‘One of them said that it’d make a great clothesline but would be a bit high to hang clothes on’ – Cllr John King
By Joe Barrett
People in Mountrath are comparing a recently installed €30,000 fire drill tower to that of the British army watchtowers that once towered over Crossmaglen in the North of Ireland.
So said cllr James Kelly at the recent meeting of Laois County Council.
The fire drill tower at the junction of Shannon Street and Fr. O’Connor Crescent is part of the €130,000 upgrade of Mountrath Fire Station.
However the tower is not sitting well with locals particularly people living in near proximity of it.
A number of councillors called for its removal and relocation.
Cllr Kelly said: “It’s nine foot from the front door of two people’s houses and it doesn’t look well. People are comparing it to Crossmaglen in its day. We need the tower, but we need it moved.”
Cllr John King said: “The people in the two maisonettes beside it said it’s like living beside a mountain. It’s quite unsightly. One of them said that it’d make a great clothesline but would be a bit high to hang clothes on.”
Cllr Conor Bergin said: “If the county council could consult with the residents, it would be appreciated.”
Cllr John Joe Fennelly said that one of the residents “ from her front door is looking straight out at this. It has to be changed.”
Cllr Will Aird said: “It has to be moved.”
Director of Services at the council Simon Walton said that the council had carried out a public consultation exercise in 2018 seeking views on the drill tower before it was constructed and a proposal for its erection had been before councillors in 2019 for their approval.
He assured councillors that he would look at the issue, but said it would not be a simple matter of just removing the tower itself as there were underground services running into it.