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Frustrations grows as ESB fail to return to Laois town to complete cabling works

Portarlington Main

A Laois County Councillor has hit out at the ESB over their failure to complete cabling works – almost a year after they left the site.

Sinn Fein Councillor Aidan Mullins has aired his disappointment and frustration with the company over the issue in Portarlington.

The issue relates to the removal of the overhead electricity lines and installation of new street lights installed on Main Street.

The ESB were on site until November last year but left so as not to interfere with the Christmas trade.

They were due to return to the site on September 19 but that did not happen and Councillor Mullins has now been informed it will now happen until October 11 now.

Cllr Mullins said: “I put down a Notice of Motion at last week’s Council meeting requesting an update on the completion of the works to remove overhead electrical cables and the installation of new lamp standards in Portarlington.

“The reply from the ESB stated that they would recommence works on site on September 19 and it would take them 2 weeks to clear remaining works.

“Because of previous broken promises by the ESB I was sceptical that this would happen and I was proven right. They never turned up on the 19th.

“I asked the Council to inform the ESB that the local traders wanted works finished well in advance of the Christmas Shopping period and the Christmas Street Lights Committee wanted to erect the street lights at the beginning of November.

“Consequently it was with great disappointment, but no surprise, that the Council informed me today of the latest update from the ESB.

“They now state that the schedule of works has changed once again and they will not be back on site until Tuesday October 11, 3 weeks later than planned.

“Foxcroft Street is now due to be finished by Thursday 20 October with Main Street remaining which will take another few weeks.

“When the ESB are finished the Contractor then has to erect the new lamp standards which will take us well into November.

“This is just not acceptable as the ESB left site last November and, 1 year later, the works are still not carried out.

“To make matters worse the ESB has already been paid for the Contract in advance, which might help explain their cavalier attitude and dismal performance to date.

“The local Community, traders and retailers deserve better and I’ve today asked the Council to register their dissatisfaction with senior management in the ESB and to request a swifter response.”

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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.