English thanks emergency services, local Councils and most importantly community spirit and human kindness

Agher, Athboy, Ballinacree, Ballinlough, Ballivor, Bohermeen, Carnaross, Castlepollard, Clonard, Collinstown, Delvin, Dromone, Enfield, Farming, Fire Safety, Firefighters, Housing and Urban Renewal, Johnstown, Killyon, Longwood, Meath, Navan, North Meath, Oldcastle, Roads, Summerhill, Transport, Trim, Wesmeath

Monday, 5th March 2018

As the thaw well and truly sets in, and normal life begins to return
for the majority of our people, it would be wrong not to reflect on
the week gone by and thank those who did so much locally and
nationally during the most raw demonstration of nature’s power in our

I want to acknowledge and thank the exceptional work of local
emergency services like An Garda, Fire Services, Defence Forces and
Reserve Defence Forces, Ambulance and Hospital staff last week. i also
want to thank Meath and Westmeath County Councils – their staff, elected members and
contractors, and all of those who kept our roads open when safe to do
so, and who kept water and power supplies going or helped to restore
them if lost. As a once in a generation event Storm Emma really pushed
the resources of the State nationally and locally, and as a result so
many local people, especially our local farming community stepped into
the breach to our offer their expertise, experience and community
spirit in clearing local roads and local estates.

Community groups like Meath River Rescue joined the Civil Defence, Order of Malta, Red Cross, Gardai and many others in delivering emergency workers, carers and
home helps safely to work, and helping meals and wheels and other vital services to do their work with the oldest and most vulnerable in our society.

Local media  like LMFM, Midlands Radio, the Meath Chronicle and Westmeath Examiner online, and Social Media platforms were all crucial in keeping people informed.

As a member of the National Emergency Co-ordination Group I saw how the work of our emergency services, communities and media nationwide was equally exceptional. I also saw first hand the quality of the research and modelling done by Met Eireaann, who are second to none in Europe. Their early warnings early last week gave people time to organise supplies and make all necessary preparations.  We thank them for that too.

The work of the National Emergency Co-ordination Group was mirrored in every County by similar local groups, and Meath and Westmeath County Councils are to be congratulated for their leadership and team work of this group locally along with all the members groups and agencies.

The danger with saying thanks is that someone is left out, but that
never happens on purpose.  The gratitude of Meath West and the whole
country goes out to those who went above beyond the call of duty last
week, and put themselves in harm’s way in helping their community and

Please continue to use common sense during the thaw and heed the
warnings on local media. Please watch out for potential flooding on
our roads and continue to stay safe.


Minister English is urging Meath West constituents to make all necessary preparations now for snow this week

Meath, Navan, North Meath, Transport, Wesmeath

Monday, 26th February 2018

We are looking at very unusual weather events this coming week
according to local Meath West Fine Gael T.D. and Minister for Housing
and Urban Renewal Damien English.  He is urging local residents to
prepare now, and to keep a close eye and ear on Local and National
media, and Social Media.

According to Met Eireann it is likely Tuesday evening will see bands of
rain turning to snow with further accumulations for the rest of the
week. Some of the snow showers will be of prolonged duration.  The
forecasts are for extremely low temperatures this week.  High winds,
up to gale force strength later in the week could cause blizzards.

Make arrangements now

“This will be a very significant weather event and people need to
start making arrangements now to prepare for it. The advice to people
is to start preparing their homes now, so have extra batteries, fuel
and enough food in stock for the coming days. Please look in on older
or more vulnerable neighbours” stated Minister English.

Local Authorities

He continued “Nationally Government is working with the aim is to
coordinate the various Local Authorities and state or semi-state
bodies to help businesses and keep the country open as much as
possible. Local Authorities  have been asked to provide an update to
Government on their state of readiness to deal with the severe weather
on a county by county basis. Anyone planning to travel this week needs
to heed weather reports over the next few days.”


“The levels of salt available nationally is 120,000 tonnes. The normal
daily usage is 4-5,000 tonnes so the stocks are sufficient to meet
demand. Local authorities are managing these stocks. Motorways and
national roads will be prioritized. Driver behaviour will be an issue
this week and we need drivers to take care and slow down” Minister
English said.

