Drogheda a victim of institutional neglect

 

Sir, – An ongoing feud has has gripped parts of Drogheda. But the whole town is not gripped by fear. The feud is centred around a small number of locations on the periphery of the town and thankfully to date has not spread much further.

Drogheda is a big town, Ireland’s largest. Indeed it is arguing to be recognised as a city, a status it enjoyed in the past.

With big towns, unfortunately, come big problems. From the more mundane issues of provision of services and infrastructure to the very serious issues of law and order. Drogheda as a town has been and is still a victim of institutional neglect. This is not just confined to our present administration but stretches back over four decades. With the notable exception of the HSE, no other State agency has a presence in Ireland’s largest town. Our county council governs from further afield with not a single director of services appointed to administer to Drogheda’s needs. Decisions affecting Drogheda are variously made in Dublin, Dundalk and even Navan, often to Drogheda’s detriment.

With a population in its urban area greater than that of the entire population of the counties of either Leitrim or Roscommon, it beggars belief that such a population should have such poor representation. Indeed if one were to include the population of Drogheda and its hinterland, the combined population would be greater than that of any of Ireland’s 10 least-populated counties. To have such poor representation is unconscionable, and the people of Drogheda are no longer willing to accept it.

With lack of clout comes lack of attention, and from that stems lack of opportunity, social exclusion and disharmony. Starved of investment, Drogheda is primarily seen as a dormitory town feeding students and workers principally to our capital. Properly resourced and provided for, Drogheda could have been spared the worst excesses of the present feud. This escalation of violence is an emergency and should be treated as such, Allowing our criminals such breathing space only gives them the time to reorganise.

NIALL KIERANS,

Love Drogheda – A Business

Improvement District

Company,

Drogheda, Co Louth.