Saturday, December 27, 2008

Ballymore Eustace
Community Development Association Ltd

A.G.M. MINUTES 6th November, 2008

Fiona Breslin, Kay Nolan, Margaret McDonald, Mary Deegan & Eric Firth. Apologies from
Patricia Donnelly, Fintan Smith, Rachel Edwards, Maurice Mason.


The Secretary read the minutes of the previous AGM which were signed. No matters arising from the minutes.

Margaret MC Donald thanked the sub-committees for producing their accounts and stated net assets at the end of 2006 as €66,144.

Fiona stated that those involved in specific projects/topic areas would speak on that topic.

Street Signs (Fiona Breslin)
The colour scheme of Village Street signs as per the street sign survey was cream on black. However, following a report from the Tidy Towns Adjudicators which criticized black signage (it may actually lose us points in future competitions), it was decided to go with a colour that was already prevalent on many fixtures in the village and one that the adjudicators also favour, dark green background with cream lettering. Signs will be produced and erected within the next fortnight by local man, Séan Deegan.

Community Development Centre and Tidy Towns store (Fiona Breslin)
At the start of May the CDA were granted planning permission for this building at the old council library site. This is valid for 5 years. We are still awaiting word from the KTK levies committee on funding.

(Fiona Breslin)
Presumably more development will result because of the new sewerage treatment plant and thus we need to be extra vigilant. The developments the CDA have made submissions on in the past year are as follows:

Quinlan’s Pit, Bishopsland.

Coffee shop (or take away?) beside Blake's pharmacy. A loophole in planning allowed the developer to modify plans significantly from the original application. The CDA feel that this altered version is not in keeping with the look of the village. The current building is not in keeping with either application and is an Unauthorized Development so we have been in communication with KCC on this.

Wastewater (sewerage) Treatment plant

COVA -‘The Park’ Development

Ballymore Residential’s development.

The Planning Advisory Sub Group (sub committee of CDA) approached COVA and Ballymore Residential to discuss building design, community gain and a linear park beside the river walk.

COVA is a holding company for the owners of Jack Lawlor’s field, Doran’s Meadow and a site running parallel to Barrack Street. Ballymore Residential owns the site opposite the school.

The CDA are pro-development once the development is in keeping with the rural environment of Ballymore Eustace village, is sustainable, aesthetically pleasing and generous from the point of view of what it provides in the form of community gain.

Saintfield Mill, Co. Down is an example of a modern development in keeping with an established village. The architects of this development researched the history and heritage of the village creating building designs which took their inspiration from these and they also replicated some features which already existed in the village. We would like developers here to do likewise. However, we would not want this development exactly replicated in Ballymore Eustace since it is not Saintfield and might result in a ‘themed folk village’ appearance. We want them to use good quality, tasteful, traditional, natural materials e.g. traditional stone walls, hedging between properties rather than concrete walls/wooden pallet fencing etc.

COVA have made contact with the CDA recently, Ballymore Residential has not.

(Tom O’ Keefe)
Enda Hanrahan of COVA has agreed to meet with members of the PASG on 10th Nov.

The PASG made a submission on the water treatment plant.

(Christy Dennison)
DCC should be asked to contribute to the community of Ballymore Eustace. They have been in Ballymore Eustace over 60 years and are currently developing a €70m water filtration system and a Sludge Plant to be completed by 2012. We have never had anything in the way of community gain from DCC.

Community Alert
(Percy Donnelly)
Community alert is ticking over and but people are urged to look after their own area. Sean Fogarty represents the village and will phone the Gardai if needed. People need to become aware of what’s happening in their area and observe strange traffic etc. If people are seen dumping on the roadside, they should be reported to KCC Litter Warden Noel Geoghegan on 086 2848563. Even if the act itself is not witnessed, inform Noel of the whereabouts of the dumped material and he will be very prompt in removing it and going through it in an attempt to find a paper trail to the person who dumped it – believe it or not, this is a hugely successful way of getting the perpetrator.

