By Dan Walsh
Despite an application for the development of Esmonde St in Gorey under the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund (RRDF) being unsuccessful Wexford County Council intends proceeding with a scaled-back project that would achieve the same aims costing upwards of €1.5 million.
The announcement was made by the CEO, Tom Enright, who addressed today’s monthly meeting of Gorey-Kilmuckridge Municipal District held with Microsoft Teams adhering to Covid-19 guidelines and protocol.
Mr Enright said the project would proceed without central government funding in a scaled-back lesser expensive project that will achieve the same aims of creating a proper town centre public realm space in Esmonde St providing better footpaths, better pedestrian arrangements, better traffic arrangements, drainage and other general improvements.
“Esmonde Street is becoming a particularly important part of the local economy and as retail businesses open up in the coming weeks it will come back to life again. We have asked our consultants to bring forward the project at an early date and we will provide between €1m -€1.5m of our own funds towards putting the project in place,” Mr Enright promised.
The announcement was welcomed by the members. Cllr Diarmuid Devereux thanked the CEO and said Esmonde St was a pillar of the progress that was made with the business community and he welcomed scaling back the project as he felt the original project was basically refurbishment of the street. “Gorey has received a lot of good news this afternoon,” added Cllr Devereux.
Cllr Andrew Bolger was glad that some money is going into Esmonde St. “It needs a bit of a clean up and when the country is opened again we will see huge numbers flock there and it will be great that people who visit or the people that live here can take pride in the street because it does bring so much to North Wexford.”
Cllr Donal Kenny said he was encouraged that the Council can move on with a scaled back Esmonde St as there was disappointment that it did not get the go-ahead, but he was happy with a scaled back Esmonde St.
Cllr Pip Breen thanked Mr Enright for attending the meeting and bringing some good news. Cllrs Fionntán Ó Súilleabháin, Anthony Donohoe and Mary Farrell also contributed to the discussion.