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Cllr Emer Tóibín: Johnstown Community Denied The Facilities It Needs

Aontú Cllr. for Meath, Emer Tóibín has panned the continued failure to provide the people of Johnstown, Navan with any community facilities in all its 20 plus year’s history.

Cllr Tóibín: “It is no secret that Meath regularly loses out. Be it the train, be it our Garda numbers, be it our waiting lists for Home Care packages or disability funding or be it the Hospital, Meath’s needs are continually overlooked by successive governments despite the number of Meath TDs sitting around cabinet table.

Unfortunately and consequently there seems to be little difference between Meath losing out nationally and local communities losing out on the ground. None more so that the booming community in Johnstown who can’t get so much as a playground from Meath County Council.”

“As recently as 2017, a survey of the Johnstown area, identified a playground as the highest priority for the local people. A site became available, the process began and public consultation ensued. However, despite efforts on both sides, nothing materialized and the community went back to square one in terms of a barren landscape devoid of much needed amenities.

'The promises of community facilities have been made for nigh on two decades at this point. Quite simply, the empty promises must end and results delivered. The 12,000 strong community in Johnstown only continues to grow in size and impatience. There needs to be facilities to help bring the community together, where neighbours can get to know each other, children can play and teenagers can meet and engage in sport. In the absence of facilities, we know too well that negative and anti-social behaviour can become commonplace when there is nothing for children and teenagers to do. I am calling on the Council to ensure communities in Johnstown and Meath are supported. ”

“There also needs to be review of existing planning laws, whereby construction of properties and growth of community sizes brings with it the legal mandate that community facilities are provided within a designated timeframe. It needs to be determined whether the law as it stands is unfit or whether this is a question of enforcement. Either way, it is unacceptable that a situation has come about where a 12,000 strong community does not even have a swing or a sports field. Promises in the offing give little comfort to the many thousands of families who are trying to rear their children now in a community that has suffered limited focus and funding”

By Aontú Press | 27 November, 2020

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