A Portlaoise newsagent beside Dunnes Stores on the Mountmellick road, has criticised planning by Laois County Council.
“The council here have built and built, but where do the children play? The leisure centre is absolutely fantastic, but kids in this area need an area here, there is nearly the population of a town here. Enough is enough. The council have made a complete mess of the town, this is one small way they could put something right,” said Paddy Dowling.
He is on the Green Mill Lane action committee, who are calling for the council to create a play zone from derelict fields.
“All the years I’ve been here, looking at children hanging around, and gettiing into trouble; they need to be able to work out their energy. There are always resources to lock them up. One euro spent now would save ten down the line,” he said.
He says his elderly customers can recall playing hurling in the field where the carpark now lies.
“They had a childhood, why can’t kids today have the same? We have an obligation to these kids, they spend too much time on playstations, but they need a space to kick a ball or just sit and chat,” he said.