Rathmullan The Way Forward - 2021 In Review
We wanted to give you an overview of what has been happening since our last meeting.
This year, Covid 19 has prohibited us from holding our usual Way Forward Meetings, but we have been very busy working on different projects in Rathmullan over the last 2 years. In spite of Covid, various activity groups have made significant progress during 2020 and 2021.
Huge congratulations go to our Tidy Towns Group who have been very active in improving the streetscape and environment in our village. Rathmullan has once again improved its overall position in the National Tidy Towns Competition 2021. In 2018 it received 256 marks; in 2019 it scored 271, and in 2021 it was awarded 287 marks out of a possible 470. In fact, Rathmullan was awarded a special prize of €500 as the best-improved town in Donegal.
Our Clean Coast Group has also been very busy, with the beautiful clean beach there for everyone to see and enjoy. A new sand ladder was constructed and now facilitates access along the Battery to the beach. A disturbing fact is that between 60 and 90 black bags of rubbish were gathered from the bins, the car park area, the beach, and the playground every day during July and August 2021. Thanks to everyone who helps to keep Rathmullan tidy
Our Lights Committee deserves enormous credit for lighting up our lives with the beautiful Christmas Lights. They would like to acknowledge the trojan work of the FAS Scheme and the ongoing local financial support which is allowing the lights to be extended throughout the Village, year on year.
The cleaning and restoration work in the Abbey is now complete, and it’s wonderful to see the Abbey open once again to the public and lit up beautifully for Christmas. Also, the Battery Conservation works were completed in October 2021 and it is hoped to allow public access to the site next Summer.
Covid has changed our lives and the focus of the Rathmullan Film Festival, which has moved from a physical to an online interactive platform. Festival 2021 in February last enticed over 4,000 different viewings, with people watching local community films about a range of interesting things such as: the Post Office, The Opening of the Pier, Regatta Day 1960 and memories of the Pier Hotel, viewing from 17 different countries around the world.
Some outdoor activities survived or recommenced, with the Football Academy and their dedicated coaches finishing off the year by recently giving out selection boxes to many excited children.
The Swimming Group is still braving the elements, in addition to many different walking groups taking to the local roads. Covid restrictions permitting, the New Year’s Day Swim will take place at 12.00 this year, as usual, with all proceeds benefiting the Donegal Hospice and St Joseph’s N.S in Rathmullan.
In conjunction with Donegal County Council, we are working very hard to develop “Our Heritage Led Regeneration Project” featuring the Battery, the Abbey and the Pier Hotel site. Plans are being drawn up by Robin Lee Architects who will be holding consultation evenings in 2022 to allow all local residents to engage with the developments. We are grateful to The Tomar Trust for the ongoing support to our activities in Rathmullan
We have continued to update our website Rathmullan.ie and Rathmullan Facebook Page in an attempt to promote local business and to attract visitors to enjoy our beautiful beach and walks. In 2021 almost 107,000 pedestrians were recorded walking through the Ferry Gate down the Walks, with multiples of that number walking along the beach. In 2021, our vehicle counter monitored 333,500 cars entering Rathmullan from the Ramelton direction.
We need the support of all residents to address the litter and traffic issues in 2022. We are working with Donegal County Council on making improvements to the pavements in the village which are badly broken down in many places. We are also pushing for better road signage and markings in the village both to slow down speeding traffic and make it safer for pedestrians.
A dedicated group is now meeting regularly, and working hard, to highlight these issues and to seek possible grants from Peace Plus and International Fund for Ireland.
Other issues that are being discussed with Donegal County Council include the upkeep of the Pier; providing Electric Vehicle charging units in Rathmullan; upgrading cycling and cycle facilities, and the provision of a public water purifier or filtration facility in the car park area. We are also liaising with Irish Water on monitoring waste water discharge and treatment and would urge everyone to keep pressure on both Irish Water and Elected Representatives to deliver on the long-overdue waste water treatment plant for Lough Swilly.
Let’s hope that all our local groups can give everyone further updates at an indoor meeting some time in 2022.
All of our groups need your support and would welcome additional volunteers to ensure that Rathmullan continues to move forward next year. If you are available to support a group, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are looking forward to many exciting opportunities for Rathmullan in 2022.