School transport

“School transport system decisions will be made in line with ongoing
forecasts in each County. Code red snow levels in a County will lead
to school buses not running so schools will be closed in that
circumstance. Safety is to the fore in all decisions being made, and
school Principals and Boards of Management are asked to keep a close
eye on updates and guidance for their local area” stated Minister

Rough Sleepers

Members of the public are also being asked to contact their local authority to report any rough sleepers that they have concerns about and any such cases will be followed up. In the Dublin region, members of the public can report cases of concern through the following weblink; http://www.homelessdublin.ie/report-rough- sleeper#1

Finally Minister English encouraged people to visit: www.winterready.ie


OCEAN Hero Awards

Blue Flag, Green Flag, Heritage, Housing and Urban Renewal, Research, Research and Innovation, Science, Tourism, Transport, Water


Speech by


Minister for Housing and urban Development

at the OCEAN Hero Awards


21st November 2017 at the Royal College of Physicians, Kildare Street, Dublin 2 @ 13:00.

Michael John, Clean Coast volunteers, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.

It is my very great pleasure to be invited here today to present the 2017 An Taisce’s Ocean Hero Awards and I hope that you enjoyed the range of excellent and interesting contributions which were presented here this morning. Events like this provide a great opportunity to build networks and share experiences and most importantly, honour the invaluable contribution that Ireland’s coastal communities have made towards conserving our spectacular coastline.

For an island nation with one of the largest maritime areas in the European Union, the importance of the sea to Ireland cannot be overstated. We deeply value our marine and coastal environments in all their beauty and diversity, but increasingly we are aware of the growing threats from human activities that face complex marine ecosystems some of which remain unknown to science.

In this context, litter accumulating in the marine environment is a significant environmental issue facing the World today. The exact quantity of litter, including plastic in the ocean and volumes entering the ocean from waste generated on land or lost or discarded at sea is unknown and is the subject on ongoing extensive national and international research. Estimates vary widely, but there is no doubt that it exists in vast quantities with undetermined impacts and that levels of marine litter are growing at an unacceptable rate.

My Department is committed to working, both nationally and internationally, with our EU and OSPAR partners and national stakeholders, to determine the key sources of marine litter, the pathways by which it can enter the marine environment and the harm it causes. This will inform the development of our national and international measures to address the problem.

Ireland is already implementing a suite of measures identified in our Marine Strategy Framework Directive Programme of Measures to address this issue. This will be reviewed and updated on an ongoing basis as new marine litter sources and pathways are identified. Ireland will also continue to identify ways of treating plastic waste as a resource.

Ireland also supports the aims of the Plastics Strategy in the Circular Economy which aims to address the challenges posed by plastics across the value chain and take into account the entire life cycle. The implementation of programmes such as the Circular Economy package will, I believe, be a key measure in reducing marine litter inputs in the future.

Because of the transboundary nature of the problem, Ireland continues to cooperate collaboratively with international partners to try and identify the extent and impact of the problem and to develop solutions to address the issue in tandem with our EU partners under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and the OSPAR Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic.

It is important to note that the problem of marine litter is only one aspect of our marine environmental policy. We are also are working to ensure that :

  • Biodiversity is maintained
  • Non-indigenous species do not adversely alter the ecosystem
  • The population of commercial fish species is healthy
  • Elements of food webs ensure long-term abundance and reproduction
  • Eutrophication (the impacts of sewage and nutrients such as fertiliser leading to loss of oxygen in the water is minimised
  • Sea floor and seawaters are not altered in such a way as to harm ecosystems
  • Contaminants in seafood are below safe levels
  • Introduction of energy and underwater noise does not adversely affect the ecosystem

However, the problem of marine litter remains a particular focus for us at this time.

Raising public awareness and effecting societal change in environmental behaviour is very important when it comes to issues such as reducing marine litter. That is why my Department has a long-standing relationship with An Taisce and we are pleased to support initiatives administered by An Taisce, such as Clean Coasts and the Two Minute Beach Clean programmes. The recent Love Your Coast photography awards and similar projects represent just some of the many high profile and high value initiatives that An Taisce operates. These are tremendous vehicles for encouraging public participation and fostering a sense of environmental responsibility. They are considered exemplars in their field and worthy of support at home and replication abroad

It is also worth noting that exciting developments are ongoing in relation to the Green Schools module on marine environmental issues, especially litter. This is also administered by An Taisce and supported by my Department. It was piloted in a number of schools in 2016 and is currently being rolled out, on a nationwide basis, involving over 250 schools. I am convinced that this internationally ground breaking module will augment and dovetail with the current suite of green school offerings and will further educate the children of today and improve the environmental behaviours of tomorrow.

