with a wealth of experience and high regard for the Wee County.
A native of the Northside of Dublin, she was a community worker with the former Dublin County Council, and has held many senior posts with South Dublin Council, including senior community officer, a director of services in many departments including, community, housing, environment, also deputy manager, and acting county manager.
She officially took over her new role in Louth last Monday, August 12.
“This is the cleanest county I have ever seen,” she said. “The gold and silver medals attained in the national Tidy Towns are a credit to all.”
She has been very impressed by the way in which Louth County Council environmental section and the tidy towns voluntary groups around the county have come together, along with the business people and residents, to create a network of people who have won all those Tidy Towns medals: five gold for Dundalk in the last five years, not to mention Ardee, Knockbridge and Blackrock.
Another networking group she is looking forward to working with is the Louth Economic Forum.
The forum was set up in 2009 under the auspices of the County Development Board. It is chaired by Padraic White former managing director of IDA Ireland.
The forum has drawn up a 10-point plan to develop and link up business, agriculture, and education groups working within the county.
It is really 10 plans and 10 groups working under one umbrella, and so far it has been a major success story.
“It really is a good networking structure,” Ms Poole said, and she truly acknowledges the great work of the forum under the leadership of Padraic White and the vision of former county manager Conn Murray who got it all rolling.
Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) has made a major contribution to the Sustainable Energy programme and the Education and Training programme and she believes a partnership with DkIT on green energy is sustainable.
She believes this is an exciting time for local government with the merger of councils, the sharing of services, and the development of green energy, just a few of the challenges facing all.
“The Wee County packs a big punch,” she said, clearly relishing the challenge ahead.
“It has the two largest towns in the country and the cross-border link gives it an added dimension.”