Old Drogheda Society
Statement from the Old Drogheda Society ~ Outrageous behaviour on the Jim Garry Way
Just when we thought that the corner might have been turned and that the appreciation of the importance and value of Drogheda’s rich history had finally taken hold, we find more examples of outrageous wilful damage to our heritage.
This week the Old Drogheda Society, which has been campaigning for over half a century on heritage issues, received a complaint from a member of the public about the state of the recently opened Jim Garry Way.
The late Jim Garry, after whom the new road is named, was a lifelong active member of the Society who tirelessly served both the community and the Society as an advocate for the preservation, understanding and promotion of our wonderful history and heritage.
Jim was very innovative in his thinking, a leader in raising awareness of the importance of our past and an inspiration to a younger generation. He has left an impressive legacy that is providing the basis for much of the current activity aimed at the preservation and promotion of our heritage and the naming of the new road in his honour was a very fitting tribute to the man and his work.
It is therefore with a very heavy heart that the Old Drogheda Society, after visiting the site of the reported outrage, notes the deliberate defacement of the wall on the roadside with what appears to be waste oil. The reason for someone carrying out this act of vandalism is hard to fathom but there can be no excuse for such behaviour. It is an insult to the man after whom the road is named. It is an insult to the principles for which he stood. It is also an insult to the entire community to which he contributed so much.
However, the examination of the area resulted in an even greater concern.
The Society has been delighted to see that, in recent times, Louth County Council and some of its elected Councillors have shown a much greater awareness of the importance of our built heritage. It is very welcome and much appreciated. One impressive initiative was to incorporate a cobbled section across the Jim Garry Way showing the exact location and the width of the medieval town wall.
Unfortunately, just a few short months after the opening of the road, many of these cobbles are lifting and will soon be a danger to traffic if they do not disappear altogether.
Consultation with people living very close to the road revealed that the problem is believed to be caused by many heavily laden lorries using this road as a short cut despite the limitation on the weight allowable. This limit is clearly signposted but is also clearly being ignored, resulting in the destruction of such an innovative interpretation of our past. Traffic management on this short causeway is also a key element in any plan to preserve and promote the nearby St. Laurence Gate.
The Old Drogheda Society therefore calls on Louth County Council and all interested parties to take steps to ensure, as a matter of urgency, that the defacement of this public area is reversed and that the brazen flouting of the maximum weight for vehicles using this road is addressed. It will be very shameful if this very positive contribution to the appreciation of the heritage of our community is destroyed so quickly through the anti-social behaviour of a minority.