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Planning permission for new Laois Garda station to be lodged as positive update provided on Abbeyleix hospital

A new building for Laois’s biggest Garda station is moving a step closer.

Former Minister for Justice & Equality and Laois/Offaly TD, Charlie Flanagan, has received confirmation that the planning application for the new Garda Station at Portlaoise is being lodged over the coming days.

Speaking this morning, Deputy Flanagan stated: “I am delighted that matters are progressing and the planning notice has been erected at Portlaoise Garda Station.

“When Minister for Justice & Equality, I was very keen to have this matter resolved and a new state of art Garda Station constructed and it remains my priority as local TD.

“I want to acknowledge the unstinting commitment of local Chief Superintendent John Scanlon who has driven the project locally.

“The multi-million station will serve as Headquarters for the new Garda Division for Laois Offaly and Kildare.

“I was very pleased as Minister when Portlaoise Garda Station was designated as the Garda Division Headquarters for over 600,000 people.

“In recent days I have been speaking to the Office of Public Works and Officials in the Department of Justice in order to ensure that there will be no delay on this issue once the statutory planning time frames have been met.“

Meanwhile, Sean Fleming, Minister of State at the Department of Finance, welcomed the refurbishments that are currently underway in Abbeyleix Hospital.

At the moment work is underway to provide 10 single rooms for older people to take account of COVID restrictions and this work will be of long term benefit to the hospital.

Mr Fleming said: “This new unit will be regulated by the Health Information Quality Authority (HIQA). This facility will be very important for short term respite care for many people in the future.

“These works are in addition to the recently completed works which has been undertaken by the Dublin/Midland Hospital Group for 18 intermediate beds which are being brought on stream as part of the HSE Winter Plan.

“This will allow step down facilities for people coming out of Portlaoise and Tullamore Hospitals during the Winter periods.

“Currently staff are being recruited for this new unit which will be open as soon as possible.

“Finally, the overall feasibility study of the hospital and the site in Abbeyleix is currently underway to draw up a long term plan for improved facilities in the region. I look forward to this work continuing in 2021.”

SEE ALSO – Historic day as ground broken on new building for Laois school

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.