01 Oct 2022

€1.5million ready to spend in search for new Laois Civil Defence base

€1.5million ready to spend in search for new Laois Civil Defence base

Members of Laois Civil Defence on duty at a festival.

The money is ready to be spent as the search goes on in Portlaoise to find a centralised Laois base for the Civil Defence.

Laois County Council has allocated €1.5 million to buy a property. The urgent search is underway for most of this year since a lease ended at a Mountmellick depot. 

The volunteer emergency service organisation with several branches around Laois needs one base to store large equipment and to do training procedures.

Deals on two different potential sites fell through by last May, Director of Services Simon Walton said at that time.

This December, in an update to Portlaoise Municipal District, he said that search goes on to buy a property to meet ongoing and future needs of Laois Civil Defence.

"Laois County Council continues to seek to identify suitable on-the-market properties that will meet the ongoing and future needs of Laois Civil Defence".

"The civil defence is a well resourced and valued service. There is a need for one centralised based in Portlaoise. This €1.5 million is the first time that a commitment has been made in Laois towards it. There are needs such as parking, training and accommodation and there is a limited number of buildings out there suited. We are keeping a constant eye to the market to identify the most appropriate property. As the weeks and months go by a property will emerge on the market. 

There is €1.5 million set aside for it in the council's Capital Budget 2022-2024.

Cllr Caroline Dwane Stanley had tabled a motion asking for an update on progress to secure a Portlaoise building. 

"They are based in Stradbally and we all know the fire station will be built on that site so a home has to be found. They are out there in a voluntary capacity in all kinds of weather. the work they do is phenomenal," she said.

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