Handball Alley a long way off from funding

Handball Alley a long way off from funding

Elected members of the Drogheda Borough District have said the “level of correspondence” from Louth County Council “is simply not good enough.”

his comes following a motion raised by Cllr Pio Smith in relation the Handball Alley at Millmount, in which he received a “basic reply.”

He said he “would have liked a more imaginative answer” regarding the funding for the sports area, adding that there is potential to work alongside local GAA teams to explore possible ways to create the space.

While health and safety concerns were listed in the reply to Cllr Smith, they were not expanded on.

Cllr Joanna Byrne added her support to the initiative, agreeing that Louth County Council “tend to not answer” councillor’s questions and fail to provide a “yes or no” response. She also said that it is difficult to receive the cost of works for projects.

He went into detail on the historical nature of what goes on in this area. He added that the area is a protected structure that has strong social and cultural significance.

She added that this “level of correspondence is simply not good enough.”

Cllr Smith asked that possible funding streams be explored by the Council, either through cross border relations or alternative grants. He added that there is potential to assemble a committee to consider avenues to explore.

Cllr Joanna Byrne said she was also happy to support any committee or funding in the future on this project.

Adding his support, Cllr Paddy McQuillan highlighted that history that the Handball Alley is drenched in. He noted the ongoing social media campaign which has gained momentum in the last couple of weeks.

Additionally, Cllr Kevin Callan said he “fully supports the motion,” adding that a lot of these alleys are not in great locations and they have overgrown.

With the potential to align with children in the area, Mayor Michelle Hall said this could be another avenue to explore.

Chief Executive, Joan Martin said she was “shocked at the response” from the Councillors at the meeting, adding “I don’t know what you were expecting within 10 days, I don’t know what you wanted.”

Ms Martin said she received an email from Cllr Smith in which there were three lines of explanation, and responded accordingly.

While there are significant issues with the Handball Alley, such as a dangerous entrance, she explained it is “not a matter of sticking a lick of paint on it.”

She added that the project is a “long long way off worrying where the funding will come from,” and the Council have yet to look at the project and examine health and safety issues.

She added that the property needs to be assessed and that the council are prepared to do this, however it is not a matter of setting up a committee and looking for funding and that a lot of work needs to be done prior to this.

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