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Request to reopen Portlaoise leisure centre in June

Request to reopen Portlaoise leisure centre in June

Portlaoise Leisure Centre

A Portlaoise councillor is to ask Laois County Council to reopen Portlaoise Leisure Centre when all other leisure centres and swimming pools reopen on June 7.

The Portlaoise centre closed last March for Covid restrictions but then the company running it gave shock news in June that they were liquidating the business due to lack of money. The news meant the loss of 30 jobs.

In recent months Laois County Council has been in discussions with the board of Portarlington Leisure Centre to take over management of both facilities. Both facilities have also received Government grants for repairs.

They have the only two public indoor swimming pools in Laois, and the only public gyms.

Cllr Willie Aird is tabling a motion to the May meeting of Portlaoise Municipal District, this Wednesday morning May 19 on the matter.

He will be asking the council to reopen the centre on June 7, "in line with Government guidelines on easing of Covid-19 restrictions".

Both centres are owned by Laois County Council, but had been run separately as private companies with a local volunteer Board of Management. The council as owner maintains the buildings using government grants but the centres must make enough money to pay running costs including wages.

Portlaoise's board Chairman Cllr Noel Tuohy said last June that it would have cost €300,000 just to stay open until the end of 2020.

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