By Claire Corrigan
With thousands to descend on the town for Fleadh Cheoil and Westmeath Bachelor Festival during a “special year”, Cllr Bill Collentine (FF) wants to ensure Mullingar looks its best for the occasions and called on the District to increase the locations for summer flowers baskets – for example, at Joe Dolan bridge and other suitable locations.
The official response stated there are currently 80 hanging baskets and 15 large pole mounted planters to plant and maintain in the Mullingar town centre and due to associated servicing costs, there are no plans to install additional hanging baskets outside of the core town centre area.
Cllr Mick Dollard (Indep) supported this motion saying the bridge is a popular walking location and complimented the work of Mullingar Tidy Towns, saying the town “wouldn’t be as attractive as it is” without their efforts and that he hoped that Fleadh visitors are encouraged to return to the town.
Cllr Hazel Smyth (GP) suggested the sowing of wildflowers that require “very little servicing” which also benefit the environment. She suggested that residents may be willing to donate planters to the council ahead of Fleadh and said the town needs to “be showcased as best we can.”
David Jones, Director of Services, said the Executive would liaise with Tidy Towns regarding “working collaboratively in relation to enhancing what we have to offer in terms of streetscapes in Mullingar” ahead of the Fleadh.
Cllr Dollard said that Joe Dolan’s legacy is one of the main reasons many tourists come to the town with many visiting the much-loved late singer’s grave in Walshestown, as well as the bridge, and Fleadh visitors will do the same.
New ‘park-by-text’ service
He also asked the District to modernise parking meters to facilitate credit/debit card payments and was told the District has implemented and provided a park solution/service for SMS parking, app-based parking and IVR phone parking in the District which is working “extremely efficiently”, and didn’t require capital investment whereas a credit/debit card would.
The current solution allows the customers to use their credit/debit card via app, SMS or phone call.