Money to be sought for retractable roof on Portlaoise Main Street

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Money to be sought for retractable roof on Portlaoise Main Street

'Sure wouldn't Ireland be grand if we put a roof on it?'

Well the capital town in Laois is in line to get a roof, so Portlaoise locals and visitors can dine and drink al fresco whatever the weather.

A Portlaoise councillor has received a positive response from Laois County Council on her suggestion to get a grant to buy a retractable cover for Main Street in Portlaoise.

Cllr Catherine Fitzgerald says it would make the town unique and attractive for tourists and locals, no matter the weather. 

“This project would be of great benefit to the community and hospitality businesses. The Old Fort Festival had a very successful canopy. It would make the town unique and attractive for visitors and all the community, for Christmas markets and festivals. We are totally weather dependent. 

Cllr Fitzgerald also asked for the top square in Portlaoise to have a new focus on events.

“The shrine area in Market Square seems kind of left out. It was always a huge meeting place, it had seats. It lends itself to the public realm,” she said.

Her motion was tabled to the April meeting of Portlaoise Municipal District.

Cllr Noel Tuohy seconded it and said it is an excellent idea. 

Council Director Simon Walton replied that they are looking for funding.

“Laois County Council notes the policy shift towards outdoor dining and outdoor performance and events spaces. The Council is currently and will continue to engage with any funding streams that support weather proofed outdoor dining spaces and/or weather proofed outdoor spaces suitable for performances and events. Subject to agreement on detail Main Street, Market Square and/or other suitable locations can be considered for any such grant schemes,” he said.

No final plans have been made yet on any pedestrianisation of the Main Street for outdoor dining this summer.