Carlingford Community Newsletter September 2018 Edition


You can download the original PDF and view it in its intended presentation format.


This newsletter is jointly produced by the five bodies representing the Carlingford community, namely:

CCTA – Carlingford & Cooley Tourism Assoc.
CLHT – Carlingford Lough Heritage Trust
CRA – Carlingford Residents Association
CTT – Carlingford Tidy Towns
CCD – Carlingford Community Development (The Foy Centre)

Carlingford Community Forum News

The October meeting of the Joint Policing Committee takes place in the Four Seasons Hotel, Carlingford on October 2nd at 8p.m. Members of the public are welcome to attend and can contribute.

The ongoing work on the Public Realm Study funded by the Heritage Council was presented at the Carlingford Community Forum Meeting on Wednesday 26th Sept. Copies of Ballybrilliant, a booklet containing reports on five Irish Towns where heritage led regeneration has taken place are now available. If you would like a copy, please contact 042 93 73454. It is a useful reference document when considering any future development.

The Forum continues to engage with proposals and concerns raised by its constituent organisations.

Heritage News

French twining: This week the Carlingford Lough Heritage Trust will receive visitors from the village of Les Vans in Ardèche, eastern France to discuss a possible twinning arrangement. We will take them on a walking tour of Carlingford and then head for a few high places around the peninsula, hopefully ending at the Deserted Village.

Two choirs: The Carlingford Collective, the group within the Trust which produced the ‘Ages of Carlingford’ video ( has been talking to very creative people from DkIT (Dundalk Institute of Technology) over the summer to explore co-

operation on new projects. The first firm plan is for the DkIT choir and our own Cór Chairlinne to hold a joint concert in the Heritage Centre in April next year. We’ll keep you posted.

Dates for your diary:

Friday 12th October; Doug van Dorn will give a talk on Covenant Theology.

Thursday 18th November; The Father McNally Chamber Orchestra from Dundalk. When they were here previously their concerts sold out, according to the Irish Independent – see carlingford-30717983.html

Saturday 20th October; Folk music with the John Byrne Band. Read about them at

The Choral Festival in Carlingford

An Chór Chairlinne will hold its annual festival over the weekend from Friday 30th November to Sunday 2nd December with the main concert taking place in the Heritage Centre on the Saturday evening.

The castle in Carlingford was named after King John pictured above,( the one Robin Hood didn’t like), even though he only stayed there for three nights in 1210. It had been built by a powerful baron, Hugh de Lacy, starting about ten years earlier, but he then fell out with the king and one reason King John was in Ireland was to give de Lacy the chop, which he really did.

However, recent excavations have shown that the site had been fortified much earlier with a ditch which cut off the little promontory on which the castle stood (prior to the railway being cut through in the 1870s). The ditch was used for the foundations of the Norman building. Inside the castle there is a souterrain or underground tunnel and chamber, a type of structure which in this area is usually dated to the 9th century or earlier. Pottery and decorative items found inside also suggest an earlier date. The site was probably fortified by the O’Carroll’s who were the ruling petty kings in the area and whose land was seized by the Normans in the late 12th century.

Carlingford & Cooley Tourism Association News


With the Summer season in Carlingford and Cooley drawing to a close and the days shortening, it is appropriate to reflect on the success of the many activities and events which drew so many visitors to our beautiful village, mountains, lough and countryside. By any standards the season was a successful one, helped in no small measure by the exceptional weather throughout much of June, July and August. It was feared that the closure of the Tourist Office in the Station House in June would impact negatively on our tourist offering, but the effect appears to have been limited. We are however fortunate that the Heritage Trust have agreed terms with Visit Carlingford to reopen the Tourist Office and the CCTA welcomes the involvement of Richard Brennan and Cormac McCann of Visit Carlingford, into whose capable hands the running of the Tourist Office has been entrusted. The CCTA wishes them well in their new venture.


Concerns have been expressed in certain quarters regarding the current review which threatens to impose restrictions on short-term and weekend rental of properties in the Carlingford area and the problems that this will pose in providing adequate accommodation for visitors. While it initially appeared that the proposed restrictions were directed at Carlingford, recent information suggests that this is part of a much wider Government policy relating to all areas of the Country where there is a shortage of longer-term accommodation. Clearly the current homeless situation is a serious social issue for Ireland and this has put a focus on the diversion of properties from long-term rental to short-stay holiday rental and Airbnb. While no one would deny the importance of providing housing for those in need, the importance of adequate accommodation for tourists is also important for this very important part of our economy. It is to be hoped that a solution which accommodates both the tourist sector and the necessity to provide accommodation for those in need of being housed can be found, as well as addressing the legitimate concerns of residents living in estates where weekend letting has become a significant feature. Tourism, in and around Carlingford, is critical for the wellbeing of the Community and the important employment that it provides for many local people.

