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Calls for car park to be constructed in Laois village as cars ‘bumper to bumper’ and ‘businesses suffering’

Durrow

A call has been made for Laois County Council to investigate the possibility of erecting a car park in a Laois village.

Independent Cllr Ollie Clooney made the call in relation to Durrow at a recent meeting of the Borris-In-Ossory-Mountmellick Municipal District.

He put forward a motion asking the Council to investigate the feasibility of providing a car park in Durrow.

In reply, engineer Farhan Nasiem said: “There is no land available in the ownership of Laois County Council where additional car park spaces could be provided in the centre of Durrow.

“The implementation of a time-limited parking in Durrow, similar to that in Mountrath may provide parking space availability through the frequent turnover of spaces and increase the number of patrons utilising the retail offering in the town centre.

“A decision on the provision of parking facilities that are remote from the town centre would require that a parking study be undertaken on the occupancy and turnover of existing spaces in the town centre.”

But Councillor Clooney was not pleased with this reply and said that something had to be done now.

He said: “Due to Covid for the last year, this problem was skimmed over because there was less traffic on the road.

“But the cars are back now and it is bumper to bumper in the village sometimes. Businesses are suffering as a result.

“We have to get land because this is a huge problem.

“I’ll start off this with my €28,000 in discretionary funding or whatever amount I have.

“If we have to knock a derelict property to build a car park, then that is what must be done.

“This is a very serious issue and I will keep raising it here until something is done.”

Cllr Clooney received support from his fellow Councillors on the issue.

Director of Services Donal Brennan said he would revert to the Road Design section of the Council to see if they could identify a potential spot for a car park.

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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.