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Help sought to save old Portlaoise petrol pumps

The petrol pumps at Market Square

Portlaoise Tidy Towns is looking for inspiration and assistance from the local community on how the old-style petrol pumps at Market Square can be retained as a heritage piece for the town.

Following a discussion on their decommissioning at a recent Portlaoise Municipal District meeting, at a cost of up to €20,000, there has been a groundswell of support for a retention of the old-style pumps.

“It is not a danger to anybody, currently,” said Portlaoise Tidy Towns Chairman Cllr Jerry Lodge.

He believed that there is no fuel remaining underground, as it would have long since evaporated.

The recent story provoked quite a response on LaoisToday’s Facebook page with many people voicing support for the retention of the old style petrol pumps, rather than the costly exercise of removing them.

Cllr Lodge has made efforts in the past to see if Texaco would be interested in doing something with the pumps at the area known locally as Top Square.

However, his calls to the company in the UK did not prove successful and it was back to the drawing board.

“I was of the view that it would add something to her heritage aspect of the town, and enhance it,” Cllr Lodge said.

“If we have a bit of support to refurbish them, then we will try it,” Cllr Lodge said.

“We are hoping some schools might get involved and come up with an idea or a project to make it an attractive feature,” he said.

The cost of restoring the petrol pumps would be very little, Cllr Lodge said, if they have four or five volunteers helping out.

It could be a mistake to remove the old-style pumps, the Tidy Towns chairman felt.

Mistakes

“Why would you get rid of them,” Cllr Lodge said. He said mistakes had been made in the past by removing items, such as old railway lines and train stations, too quickly.

The recent meeting heard that it could cost up to €20,000 to remove the pumps and complete works on the footpaths etc.

If anyone wants to help out or has a suggestion on what should be done with the pumps then you can contact Cllr Lodge or any member of Portlaoise Tidy Towns.

SEE ALSO – Removal of petrol pumps could cost €20,000

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A journalist for over 20 years, David has worked for a number of regional titles both as journalist and editor. From Tullamore he also works as a content editor for Independent.ie. His heroes include Shane Lowry, Seamus Darby and Johnny Flaherty