Cllr John Sheridan
Local Fianna Fáil councillor John Sheridan elected as chairperson of Ardee Municipal District at the municipal district meeting on Thursday night.
“I am delighted to be elected to be Chair of the Ardee and Mid Louth Municipal district. I pay tribute to Cllr. Dolores Minogue and thank her for her hard work over the last year as chair. I hope to be able to be a hard-working representative for the area in the forthcoming year. Before and after the local elections last year I said my only promise would be to work as hard as I could for all the people of Mid-Louth and I’ll continue to do that as Chair over the coming year.
In his speech, Cllr Sheridan reflected on how Covid-19 restrictions had impacted the local community.
"In one of my first tasks as chair, I asked for a minute of reflection for all those who died since our last meeting either from covid or non covid reasons and to think of their bereaved families who couldn’t have a full funeral service due to the restrictions. I also wanted to note our thanks to front line workers and all the people of the area for heeding the advice and doing their bit in the fight against Covid 19 over the recent months," he explained.
"Over the coming year, I hope to be able focus on a number of issues and themes in the area. I plan to continue promoting the concept of Work from home and eHubs which I think can be a huge help to Mid Louth in allowing younger people move home and stimulate the local economy. Over the past year, I had been raising it and it seemed like such a strange concept but yet overnight it became a reality for those of us still lucky to be in employment.
"Separately, I would really like to see volunteerism and community activism in Mid Louth promoted. It’s an amazing testament to people of Mid-Louth that during the toughest times, like weather alerts or now during Covid, we see so much caring and community spirit around us. We need to encourage more people in the area to volunteer in local community groups and sporting groups to harness that potential. I would really like to see us as a Council adopt that as a theme and encourage in our community."
He also focused on the new Development Plan for Co Louth.
"Mid-Louth has unique features which must be addressed in that and it should build on our best features for the benefit of all in our community. Particularly around guidelines for rural housing, but also related matters like broadband provision, tourism and coastal erosion," he explained.
"I think traffic calming and road safety is another issue we need to address. Right across the area parents have concerns about children playing on roads and speeds of passing cars. Signs and ramps are part of the solution but in I believe it’s bigger than that and a campaign across the district about ‘slowing down’ could be a start. We have been forced to slow down for many weeks and it’s disappointing post lock down that cars are back on the roads as fast as ever.
"Finally, it is a large district stretching from Stonetown to Fieldstown. I would like to see us try and engage with meeting groups and have some of our meetings in different locations around our community over the coming year. We should always strive to better engage our communities in our decisions, and I think this would be a step towards that."