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Concern over Laois population increase prompts new study

Portarlington train station - a huge amount of people commute daily from Laois

The challenges presented by population growth in Portlaoise and Portarlington has prompted a new pilot analysis in the county.

Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD today confirmed that a grant of €70,000 for Laois County Council to support a new socio-economic analysis of County Laois, is being made available by the Department of Rural and Community Development.

Figures have recently confirmed that over 10,000 people commute daily from Laois to work elsewhere in the country, the majority of whom travel to Dublin.

“I am very concerned about the lack of coordinated services in Portlaoise and Portarlington. I fully support Laois County Council as they try to tackle these issues and warmly welcome both the funding and the interest from Minister Ring’s Department.

“Portlaoise faces a real challenge of population growth due to its close proximity to Dublin, with thousands of commuters who leave the county on a daily basis for work.

“There is a need for a sustainable, active and vibrant community in Portlaoise with an appropriate level of services, both public and private,’’ Minister Flanagan said, speaking this morning in Portlaoise.

The intention is to establish an evidence-based, ‘proof-of-concept’ model supported by a socio-economic analysis of County Laois with specific local area-based focus on Portlaoise, Portarlington and their environs.

Challenges

The analysis will identify the challenges facing Portlaoise and Portarlington as rapidly growing towns (and the county) and establish a baseline against which future development and progress can be measured.

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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