The Laois Place Names Committee set up in 2005 to approve names given to new developments in the county never once convened for a meeting, according to member Councillor Kathleen O’Brien.
The news emerged at the recent Portlaoise Town Council meeting when it was proposed to have the committee decide a name for any roundabouts in the town that do not already have proper signage.
A motion had been proposed by Cllr Willie Aird, who called on Laois County Council to erect name signage on all roundabouts in Portlaoise and to erect road signage at Rathevan. In a response from PJ Dempsey of the Roads Department, it was said that this signage had not been erected due to funding and the fact that names have not been agreed for all roundabouts.
“When people ask for directions it’s very easy to direct them to a roundabout and they’re very easy to name,” said Cllr Aird. “There was a lot of money spent on Rathevan and they’ve done a great job, but only local people know where to go because there are no signs.”
Cllr Rotimi Adebari said such signs were highly necessary in the technological age, as many people have sat navs in their cars and the lack of names makes navigating very complex.
Mayor Catherine Fitzgerald said that the council have yet to name a lot of roundabouts and she suggested for the next meeting that all councillors come up with possible names.
“Maybe the businesses in the area can sponsor them?” she wondered.
Cllr Aird had proposed that the Laois Place Names Committee be used to name the roundabouts, but Michael Rainey of the housing department informed the council that the committee no longer exist.
“I’m on that committee and there was never a meeting,” announced Cllr Kathleen O’Brien.