'Hoodie brigade' in Laois town not in derelict building for 'choir practice' says councillor

Michelle Hogan

Reporter:

Michelle Hogan

'Hoodie brigade' in Laois town not in derelict building for 'choir practice' says councillor

A picture of the old AIB bank taken in 2009.

The ‘hoodie brigade’ going in and out of a derelict building in Portarlington are not going in there for ‘choir practice’ according to a Laois councillor.

Cllr Aidan Mullins has asked Laois County Council three times to contact the owners of the old AIB building on Main Street in Portarlington.

“It is in a derelict state, it needs to be secured and cleaned up. I find it disappointing in the middle of Main Street the access door at the side is opened and the hoodie brigade are going in and out, it is not choir practice they are going to do.

“The door left open is an invitation for anti-social behaviour, I cannot understand why it has been left derelict and the Tidy Towns group cannot understand it. The time for another letter  is passed,” he said.

Cllr Tom Mulhall praised the work of Portarlington Tidy Towns and added that the ‘hoodie brigade’ are well-versed in anti-social behaviour.

“They don’t have to do choir practice, they are good singers already.

"The Tidy Towns group clean the entrance and pick up the litter, they do great work,” he said.

Cllr Mulhall said that when the inspectors come around for Tidy Towns things like a derelict building in the centre of the town can result in lower marks for the hard-working groups.

He added that only eight people showed up for a presentation on the local area plan in Portarlington recently which he says reflects the interest in things like the derelict building.

In response to Cllr Mullin’s notice of motion, Mr Pat Delaney from Laois County Council Planning Department said the building has been sold again.

“It is our understanding that this building has recently been sold and it is our intention to carry out an up to date site inspection this week and make contact with the new owners,” he said.

Friends of late Laois girl Rachael Flanagan raise almost €1000 for Cystic Fibrosis Ireland in her memory.