Local senator Lorraine Clifford Lee (FF), has said that the Government must start to invest in education, childcare and transport in North Dublin as it was announced that Balbriggan is the ‘youngest’ large town in the country.
Based on data compiled as part of Census 2016, Balbriggan was determined as being the youngest town, with a population in excess of 10,000, in the country with an average age of 30.8 years. Fingal County is also the youngest local authority area with an average age of 34.3 years.
Clifford Lee who recently became a mother for the second time, told the County Leader, “This data is nothing new to those of us living in the North County, but it does re-emphasise the critical need for the Government to invest in important projects in education, childcare and transport to keep up with the growing, younger population. The population of the county has almost doubled in the past 25 years with nearly 300,000 men, women and children living in the area with many of them living in towns such as Lusk, Skerries and Donabate. Ireland’s youngest town, needs investment in education, childcare and transport”.
“We need to see more schools and classrooms being built, better transport links for families to get to work, school and around the county, and we need to ensure that there are enough childcare places for the increased number of children who will undoubtedly be born over the next 10 years from such a young population. One of Ireland’s biggest problems has been our ability to plan for the future. We built large housing developments in the past without adequate educational, leisure and commercial resources to go hand in hand with all the new people living in the county”.
She continued, “In recent years, a failure to invest in transport infrastructure, such as Metro North, when land and labour costs were lower, has seen our county and capital start to creak under increases in commuter traffic. Census 2016 has given us the evidence we need to plan for the future, and sketch out the type of county we want to live in. The Government, and the local authority, must now act on this evidence and make sure we have the resources and facilities that such a young and active population will need and demand.”
“As a young mother myself having a six week old baby and a three year old daughter, it’s very important for all young families that we look at the demographics for the future of all our children. There are lots of pockets of small communities living throughout the North County and with evidence of the growing population, it’s important that facilities are put in place before we have a crisis on our hands,” concluded Clifford Lee.”