By Joe Barrett
EFFORTS are being made to find permanent premises for the civil defence in Laois, but in the meantime, the local authority is in the market to secure a suitable short-term property.
The lack of a permanent home for the service has been raised over the past number of years and the matter was again aired by cllr Caroline Dwane Stanley at the May meeting of Portlaoise Municipal District.
She asked for an update on the council’s effort to secure a permanent premises for the service.
“If you had asked me that question 48 hours ago, I’d have said next week we’d be on a six-month lease,” said director of services Simon Walton.
“Unfortunately, those arrangements are more than likely gone. We are in the market to purchase, that is our preference. The existing accommodation is unsatisfactory. If we need to rent a premises on a short-term basis, then that is what we will do. We’re in the market for short-term properties. We are looking for a suitable base in Portlaoise, long-term. We remain committed to finding a premises and it is our priority to identify suitable premises. We are in the market to purchase, that is our prefered option,” he said.
Cllr Dwane Stanley said: “ The work the civil defence carry out is an invaluable and vital service. They have done great work throughout Covid. They carry out valuable work and are called out on the most extreme occasions.
“I remember raising this back when Kieran Kehoe was director (of services). At that time he said the timeframe was two years. It is vital that the base is in Portlaoise,” concluded cllr Dwane Stanley.