Craóbh Rua looking forward to a busy year

Members of the Craóbh Rua Youth Project on the red carpet at the premiere of their film Escape Plans

Members of the Craóbh Rua Youth Project on the red carpet at the premiere of their film Escape Plans

The staff and young people at the Craóbh Rua Youth Project in Muirhevnamor are looking forward to a year as busy and proactive as 2014 has been for them. Youth worker Caroline Flanagan says: “We achieved so much in 2014, I know we can do just as much in 2015, as more young people are hoping to get involved in our project.”

The Craóbh Rua project house, which is situated on Doolargy Avenue, Muirhevnamor, provides a vital learning and meeting space for young people in the Holy Family Parish. Groups meet to participate in a range of programmes such as personal and social development, health awareness, conflict resolution and bullying. Training sessions in important life skills like communication, driver theory practice and leadership skills are carried out regularly. Young people who have attended the project have gone on to higher level training in youth work, childcare, beauty therapy and digital media.

The youth project sees informal and formal education as crucial to the development of young people. In 2014 Craóbh Rua took part in two major PEACE III projects, including the making of a short film, “Escape Plans”, with the Drogheda based film company Calipo and a Digital Arts Programme which brought together several youth groups throughout the country to explore conflict through digital art.

“Escape Plans” was devised and performed by the young people at Craóbh Rua, it tells the story of a group of friends in the run up to State exams, their dreams for the future and the very real pressures they face in their personal lives. The film premiered in Dublin with a red carpet event and was showcased in the Dundalk Youth and Drogheda Arts Festivals. It also toured the border counties through the region’s Cinemobile.

The Digital Arts Programme ran in June 2015 and covered digital film making, photography, music technology, web design, comic books and stop motion animation. This four week project included team-building residential and creative workshops and culminated in an interactive exhibition at the Dundalk Youth centre. Craóbh Rua produced a larger-than-life graphic novel which took a humorous look at the effect of conflict on friendships.

In conjunction with the Muirhevnamor Community Council’s Impact Project funded by the IFI, Craobh Rua was able to cater for double their numbers in their annual Summer Project. Past participants from Craóbh Rua were involved in supervision and showed excellent leadership skills. Flanagan says:“This had a great impact on the community, as the young people supervising from Muirhevnamor were positive role models to their younger peers”.

Due to funding cuts in the last few years the staff at Craóbh Rua has found itself trying to achieve the same amount of activities on a smaller budget and fewer work hours.

“Although we are stretched to the limit,” says Flanagan, “we strive to ensure that young people can access the facilities here and have an active role in deciding what needs direct our youth work.”

For the past nine years project staff has sought funding to expand the small property they work out of and to provide adequate space for the growing number of young people wanting to meet and work together in their own community. They are hopeful that their appeal for the backing of a building extension will be supported as they continue to provide an essential service to one of Dundalk’s more deprived areas.

Dundalk St Patrick’s Day launch video whets the appetite for March 17th

The Dundalk St Patrick’s Day parade launched in the An Táin Arts Centre at the Town Hall this day last week and now a new video of the launch has been released.

Compiled by BorderRegion TV, presenter Helena Mullins – who is also the parade’s PRO – talks to sponsors Ciaran Herr (Horseware Products Ltd) and Michael O’Reilly (Moffett Engineering Ltd).

There’s also an interview with Grand Marshal, Dundalk FC manager Stephen Kenny, head judge Paul Hayes, Tourism Officer Sinead Roche and parade chairperson David Minto.

For that, as well as a glimpse of performances from the Dance Kids, Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Eireann Dún Dealgan and DKIT’s Circus Arts Society check out the video above.

Anyone wishing to take part in this year’s parade, please email or phone 042 9336343 where you can get the necessary information from Kerry Ann or Kim. Food vendors who wish to set up camp at the Market Square area please contact Mandy Fee of Pelican Promotions on 087 2222100.

The deadline to get involved is Monday March 9th.

Extension given the go ahead for Castlebellingham health centre

The Health Service Executive have been granted conditional planning permission for an extension to their Health Centre on the Drumeenagh Road in Castlebellingham.

The HSE hope to build a single storey extension (328.41sqm) to the rear (west) of the existing centre.

It is hoped this will provide additional consulting and treatment rooms and ancillary office space. There are also plans for minor alterations to be carried out to the front of the existing building to the east and to the front to provide additional parking.

Oxigen’s Dundalk waste plant the second most complained about in the country

oxigen-bannerOxigen’s waste plant on the Coes Road in Dundalk was the second most complained about dump in the country in 2013, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

In total there were 547 complaints throughout the year, with 81 of them concerning the Dundalk plant.

Only Ballynagran in Wicklow had a higher number of complaints with 140.

The vast majority of complaints related to bad odours, which were likened to rotten eggs as gases escaped from dumps.

Last April Oxigen were prosecuted and fined €1,000 at Dundalk District Court following an EPA investigation following complaints about offensive odours in the vicinity of their Coes Road facility. The company also paid the EPA’s legal and inspection costs of €9,000.

Residents from the likes of Bay Estate, Hyde Park, Belfry Gardens and Meadow Grove had all complained about the issue with former councillor Martin Bellew, who lives in the area, telling a meeting of Dundalk Town Council last year that people attending the previous October’s St Gerard’s Novena in St Joseph’s Redemptorist Church had to run to their cars after one of the Masses because of how strong the smell was.

The company and its director Aidan Doyle pleaded guilty to a summons under the Waste Management Act, which related to October 24th 2012.

