Laois town still has Irish Water roadworks over deadline

Lynda Kiernan


Lynda Kiernan

Roadworks in Mountmellick by Irish Water on June 26, ongoing since February.

Roadworks in Mountmellick by Irish Water on June 26, ongoing since February.

A Laois town is still suffering traffic disruption over Irish Water works, after it was promised to be completed.

Mountmellick which is on the N80 Portlaoise to Tullamore road, has had five months of partial road closures due to Irish Water upgrading underground pipes. The work started in February and was to end in early May, but continues into late June.

Irish Water had said the work would be complete on June 25, but on June 26 residents were woken at 5am by roadworks, claims a local shop manager.

"Locals from Church Court were woken this morning at 5am to more machines and road works with one way system back in Irish town," said Ciara Kenna, manager of The Paint Store.

Irish Water explained why they are still on site, with another promise of when they will be gone.

"The final reinstatement works at this location were delayed due to the adverse weather conditions early this week. The contractor is carrying this work at present and will be finished on Thursday 27 June and will be offsite on that date. Irish Water regrets any inconvenience caused by these essential works, which will benefit the local community by safeguarding a more secure water supply for homes and businesses in the area.”

Below: A path dug up in Irishtown Mountmellick on June 26.

The Paint Store owner Con Farrell has said it has been adversely affected throughout the roadworks, as it is on a one way street off the N80.

Ciara Kenna manages the shop and said they are "extremely frustrated" at the ongoing works.

"There is no signage from the Emo side to say there is access or a one way system in place. You have to take 10 minutes to go the whole way around the town just to get to shop. It has turned customers off as even with a trolley here to get paint near the square people like to park near a door. Paint is heavy so customers often need to park at the shop," she said. 

"It should be our busiest time of year but you can see a pattern forming with roadworks near us and days we are quite depending what side of town they are digging up," she said.

"I have spent 30 minutes trying to get from Turleys to work because of the one way system. On Connolly Street it could take you 10 minutes to get out of the car because of the diversion," she said.

"Yes I agree infrastructure needs to be upgraded but it’s nearly 5/6 months now and no help or reduction in rates to apologise, there has definitely been no communication from Irish Water," Ms Kenna said.

Irish Water has claimed that there was access to the one way street at all times, with signage, but the manager disputes this.

"I had to go out and find the foreman one day to find out why road for closed how long will we be blocked off,  on one of the many days they had no access to our street. Or they often use it to park there machines with no consideration to us at all," the shop manager said.

Irish Water says that the works will improve leaking pipes in the town, which will improve pressure and supply.

Read more on the roadworks by Irish Water in Mountmellick.