We regard these programmes as international best practice models and are keen to present them as such to our international partners in the EU and further afield. In recognition of this fact, the Government has committed to continue to support the Coast Care and Green Schools Global Citizenship Marine Environment programmes into the future. At the “Our Oceans” Conference in Malta in October, Irelandundertake to incorporate these initiatives among our formal measures to address the marine litter and environmental protection targets of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

But today is about you, the Coast Care groups, Businesses, Schools and individuals, who give of your time and energy to make the marine environment a better place. The contribution of local communities and community based enterprises cannot be overstated. Your efforts are crucial in achieving and maintaining the aesthetical appeal and the amenity and economic value of the coastal resource. The work of coast care groups is actually making a tangible difference to the quality of our coastal environment, removing nearly 200 tonnes of litter from our coast annually. As well as environmental benefits, this has tremendous social and economic benefits, not least for our tourist industry.

I understand that there are over 600 active Coast Care groups, involving 18,000 volunteers, and representing a quarter of a million hours are dotted around the Irish coast. Your tireless activities, augmented by environmentally focussed enterprises and schools are both civically admirable and environmentally beneficial, and are rightly being recognised here today.

Attaining Ocean Hero awards does not come easily. It requires a lot of commitment, a lot of effort and a lot of civic spirit, which makes the achievement all the more satisfactory and recipients here today should be justifiably proud of their achievements. These awards are a tremendous example of community school and business collaborations and local and individual pride harnessed for the improvement of the marine environment. I think that the recipients here today, in the various categories, should feel enormously fulfilled in achieving these hard-won and much-sought-after accolades.

We, as current custodians of the marine environment have a duty and a responsibility to pass on a resource to be sustainably developed and enjoyed by future generations. But there is no room for complacency and as a society, we need to redouble our efforts in identifying and implementing environmentally sustainable solutions to current and future environmental challenges.

So, in conclusion, I hope you had a thought-provoking and enlightening seminar and I hope that you had an opportunity to share information and experiences over lunch. I am confident that, with the help of marine conscious stakeholders, like yourselves, that we are well positioned to deal with the significant environmental issues ahead.

It only remains for me to congratulate all those who have been nominated and will receive awards here today. You deserve recognition for the trojan efforts that you have made to help improve the quality of the marine environment.

Go raibh maith agaibh agus comhghairdeas.

Launch of ‘Being Age Friendly in the Public Realm’

Active Retirement, Health, Housing and Urban Renewal, Meath, Navan, Transport, Trim

Launch of ‘Being Age Friendly in the Public Realm’

Meath County Council Chambers, Navan, 18th October, 2016 

Minister Helen McEntee Speaking at Age Friendly Launch Group shot Age Friendly Launch

Cathaoirleach, Mayor, Minister McEntee, elected members, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen I am delighted to be here today. Thank you to Meath County Council and Age Friendly Ireland for the invitation.

Local government has a very clear purpose and a definite direction. The policy document ‘Putting People First’ drives that direction that we are all going in. It has prompted City and County Councils to identify the functions most relevant at local level and, in particular, the functions that Councilsmust take a strong lead on.

Empowering the citizen to participate in the development of their community, both rural and urban, is central to this new model of governance and service delivery.

I am very mindful that ageing is not solely a health issue – it requires awhole of Government response. The challenges and opportunities associated with an ageing population can be met and indeed exploited by planning now on a whole of Government basis. I am delighted therefore to be here today with my Ministerial colleague Helen McEntee.

The Age Friendly Programme approach represents a real exemplar of good integrated and devolved local government. The city and county wide consultation processes that are central to the Age Friendly Programme provide a key means for the voice of the older person to be heard and for this voice to influence and inform local decision making.

Government policy is to support older people to live with dignity and independence in their own homes and communities for as long as possible. In respect of my own Department I am very conscious that housing has a key role to play in supporting older people to age comfortably in the community they belong to.

I am also very aware of the important role of the public realm in supporting access and participation.

As people age they spend more time in and close to their own homes. This means that older people’s quality of life, and thus their health, can depend on how age aware or age attuned our public realm is.

The design and maintenance of a community’s built environment can make the difference between a healthy and active lifestyle, or one characterised by limited mobility and high levels of social isolation. The way an area looks and how safe it feels has a big impact on older people’s confidence and motivation.

