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28 Sept 2022

Progress to convert derelict Laois convent to housing

Progress to convert derelict Laois convent to housing

The plan for the old Portlaoise Presentation convent, nearby school and lands.

Progress to convert a derelict Laois convent into a thriving social community hub has taken a step forward.

Funding has been approved by the Department of Housing to convert the old Presentation Convent and Sacred Heart primary school in Portlaoise.

The news was given by Laois County Council CEO John Mulholland this week.

He spoke at the July council meeting where it was announced that the Stage 3 application for funding for the convent has been approved by the Department of Education.

"I am very pleased that we have received approval. I hope a contractor is in place before the end of the year," Mr Mulholland said.

The renovation will be done by Sophia Housing. It was approved for €10.06 million government funding in July 2018.

The iconic building and its surrounding lands and buildings will be converted into 48 apartments along with four two bedroom houses, community spaces and public and private gardens, largely for older and single residents who are tenants of Laois County Council. 

Work started a year ago on demolishing school prefabs and making the site safe for construction.

The convent includes an historic 16th century stone tower that was part of the Storehouse building serving the Fort Protector beside it.

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