Portlaoise Leisure Centre
The public have responded in their thousands to a call to reopen Portlaoise Leisure Centre.
An online petition to Laois County Council was begun by leisure centre staff on Tuesday, June 16. A day later it is heading for 3,000 signatures.
A shock announcement was made on Tuesday that the centre was to close over loss of income, causing the loss of 30 jobs. It is run by a voluntary Board of Directors on behalf of the landlords Laois County Council.
The Chairman of the board Cllr Noel Tuohy outlined the costs entailed at the Portlaoise Municipal District June meeting, with Laois County Council saying they will be seeking to reopen the centre as soon as possible.
The petition is by Portlaoise Leisure Centre Staff and reads as follows.
"The recent closure of Portlaoise Leisure Centre has affected hunderds of individuals, groups, clubs and communities. We need to reopen the Leisure Centre so as the people of Portlaoise and the wider community have a place to be active and take care of their mental and physical wellbeing.
"This vital amenity has been shut down by the local authority and cannot be left vacant, this fine facility is now lying empty and derelict, the beating heart of Portlaoise town and all surroundings areas needs your help to get it back up and running again. The vital facilites that this crucial amenity offers to able and less able bodied people and groups is so important it cannot be overlooked. The health and welfare of our community should be of the highest importance as a service led centre for all." the staff wrote.
Many of the people who signed left comments of support.
"This is an amazing facility and the town of portlaoise needs this so much for the health and well-being of Everyone," said one supporter.
"This is such an important facility for everyone in the county...terrible if it closes...for people's physical and mental well being. Where will the children learn to swim...in Irelands fastest growing young town x," another wrote.
"I am a dedicated athlete and sports fan. There needs to be a place that all athletes can train and enjoy their sports in the local area," another person said.
"Everybody needs Leisure for different reasons. Mental health; physical challenges, rehabilitation for joint pain & injuries & of course swimming lessons for our young people in a land locked County. Please help us save this very important amenity in ourTown," another signee said.