09 Dec 2021

Broken roadside fence beside busy Portlaoise approach road

Broken roadside fence beside busy Portlaoise approach road

The N77 into Portlaoise at Clonad. Image: Google

Residents of a rural Portlaoise area are calling on Laois County Council to replace a broken fence next to a busy national road.

The fence is along a walkway running alongside the N77 Abbeyleix road at Clonad, which was once the original road into Portlaoise.

The local authority said that it is the responsibility of landowners to repair roadside fences but they are now open to make an exception following intervention by local councillors. 

The concrete fence was installed by a landowner some 60 years ago but was knocked over according to Cllr John Joe Fennelly.

He tabled a motion to the Portlaoise Municipal District asking Laois County Council to reinstate it. 

"This fence was erected in the late 1960s as part of the CPO when the new road was being installed. It has since been knocked. The landowner put up a temporary fence and that was cut down. It's my understanding that it is the council's responsibility. There is a walkway through it.

"If animals break out, is there another fence to keep them in?" he asked. 

Director of Services Simon Walton is the Town Manager for Portlaoise MD.

"In normal course of events when land is acquired, a boundary is provided but responsibility for ongoing maintenance lies with the landowner not the road authority. But if there are special provisions in this case we can check that," he said.

He said as the walkway is an amenity, it can be considered for works. 

Cllr Catherine Fitzgerald supports the motion.

"In fairness to residents, if there is any scheme we can get, it would be great to try and do something for the residents in the area. There are other issues and I ask the council to come up with a scheme for that area. But who is breaking down the fence? It's not Laois County Council, it's very unfortunate that this is happening," she said.

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