The term of the present Council has ended and a new Council will shortly be in place. This gives the members an opportunity to look back over the last three years and evaluate what progress has been made in the different areas of interest.
One area of very obvious success has been the Christmas Lights for the town. Over the last three years over €25,000 has been spent by the Community Co. in buying, putting up and insuring the Christmas Lights. This has been possible only because of the generosity of many businesses and individuals in the town and by public donation at our Churchgate Collection which takes place this year on Dec. 28th & 29th. The lights add greatly to the festive atmosphere in Athenry.
A local committee was formed in the past year to look into the possibility of creating a playground in Athenry. The Community Council offered its support and made a site available for the playground at the park beside the Castle, unfortunately Galway County Council have deemed the site unsuitable so we’re back to the drawing-board. Discussions are continuing with the playground committee and the County Council.
The problem of increased insurance costs has hit all voluntary and sports organisations severely. It has come to the stage when activity is governed by the ability to get insurance cover and the cost is often prohibitive. Much of the Community Council income goes towards insurance costs and these problems are an increasing worry for all organisations.
At the last meeting of the Community Council great frustration was expressed at the lack of progress on infrastructure issues around the area. Such was the feeling at the meeting that a motion of no-confidence in the County Council and Local Councillors was passed.
There are major problems with the traffic flow, parking, heavy lorries going through the town, the need for footbridges at the railway bridges, the delay in proceeding with a new sewage scheme etc.
There is a very obvious and dangerous situation outside the Arch every school morning when up to 1500 pupils of all ages are being dropped off to school. Representatives have been made in the strongest terms to the County Council to relieve this problem and we await developments. All these and other problems have existed for many years and progress on their relief is very slow. At present a one-way traffic system is on display, and the public’s views are being sought on it. This is a welcome development which hopefully will relieve some of the congestion.
A very good working relationship has built up among a number of organisations in the area which has proved very beneficial in dealing with outside bodies, Community Council, ADC, Athenry Heritage Company and the Project Society have come together to co-ordinate a common approach on issues. This co-operation bodes well for the future and will ensure a unified voice on matters which affect the Athenry Area
Written by Peter Feeney
Published here 28 Jul 2023 and originally published Winter 2002
Community Hall, Clarke Street, Athenry, County Galway, Ireland
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