History was made on Wednesday (8th March) when the Members of Arklow Municipal District held their monthly meeting in Allen Park, Aughrim.
Welcoming everyone to Aughrim, the Cathaoirleach of Arklow Municipal District, Cllr Pat Kennedy, said: “Having the meeting in Aughrim today creates a little bit of history as this is the first ever Council meeting to be held in the village, so today we write a new chapter in what we do as public representatives”.
He said that Aughrim was a village very close to his heart, having many friends there and having received his primary education there. He also thanked all who made it possible to have the Council meeting in the village along with the Aughrim Community, Sports and Leisure Association for the use of the premises.
Cllr Kennedy spoke at length about Andy Allen after whom the community field is named. He said Andy spent his working life as a postman working out of Aughrim Post Office. He was one of a team of around six who covered the area on bicycles in all weathers and was much loved in the community and developed a reputation of having a great knowledge of sport particularly Gaelic Games.
Andy’s reputation was such, said Cllr Kennedy, that he began to be known as 'the Memory Man of Aughrim' and Donnchadha O Duling of RTE fame recorded a memorable interview with Andy on his 'Highways and Byeways' series. Andy died in 1988 shortly before the sportsfield and newly-erected dressingrooms were given an official opening but he proved a popular and non-controversial choice when naming the facility.
Cllr Kennedy added: “Part of our job as public representatives is to listen to the communities and that is what we will be doing here today, listening to the community of Aughrim”. He also paid tribute to the principal, teachers and staff (past and present) of Sacred Heart National School saying “the school has gone from strength to strength”.
Mr Michael Geaney, District Manager, said: “Holding the meetings in other parts of the District is a great opportunity for the Elected Members and staff to learn more about the areas they represent and work in”.
Along with the normal business of the meeting, presentations were received from Aughrim Active Retirement Group, Aughrim Business Association, Aughrim Community Field Association and Ms Brid Owens, Principal of Aughrim Sacred heart National School.
The Members had agreed last May to hold some of their monthly meetings outside of Arklow Town. The first was held in Rathdrum last June.