Meath Fianna Fáil Senator, Thomas Byrne has today welcomed the publication of the preliminary results of Census 2011 which has shown significant population growth in County Meath.

‘The preliminary results show that areas in East Meath have grown considerably over the past 5 years with areas like Ashbourne, Ratoath and Stamullen growing by greater than 20%’

‘These population changes will have a massive impact on the provision of educational, housing and social services. The Government must put into action, a review of services in these areas in order to ensure that they are ready for the needs of the future’ added Byrne.

‘Young families in East Meath will need more school places, more crèches and more play facilities if we are to give our children the best possible start in life’ said Byrne.

‘In areas such as the town of Kells, the census figures have shown us that there is an urgent need to extend the Town Council boundaries. This will allow those residents who live in the town of Kells to gain access to the services provided by Kells Town Council’ added Byrne.

‘I am concerned by only marginal increases in population and in some cases drops in population in parts of rural North Meath. This is a worrying trend and is something I feel should looked at by both local and national government. Perhaps the time has come to review some of the really restrictive planning regulations in certain parts of the County to ensure that all local people who wish to live in their own area can in fact do so ‘ added Byrne.

‘Census 2011 has shined a light on some of the major challenges our county will face over the next decade. The Government must be ready to meet those challenges head on’ concluded Byrne.