The changing face of Stamullen village.
Community historian, Brendan Matthews with a piece on the growth of Stamullen.
Stamullen village, situated in the Barony of Upper Duleek, is located some 12 kilometres (about 7 miles), to the south-east of Drogheda. It is bordered on the east with the village of Gormanstown, to the south by the River Delvin (which also forms the boundary here with Fingal), to the west with the hills of Bellewstown and to the north with the parish of Moorechurch.
It had been one of the fastest growing locations throughout the country since the onslaught of the Celtic Tiger years and in particular from 2002 to 2009.
Back in the later 1990`s Stamullen was still very much a sleepy, rural setting with a few dozen houses, a village shop, Post Office and a Public House.
The visitor to Stamullen village today may expect to see a large modern supermarket, a modern Pub/Restaurant, a new doctors surgery and health centre, a new school, 3 hairdressers, 2 chemists, video/DVD rental shop, veterinary surgery, Chinese takeaway, fast food takeaway, butchers shop, village café, laundrette and a state of the art social community sports and leisure centre, along with new Gaelic Football all weather pitches, as well as a number of crèches and child care facilities.
The first private, residential centre in Ireland for people with acquired brain injury was officially opened at St. Clare`s Stedalt Stamullen in 2008. It offers state of the art facilities to clients with an intellectual disability who may have challenging behaviour or other mental health care needs.
The Mountain View housing estate in Stamullen was first constructed in the mid 1970`s by Meath Co. Council; initially containing some 14 houses, this figure had risen to almost 30 dwellings by the end of the 1990`s. The residential estate of Elvana, with some 35 private dwellings, was also constructed next door to Mountain View by the late 1990`s.
However, since 2002, the housing market exploded in the village area of Stamullen. Land that was once part of a thriving agricultural industry was now being sold to residential and commercial developers and as a result, the topographical layout of the village was to change dramatically.
New residential estates such as Kilbreck, Glasheen, The Orchard, Gracemeadows, Forge Hill, Silverstream and the Grange were all constructed between 2002 and 2008. Between all of the above mentioned estates, there was over 900 homes erected in this period.
St. Patrick`s National School in the village contained some 329 pupils sharing 11 classrooms in 2002, but by 2006 this figure had risen to 490 schoolchildren sharing 19 classrooms.
The Commercial development in the centre of the village also had a dramatic impact on the topographical layout of the place between 2002 and 2006 to cater for, what seemed to be, an ever expanding population. The completion of the M1 motorway through the parish in the early years of the new millennium, with access and exit junctions (J.7) situated at Gormanstown, only a couple of kilometres from Stamullen village and a mere 15 minute drive from Dublin Airport, made the village and its surroundings an attractive place to live, particularly as the enormous housing prices in the greater Dublin area was also a key factor in helping many young families and newly married couples to make such a move.
The population of Stamullen village in 2002 was that of 779 people but by 2006 this figure had risen to a staggering 2487 which is an increase of more than 219%.
The rural population of Stamullen parish in 2002 was that of 2329 people however by 2006 this figure was 3844 persons which is an increase of some 65%.
The overall population of the parish in 2002 was that of 3108 and by 2006 this figure had risen to 6331 which is an increase of 104%.
When the above statistics are compared to the 1980`s and 90`s, a stark difference begins to emerge and confirms that Stamullen village and parish was certainly one of the fastest growing areas in the entire country during the period of the Celtic Tiger.
For instance, the population of Stamullen only underwent a very marginal increase from the period 1986 to 1991 when it was to rise by just 1%. The population for the electoral district of Stamullen in 1986 was that of 2220 persons, while in 1991 this figure had risen to only 2248 persons.
Today, Stamullen village is no longer a rural setting. It is a hive of commercial and residential activity and of course this is necessary for the sake of its survival and progression.
However, the transformation from rural to urban came at a price and as a result of a false economy that was the, so-called, `Celtic Tiger`. When bad and disastrous planning decisions were made, when greed, manipulation and exploitation was rife and when political decisions and manoeuvring went hand in hand with a substantial electoral base, the results of which may be reflected in the Stamullen village of today.