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06 Jul 2022

‘Death trap’ HSE health centre in Laois must be knocked - council told

‘Death trap’ HSE health centre in Laois must be knocked - council told

Former health centre is derelict but still owned by the HSE.

A lock and some rat traps is the extent of work carried out at a vermin infested derelict but HSE owned health centre in Laois that threatens children because of its location beside a creche, a county councillor has claimed.

An irate Cllr Ben Brennan, Independent, made the claim after getting an update on the disused building in Newtown from Laois County Council.

He warned that more has to be done because the building is dangerous both structurally and because of the vermin infestation. He wants it knocked.

Cllr Brennan last raised the issue with Laois County Council during the summer of 2021 and put it on their agenda again at the December meeting of the Graiguecullen Municipal District meeting.

He sought an update in a motion in which he said “it is now classed as a dangerous structure”.

In a written reply, Mr. David O’ Hara, Acting Senior Planner, said staff from the Planning Section (Derelict Sites) met with representatives from the HSE to review and inspect the property. He added that recommendations were made to the HSE to carry out some remedial works.

Cllr Brennan said a copy of the report with these recommendations should be provided because he claimed little work has been done.

“They put a lock on the door and came back and put some rat bait. They must accept that there is something wrong,” he said.

He said nothing is happening.

“That is a death trap,” he said. “A dangerous structure is a dangerous structure”.

Cllr Brennan said tiles are falling off the roof and the structures is ‘completely unsafe’. 

He asked: “There is a creche beside it. If one of the tiles blows off the roof and hits one of the children in the yard who is responsible”?

“This has to be taken down,” he said.

Cllr Padraig Fleming, Fianna Fáil, agreed that it should be knocked and described the building as an ‘eyesore’.  

Cllr Aisling Moran, Fine Gael, agreed also. She said a timeframe should be given to the HSE to complete the work. She said it is a danger to children who may be tempted to play in the building.

Mr Gerry Murphy, Director of Services, committed to act on Cllr Brennan’s request.

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