The group advocating city status for Drogheda today handed in a petition to the Oireachtas at Leinster House in Dublin to underpin its demands.
Drogheda City Status group collected over 3,000 names within the past three weeks as it steps up its campaign to make Drogheda and the surrounding area a city. The delivery of the petition follows the formal submission made earlier this month under the National Planning Framework Ireland 2040. That submission details how the 2016 census points to a population of over 83,000 in the Greater Drogheda Area, larger than Waterford City, and the fifth largest in the State.
Drogheda City Status group has been campaigning for over a decade to end what it claims is the “nightmare” dual administration of the town and its rapidly expanding satellite communities. The report outlines how the former Municipal Borough of Drogheda, together with the adjoining Louth and Meath rural areas, have increased in population by almost 80% between 1996-2016. The population has risen from 46,451 to 83,042 at a time when the average national increase was 31.22%.
The report also outlines how Drogheda city environs fulfils the criteria laid down by the EU Commission and the OECD for city status because of population density per kilometre and it numbers in excess of 50,000 people.
The Chairman of Drogheda City Status group Vincent Hoey said: “Such is the strength of feeling in Drogheda and its environs about securing city status that within a matter of a few weeks we have collected over 3,000 signatures demanding what is effectively an administrative mechanism where we have joined up thinking into how we can run our affairs. Dual administration, split between Co Meath and Co Louth, of a large urban centre like Drogheda does not work. It makes absolute sense to grant city status where we can have one municipal authority planning for the future.”
He added: “This is a once in a generation opportunity to effect real change in how we can best advance our residential, economic, business and community interests under the National Planning Framework. It makes sense and we believe it can and must happen.”