Na Piarsaigh hoping to expand clubrooms

Local GAA club Na Piarsaigh are hoping to expand their clubrooms on the Rock Road.

The town’s youngest club have recently applied to Dundalk Town Council for planning permission for extensions and alterations to their existing changing rooms.

A decision on the matter will be made on St Patrick’s Day, March 17th.

Cox’s Demesne energy-saving project set for European awards

ashling park

The Cox’s Demesne Regeneration Project which has seen major energy efficiency works carried out on 573 homes in Dundalk was awarded the ‘Best Energy Smart Initiative by a Local Authority’ at the 2014 Community & Council Awards presented by LAMA, the Local Authority Members Association last weekend and now advances to the European finals.

The first phase of the regeneration project saw Dundalk Town Council take on Ireland’s biggest energy efficiency retrofit to date.

Working alongside Electric Ireland and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), €3.3m was invested in energy efficient insulation, boiler installations, draught proofing and the installation of heating controls in the Cox’s Demesne houses.

All this work was carried out free of charge to the residents concerned. The second phase of the Regeneration Scheme now consists of the Ashling Park pilot project, which is looking at improving existing Council housing stock as well as the local physical environment.

The Cox’s Demesne project will now proceed to the prestigious European Finale of the Ace Awards in the Netherlands in autumn. 

Edel Giltenane, Ace Executive Project Manager at awards sponsor Codema, said: “Cox’s Demesne Regeneration Project was selected for its creative approach and its potential as an exemplar project that can be replicated successfully by local authorities across Europe.”

Cox’s Demesne Regeneration Project will join the winners of preliminary rounds in Belgium, France, the Netherlands and the UK at the finale of the Ace Awards.

The award for Best Energy Smart Initiative was presented at a special Community & Council Awards night held by LAMA in the Crowne Plaza, Santry and was hosted by RTÉ presenter Miriam O’Callaghan.

Welcoming the award, Dave Storey, Senior Executive Officer, this week said it was heartening to see recognition for Dundalk’s involvement in a pioneering project.

“A retrofit on this scale had never been carried out in the country until Dundalk Town Council put the wheels in motion and we knew that other authorities around the country were looking on our project as a national pilot scheme.

“We are delighted to receive this award as it shows that others have recognised the immense work that went into offering our residents free energy efficiency upgrades which they will reap the benefits from for many years to come.”

 

New takeaway earmarked for Barrack Street

ohanlons

A new takeaway is set to open in the coming weeks at the former O’Hanlon’s Take Away in Barrack Street.

Dundalk Town Council recently granted conditional planning permission to Simon Lin for alterations and a ground floor extension to the premises at 43 Barrack Street. The new venture will be called Lin’s Take Away.

The application was granted subject to 24 conditions, including that the takeaway closes by 1am each day, that no external shutters are installed and that a number of health and safety measures are adhered to, including the installation of a grease trap.

O’Hanlon’s Take Away, also known locally as Greasy Joe’s, shut its doors last June following the retirement of Joe O’Hanlon.

Armagh Road residents discuss local break-ins

Lios Dubh in Armagh has been targeted by thieves to a worrying degree in recent times

Lios Dubh in Armagh has been targeted by thieves to a worrying degree in recent times

The chairmen and secretaries of the Lios Dubh and Armagh Road/Lennon Melia Residents’ Associations held a “very productive” meeting last night.

The meeting was called to discuss the growing number of break-ins in the area, with the hope being that a Neighbourhood Watch scheme can be setup to help combat the problem.

The meeting was arranged by local gardaí Eugene Collins and Paul Burke and attended by Sinn Féin councillors Jennifer Green and Edel Corrigan.

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Green said: “It was a very informative and productive meeting and we are moving forward to set up a neighbourhood watch scheme in the area and also tie in with An Garda Síochána frequently to express any concerns or worries the residents may have.”

Future of LifeStyle Sports in Dundalk under threat due to rent dispute

Lifestyle-LogoThe future of Lifestyle Sports in the Marshes Shopping Centre in Dundalk is believed to be under threat after the sports retailer threatened to close the store in a dispute over rent.

The company’s owners have threatened to close up to 10 of its 67 retail outlets over a dispute with a group of landlords who will not give it a reduction on upward-only rents.

The company is owned by the Stafford group, which also owns Campus Oil. The Irish Times reports today that it has called a creditors meeting to appoint a liquidator to Pombury, an insolvent subsidiary of the Stafford Group that owns the leases on the 10 Lifestyle stores where landlords are holding out on any rent reduction.

Lifestyle has already negotiated rent reductions at 57 of its stores, and those leases have been transferred over to an entity called Lifestyle Sports (Ireland).

The move to wind up Pombury is being viewed as a tough negotiating tactic designed to bring its landlords to heel, or face receiving nothing in a liquidation. The company will now seek to enter negotiations with the landlords on the 10 properties, with a view to reaching agreement before the creditors meeting on February 19th.

It is prepared to shut stores where agreement cannot be reached, however.

While the exact location of the 10 stores has not been revealed, Pombury remains a defendant in a number of outstanding High Court cases taken against it by some of its landlords over rent disputes.

These include the owners of the Marshes shopping centre in Dundalk; the Wilton shopping centre in Cork; the Quayside shopping centre in Sligo; Liffey Valley in Dublin; and by the owner of a shopping centre in Ashbourne. It has settled other cases against landlords including Tesco.

It said that if any stores do close as a result of Pombury going into liquidation, the staff in those stores would be reassigned to some of its other outlets.

“Lifestyle Sports has, over the past four years, been fundamentally re-structured putting the business on a solid, sustainable and profitable footing,” said Mark Stafford, the chief executive of Stafford Holdings.

