Longford car park branded a 'holy disgrace'

Liam Cosgrove

Reporter:

Liam Cosgrove

Email:

liam.cosgrove@longfordleader.ie

Longford

A local car park has come in for criticism from local politicians.

Local authority chiefs are to write to the management company in charge of Longford town's Aldi car park amid claims it is fast becoming the urban area's “biggest eyesore” by some distance.

The pledge came as local representatives hit out at its aesthetic appearance and all round appeal as a shopping destination.

Cllr Mae Sexton alluded to much of that unease after concerns were registered by local Tidy Towns volunteers.

“We should be writing a stern letter to them about the holy disgrace it is in,” she maintained.

The Independent councillor said her unease over the car park's present condition was exacerbated by difficulties Tidy Towns members had in trying to rectify the situation.

“They (Tidy Towns) have specifically picked out that area as one of the worst affected areas of town,” she said.

“I know also that there were efforts to go in there but they were told it is private property and to get out.”

Cllr Sexton said the terse response given to one of Longford town's most respected volunteer led bodies illustrated the need for local authority bosses to step in.

“It's just not good enough,” she snapped.

“I tell you something else, it's an insult to this Council to think they can leave a car park like that.”

Another Independent, Cllr Gerry Warnock agreed and said Longford's standing in the likes of the national Tidy Towns and Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) was being compromised as a consequence.

“It's letting us down time and time again and yet it is one of the busiest shopping destinations in town,” he said.

“It's in shocking nick altogether.”

Cllr Warnock also poked a derisory sneer at the seeming lack of accountability that existed in terms of tracking down those in charge of the car park's upkeep.

“It's been a bit like the Scarlett Pimpernell trying to get hold of the management company,” he sarcastically remarked.

When questions were raised over an apparent change in the car park's entrance route from the Harbour Row side, Cllr Peggy Nolan warned of the potential dangers that faced the Council in attempting to alter what is currently in place.

“If you go back to a one way there would want to be some sort of signage,” she said.

“Otherwise, you are looking at a fatality.”

Cllr Joe Flaherty was even more scathing in his assessment of the car park, branding it as arguably the “most depressing area in town to shop”.

He said: “If you look around at other areas, it is probably the biggest eyesore we have.

“It is without doubt one of the most vexacious issues in the town.”

Director of Services John McKeon pledged to write to the car park's operators both over concerns relating to its unkempt appearance while also addressing planning enforcement issues over entrances to the facility.