WORKING towards ensuring that Moate is the best small town in Ireland is chief among the aims of Moate Action Group.
That's the view of Peter Dolan, PRO of the action group, which has a number of ambitious aims and plans for the town.
“Moate is going to be the best small town in Ireland to work, live and do business in,” he said. “That's where all our actions are focused on.”
In 2015, a five-year action plan for the town was drawn up. It includes reference to several priority areas including tourism, developing a brand, generating signage and a focus on identifying opportunities for local businesses to work together in a themed, co-ordinated way.
According to Mr Dolan, progress has been made on some of the points included in the plan.
“We are following through on a lot of the recommendations, in terms of tourism, environmental projects and a history project. There is still loads of work to do and we are coming up with new projects,” he said.
Further work on the Harbour project and a promotional video of Moate are on the agenda, according to Mr Dolan. He said that the initial work on the Harbour project is impressive and the aim is that further work will be carried out.
“It's very much part of our heritage,” he said.
He's also interested in compiling a promotional video of the town, while a historical signage programme is another priority.
“That's at the design stage. We have tour buses coming in not knowing where things are,” he said.
A recent meeting in the town – where the five-year action plan was discussed – heard that people are not aware of what is happening in the town. One of the main aims of the plan, said Mr Dolan, is that “everybody knows what's going on in Moate. That was one of the main issues spoken about”.
“Moate as a town needs to develop the services that are in it. That's why we are looking at the Community Needs Assessment (which is currently ongoing),” said Mr Dolan.
One potential boost for the area, he said, is the greenway, while Dún na Sí is of immense benefit to the town.
“We are privileged to have the greenway coming through our town. We want to maximise the benefit to the town from the greenway. We want to make Moate one of the best cycling towns in Ireland. We want to be better than Mulranney (Mayo),” he said.
Dun na Sí also has an integral role to play in the future of Moate, according to Olive Quinn, who is a volunteer with the amenity park and heritage centre.
“It's a fantastic amenity to have in our town. We have people coming from Dublin for day trips in the summer,” she said.