Due to pressure of work, our Chair of the CCTA, Thomas McArdle, has found it necessary to step down as Chair of the CCTA to concentrate his efforts on his business commitments. While only in the Chair for a short period, his contribution to the development of Carlingford tourism has been significant and he will be missed. His efforts to rebrand the Carlingford tourist offering under the “More to Carlingford” theme was already achieving results, with many more family groups and elderly visitors

gracing our village in recent months. We are currently endeavouring to find a suitable person to replace Thomas.

One event, in early September is worthy of note. A fund-raising day for the RNLI took place in Carlingford Harbour on Sunday 9th September. It attracted many visitors and was supported by all the local emergency services. The Lifeboats around our coast provide an essential service in search and rescue and have saved many lives that would otherwise have been lost at sea. The Carlingford Pipe band was in attendance and provided a welcome musical interlude. Apart from helping to organise the event, Harry Jordan, also had his swimming group going through their paces.


The Foy Centre

Comedy Hypnotist

On Saturday 15th September Michael McCoy, the Comedy Hypnotist, took to the stage in the Foy Centre.

We had a great turn out to the event and everyone had a great night of laughter. Thank you to all of the locals who agreed to be hypnotised and made it such a great night for everyone.

Carlingford Knights

Carlingford Knights Junior Rugby is back every Saturday morning at 10am. Our first training session was on 15th September with nearly 60 kids out training.

All boys and girls are very welcome aged 5 – 12. Please just bring the kids along.

We are excited to welcome Dave and Rob Kearney to the Foy Centre next month to officially launch the junior rugby club.

Give Blood – A date for your diary

The Blood Transfusion Clinic is back again at the Foy Centre on Monday 22 October.

Please come along and give blood.

The Orchard Bakery

The Foy Centre is a busy spot during the week with people calling into the Orchard Bakery for a fresh cuppa and something tasty to eat.

Keep an eye on their Facebook page for upcoming ‘pop-up themed


Don’t forget they also make birthday cakes and do outside catering.

Weekly Activities

Our weekly activities such as children’s Martial Arts and Gymnastics are still ongoing in the centre.

Don’t forget we have fitness classes running every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning at 9am – suited for all levels of fitness.

If there’s anything you would like to see happening in the centre or on the pitch please contact Debbie

Hamilton on 083 8013777.

Carlingford Tidy Towns

Three volunteers repainted the wall bounding the School and Community Centre on the evening of 28th August.

The start of the Carlingford Raft Race was captured by the Argus and although we didn’t do very well

actually rowing our unwieldy craft, we got a mention for its waste management credentials!

Seamus planted up this extremely dry area near the Blue Door on castle pier with pollinator friendly heather and lavender. We think these Mediterranean plants are more likely to tolerate the dry conditions at this location.

On 30th August, two CTT members set about clearing the Wildlife Sanctuary. The next task was to clean up the pond which had become badly overgrown and also to find the path which had become at one with the grass.

After some hours of digging the ‘Shore’ habitat was re-established and the path relocated.

Then, the following day, with the aid of our TUS workers, we were able to remove the grid from the pond and commence a long overdue clean up. The old grid was so badly damaged that it needed to be discarded and another found prior to rebuilding and replanting. We saw a newt in the process but the water was so cloudy we couldn’t see whether any of the two tench or six rudd still remained.

Our two new TUS workers then commenced cutting back the greenery in Mill Dam Lane.

They went on to strim Mill Dam Lane from the old mill all the way round to Dundalk Street making access for school children and the public very much easier.

The first pair of photographs show the entrance to Trinity Close before our TUS workers undertook some heavy-duty trimming.

The pair of photos above show the results after a few hours labour from our growing team of TUS workers (now 4) plus Noel Fretwell.

Note: Gerry constantly transports tonnes of green waste material to the council depot all year round, a service for which we are eternally grateful!

We would like to thank the Carlingford Open Water Swimmers group and Ferdia who are doing their bit to clean up litter in the harbour using their own recently purchased fishing net.

We are delighted to report that the disused shop front adjacent to the ATM machine has received a fresh coat of paint in recent weeks as the before and after photos affirm.

After seeking permission, we spruced up a section of the wall near Tholsel Gate.

The electricity box in the same vicinity also received a coat of paint!

We would like to thank our volunteers for cleaning up after storm Ali – creating piles of leaves for composting.

Election Posters

10 of the Tidy Towns groups in North Louth have joined together in an initiative to keep village centres free of posters during the Presidential and all subsequent elections and referenda.

