The survey was undertaken in December 2019 by Fethard Community Council to assess residents’ opinions in regard to the issues facing Fethard as a town and as a community. A total of 250 forms were submitted to the Fethard and Killusty Community Council, 108 of these were submitted online via the Fethard website (www.fethard.com). The population of Fethard is estimated to be approximately 1545 persons (Census 2016) with an average occupancy of two persons per household. This would mean that the equivalent of one-third of households responded. This very robust percentage suggests great public interest and engagement in the future of our town.
Things we like about Fethard
1. Great Community (total of 99 replies broken down as follows): A Friendly place with Friendly People (34); Sense of Community (22); Clubs, Societies and Groups (14); Schools (10); Safe Place to Live (10); Religious Organisations (5); Facilities for the Elderly (4).
2. Physical Recreation and Wellbeing (total of 81 as follows): Sporting Organisations (31); Walkways and walking routes (27); Recreational facilities (23).
3. Special Sense of Place (total of 74 as follows): Medieval and Historical Features (53); Culture (7); Scenery (6); Town Hall (5); Free Parking (3).
4. Shops, Restaurants, Pubs and Local Businesses (total of 44 as follows): Restaurants, Cafes and Pubs (26); Shops (18).
Things we dislike about Fethard
1. Social Deficit - Community Control (total of 162 as follows): Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour (43); Littering (34); Dog Fouling (28); Lack of Youth and Children’s Facilities (19); Lack of Volunteering (12); Lack of Community Spirit and Communication (11); Graffiti (6); Lack of Integration (5); Lack of Colour on Houses (4).
2. Governance Deficit - Responsibility of the County Council or National Government (total of 161 as follows): Speeding and Traffic (39); Lack of Gardai (22); Parking Issues (19); Roads and Footpaths (19); Poor Housing Policy (11); Lighting Issues (10); Drugs (9); Poor Planting and Landscaping (8); Poor Council Support and Presence (5); Lack of Public Transport (5); Flood Relief Plans (5); Lack of Facilities for the Elderly (3); Lack of Bins (3); No Public Toilets (3).
3. Economic Deficit – What’s Missing (total of 81 as follows): Lack of Shops (36); Derelict and Untidy Properties Which Should Be Restored (28); Lack of ATM (10); Lack of Tourist Facilities (4); Lack of Employment Facilities (3).
Ideas to Improve Fethard taken from the Survey
1. Things we can do for ourselves (total of 130 as follows): More Walking and Cycling Routes (27); Community Engagement (21); Improve Town’s Appearance (21); More for Youth and Children (15); Litter Control (15); Planting of Flowers and Greenery (15); Clean Up Projects (10); Paint Houses (6).
2. Things the Council need to do (total of 123 as follows): Traffic and Parking Control (32); More Walking and Cycling Routes (27); Improve Town’s Appearance (21); Lighting (15); More Bins (10); Infrastructure (6); Dog Waste Bins (6); Maintenance of Walks (6).
3. Things Central Government need to be lobbied on (total of 25 as follows): Garda Presence needs to be increased (13); Revise Rates to Attract Businesses (6); Facilities for the Elderly or Infirm (6).
4. Dividend Outcomes –Improvements that should flow from the actions taken by the Community, Council and Central Government (total of 32 as follows): More Shops and Businesses (21); Restoration of Derelict and Untidy Properties (11).
A number of actions are planned as a follow-up to the survey. Some are short-term actions and others are ongoing. The first step will be a Fethard Clean-Up Day in March for all areas of the town to participate in. We are also holding an Information Morning in the Town Hall on Friday, February 21, to further discuss the results and planned actions. All are welcome to participate.