The former Presentation Convent in Portlaoise
A partly derelict convent in Laois that was gifted by the Presentation Sisters for social housing has been granted planning approval.
Portlaoise convent and the adjacent Sacred Heart school sites will be turned into 52 one and two bedroom apartments and homes for people in need, including the elderly, disabled and single families on the council's housing list.
The Part 8 planning approval was granted by Laois County Council members at the February 25 meeting. It followed a public consultation period.
"This gives us the first real sense of urban regeneration in Portlaoise. For 52 people on our housing list it will bring a lot of hope. It will be for one or two person families, people who might not otherwise have had a great chance," said the council CEO John Mulholland at the meeting.
He thanked the Presentation Sisters for their "massive contribution" to the town in both education and now housing.
Cllr Thomasina Connell said the apartments will "house the elderly, those with disabilities and the homeless".
Full story in this week's Leinster Express newspaper.