Pictured at the start of the Town and Village works in Summer 2018; Minister Heather Humphreys, Cllr Sean Gilliland, local landowner and Chairperson of the Doohamlet District Community Development Association PJ Harte, with some of the younger members of our community set to benefit from the footpath improvements. This picture was taken at Doohamlet School, where the footpath was so narrow it was difficult for children to walk safely to school.
In 2017 Doohamlet Village made a comprehensive funding application to secure Town and Village funding to address a range of problems in the village;
- Although there had been large scale residential developments in the village facilities were not improved to cater for the increasing population.
- The existing footpaths were not wide enough to safely walk along the busy main road.
- Some of the footpaths were damaged and in need of repair.
- There was no street lighting on the path between the village and the football club, meaning that everyone drove to the club during the winter months.
- Although Doohamlet is a compact village with many facilities located close to each other, the poor quality of the footpaths meant people were not encourage to walk or cycle.
- There was no facility for people to safely and comfortably exercise.
As the whole community was set to benefit, a range of local community groups came together to support the funding application process. The football club and school and childcare, located at opposite ends of the village, demonstrated how the project could benefit their users. Local businesses submitted letters of support, stating how investment and upgrading of facilities in the village would make our area a better place to live, work and visit and ultimately boost economic development. The Tidy Towns group, with the assistance of the Community Employment Scheme and Rural Social Scheme, promised voluntary labour for planting, the Community Centre hosted our many community meetings, and the Development Association co-ordinated the groups and submitted the application form.
Funding of €100,000 was secured from the Department of Rural and Community Development. Monaghan County Council provided match funding and managed and delivered the works, which consisted of;
- Widening of the 1.2 – 1.5m footpaths to 3m to improve road safety and to accommodate pedestrians and cyclists. The footpath improvements were undertaken along 80% of the 800m village length;
- Upgrading of street lighting to LED lighting, and a 400m extension of street lighting to the GFC grounds on the east side of the village;
- The Tidy Towns group installed new native hedges, planted native trees and fruit trees, and sowed wildflower seeds and spring bulbs along the length of the works;
- Community funded gravel paths were installed in a new community park developed in the Cois Locha housing estate to provide a recreational area for the local community.
Works were completed in December 2018. The landscaping will take some time to mature and develop, but already there has been a dramatic change in our village. During the winter months walkers are regularly seen after dark on the previously disused path to the football grounds. The footballers use the wider, streetlit footpaths for training runs during the winter months. The Childcare and pre-school regularly take groups of young children for walks through our village. People can walk their children to school more safely and more comfortably, which is in turn alleviating congestion at the school carpark.
We are very grateful for this investment in our village. It is benefitting our local people, but it has also provided much needed infrastructural foundation to support future development in our village.