Councillors want Mountrath depot to remain

South Laois county councillors have pleaded with Laois County Council to keep the council depot in Mountrath open because it is more suitable for use than the council’s facility in Abbeyleix.

South Laois county councillors have pleaded with Laois County Council to keep the council depot in Mountrath open because it is more suitable for use than the council’s facility in Abbeyleix.

Cllr John Joe Fennelly appealed to the council to keep even a small part of the yard open.

“We keep losing services and people of the area feel that they won’t get the service. Even if it was just somewhere to park a lorry and keep a few loads in,” he said.

Cllr Michael Lalor said it was good to have a presence of some nature in Mountrath.

“We do not have enough road workers to justify keeping the depot open. The way things are there will be no area office here after April, the offices in the eastern area are also closing too. There are post offices and garda stations closing. Even if we have one or two employees in Mountrath we will have to have welfare facilities for those employees and it will have to be cleaned on a weekly basis,” said Michael Malone, area engineer.

Mr Malone admitted that the Abbeyleix was “poor’” with artic lorries having difficulties getting in and out.

“Abbeyleix is poor, you can’t get access with artic trucks. For a delivery of salt, every time we have to check the dimensions of the truck that will be delivering it to make sure it will be able to get into the yard.

“I was over there on Monday morning and there was an artic stuck in the gate, trying to manoeuvre his way out. It’s not nice for the residents who live near the depot,” he said.

Mr Malone said the council owned other land in Abbeyleix, that would be more suitable for a depot. Cllr Fennelly then suggested that the council should put a proper depot in Mountrath.

“We have two area supervisors. It doesn’t make sense to have the lads driving to Abbeyleix to get their list of work and then back to Mountrath for a job. I don’t think that’s cost effective, I think it will cost more.”

The area engineer assured the councillors that their fears over services to the town being reduced when the depot closes.