06 Jul 2022

Portlaoise road upgrade to tackle ‘selfishly’ illegal GAA match day parking

Portlaoise road upgrade to tackle ‘selfishly’ illegal GAA match day parking

Cars ticketed by Laois Gardaí on a GAA match day in O'Moore Park Portlaoise in November 2021.

A €2.5 million upgrade of the road beside Laois GAA’s O’Moore Park in Portlaoise is promised to tackle illegal parking by match supporters, as requested by frustrated residents.

The county grounds welcomes up to 20,000 people on big match days, many of whom park along the Abbeyleix road, long a source of complaint by residents. 

A redesign of the road, from the town centre out to the M7 motorway, got a green light by councillors in May.

Residents had made their feelings known about problems with match day parking, during public consultation on the N77 Abbeyleix Road Rehabilitation & Enhancement Scheme plan.

Cherrygarth Residents Association said the parking is selfish.

“The wooden bollards have helped ease some wild and bad match day parking. However, I’ve had on many occasions to use the road to pass by when people selfishly park on the footpaths. If it not to be policed by the Gardaí or match officials, then I suggest metal bollards like those used on the new road beside the new schools. These deter illegal and irresponsible parking”.

A grandmother has described how she could not take her grandchild for a walk on a match day.

“Will the proposed layout be subject to fines from illegal parking? Currently there is total disregard to any parking laws on match days/evenings in O’Moore Park. I recently attempted to take my grandchild for a walk in her buggy but had to turn back as the footpath was completely blocked with cars parked illegally. When this new layout is completed will there be signs erected informing the public of the penalties for parking illegally? And will they be enforced?” she asked.

Cllr Catherine Fitzgerald gave a submission.

“The bollards at the top of Cherrygarth estate to be maintained in the interests of safety. This is essential for exiting onto the N77 especially on match days,” she said.

Laois County Council has said it will design the scheme “with an eye to minimising illegal parking, retaining/replacing existing measures to prevent unauthorised / illegal parking”.

The Gardaí and Laois GAA will be asked to act on illegal parking. 

“Laois County Council will engage with Laois GAA and An Garda Siochána to agree measures whereby indiscriminate and illegal parking can be effectively managed on match days in O’Moore Park”.

The project will shortly go to tender, with roadworks expected to begin by early 2023.

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