Louth Tidy Towns Together is writing to all candidates and political parties asking that they refrain from erecting posters within the town’s 50km/h speed limits and at landscaped entrances to towns. As well as the obvious aesthetic reasons and the issue of single use plastic board and cable ties, the whole question of the cost effectiveness of posters in these days of social media has been highlighted.

CTT joins with all our colleagues in the other nine towns and villages in asking ALL the candidates to comply with our request and in so doing show their support for our volunteers who put so much hard work into the presentation of the town all year round.

The Greenway

The long anticipated 5.7km stretch of the New Carlingford Lough Greenway opened for use on Friday 4 May.

Phase 1 of the Greenway from Newry to the Weir on the Middlebank was funded by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council through the Landfill Communities Fund administered by Ulster Wildlife.

The Council, in partnership with Louth County Council, secured funding of 3.46 million euros from the European Union’s INTEREGG VA, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB), to deliver Phase 2 of the Carlingford Lough Greenway from the Weir on the Middlebank to Omeath, and from Carlingford Marina to Carlingford. Phase 2 will build on the recently completed, and already popular, Carlingford Marina to Omeath Greenway and is scheduled to be completed in 2020. Once open it will be known as the Carlingford Lough Greenway.

CTT was recently successful in securing a monetary award from Louth County Council. We have therefore been able to place orders with a number of companies to procure additional items for the town, plus some more equipment to assist in our task of keeping the town as clean as possible.

The additional items of hardware include: cycle racks and a cycle repair station to be situated in the main car park, name signs for three of our estates, a further welcome sign to be located near the Nursing Home, an interpretive information-board detailing the creatures to be found along our coast, and more dish planters for the promenade.

New equipment comprises; a power-driven sweeping machine and a cleaning trolley enabling our volunteers and TUS workers to empty litter bins more easily and efficiently.

Just in – the results of The National Tidy Towns Awards for 2018 were published on the 24th September. We were delighted to learn that we had been awarded 8 more points than last year, spread across all of the judging categories. The report enthusiastically praised all of our efforts over the past year and it was difficult to find many negative comments which haven’t already been addressed in recent months since the judging took place.

E.g. replacing signage outside the school and improving the welcome to Carlingford on the back road from Dundalk (note this sign is already on order). The only area where we could focus to increase marks in the future is in the Sustainability Category where we should rely less on bedding plants by incorporating more perennial plants in our displays.

We are obviously on the right track and so should do more of the same through fostering our close ties with all of the community organisations and businesses in the town. We have seen a great upsurge of effort by everyone

– not least by our stalwart volunteers. Congratulations to all. The rewards can be seen in fabric of the town itself!

The Louth Looking Good Awards will take place in The Crowne Plaza Hotel in Dundalk on Thursday 8th


Wednesday 26th September was National MakeWayDay. In order to highlight the difficulties that people with disabilities face when trying to get around Carlingford, we posted a video of the many places in town where the already narrow pavements can often be obstructed by advertising signs and poorly sited street furniture and where thoughtless vehicle owners park with their wheels on the pavement. CTT will endeavour to bring about improvement by lobbying the council on this issue and ensuring that any redesign of our roads and pathways incorporate better access for the disabled.

Find us on

Carlingford National School

Gladioli bulbs planted by the children late last year have put on a show outside the school.

Thanks to a number of volunteers from the Parents, Teachers and CTT, the school yard underwent a number of items of maintenance on Saturday 15th September. Some unstable play items were removed and new turf laid, and the school playground was swept with the Karcher sweeper to remove loose gravel whilst weeds were removed from the kerbs. The children also did a wonderful job weeding the vegetable plots!

Carlingford Residents Association

New Louth County Council bye-laws came into effect on 16 August 2018, banning consumption of intoxicating liquor in public places, including “within any vehicle used for carriage of persons whether for reward or otherwise”. There are some minor exceptions, including authorised space outside licensed premises during authorised hours. The Chief Executive of Louth County Council may also relax the bye-laws for major festivals, major sporting events and major civic celebrations, but only after consultation with An Garda Siochana.

The problem of antisocial behaviour in Carlingford was raised in Dail Eireann by Gerry Adams TD. In response, the Minister for Justice and Equality has asked the Garda authorities for a report on the matters raised and will contact Deputy Adams directly when this report is to hand.

Residents who wish to contact CRA please email

If you run a local community group and would like to advertise your past or future events in this newsletter, please contact the undersigned.

Thank you for supporting your community

If you have any ideas or comments please Email them to

and I will ensure they are brought to the attention of the appropriate committee.


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