Carlingford Community Newsletter January 2019 Edition

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This newsletter is jointly produced by the five bodies representing the Carlingford community, namely:

CCTA – Carlingford & Cooley Tourism Assoc.
CLHT – Carlingford Lough Heritage Trust
CRA – Carlingford Residents Association
CTT – Carlingford Tidy Towns
CCD – Carlingford Community Development (The Foy Centre)

_________________________

Apologies for delay in exhibiting the Public Realm Study. We are working on the presentation and will keep you posted via public notices as to dates and times.

We have been notified about Heritage Council funding for 2019 and we hope that Carlingford can benefit again this year. The Irish Walled Towns Coordinator will visit member towns soon to discuss possible projects. Membership for Carlingford is paid by Louth County Council and this makes us eligible to apply for funding.

The Forum is supporting Carlingford Tidy Towns, Expression of Interest to Louth Leader in applying for funding for signage for the town. Paraic McKevitt is working with Tidy Towns on a design.

The Forum is pleased to see that the signs on some of our historic buildings are finally legible, thanks to the great work and commitment of Pam Atkins.

Heritage News

AGM 18th February

The annual general meeting of the Carlingford Lough Heritage Trust will take place on Monday 18th February 2019 in the Heritage Centre at 7:30pm. This will be an open meeting, open to everyone – we have a lot of work going on, we need the approval of our members for what we are planning and we are actively looking for more members, so please come along. There will be a presentation by representatives of the Office of Public Works on the conservation works at King John’s Castle and future community engagement with the site.

Sundays in Spring

Here in the bleak mid-winter, our hearts are lifted by the prospect of “Sundays in Spring”. This year’s concert series begins on Sunday 7th April with “The Four of Us”, which consists of the award-winning brothers Declan and Brendan Murphy. They are originally from Newry but both

now live in Carlingford, so they won’t have far to come. We are told that booking would be wise for this one. Following Sundays, feature RTE concert pianist Anthony Byrne and international soprano Mairéad Buicke; the O’Connor family from Dundalk featuring Gerry, master of the fiddle; the return of Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill, this time with her sister Maighread Ní Dhomhnaill; and the musical partnership of harpist Laoise Kelly from Westport and Achill with uilleann piper Tiarnán Ó Duinnchinn from Monaghan. All concerts begin at 4pm and last for about an hour.

Our twinning project

Many of you will know that we have received proposals for twinning with the little town of Les Vans in the rural Ardeche Departement of Southeast France and Castelnuovo Val de Cecina (pictured), a hill town near Pisa in Tuscany. We want to consult with the wider community before taking this further. Please have a look at the report on our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/carlingfordheritagecentre) and let us know what you think.

Carlingford & Cooley Tourism Association News

WINTER SUNRISE ON CARLINGFORD LOUGH

With the arrival of 2019, the CCTA Committee has had a number of meetings in January in preparation for the AGM of the CCTA, which will be held on Thursday 21st February in McKevitts Village Hotel at 7.30pm. The role and relevance of the CCTA within the community, as the primary promoter of tourism in Carlingford and the wider Cooley Peninsula and Carlingford Lough areas has been the focus of the Committee in recent times. It is intended to concentrate on CCTA’s future role and objectives at the upcoming AGM, to attempt to widen the membership, as in recent years some previous members have dropped out, and to encourage younger business people to take an active role in the CCTA Committees.

Up to the present time the CCTA has spent relatively little time discussing and preparing for the advent of Brexit. It also notes that there is little evidence that individual businesses have made plans or provisions for what may have a significant impact on Carlingford and Cooley. This is understandable, as to put any detailed arrangements in place could well prove fruitless, given the uncertainty and confusion over the final outcome of discussions between the EU and the UK.

In the event of an unfavourable outcome, Carlingford and Cooley, as a frontline border region, will feel the full effect of any negative influences arising from Brexit. No section of the community will be unaffected by a negative outcome, be they businesses, residents, the farming community, haulage companies, Greenore Port & Ferry, and people employed in the area. By common consensus small and medium businesses will be most impacted by the UK leaving the EU. All businesses in the area fall into these categories.

The CCTA is uniquely placed to counteract and manage any fallout from Brexit, as it was primarily founded to deal with the Foot and Mouth outbreak in 2001. It was highly successful in this endeavour, saving Carlingford and Cooley from the potential annihilation of tourism in the area. Many of the lessons learned from the Foot and Mouth outbreak, have similarities to the potential problems of a disordely Brexit.