“The voluntary liquidation of Pombury, which is insolvent, is the final step in this restructuring process.

“There will be no implications for Lifestyle employees who will retain their jobs on existing pays and conditions.”

He said suppliers would continue to be paid “as normal”.

“Management in Lifestyle Sports (Ireland) will engage with landlords over the coming days to seek to reach agreement on the re-assignment of the remaining 10 leases,” said Mr Stafford.

Double delight for Kearney brothers after they are both selected for Scotland clash

Rob and Dave Kearney will both feature for Ireland on Sunday

Rob and Dave Kearney will both feature for Ireland on Sunday

Rob Kearney will win his 50th Ireland cap after being named at full back for Ireland’s Six Nations opener with Scotland in the Aviva Stadium on Sunday.

The Willville man is joined in the team by his younger brother, Dave, who will be making his Six Nations debut on the right wing after an impressive couple of performances in the November Series late last year.

Also included in the starting 15 is Devin Toner, whose father Peter hails from Carlingford.

Louth County Council inviting applications for Housing Adaptation Grants

The offices of Louth County Council

The offices of Louth County Council

Louth County Council is inviting grant applications from those in the county who require assistance to make their home more suitable to accommodate a person with a disability and for people aged over 66 who require essential structural repairs.

Highest priority in assessing grant applications will be given to a person with a severe physical disability who is fully or mainly dependent on family or a carer(s). The works allowed under the Housing Adaptation Grant scheme include access ramps, downstairs toilet facilities, stair-lifts, accessible showers, wheelchair access and other necessary works.

Extensions may only be considered when all less costly and “fit for purpose” alternatives have been eliminated e.g. use of technology, reassignment of existing rooms, etc. Grants are means-tested with varying levels of funding available according to household income.

All Housing Adaption/Mobility Aids grants will be assessed by Louth County Council’s Occupational Therapist in an effort to use the available funding where it will have maximum impact. In 2013, a total of 89 grants were approved.

With an expected deadline for applications of March 31, 2014 under this year’s scheme, there have already been more than 200 expressions of interest received by the local authority.

According to Joe McGuinness, Director of Services, Louth Local Authorities: “Given the total funds available, only those cases of greatest need can be supported.  It is important that applications are fully completed before submission as incomplete forms will be returned.  Applicants should also familiarise themselves with new changes that have been introduced, particularly around income limits and the maximum levels of funding available.

“Our main priority will be to address the most urgent needs and – because of resource constraints – only the very strongest cases of need can be considered for funding. Given the high level of requests for applications already received, it is likely that applications will far exceed the number of grants that will be approved.”

Further information and application forms are available at www.louthcoco.ie or by calling (042) 9324271.

EK Fuels start work on new express valet service

The new look car wash at EK Fuels, which was installed in recent weeks

The new look car wash at EK Fuels, which was installed in recent weeks

EK Fuels have started work on a new ‘Express Valet’ service at their site on the Armagh Road.

The local TOP garage hopes to open the new service in the coming weeks.

The business, which is run by Freddie Johnston, also recently unstalled a new conveyor belt system to its popular car wash.

The system uses a reverse osmosis rinse for a ‘streak-free’ finish, with prices starting from just €6.

Just before Christmas, EK Fuels were granted planning permission for a convenience shop on site with a hot and cold deli.

Mixed fortunes for local schools in finals

There was mixed fortunes for two local schools in their respective finals at Oriel Park on Wednesday.

Dundalk Grammar School clinched the North East Senior League Division Two title with a 3-1 win over Donabate CC but there was no such luck for De La Salle, who lost the North East Minor League Division One final to Coláiste na hInse, Laytown, on the same day on a 2-1 scoreline.

Congrats to the Grammar boys on a hard-earned success.

Woman who fell at Slane gig withdraws case against Dundalk company

Victoria Clayton

Victoria Clayton

A Co Armagh woman who was suing a Dundalk-based company and concert promoters MCD after allegedly slipping and fracturing her leg at a Rolling Stones concert in Slane Castle in 2007 withdrew her case at the High Court yesterday.

Victoria Clayton withdrew her case on the second day of the hearing as it was approaching a conclusion with evidence from the concert site manager.

Noel MacMahon SC, for Ms Clayton, told Ms Justice Mary Irvine his client was withdrawing her case and no further orders were required. The judge said that seemed a “wise” decision.

Ms Clayton had said she suffered fractures to her leg and was in immense pain after the fall just before the Rolling Stones came out on stage for the August 2007 gig at Slane.

A nurse with an address at Portadown, Co Armagh, Ms Clayton had sued MCD Productions Ltd, Park Road, Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin, and Corporate Solutions Group, Coes Road, Dundalk, Co Louth as a result of the accident on August 18th 2007.

She claimed the defendants were negligent in the management and operation of the site and in its upkeep and maintenance during a live musical event.

She claimed a sloping grassy bank was permitted to become excessively wet and slippery and there was an failure to provide some system whereby patrons could safely and securely negotiate the bank.

The claims were denied. It is argued straw and mulch was placed around the venue and there were gravel paths to walk on.

Earlier yesterday the site manager at Slane for the concert, Tony Killeen, said in the lead up to the event the organisers were aware of the weather forecast which predicted a lot of rain and materials such as straw and mulch had been stockpiled.

On the day, he said there were 28 staff to spread it, if it was needed.

The land at Slane was well-drained farmland and and does not get muddy. He said it was not muddy everywhere as alleged and there were patches of mud which were spread with straw and mulch. The site he said was in good condition on the day, he said.

Previously: Woman sues Dundalk company over fall at Slane gig