Joanne Lavelle pictured outside Michael Lavelle's Estate Agents on Bridge Street, Dundalk
Joanne Lavelle is an estate agent with Michael Lavelle Auctioneering on Bridge Street, Dundalk and was recently named as the Network Ireland SME Louth Businesswomen of the year. Joanne will attend the national finals in September.
Joanne pictured at with her Network Ireland Louth SME Businesswoman of the Year Award last month
What’s your favourite thing about Dundalk?
The café life! A cup of tea and a custard tart in 23 Seats makes any day better.
Also Dundalk’s art scene. I love Bridge Street Studios – ok, I may be a little biased, since we’re neighbours. Their ‘Just like Soho’ exhibition which is on at the minute at An Tain Arts Centre, is brilliant.
What would your perfect day in the local area be — and why?
Hike with a bunch of friends up the Tain Way, stop for a wee picnic at the top of Glenmor, then head down to Carlingford for a beer and salty chips.
You can’t beat the chats and the banter with good friends on a day like that!
What would you like to change about Dundalk?
The lack of regeneration in important areas like Bridge Street badly needs to change.
We made some progress this year in getting the Council to pay attention to the northern part of the high street.
I am cautiously hopeful of seeing some real action in 2019.
What annoys you about the town?
The litter. It drives me nuts. It’s pure laziness and the rest of us have to put up with it.
What plans do you have for the rest of year?
Sell lots of houses for lots of happy clients. And in between, win National Businesswoman of the Year, of course!
How would you describe Dundalk people?
Dundalk people say it how it is, and we don’t suffer fools.
Where's the best place to go for a walk in the local area?
Along the riverbank from Newry Road to the Racecourse Road – it’s packed with birdlife. Go from there through St Helena’s Park.
All you can hear is kids laughing in the playground and playing football in Bellew Park. Back along the river to the Newry Road. A quick slice of exercise, fresh air and headspace.
What local amenities could Dundalk do with?
We have a river and a port but no water amenity. I think that’s a missed opportunity.
What’s your first memory of Dundalk?
The smell of hops from the Harp Brewery. I really miss that.
What's your favourite story you've heard about Dundalk?
I have two! I loved that DKIT helped the Louis Convent after their fire. The other was that 3,800 people got out of bed for Darkness into Light.
That’s massive. Both show that Dundalk people step up when they need to.
What's your favourite Dundalk phrase?
“C’mon the town” – you have to almost shout it like your life depends on it.
Where is your favourite pub in Dundalk and why?
Pub lunch in McGeough’s. Gin and Tonic in Eno. A beer and a gig in The Spirit Store. There’s something for everyone in this town!
What do you think of the architecture in Dundalk and the general quality of homes for sale in the area?
My favourite building is The Century Bar, which we sold earlier this year.
Dundalk has some fantastic buildings. I was so happy to see Dearey’s on Clanbrassil St getting a sprucing up. It has lifted the whole street.
Dundalk people take real pride in their homes. It’s not about what type of house you have, but how much you love it and look after it that matters!
Considering your recent win at the Louth Businesswoman of the Year awards, do you think there is a good entrepreneurial spirit in Dundalk?
Ha! Dundalk people could buy and sell you! Some of the most successful entrepreneurs in Ireland come from this town, so we have good form.
Mind you, enterprise is useless without good customer service, and that’s something we work hard on. We have a great Local Enterprise Office in Dundalk that supports local business.