It is in this context that the CCTA has a major role to play in the future, not only in minimizing the negatives that may arise from Brexit, but more importantly in seeking out and developing opportunities to ensure that Carlingford and Cooley continue to thrive as centres of tourist excellence, irrespective of whatever the outcome of present negotiations throw at us. It is in the interests of all sections of the Community to support the CCTA in achieving the best outcome.

Of course, if negotiations between the UK and the EU result in a favourable outcome no major actions may need to be initiated, but it would be foolish in the extreme to ignore the outcome and make no preparations. As things stand at present, it would be premature to initiate major changes, as any of the many possible outcomes are purely hypothetical at the moment. In any event, changes affecting our Community may be gradual, which will hopefully allow all sections of the Carlingford and Cooley Community to adapt over time to minimize any negative impact and develop opportunities which will undoubtly arise. All businesses, whether members of the CCTA or not, must adopt a highly flexible and innovative approach, to minimize any threats and maximize the opportunities that may present themselves.

In conclusion the CCTA intends to be very proactive in supporting tourism in the region, irrespective of the outcome of Brexit, to ensure that business, local employment and the Community at large are protected to the greatest degree possible. The help and support of the whole Community will be essential in achieving this goal.

The Foy Centre

Get Fit in the Foy

For 2019 we now have more instructors and more classes in the Foy Centre to help keep you fit and healthy. Classes are now held every week day morning at 9am. The evening timetable for January is Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evening at 7pm.

Classes can be tailored to suit all levels of fitness.

Over Christmas we gave the hall a little paint to help brighten it up and make it look and feel more like a sports centre!!

Rugby is Back

Rugby training started back for the New Year. It is great to see the pitch so busy each week. New players, both boys and girls aged between 5 and 12, are always welcome. Just come along on a Saturday morning at 10am.

Parents can sit back relax and watch their children play while enjoying a lovely breakfast in the Orchard Bakery. A family morning out for all!!

Get your breakfast on a ‘house baked ciabatta’ or ‘brown malt’ bap with a regular tea/coffee or soft drink for only €4.75.

The Rugby Club will be holding a quiz night in February to raise some funds. Come along and support your local club.

Tennis Camp

A Kids Tennis Camp is being held in the Foy Centre every Sunday starting at the end of January for 10 weeks.

It’s great to see the kids making use of our Community Centre for all their sporting needs.

If there’s anything you would like to see happening in the Foy or you’re interested in hiring the hall or

the pitch in 2019 pitch please get in contact with us.

Carlingford Tidy Towns

Our AGM is scheduled for the evening of Friday 1st February as shown in the above poster. We do hope that it will be well attended as we have many new initiatives planned for 2019 and we would welcome both your active input and comment. We also need more members to help implement our plans. If you would like to learn what we have scheduled, do please come along.

We noticed that this yield sign had long since lost its red border, so half an hours painting has now made it much more visible.

We have refurbished the cast iron litter bin that stood in the children’s playground and this has now

been relocated to Newry Street outside the Garda Station.

Although we took steps to improve this sign at the chicane by adding an arrow pointing in the correct direction, we are now very happy to report that the council have at last replaced both it and the signs on the main road with new ones.

We undertook some weeding underneath the welcome signs in preparation for spring and have planted perennials in the center to provide more sustainable planting. We will add to the displays in the coming months to provide more colour.

We attended to the ‘NO camping’ sign on castle pier, where vandals find it amusing to obliterate some of the words.

We also planted 72 shrubs along the section of wall from Connelly’s cottage towards the castle arch.

Our TUS workers have now cleared the remaining third ready for planting.

Unfortunately, there has been another ‘accident’ causing significant damage to the wall outside the

tennis courts. CTT is currently liaising with the council to see if we can bring about a swift repair.

We are pleased to report that we have repainted the wooden planter out by the Nursing Home and now have it repositioned under the new welcome sign. We will now add some reflective strips to the planter to make the whole feature more visible to drivers at night.

The top ten Trashion Fashion winners

Once again, the Trashion Fashion event at the Carrickdale Hotel on 23rd January, (where CTT were backstage volunteers) exceeded all expectations. Amazingly one dress modelled by a pupil from Bush was made from orange peel dried in the Aga! Dresses were constructed from wood shavings, shuttlecocks, plastic bottles, maps, hearing aid batteries, flowerpots and circuit boards. Lots of new materials were featured this year and the pupils were keen to incorporate up to the minute themes including the plight of homelessness, Magdalene laundries, marine litter, fake news and climate change. See videos of the event on our Facebook page!