(Fiona Breslin)
Thanks to Seth DeLabre for installing smoke alarms supplied f.o.c. for the elderly/disabled. More available if anybody knows of suitable applicants. Please contact any member of the CDA.

New Garda presence in village
(Eamon Whelan:new local Garda)
According to the superintendent in Naas, a second Garda is to join Eamon in the next few weeks, thus two Gardai will be permanently based in Ballymore Eustace-great news for the village! The Station should be open most days between 9am – 12 and 7 – 9pm. There is a newly installed ‘Blue Man’ on the door which will put you straight through to Naas. Times will be in the Bugle when established.

Tidy Towns
(Eric Firth)
2008 was a very successful year for Tidy Towns with a massive 19 points increase in the rating – 2nd in their category in Kildare. The Adjudicators report was very complimentary about many aspects of the village. We need to clean up our act with regard to derelict sites, partially completed buildings, goods and signage cluttering the pathways and overhead lines etc. The River Walk pathway is in poor condition and whilst a grant from KTK Environment Fund has been received for the provision of extra seating this will not be undertaken until work on the Waste water treatment plant is completed, as this will involve further disruption to the River Walk. Eric thanked all those people who in any way contributed to the success of Tidy Towns during 2008 and of course for any donations received during the year.

Resource Centre/bingo
(Gus Kavanagh)
The Resource Centre made a loss of €3,000 during 2007 and the Bingo lost €500. More local support would be appreciated. A special word of thanks to Monica for her help over the years. Seamus Hayden retired last week. We are sad to see him go but would like to wish him good health. Thanks also to the ‘front of house’ ladies for their help. We would appreciate help on Wednesday evenings. Thanks to the Playgroup who as anchor tenants are keeping the Centre going.

(Fiona Breslin)
Help is needed. It is a lot to ask that someone work at bingo every week, however, it is very workable that a group of people would operate a rota system. Please contact Gus if you are interested.

Meals on Wheels
(Dora O’ Brien)
If anyone knows someone who would benefit from meals on wheels, please contact the Public Health Nurse or Maire Drohan. There is no charge for the meals.

(Tim H Ryan)
Sales of the Bugle are steady ~ 550 p.m. Tim paid tribute to Rose and the team of Bugle folders. A donation of €1,000 will be made to the Senior Citizens on 28th November.
Nominations for People of the Year closes on 31st December.

Fiona Breslin paid special tribute to the work done by the new Festival subcommittee this year and the workers of the community playgroup.

3 members resigned: Fiona Breslin, Patricia Donnelly and Maurice Mason.

3 new people joined the committee: Mary Evans, Sherri Brennan and Lily Byrne.

Any Other Business
Fr. Breen asked about the Yellow Lines outside his house. The CDA did not put in a request for same with KCC. Billy Hillis said it was a Health & Safety issue and must remain.

Cllr. Billy Hillis stated that the Waste Water Treatment plant should be completed in 12 months.
Fiona thanked the committee members that she has served with for the past three years.
Thanks to Rev. Fr. Sean Breen, Cllr. Billy Hillis & Cllrs. Martin Miley, Mark Dalton, Martin Hayden of Athy and the people of Ballymore Eustace who attended the AGM.

on passing by- again
What’s the story with Dick Roche. He seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth. One minute his face was an almost permanent feature on the television and now nothing. I believe he was on the radio bemoaning the fact that the Czech president was talking to Libertas during a recent visit but other than that nothing. I totally accept that he was in no way to blame for the Lisbon Treaty fiasco but is it possible that the powers that be want to keep him sidelined as they start the process of explaining to us that we made a bit of an error in the first vote and could we try and get it right this time?
I would have to say that his overbearing attitude was one of the things which ensured my No vote the last time.
Perhaps this time we will be treated like mature adults and not like kindergarten pupils who are expected to do as we are told because others think they know whats best for us. A proper explanation of what we are getting into would go a long way. Tackling the issues raised by anti Lisbon campaigners would also bring benefits, but only if they were explained in a reasonable and coherent manner instead of the shrill voiced condemnations we heard the last time. I have no doubt that the safest place to be during the upcoming recession is in a strong Europe but it has to be a Europe we can feel happy with. The Government is going to have to try a lot harder this time if it wants our support.