‘Being Age Friendly in the Public Realm’ – this document being launched today – is a very practical resource. It brings together many of the key approaches introduced across recent years which have helped to make our outdoor spaces and public realm pleasant, clean, accessible and safe for older people, creating walkable communities and more age friendly spaces.

Very often simple things will improve everyone’s access and thus their confidence to stay engaged and to participate in the wider community. Practical changes to public seating, our parks and green areas can have an impact on older people’s motivation to stay active.

The introduction of tone zones has encouraged people of all ages to enjoy more connected lives. Age Friendly parking, pedestrian crossings and signage that is ‘age aware’ can support older people to feel safer when out and about, and so feel more confident to stay active and to participate in the wider community

I welcome these practical resource documents and the associated programme of training on ‘age friendly housing and the public realm’ developed by Age Friendly Ireland. I am particularly pleased to see this very local age friendly work being supported so actively by Meath County Council, the age Friendly Alliance and the Older People’s Council across towns such as Kells and Trim.

It is through this kind of leadership and innovation and resources such as this that we will be better supported to scale up these local, proven and very often practical models into the consistent application of age friendly initiatives across a wider geography – be that all the way across Meath or indeed all the way across Ireland.

The Age Friendly Towns programme, which has supported change at the level of the town, village and neighbourhood, has shown how very practical and low cost, and at times ‘no-cost’ interventions, can make a big difference to the lives of older people.

It is through this kind of practical planning that we will be better placed to meet the challenges that lie ahead for our older citizens. I am delighted therefore to be here today to support its launch.


Minister English encourages Meath public to avail of Heritage Week opportunities, including Agher Church

Agher, Heritage, Meath, Transport, Trim

Monday, 15th August 2016

“I want to highlight the importance of Heritage Week to the ongoing
cultural, heritage, tourism and recreational life of Meath, and urge
people to support its many free events this August. I also want to
commend the many volunteers, local community and parish organisations
as well as private and public sector sponsors involved in making it
happen” local Minister for Housing and Urban Renewal and Fine Gael
T.D. for Meath West Damien English has said. You can download a full
guide to Meath Heritage Week 2016 events on www.heritageweek.ie

“In particular I want to highlight the Heritage Week open days at
Agher Church. The Irish Georgian Society fundraised for the
conservation of the Thomas Jervais window at Agher – and it is due to
be reinstalled in Agher Church presently. With these two open days
both locals and visitors to the area will have a rare opportunity to
visit the church to see this wonderful, rare example of enamelled 18th
century stained glass, as well as view Agher Church which is an
important part of the local community in the wider Agher/Summerhill
area” stated Minister English.

“In early 2015 I was delighted to hear from Minister for Arts,
Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys that Agher Church was
one of 28 heritage structures across the country that would benefit
from the Structures at Risk Fund 2015. Agher Church received €15,000.
At the time I highlighted that the preservation of heritage structures
like Agher Church was very important for our pride of place. The then
Chairman of Trim Municipal Council, local Cllr. Joe Fox, joined me in
welcoming this funding in 2015, and also urges support for the open
days this August” concluded Minister English.

Notes to Editor:

The open days will be:
21st August, 3.00pm to 6.00pm

Songs of Praise & Open Afternoon at Agher Church
24th August, 12.00pm to 5.00pm

My submission on Navan Rail Line to the Draft Transport Strategy 2016 – 2035 for the Greater Dublin Area

Jobs, Meath, Transport


Submission to the Draft Transport Strategy 2016 – 2035 for the Greater Dublin Area

by Minister Damien English T.D.

Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation

Fine Gael T.D. for Meath West

Thursday, 12th November 2015

I write further to your call for written submissions or observations on the Draft Transport Strategy 2016 – 2035 for the Greater Dublin Area which has been prepared by the National Transport Authority in accordance with Section 12 of the Dublin Transport Authority Act 2008.

Since becoming involved in politics, as a member of Meath County Council in 1999, and as a member of Dail Eireann since 2002, I have always campaigned for, advocated for and highlighted the need for a rail line to Navan. It is an idea that commands cross party, cross community and cross sectoral support in Co. Meath, as I am sure the range of submissions you will receive on this matter will highlight.