We require volunteers for a zero-waste water station on Saturday 2nd March from 10am until 12.45. Please contact CTT on 0429373686 if you are available to help.

Find us on Facebook.com/CarlingfordTidyTowns

Carlingford Resident’s Association

COMMUNITY ALERT AND GARDA MATTERS

Carlingford Residents Association has joined Cooley Community Alert Group (CCA) and we recommend others to do the same.

We attended CCA’s meeting on 24th January at which a number of matters were discussed including free installation of alarms for the elderly; deployment of additional Gardai to Carlingford and Omeath (announced by CCA on 20th November last); and the appointment of a new Sergeant to Carlingford following the recent retirement of Sgt. Jim Kilcoyne. We welcome Sgt. Nuala Quinn to Carlingford and hope that she will enjoy her stay with us.

CCA can be contacted through their Facebook page. Their next meeting will be held in St. Mary’s Hall, Cooley, on the evening of 2nd May. Please follow their Facebook page for updates and contact them and/or Gardai for high-visibility jackets and window stickers, or to join the alert network.

THE CARLINGFORD DEBATE

A recent issue of the Newsletter raised the question of publicity and its impact upon Carlingford’s image. This is a subject on which many residents have been slow to express themselves, leaving the image and direction of the village to be decided largely by others. We are therefore grateful to the Newsletter for opening a welcome debate. We hope that the discussion will continue in an open and respectful manner so that the varying priorities and perspectives of all the community can be duly considered.

We in the Residents Association have perhaps been too sparing in our own comment and have declined several media invitations to highlight the problems in Carlingford. Those problems have been widely known for some time. They were raised long before the recent media attention, and not only by a small minority of residents but in the course of the most thorough inquiry into the state of Carlingford carried out in recent times.

In May 2016 there was a public meeting in the village which was very well attended under the auspices of the nascent Carlingford Community Forum. Antisocial behaviour featured high on the list of issues requiring attention. The meeting heard complaints of an “[e]xponential increase” in antisocial behaviour and of elderly, visitors and residents being “upset and intimidated” both in their homes and on the streets.

Our homes are firstly where we and our families live. But for most of us they are also our greatest investment. The value of that investment depends directly on how the village is perceived and experienced, by us and visitors alike. We would all wish mention of Carlingford to evoke images of family fun, healthy living, an unmatched heritage, a vibrant community and a good quality of life. It can and does. But are those the only or predominant images today? Are they always the reality at weekends or at Easter? What variety of visitors do we attract, and why? Can we do better?

We all recognise the importance of responsible tourism and the positive contribution that it makes to our village. This is as it should be. Article 8 of the Failte Ireland Code of Ethics prescribes that “[a]ll activities and developments should, where possible, integrate with and benefit the local

community and environment”. Article 10 further requires operators to “[u]phold the interests and reputation of Ireland as a high quality destination for guests from home and overseas”. This is the standard for the best in the industry, of which of course we have many local examples.

In May 2008 the reputation of the village stood at an all-time high when Carlingford and the Cooley Peninsula received the European Destination of Excellence Award. With an improving economy (Brexit permitting!) we can now do it again. Indeed, our neighbours in County Down were recently selected as one of the world’s Top 100 Sustainable Destinations. Congratulations to them. That is a path to shared peace and prosperity which Carlingford and its people are abundantly qualified to follow.

To achieve this, we must be careful that Carlingford, our home, is developed and promoted as somewhere that we can all enjoy all of the time. We must work together in an atmosphere of frank and open debate and mutual respect: to recognise and address problems where they exist; to market the village thoughtfully, as its people and heritage deserve; and so to enjoy Carlingford together, responsibly, sustainably and harmoniously.

Follow and like us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/carlingfordresidentsassociation

On a somewhat ‘lighter’ note, here are some of the navigational features that adorn Carlingford Lough..

The majestic Haulbowline at the entrance and the diminuative Greenore Light

These are the leading marks for vessels navigating up through Narrow Water via the Victoria Lock to Newry

If you run a local community group and would like to advertise your past or future events in this newsletter, please contact the undersigned.

Thank you for supporting your community

If you have any ideas or comments please Email them to patkins520@btinternet.com

and I will ensure they are brought to the attention of the appropriate committee.

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