By Dan Walsh at Ashdown Park Hotel, Gorey.
Gorey Kilmuckridge Municipal District Council agreed at the October meeting to hold a series of consultation meetings with a view to engaging community groups with the local council members and staff identifying key priorities and seeking to put resources in place and the first one took place today.
In excess of 60 concerned citizens from the Courtown community were welcomed at a public meeting in the Ashdown Park Hotel, Gorey, by Cathaoirleach Cllr Donal Kenny. The venture was considered by most of the attendance as worthwhile and mixed with positivity and negativity although it is anticipated that communities can engage better with the local council members and improve overall progress.
Liz Stanley from the Council outlined the proceedings from the meeting which was split into three divisions – the top three positives, the top three issues and a section dealing with actions and suggestions.
Director of Services Liz Hore asked the consultancy workshop to focus discussion and identify issues that the Council should be aware of! She added that all the information collected will be collated into a report and benefit the importance of Courtown going forward.
To say that the Courtown community is passionate about its environment and seeking progressive plans for the future is a complete understatement and there was plenty of tough talking and serious questioning from the attendance.
Perhaps, the loudest voices called for the rejuvenation of the beach and the preservation of the proud heritage that Courtown enjoys as ‘a national tag brand’ and its place as a tourism, coastal and environmental attraction. The walks and trails and natural outdoor spaces also got favourable mention.
The thorny question put forward was one about an alleged ‘land swap’ agreement (between an existing car park and a former hotel site in the village centre), of which it was alleged that paperwork on the potential matter had been seen! The meeting was assured that ‘no land deal has been done.’ However, WexfordLocal.com has been assured that it was revealed at a later meeting between the elected members and the local business community that a ‘land swap’ suggestion had been on the table!
The attendance included Cllrs Fionntán Ó Súilleabháin, Diarmuid Devereux, Andrew Bolger, Joe Sullivan, Mary Farrell and Pip Breen while apologies were accepted on behalf of Cllrs Oliver Walsh, Anthony Donohoe and Willie Kavanagh.
Closing the meeting Cllr Kenny thanked everybody for their attendance and lively contribution to the meeting. “Your voices will be listened to and taken into consideration by the elected members,” he concluded.