04 Dec 2021

Senior Laois council official overrules roads dept over school footpath

Senior council official overrules road department to promise school footpath

St Patrick's BNS Portarlington's new school is about to open but still needs a final section of footpath

A senior Laois County Council official has overruled a decision by the Roads Department not to build a short footpath to a new school about to open.

St Patrick's Boys NS in Portarlington is due to move to their bright new building at Canal Road on Tuesday May 7.

However a section of footpath between the school and the GAA grounds beside it is missing.

The initial solution by Laois County Council, for boys to cross the road to a footpath and cross back again to get to the pitch using pedestrian crossings, was overruled at a council meeting by Head of Finance Gerry Murphy.

Cllr Aidan Mullins had tabled a motion to the April 24 meeting of Graiguecullen/Portarlington Municipal District asking for the section of path.

"This is a short section, 60 or 70 metres that would link the school to McCann Park. I know it is safe access to cross the road, but for the sake of a short distance, I would like to see this done," Cllr Mullins said.

Acting senior engineer Darren Coss gave the official reply.

"There is no funding allocated. Laois County Council has recently upgraded the footway on the opposite side of the road and conditioned the new school to install two pedestrian crossings in order to provide safe access to the new school," he stated.

Mr Murphy who is also Town Manager for the district then said he would find the money.

"We are conscious that when the school is open, this link needs to be complete. I will arrange for that bit to be done. I will work on getting funding. You can't have a new school and a sports complex and leave a gap," he said.

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