The court was told the smell coming from the plant was caused by the stockpiling of brown-bin waste in a building at the plant, with the odours breaching the terms of Oxigen’s licence from the EPA.

An inspector visited the site on numerous occasions recently and found that the problem had now been resolved.

In December 2013 the company were also fined €2,500 for breaching their waste collection permit in a case that was taken against them by Louth County Council and the EPA following a number of complaints to the local authority about a strong smell from their facility.

As well as the €2,500 fine, the waste recycling company will also have to pay costs of €1,100 on top of that after being found guilty of breaching the condition of their waste licence by mixing dry recyclable waste and domestic waste.

Their failure to separate these waste types led to a breach of their permit, the court heard at the time.

Commenting on the report, Gerard O’Leary, Director of EPA’s Office of Environmental Enforcement said: “There is a need for waste operators to improve environmental compliance by tackling priority areas such as odour management and waste handling. Residents living near waste facilities should not be subject to odour nuisance. The EPA will continue to take strong enforcement action to tackle these priority areas.”

Dundalk FC to be honoured with civic reception in May

DundalkCrest2010A civic reception to honour Dundalk FC will be held in May.

The decision was made at the monthly meeting of the Dundalk Municipal District committee yesterday evening.

The club are set to be honoured for last year’s achievements, which included landing a first league title in 19 years, as well as securing the EA Sports Cup.

Stephen Kenny’s side begin their title defence this Friday night when they host Longford Town at Oriel Park. Kick-off is 7.45pm with the newly-formed Lilywhite Supporters’ Club set to sponsor the game.

McGahon welcomes funding for festivals

Cllr John McGahon at last year's Carlingford Oyster Festival

Cllr John McGahon at last year’s Carlingford Oyster Festival

Fine Gael Councillor for Dundalk-Carlingford, John McGahon, has welcomed the announcement that the Government will provide €5,500 to support festivals in Louth this year.

This follows the announcement that funding of €564,000 has been approved by Fáilte Ireland to support 187 regional festivals and events taking place this year. The news follows earlier announcements of almost €2.3m for 27 large national festivals throughout Ireland in 2015.

“This funding will be a real shot in the arm for The Carlingford Festival, the Tain March and the Maritime Festival which are taking place in Louth during the summer months. These festivals generate significant income for local businesses and bring a large amount of visitors into the county, especially the North Louth area. This funding will help ensure the continued development of these vibrant festivals which add to the many attractions our county offers.

“With an average grant of €3,000 each, a total of 187 local events will be supported around the country. This funding could be the crucial factor in deciding whether many of these festivals go ahead.

“Festivals are magnets for visitors, from home and abroad, and they bring revenue and economic activity into the county. This funding represents a serious investment in tourism and will help to boost a sector which already deliver thousands of jobs and significant revenue nationally.”

Dundalk woman Lisa hoping to land her dream job as a comedian

Local woman Lisa Casey is currently competing to land her dream job as a comedian.

The 24-year-old from Ard Easmuinn has recently been named as one of five finalists in this year’s Budweiser Dream Job competition.

Lisa Casey

Lisa Casey

Lisa, who was runner-up in last year’s Miss Louth contest before competing in Miss Ireland as Miss Armagh, recently started to perform her comedy routine at gigs in Dundalk and Dublin.

If she wins the Budweiser Dream Job competition she will secure €50,000 towards pursuing her dream career as a comedian.

Winners will be chosen via a public vote with the deadline set for Monday March 23rd.

Up against Lisa for the coveted prize is Brazilian fashion designer Alex D’Paula; concert pianist Sean Rooney from Dublin; Stillorgan-based music composer Scott Tobin and Co Clare director and playwright Mark Griffin.

The person who receives the most votes will be revealed by Budweiser Dream Job ambassador, Hollywood star and Emmy Award-winning actor, Aaron Paul on Thursday March 26th.

You can vote for Lisa and find out more about her campaign at

Dundalk Gardaí continuing to investigate reports of assault on woman in Riverside Drive

The entrance to Riverside Drive

The entrance to Riverside Drive

Gardaí are investigating reports of an alleged assault on a woman in the Riverside Drive estate on the Red Barns Road last month.

The attack on the woman, said to be in her 30s, is said to have occurred between 2.30am and 3am on Sunday February 22nd.

The woman was found by a neighbour in the garden outside her house, who then alerted an ambulance. She was then removed to hospital having sustained injuries to her arms and legs.

The woman is said to be receiving counselling following the attack and Gardaí are anxious to speak to anyone who was in the area at the time.

If you know anything about the incident please call Dundalk Garda Station on 042 9335577.

Gardaí hunting down driver of BMW who fled scene of crash in Dundalk last night

The BMW at the scene last night

The BMW at the scene last night

Gardaí have launched an investigation into the hit and run incident which forced the closure of the Carrick Road and Ecco Road in Dundalk for a brief period last night.

An Audi and a BMW were involved in the collision, which took place around 9.30pm at the bridge just after Clarke railway station.

The driver of the BMW, which was practically written off, fled the scene in another vehicle following the crash while the Audi ended up resting against the end house at Railway Terrace, smashing the out box of a gas metre and causing some damage to the metre itself, which resulted in a slight gas leak.

Due to concerns about petrol vapours, the smell of gas and fears of a possible explosion, Dundalk Fire Service were called to the scene with the driver of the Audi having to be moved from the scene before being treated by paramedics, who later took them to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda with non-life threatening injuries.

Anyone with information on the incident or the whereabouts of the BMW driver is asked to contact Dundalk Garda Station on 042 9335577 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.

The road was closed for a time before being reopened just before midnight

The road was closed for a time before being reopened just before midnight