Clanbrassil and Church Street plan ‘long overdue’ says Martin Bellew

Clanbrassiol Street throunged for the Giro

Clanbrassiol Street throunged for the Giro

Dundalk Town Council was told at its final meeting that the plan for the Clanbrassil Street and Church Street improvement works receiced only one submission.

Town Clerk Frank Pentony said the council had taken on board the proposals in the submission and the next step was to get the tender out.

Cllr Martin Bellew, who did not go forward for election, said the work “was long overdue”. But he was delighted to see it is going to be done.

Cllr Marianne Butler said she was very disappointed with the level of engagement and was very disappointed businesses hadn’t made submissions.

The new works will include upgrading of footpaths and kerbs along with a paved table junction at Yorke Street.

Also, resurfacing and relining the existing road, pedestrain crossing points, and street furniture.

The area is within the architectual conservation area - Clanbrassil street, Church Street, Market Square, as designated in the Dundalk and Environs Development Plan.

Dundalk, like most town centres both here and in the UK, has been struggling to survive and hold on to its traditional trading culture.

The general view of town centre traders is that the farmers’ market at the Square is helping to bring people back into Clanbrassil street but it needs to be expanded.

Shopping trends have changed over the past few years and Friday and Saturday are no longer the two days of the week when people come to the centre of the town to shop and meet friends.

“People come in early on a Saturday morning, shop for about an hour, and then go off,” he said. “We need to develop a bigger farmers’ market that will create a real atmosphere in the town centre,” said one business owner.

The current farmers’ market producers are carrying on a great tradition that stretches back over 150 years.

Peter Thomas from Mansfieldtown, Castlebellingham, has won a silver medal at the World Cheese Awards for his famous Bellingham Blue Farmhouse Cheese.

Peter runs Glyde Farm Produce, the makers of handmade cheese, from his farm at Mansfieldtown, and sells his produce at the farmer’s market at The Square.

“We’re not taking away from any other business in the town centre,” said Peter, “there’s nobody doing cheese, for instance.

“There is a real variety of stalls here, including home baked bread, fish, honey. In fact, any small producer can come along and set up their stall.

“I give half my marquee to the clients from St John of God Drumcar who come here to sell their products.

“It’s a day out for them. They sell apples, firewood and Christmas logs, and window boxes they make themselves.”

Peter said the traders did have some problems with the town council over parking, but the situation is much better now.

So the farmers’ market is offering something unique to Clanbrassil Street and centre of the town.


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