Constituency Review Submission from Brian Hanratty
Submission ID: S550
Louth, Meath East
I and my family have been living in coastal East Meath for over twenty years and we are very satisfied that we are part of the Louth Constituency, given our close proximity to Ireland’s largest town and future city, Drogheda, Co.Louth which is our major and local centre for retail; financial, educational; healthcare and other key services.
A few would suggest East Meath should be part of a Meath Constituency. Not so. Aside from GAA supporters, we have little or no affinity with Navan and the rest of Co.Meath.
Even for the minority that feel we should be in a Meath constituency, there are no direct public transport services from coastal East Meath to any other urban centre in Co.Meath – confirming the lack of interest/demand. In the past, it may have been necessary to travel to Navan to tax your car etc – but the advent of on-line services has discarded that.
In contrast, there is a very high frequency of bus services to/from Coastal East Meath to/from Drogheda. Two services – the D1 and D2 have almost forty daily services EACH and in each direction between 6am and midnight on weekdays with a lesser service at weekends.
That contrast alone demonstrates the natural affinity that exists between East Meath and Drogheda. (There are also regular bus and rail services from East Meath to Dublin – but not the same high frequency as those to Drogheda)
That affinity extends to many State services – we are part of the extensive A92 (Greater Drogheda) postal district and served by emergency services from Drogheda (fire and ambulance) where we have access in minutes to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, one of the largest in Ireland.
What we do not have – either locally in East Meath or a few minutes away in Drogheda is LOCAL jobs on a scale that matches the large, skilled workforce, many of whom are compelled to make long commutes to work, mainly in the Dublin area. I attribute this to the population of this major urban area and emerging city being split (and disguised) across population data for Meath and Louth. Thus, retaining East Meath in the Louth Constituency is a key step towards resolving the chaotic nature of the Greater Drogheda area which suffers economically as an “IDA jobs blackspot,” despite being on the Dublin Belfast Economic Corridor. I had to commute to Dublin for work for more than a decade; our two sons had to commute there for Third Level education. The boundary of Drogheda has been addressed in a patchwork manner; our local Garda station is “disconnected” from Drogheda.
This economic “deprivation” has created unemployment and poverty.
With the rapid population growth please maintain the status quo and even consider a new three seater constituency in our area.