Portlaoise heritage site shortlisted for national award

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Portlaoise heritage site shortlisted for national award

Fitzmaurice Place and the Fort Protector in Portlaoise. Photo: Leinster Express

A new public garden and the conservation of the historic fort next to it in Portlaoise are up for a national award.

The upgrade of Fitzmaurice Place and the conservation of the Fort Protector walls have been shortlisted for an award under the KPMG Irish Independent Irish Property Industry Awards. 

Phase I of the project was completed last summer and took €830,000 and 10 months. It transformed the space from a little used stone plaza into a pleasant wildflower garden with lawn, sculptures, paths, seats and a performance area to enhance the fort and boost Portlaoise town centre for visitors.

The space commemorates Colonel James Fitzmaurice from Portlaoise, who was co-pilot of the Bremen, the first aeroplane to fly east-west across the Atlantic to America in 1928.

Laois County Council spearheaded the project, supported by Laois Heritage Society, The Heritage Council, the Department of Culture Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Project Ireland 2040.

The Laois project is in the category Local Projects up to €1 million investment. 

The winners will be announced this Thursday November 28.