I believe that your analysis in the Draft Transport Strategy, of the transport needs of Co. Meath as regards the expansion of rail services to Navan is fundamentally flawed. It lacks recognition of the current and future jobs situation in Meath, it lacks ambition and it lacks vision. It reflects a short term analysis and ‘sticky plaster solution’ for what are long term needs and long terms trends. We have had too much of this in the past as regards the potential of a rail line for Navan, with the resources of good times in this country not used at the appropriate time to live up to promises and commitments previously given.

The dismissal of further rail services in Co. Meath to Navan, and Dunshaughlin en route, in your current draft actually goes against the tone and ideals the strategy sets for itself.

In Chapter 5, Page 5, it talks about how: “The Strategy needs to consider how best to target areas of population where public transport access to the city centre and other major centres of employment remains poor.” In this regard Navan is the only County Town in the Greater Dublin/North Eastern Region not served by rail. The County Town’s of Louth (Dundalk), Wicklow (Wicklow Town) and Kildare (Naas via nearby Sallins) are all served by rail, as well as other significant population centres in those Counties (Maynooth, Drogheda, Bray, Greystones etc.) Meath and Navan are not being treated in a equitable manner as commuter hubs, as locations for FDI, and as locations where reverse commuting can actually take place, with commuters leaving Dublin for work in Navan, thus helping Dublin traffic congestion, and deepening the spread of economic recovery into the regions.

Also in Chapter 5, Page 5 we are told that “The Strategy needs to examine how to lock in the economic benefits of new transport infrastructure by maintaining journey times

and reliability.” The events on the M50 yesterday, Wednesday 11th November 2015, demonstrate how vulnerable Dublin, and greater Dublin, are to events on the M50 and on other major arterial routes into and out of the City, with traffic disruption of up to 7 hours for some people. These types of delays and vulnerabilities are not the type of thing our business community want to hear, or potential investors.

Bus transport, it must be said, has grown in the quality of the buses and frequency of service to Dublin over recent years. The draft strategy Is wrong though, in my opinion, in its overemphasis on bus as the single solution to Co. Meath’s transport needs up to 2035. Bus is totally dependent on road transport. It is vulnerable to the same shocks and surprises of poor weather or tragic accidents that a motor car is. Traffic volumes are also going to keep increasing, in line with our population growth, and our employment and overall economic growth. Rail is a sensible, reliable and environmentally friendly way of meeting both Meath’s transport needs and alleviating traffic congestion in Dublin.

It is disappointing that the draft strategy seems to be unaware of Meath County Council’s new Economic Development Strategy for Co. Meath 2014-2022, which was officially launched in June this year by my party colleague Meath County Council’s then Cathaoirleach, Cllr Jim Holloway. This plan aims to create 7,500 new jobs in Meath over the lifetime of the plan, approximately 1,000 new jobs a year.

With the winning of Facebook’s 2nd Data Centre for Europe in Clonee in Co. Meath, and our County having one of the fastest falls in unemployment in the country, this plan is clearly working. But it needs the capacity, the reliability and the connectivity of rail to enhance this plan and Meath’s offering. Rail will improve access, it will encourage reverse commuting, and it will also improve one of the most vital assets in winning FDI – overall quality of life and services in a County.

I would welcome, and strongly urge, a revision of your draft document, to make provision for the continuation of the rail line from Pace outside Dunboyne, to Navan via Dunshaughlin as originally planned and committed to by previous Governments. Indeed it is regrettable that this was not done as an integral one stage process. This would have significantly enhanced the attractiveness and usage of the current line. Presently when people get as far as Pace, they feel they may as well continue on to Dublin when they are so close. Short term thinking and cost cutting as happened in this instance has had long term consequences.

Additionally, the Dunboyne line at Pace needs to continue into Connolly Station for maximum effectiveness, attractiveness and connectivity. This is something that your strategy should reflect and act upon too.

In making your decision I would hope that you take on board my concerns, which as a Public Representative for Meath represent the thoughts and needs of many thousands of my constituents, as well as the wider business community active in creating jobs locally, and those who wish to do so in future years. The work put into this by Meath County Council, and by individual Councillors of all parties and none, as well as other interested parties and local experts will no doubt be reflected in the response to your public consultation, and deserves serious study and consideration.

I hope that you will share your thoughts on the submissions received before any final document is published or decisions taken, thus making this a truly public consultation and exchange or expertise and views.

Thanking you in advance.

