Having additional parking, toilet and information facilities at the Rock of Dunamaise has long been an issue with local county councillors in Laois and it was raised once again at Wednesday’s meeting of the Graiguecullen-Portarlington Municipal District.
A motion from Emo-based Fine Gael councillor Tom Mulhall called for an update on the planned car park for the Rock of Dunamaise.
“We underestimate the Rock of Dunamaise in Laois but a huge volume of people visit there,” said Cllr Mulhall.
“A car park is only the start of it. It is a mjor tourist attraction and an interpretive centre was mentioned as well as more signage and toilet facilities.
“It’s going to be a long haul but we need to be selling what we have in Laois. I’d like to see Laois County Council, the Office of Public Works and Heritage Society all come together.
“I’d like to see progress sooner rather than later.”
The response from the council came from Dom Reddin in the tourism office which said that the council is “currently examining options for the provision of a car park and appropriate interpretive signage”.
It explained that a geophysical study was carried out in January “on the recommendation of the National Monuments Service to identify the likely extent of subsurface archeological remains”.
“The views of the National Monuments Service have been requested following the results of the survey before proceeding further.”
Cllr Paschal McEvoy, who is chairman of this district, said that he has been looking for additional facilities at the Rock of Dunamaise for some time – but not everybody is of the same view.
“I got calls from people and it was brought up with me when I was canvassing from people who didn’t want car-parking or toilets there as it would lead to anti-social behaviour.”