GLENTIES TRADERS ASSOCIATION MEETING
The Glenties Traders Association met with Public Representatives approximately six months ago to outline ways in which they could help the Glenties area. On Tuesday 25th April a further meeting sought to ascertain what progress, if any, had been achieved in the interim. Attending the meeting were Mr. Charlie Bennett, Senator Enda Bonner, Mr. Dinny McGinley T.D., Mr. Thomas Gildea T.D.,Mr. Brian O’Donnell and Mr. John Boyle. Apologies were forthcoming from the other public representatives not in attendance.
The first point for discussion was the extension and upgrade of the sewerage system and treatment works. We were assured in the previous meeting that a committment had been made to provide for this project in line with a European directive to complete all such projects by 2005. However the meeting was informed that Glenties is fifth in line for the projects after Ardara, Burtonport,Gweedore and Dungloe. We are led to believe that the project is now a matter for The Dept of the Environment.
The second topic on the agenda concerned inadequate footpaths and the incorrect positioning of the 30mph signs. The meeting was informed that there are no provisions in the Council for footpaths except those on National Roads but that Council can provide moneys for FAS schemes etc. which are improving footpaths. Some matters have been reported, such as, the dissappearance of the footpath on the Narin Road at the side of the Kelvon. It was surmised that this must have come about under the County Development Plan.
Third on the agenda was the provision of signs indicating the location of the public toilets. The consensus was that this was a simple request and could be quickly and easily granted.
Point four raised the issue of providing an ambulance service in Glenties. It was reported that the ambulance service review of the South West had been completed which placed Glenties at the bottom of the list, which surprised some of those present. A paramedic pilot scheme was mentioned but thought to create problems with the unions. It was confirmed that the fire service was to be updated but this was expected to happen sometime in the future.
Point five asked for a feasibility study into locating a State Agency Office in the area. The meeting was told that no decisions on location had been made yet. It was claimed that some politicians were actively lobbying for certain areas for certain agencies and it was felt that someone could lobby likewise for Glenties. It was then pointed out that some towns could afford to lobby extensively producing quality brochures highlighting the advantages of locating in their town. No mention was made of a feasibility study or funds for same.
Point six highlighted the fact that Glenties was inaduquately signposted throughout Donegal. A submission had already been lodged with the council outlining appropriate signposting for the area. It was pointed out that only the National Roads Authority could erect signs on the National roads, not the Council. Another problem was the different spellings of some towns, and the fact that the signs must only be in Irish in the Gaeltacht areas. This is a big problem for our foreign visitors. A suggestion was made to erect signs which displayed the road numbers only– these would be the same in all languages and it was the norm for tourists to follow road numbers rather than town names.
Point seven requested an investigation into the roll-over of FAS schemes. It was suggested that FAS schemes were not suited to rural areas and that they could be changed to Udaras schemes. The meeting was told of the position of a Community Development Officer which was being advertised currently. It was felt that such a person would be beneficial to the area and could co-ordinate schemes.
The next point raised was the possibility of Glenties being in the Gaeltacht. It was felt at this time, it would be appropriate for Glenties to seek recognition as part of the Gaeltacht. Apart from the town itself, most of the surrounding area is already in the Gaeltacht. It was felt that it would strengthen the Gaeltacht if Glenties was part of it. The meeting was told that it was up to the people of Glenties to demonstrate a committment to the Irish language. Although traditional music and dancing are flourishing in the area, every effort has to be made to promote the Irish language itself. Suggestions included Irish signposting, shopfronts and the running of Irish language classes. At present we are in the process of getting the current Glenties brochure updated and reprinted.
The next monthly meeting of the GTA takes place on Thursday 18th May at 9pm in the Highlands Hotel.To renew your membership the fee remains at £50 per business. All those who wish to be members,please do as soon as possible,as the computer list of Traders will have to be updated.
The Principal of Scoil Mhuire would like to thank most sincerely all parents, children and friends who supported the recent schools ‘Ireland on Sunday’2000 computer promotion. A total of 587 tokens were collected and hopefully your efforts will be rewarded. A special word of thanks to those who sponsored ‘surprises’-and also to all the local newsagents.