Three firms sponsor 20 roundabouts

Roundabout at Portlaoise's top square one of the few not littered with signs.
A verbal battle was fought at a County Council Emo electoral area meeting last Friday over roundabouts.

A verbal battle was fought at a County Council Emo electoral area meeting last Friday over roundabouts.

Cllr Tom Mulhall had proposed that the Council should encourage local businesses to sponsor roundabouts and erect signs in the Emo area.

But Cllr Ray Cribbin declared: “I think this is the most dangerous thing you that do--putting signs in the middle of a roundabout for shops. People are going to be looking at it. It’s silly and dangerous.”

Cllr Mulhall: “Will we be advertising buchalawns and thistles on them (roundabouts)? I believe in having roundabouts looking well with flowers.”

Horticulturist Maeve Flynn (in a written response) said the Council had advertised for sponsorship of 20 roundabouts but had received only three tenders from Lidl, McDonalds and Shaws. They had chosen just 11 roundabouts: nine for Lidl, two for Shaws, and one for McDonalds, she revealed.

Chairman Cllr James Deegan, agreeing with Cllr Cribbin, referred to Bloomfield Cross, on the Stradbally-Portlaoise Road, where, he said, there were 34 different signs. He added: “I think the signs should be taken down.”

Cllr Mulhall: “Only the shops that sponsors a roundabout should be allowed to put up a signs.”

Chairman Deegan: “We should not be dependent on Lidl, Shaws or McDonalds to maintain roundabouts. They should be the responsibility of the local authority.”

Senior Executive Engineer Orla Barrett: “We could not possibly take on the maintenance of all the roundabouts.”

Chairman Deegan: “I must say the Council is very relaxed towards some signs.”