Shock Portlaoise Leisure Centre closure 'unthinkable' but reverseable

Conor Ganly

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Conor Ganly

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news@leinsterexpress.ie

portlaoise

All set for Operation Transformation at the Portlaoise Leisure Centre Photo Denis Byrne

The closure of Portlaoise's Leisure Centre must be reversed, according to Laois Offaly TDs

Government Minister Charlie Flanagan was the first to react. He says he is shocked by its closure.

“I am both shocked and dismayed to learn of the sudden closure of Portlaoise Leisure Centre. The leisure centre and pool has been a tremendous resource for the people of Portlaoise and surrounding areas for the past number of years. The closure is unthinkable and must be reversed.

"I will work closely with Laois County Council and do everything to assist with an early re-opening of the centre. I have been in contact with the Department of Sport and my colleague Minister Brendan Griffin this afternoon regarding the matter,” he said.

Sinn Fein TD Brian Stanley was equally annoyed.

“The closure of Portlaoise Leisure Centre is very bad news for the staff and the community. There is a very committed team working there.

“I was a member of the committee of the old swimming pool which was on the same site and campaigned in the 1990s and for subsequent years to have a new centre built on the site.

“I don’t believe that the Centre should be closed. Instead what is needed is a plan to develop and promote the services in it. Portlaoise Leisure Centre is a great facility has huge potential.

"I will be engaging with the management of Laois County Council to urge them to move ahead with a plan to reopen the centre as soon as possible," he said.

He added that the way the centre is run must be reexamined. He suggested that the council or a designated board / or committee should run the centre directly.

Laois County Council says it is working on a plan to reopen the facility which has closed after the company contracted to run in went into liquidation.