Yet again Limerick is in the news for all the wrong reasons. An innocent young man, by all accounts one of the quietest and most decent you could meet, is heartlessly cut down in a hail of bullets. The fact that he was apparently a victim of mistaken identity is of absolutely no comfort to his family and friends, or indeed should it be to the rest of us. As per usual we are treated to politicians wringing their hands and promising us even more draconian legislation, further diminishing our civil liberties. The problems with all these piecemeal bits of new law is that they usually only affect us, the silent majority. You can have all the laws you want but if they are not being enforced against the people they were enacted to counteract they are not only a waste but a sham. These people have time and time again shown their disdain and total disregard for the law and for the rest of the community. They are artists at getting their foul jobs done and are as knowledgeable as the Gardai when it comes to court .They expectations’ of politicians that an ordinary citizen is going to stand up in open court and give evidence is laughable. I believe wholeheartedly in the rule of law but even I would have serious qualms about giving evidence against these people.
Others have appealed to the thugs morals to try and deter them. Do these do gooders not realise that this scum live in a complete moral vacuum. They are in a business and will baulk at nothing to further their aims. Intimidation of witnesses is probably the cleanest of their activities, and from past experience they know it works. The only person to give evidence against Limerick murderers has for the past two and a half years been under twenty four hour armed Garda protection. How much is that costing us?
The only legislation we need is to enable these people to be tried in the Special Criminal Court, where the judges are experienced at this sort of thing. If the scum knew they were more than likely to be sentenced every time they came before the bench it might soften their cough a little. I am not offering this a total solution but we have to make a start somewhere. How many more innocent victims does it take for this Government to start taking its responsibilities seriously and do something to protect its citizens? We need action to put these people either permanently out of business or in a prison cell, and we need it now!

Does anyone remember why the HSE was set up?. The main reason given was that amalgamating the eleven health boards would lead to savings and a more coherent operation. Despite this there were never any redundancies in the previous boards staff and no economies of scale seemed to appear. And now? The HSE has decided to set up nine regional health authorities. If it wasn’t so serious it would be laughable.

Just a quick update on the KTK Community Liaison Committee. Progress has been painfully slow due to a number of reasons, all of which were outside the control of your committee representatives. Difficulties arose when trying to arrange meetings in the County Council offices, personnel changes meant having to continually update the newcomers and what seemed like a general lack of interest from the Council slowed down the process. Meetings were spaced so far apart that it was impossible to keep any sort of flow in the process. Meetings were called and then abandoned because the Council had neglected to inform all the members or because a Council official became unavailable. We had a meeting on February 26th and the next meeting did not take place until June 13th. It was agreed that the next meeting was to be July 15th and then September 18th. Neither of these took place and we did not meet again until November 12th. The full committee as it now stands appears to be on a better footing than heretofore and I am confident that future progress will be a lot speedier.
We encountered certain difficulties in the beginning trying to decide exactly what “ environmental” covered. Because of this the grants which were made, i.e. to Liffey Heights and the Tidy Towns committee were things which we all instantly recognised as environmental and deserving of funding. We also met some difficulty in trying to educate people in what exactly the fund was for. Requests for further information sometimes resulted in a submission very much like the original. Myself and Rose feel some of this was because of a lack of clarity in the letters from the Council and have requested that all future correspondence will be specific and will leave no doubt as to the information being requested, and the Council have agreed to this request.
The amount of money in the fund is to my mind quite substantial, and a further amount is expected as and when required. If properly handled it could fund quite a number of sensible grants over quite a long time and be of immense benefit to the natural and built environment of Ballymore Eustace.
A further meeting has been agreed for early next month and I will update you in next months Bugle.
All for now. Mike Edmonds.

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