THE residents of Newport and surrounding areas have been urged by local councillor John “Rocky” McGrath to get behind The Gathering. He called on them to join together to ensure that the entire area was displayed “in the best possible manner during this time of great opportunity”.
At the last Newport electoral area Cllr McGrath encouraged all residents to assist in cleaning up and improving the locality to attract tourists and to ensure the successfully running of The Gathering event being held in Newport in July.
“We are lucky to be living in one of the most beautiful and scenic parts of Tipperary with stunning views, mountains and glens and numerous picturesque walks. We have a very active Gathering committee in Newport who are working diligently to put together a comprehensive programme of events designed to draw tourists into the area and promote the region generally. For the first time there will be a St Patrick’s Day parade in Newport town and we will have a number of events running throughout July. It is essential that we take advantage of these events and display our towns, villages and countryside in the best possible light,” he said.
The Independent councillor said that to ensure that event was a success, he was encouraging all clubs, organisations and individuals in these areas to get involved.
“I know from living in the area that residents are proud of our town and our beautiful surroundings and I am calling on them all to come on board. I would encourage all landowners to take this opportunity to cut and trim hedges to ensure that views are fully utilised. There is still a window of time where landowners can cut hedges legally,” he said.
Cllr McGrath emphasised that it was important that the area looked nice and said this simple step would greatly help in ensuring the area looks neat and tidy.
“I am also working to ensure that our council workers can work together with TUS employees to ensure that the towns and villages, in particular Newport town, are shown in the best possible light and are kept clean, particularly during the duration of The Gathering.
“I believe that it is also important that we come to some agreement with the waste transfer companies in the area to accommodate this event. It may be necessary for large bins, or, indeed, more bins to be provided to handle the influx of visitors that are expected during this Gathering. The last thing we want is rubbish thrown on the streets or overflowing, and unsightly bins,” he said. “Ultimately, if these events are successful and we can show and promote our area in a positive light we will all benefit in the long run.”
Cllr McGrath also raised concerns at the meeting that recently repaired roads in the Newport area were being damaged by heavy vehicles used by Coillte.
“There seems to be a lack of consideration and a refusal to engage from authorities in Coillte. It must be acknowledged by Coillte that the vehicles they use are damaging and tearing up smaller roads, some of which have been recently repaired. Coillte is taking no responsibility for damage done to roads in the Toor, Foilduff and Rearcross areas generally and this is simply unacceptable.
“Furthermore, there was a serious issue with flooding in the Knockane area that could have been disastrous and caused untold damage only for the quick thinking of the residents in diverting water. This has a hugely negative impact on those living in these rural areas, and I would appeal to Coillte to give this issue immediate attention,” he said.