Fire in the ‘neglected area’ of Jessop Street

An act of attempted arson on “a little neglected area” of Jessop Street in Portlaoise has prompted Cllr Jerry Lodge to call on Laois County Council to take in charge the whole street.

An act of attempted arson on “a little neglected area” of Jessop Street in Portlaoise has prompted Cllr Jerry Lodge to call on Laois County Council to take in charge the whole street.

Speaking at the last meeting of the Portlaoise Municipal District which was held in County Hall just before Christmas, Cllr Lodge said the area had been the “subject of adverse publicity” recently, and recounted an incident he had witnessed while working on the Tidy Towns when he saw a man trying to set fire to a door.

“It’s a little neglected area,” he said, referring to a stretch of the street not already taken in charge by Laois County Council. He asked that this area now be taken in charge by the council in the interest of residents and owners.

His motion was supported by Cllr Caroline Dwane Stanley, who said she too had raised the issue before and at one point nine residents requested that the area be taken in charge.

Cllr Dwane Stanley went on to say that she welcomed the fact that Laois County Council had recently fixed the lights in the area, as there are elderly residents who had been very nervous.

Cllr Willie Aird said it was important for motorists to stop parking their vehicles outside the houses on Jessop Street.

“It’s not public parking,” he said. “It’s very important this is got right, those houses were sold with a parking space.”

A written reply from Ms Carmel McNicholl, acting senior planner, read out to the meeting by town clerk, Ms Elaine Moore, explained that Laois County Council’s planning department will review and investigate the possibility of taking in charge Jessop Street residential area at Hynds Square in 2015.

Ms McNicholl revealed that it is hoped to initiate this process in early 2015 subject to all matters meeting approval.