Louth county Council, Newry and Mourne district Council together with the two local Chambers, Newry and Dundalk commissioned Pat McArdle to (a) determine if the area was in need of help and (b) what recommendations he would make if the answer to the first part was yes.
Pat’s report was presented to the joint committee of the two councils on the 8th November 2011, set up under the MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) and to Dundalk Town Council on the 24th January 2012
The Chamber has since 2006 each year prepared a budget submission drawing attention to the fact that the area had not had the full advantage of the Celtic Tiger and had been curtailed by other factors over years. This was due to the combination of (a) the historical border reducing Dundalk’s economic area by removing South Down/Armagh (b) the closure of the traditional industries and (c) the troubles only coming to a final end in 2003.
The Chamber’s response to Pat’s challenging report is to once again call for (1) the implementation of his recommendations and (2) the establishment of a tax/economic zone on both sides of the border.