Raised spikes are needed on the gates at the People’s Park in Portlaoise, to prevent people getting in at nighttime and spoiling the area through the anti-social behaviour of drinking alcohol.
So proposed outgoing town councillor Kathleen O’Brien at the last ever meeting of Portlaoise Town Council in County Hall.
“I recently took a walk there at nighttime, 9.30 to 10pm, and I witnessed eight people drinking,” she said. “I walked around the whole park and was bitterly disappointed. Trees and shrubs are neglected, and there wasn’t much wildlife in the lake, the lake was sort of ‘choked’ and the little island was overgrown.”
She said it was a lovely area down there, but as well as raising the spikes on the gate so people could not climb over a barrier should be erected to stop people driving in at night.
She proposed a motion calling on Laois County Council to erect barriers at the entrance to the People’s Park, raise spikes on the gate and clean and landscape the lake, which she claimed was so overgrown and littered it was a danger to the wildlife.
Cllr O’Brien also requested that the barrier bridge be repaired.
In a written reply from horticulturist, Maeve Flynn, it was said that it will be necessary to investigate the road safety issues and costs involved if a gate or barrier is to be erected at the entrance to the People’s Park car park on the Timahoe Road.
Ms Flynn said that any debris or litter that surfaces along the edge of the lake is removed during the weekly maintenance of the park, and it is intended to remove a chair that was thrown into the centre of the lake once the necessary piece of equipment has been sourced.
“The ‘overgrown’ section along the lake edge is left as natural as possible, (as) it is important to retain a riparian margin which offers protection to the wildlife of the lake,” said Ms Flynn.
Ms Flynn also confirmed that the wooden broken bridge at the park has been replaced with a galvanized metal bridge.