About Louth County
County Louth is strategically located on the East Coast of Ireland at the mid-point between Belfast and Dublin with Counties Monaghan and Meath on its western and southern boundaries respectively and Counties Armagh and Down to the North. The County is bound to the east by the Irish Sea. Greenore, Dundalk & Drogheda are the three main ports in County Louth.
While Louth is the smallest geographical county in Ireland, it has one of the fastest population growth rates on the Island. CSO 2006 statistics show that the population of County Louth increased from 101,821 in 2002 to 111,267 in 2006 - a substantial 9.3% increase. This represents a cumulative increase of 20.7% on the 1996 CSO County population figure of 92,166. A further increase of 11,541 was reported in the 2011 Census (10.4%) to a total population of 122,808.
The 2006 census states that Drogheda (Borough and Environs) has a population of 35,090 representing a 13% increase on the 2002 census figure of 31,000. CSO statistics show that Drogheda is on of the fastest growing towns within County Louth with a cumulative population increase of 38.5% since 1996. Dundalk, which is considered the administrative capital of the North-East Region, experienced a cumulative increase of 27.6% over the same ten year period.
The strategic geographical location of the County, with its growing industrial base, coupled with its urban structure and with Drogheda and Dundalk representing two of the fastest growing towns, means
that growth in the demand for volunteering activity is likely to continue in the years to come. In particular, it is worth noting that Drogheda has a significant percentage of the nation’s RAPID designated areas.
In recent years, there has been an increase in awareness among business about the need for corporate social responsibility. The geographical location of Louth, which as noted is strategically situated on the economic corridor between Belfast and Dublin, has meant that it has become an attractive place to live and work. As a result the extent of business activity has increased in County Louth in recent years.
This presents LVC with significant opportunities in that these additional businesses could be a prime target for an increase in Employer Supported Volunteering projects.
14.5% of the County Louth population is aged between 16 – 25 years, (16,092), and while this is lower than the national average of 14.9%, it is significant that a high percentage (35%) of DVC’s volunteers fall into the 16 – 25 years age group.
Any plan for DVC should build on DVC’s Youth Inclusive Volunteering Initiative youthful volunteer pool and include an important element of youth targets.
There are a large number of Foreign Nationals now living in Drogheda, and County Louth in general. Many of the Foreign Nationals residing here do not have a work permit and are looking
for meaningful ways of contributing their time to the community. There has been an increase in the number of non-Irish Nationals approaching LVC for volunteer work.
Volunteering in the community has been a very effective means for many of these volunteers to integrate into the local community and build relationships and friendships thus reducing isolation. Again, support for these volunteers will be a vital part of the future plan for LVC.