By Dan Walsh at Gorey-Kilmuckridge District Council Meeting.
A deputation from Courtown Community Council were welcomed at last Tuesday’s monthly meeting of Gorey-Kilmuckridge Municipal District Council where they presented the elected representatives and officials with an excellent audio-visual presentation outlining the potential of the coastal area and seeking more encouragement and support for the Courtown-Riverchapel area.
The contributors were Linda Sinnott, Chairperson Courtown Community Council, Melanie Crocé, Executive Director of Seal Rescue Ireland and Vice-Chair of Courtown Community Council, and Jeshua Toucher, Media Officer and Clean Water Lead.
Ms Sinnott said the Courtown Council was very focussed on the Local Development Plan and were happy that it had been extended by three years. She stated that Courtown had seen a lot of intensive development in the past 20 years, but new infrastructure is badly needed as Riverchapel has developed and she outlined some shortcomings in the area that required urgent attention.
Cllr Fionntán Ó Súilleabháin opened the discussion saying that “Riverchapel-Courtown is now bigger than Gorey” and he felt “it is incumbent on the Council to help Courtown Community Council in any way we can,” and he asked; “How can we make Courtown one of the main drivers for tourism?”
Cllr Diarmuid Devereux acknowledged Courtown’s contribution to tourism but pointed out that the largest groups are ‘local tourists’ and he felt the focus on “somewhere we live” should always be there. He said there was “a lot going on down there (in Courtown)” and he suggested the District Council meet these groups and start from there.
Cllr Joe Sullivan said Courtown is becoming an attractive place to visit again and made reference to the woods, trails, the beach and he recalled historically the “once four hotels who generated the economy in Courtown and the money stayed in Courtown.”
Cllr Donal Kenny complemented the audio-visual presentation contributors and said he would be delighted to see Courtown “what it was years ago.” He expressed worries about accommodation capacity but emphasised a desire to engage with the community and get talking – “we should be happy to meet”, he concluded.
There was support from Cllr Andrew Bolger and referred to digital mapping and google maps to assist promote Courtown. Cllr Pip Breen was in the chair.
District Manager Philip Knight referred to the linked walk to Riverchapel and the introduction of vegetable gardens and he urged close relations between the Municipal Council and Courtown Community Council.
Director of Services Liz Hore encouraged engagement with Courtown Community Council and Gorey-Kilmuckridge Municipal District Council. “I welcome meeting and to engage,” she concluded.