Yours sincerely,


Minister Damien English T.D.

Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation

Fine Gael T.D. for Meath West

Bus Éireann’s new schools Seat Belt initiative is launched by Ministers Jan O’Sullivan and Damien English

Education, Transport

Bus Éireann’s Red Setter and local schoolchildren were in playful mode this morning for the launch of the new ‘Buster and the Belt-Ups’ school transport safety campaign.

‘Buster and the Belt Ups’ lead School Transport Safety Campaign  Bus Éireann’s new schools Seat Belt initiative is launched by Ministers Jan O’Sullivan and Damien English   Launching the campaign are Minister for Education and Skills Jan O'Sullivan TD and Damien English TD, Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills. Photo Elaine Barker / Fennell Photography

Bus Éireann’s new schools Seat Belt initiative is launched by Ministers Jan O’Sullivan and Damien English. Photo Elaine Barker / Fennell Photography

Minister for Education and Skills Jan O’Sullivan, and Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English were also in Merrion Square to officially launch the important new safety initiative.

While all Bus Éireann school buses are fitted with seatbelts, it is vital we continue to reinforce the importance of ‘belting up’ to school pupils. There are over 44 million journeys made by 112,500 school pupils under the School Transport Scheme annually, so safety remains the absolute priority for the company.

‘Buster and the Belt-Ups’ are animated characters who represent this new educational campaign, which involves a safety video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjyVeHm7IvY that will be distributed to national schools as part of packs including posters, seat belt safety certificates, activity sheets and stickers. These will be distributed in Irish to Gael Scoileanna.

The new campaign – which aims to engage primary school students to continually wear their seatbelts, by relating to the various Belt-Up characters and their key message – is endorsed by the Road Safety Authority and the INTO (Irish National Teachers Organisation).

Minister English said: “This campaign is not just about school children. It is vital that parents, guardians and teachers get on board to highlight the importance of road safety. They play a major role in conveying the message that it’s ‘the norm’ to reach for your seat belt once you get on the bus.”

Minister O’Sullivan said: “I am delighted to be involved in launching the campaign. The safety of our school children is obviously extremely important and I believe this initiative is a great way to get the message of ‘belting-up’ across to students. Education is the most important means of achieving compliance with the requirement to wear a seat belt and the use of ‘Buster and the Belt-Ups’ makes it very easy for younger students to relate to.”

€1,063,400 extra for Meath roads

North Meath, Roads, Transport


I have consistently said that the roads money raised locally by Meath County Council and allocated nationally to Meath County Council needs topping up by National Government. This is most evident in North Meath, but there are problems that need attention County wide too.  I am delighted to say myself and my Oireachtas colleagues in Government in Meath have achieved extra funding for a 3rd year running.

€1,063,400 has been allocated.  I hope that work can begin promptly to put this extra money to its most appropriate and maximum use.  As I have said before, like any household or business we will not get all the money to fix our problems in one go. This is however the 3rd year that the Council’ resources have been topped up.  With a few more years of consistent investment this is a problem we can get on top of.

We need solid, steady economic growth nationally to continue so we have the resources to spread around to areas in need like North Meath.

English welcomes Meath County Council’s €300k commitment to Boyne Valley Greenway

Meath, Navan, Tourism, Transport
Cllr. Eugene Cassidy

Cllr. Eugene Cassidy

I welcome the news that Meath County Council has made a provision of €300,000 in its Capital Budget for the first stage of the Greenway from Navan to Kingscourt, as far as Wilkinstown in this stage.

Fine Gael Councillor in the Kells Electoral Area, Cllr. Eugene Cassidy has shown huge personal commitment to this project over a number of years, and played a key lobbying and networking role between Meath County Council, other local and national agencies, as well as local businesses and stakeholders/property owners. Today’s allocation of €300,000 for the first stage of the Navan to Kingscourt project is a good start and a vindication of the work undertaken over the past few years.

Walking and cycling are hugely important to our health, both physical and mental. They are also key growth activities in the tourism sector. This Greenway will significantly add to the exciting tourism offering of Meath, and help in the battle to ensure that Meath gets its fair share of the tourism market nationally which is expected to grow to €5 Billion and 250,000 jobs for the economy by 2020” the Minister said.

I am happy to play my role in Government lobbying the Department of Transport and Tourism to give its backing to this incredibly well advanced and researched project, which now has the benefit of considerable local funding also.