Tanaiste Leo Varadkar with Meath West TD and Minister Damien English and Meath County Council Cathaoirleach Cllr Sean Drew on a recent visit to lands at Farganstown which is beside Johnstown and which is expected to see further housing development come on stream.

Lack of facilities could lead to Council HQ protest

The Johnstown Community Forum is threatening to picket Meath County Council offices in protest at the failure to provide community facilities or a playground in Johnstown.

Cllr Emer Tóibín points out that “20 years on from the development of Johnstown there is practically nothing by way of meaningful community amenities for families, residents, children or teenagers in Johnstown.”

With construction continuing in the area and hundreds of new residents set to move into the area in the next few months and years, she says the problems can only get worse.

“It is actually staggering when you actually pause to think about it. This is not fair to the children, the families, the home owners or to the community. It does nothing for the soul of the neighbourhood,” she said.

The forum is planning to picket Buvinda House on a Wednesday or Thursday afternoon in December of January.

“We would picket for an hour or so with signs, banners, flags, families and colourful energy.“

Cllr Tóibín said that every so often she puts in a question to the Council to see how things are moving along regarding the transfer of four acres from the Dunville developer to the Council.

This site is earmarked to become the home to community amenities for the people of Johnstown.

“We have been told by Meath County Council of the ongoing engagement with the developers of Dunville in Johnstown. We have been told that the developer remains committed to transferring approximately four acres to the council.

“In anticipation of the transfer, Meath County Council will engage consultants to carry out the consultation with all the stakeholders in the Johnstown area which will inform the preparation of a plan for the site. “We have been told this for many, many months, but have had no concrete reassurance.”

Cllr Alan Lawes said that the people of Johnstown have felt abandoned for the past 20 years.

“Why did the Council create an eight-acre park, but instead of putting a playground in, handed it over to the residents, who have to pay for its upkeep themselves.

“The Council doesn't seem to want anything to do with the park. The local directors who maintain it are volunteers and the residents have to pay for its upkeep.”

A spokesperson for Meath County Council said the local authority “was fully committed to delivering the necessary amenities in the Johnstown area as quickly as possible. There is ongoing engagement with representatives of the developer in relation to the land at Dunville and they remain committed to transferring approximately four acres to the Council for the purposes of community use.”