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WATCH: Excitement as Fitzmaurice Place revamp opens and Old Fort Festival kicks off

Michelle Hogan

Reporter:

Michelle Hogan


The renovation of Fitzmaurice Place was officially opened in Portlaoise on Friday afternoon as the Old Fort Quarter Festival officially kicked off. 

Crowds gathered as the €830,000 project which took around 10 months to complete was unveiled. Filled with wildflowers, trees, grass spaces and benches to sit with a performance area in the centre, the park area has exposed the Fort protector wall. 

Bringing the history and heritage of Portlaoise to the fore and packaging it with retail and a busy town centre is the way forward for booming business in Portlaoise according to the Council CEO, John Mulholland who praised all involved in the project. 

Cathaoirleach of Laois County Council, Willie Aird, said this park was 'sewing the seed for Portlaoise and Laois' to be enjoyed for generations to come. He shared stories about the town's recent history and how times have changed but he remains proud to be from the town and see it constantly change and evolve. 

Laois Heritage Council President Michael Parsons said "the heart is at last being restored in our town with an inspirational leader like the Council CEO and the town team pulling together for the common good". 

Watch the video above where Laois TD and Minister Charlie Flanagan says houses have been built for the last 15 years in Portlaoise and now it is time to put in the amenities like this park. 

See pictures of the launch by Alf Harvey below.

READ MORE ABOUT THE OLD FORT FESTIVAL HERE.