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04/08/2021

Canopies to be introduced in Offaly town for outdoor dining

Canopies to be introduced in Offaly town for outdoor dining

Sketches of the new coverings which are to be introduced in Tullamore to allow for outdoor dining

NEW canopies to facilitate outdoor dining are to be erected in O'Connor Square, Bridge Street and Millennium Square in Tullamore, last Thursday's Tullamore Municipal District heard.

€200,000 has been approved for the project, Offaly County Council Senior Executive Engineer John Connelly said the final design is not yet decided but the coverings for O'Connor Square and Millennium Square will measure approximately 15m X 10m. The structures will be semi-permanent and can be taken down and put up again when needed.

Cathaoirleach, Councillor Tony McCormack said the town looks ''really well with the awnings in different areas. I think loads of businesses will benefit from this going forward. I think what the pandemic has done in a positive manner is, it has shown people they can actually do stuff outdoors, when people put the right facilities in place. He congratulated John Connelly and his team on this ''great initiative.''

Councillor Neil Feighery commended John Connelly for applying for the various government schemes. ''It's a huge burden to be able to apply for the schemes and implement and deliver the funding within the time allowed. Well done to you and all your team. Some of the stuff you have done has been innovative and it has really transformed the town. It has allowed a level of activity to take place which otherwise wouldn't be possible,'' said Cllr Feighery.

Councillor Danny Owens said the Urban Renewal District Funding (URDF) for Tullamore is making a huge difference to the landscape of Tullamore. People are starting to really enjoy the spaces and the changes that are happening at this time. Of course it's not all about URDF funding for the town. Town and Village Renewal funding for the towns and villages such as Clara, Mucklagh, Mountbolus, Ballycumber and no doubt in the future Killeigh, will look forward to getting some of that funding very soon.''

Councillor Sean O'Brien said ''there is fantastic work being done in relation to the outdoor dining facilities.'' He praised John Connelly saying ''you have responded to this really quickly. It's great to see what is being done already. Harbour Street is fantastic. The atmosphere when we don't have rain is tremendous. A lot of people commented that when you come down through Tullamore, It has a continental feel to it. I think it's something that will continue in the future, even after Covid times are past.'' Cllr O'Brien asked if the Market Square could be included.

Councillor Frank Moran, commended John Connelly and his team ''for securing so much funding. If my calculations are correct there has been just over €10 million allocated to the Tullamore Municipal District which is a huge achievement,'' said Cllr Moran.

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