SECURITY will continue at the abandoned Avon factory in Portarlington, which has aroused such fears over public safety that both the Senate and the Dail have discussed the matter in recent months.
Disused and dilapidated, the old factory on the Canal Road has become the subject of local concern following a campaign by the Portarlington Community Development Association to take the building in hand. Led by chairperson Margaret Guijt-Lawlor, the PCDA highlighted health and safety issues at the unsecured building, including the presence of dangerous chemicals and the storage of timber which could contribute to a fire.
In the wake of Ms Guijt-Lawlor’s campaign, Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley raised the subject in the Dail, while Senator John Whelan discussed it in the Senate. Dep Stanley said that NAMA had given a commitment to put security guards at the factory, but in a recent issue of the Leinster Express we reported that Ms Guijt-Lawlor had been informed that security would only be provided on a short term basis.
However, Dep Stanley has since revealed that following his discussion with NAMA, security will be left in place at the vacant site in Portarlington for some time to come.
In a statement last week, Dep Stanley said: “I have been in contact with NAMA and have been assured that security will continue on site as long as the loan is secured by them. A number of factors are at play with regard to this property and I’m seeking to have a more permanent solution put in place.”
Ms Guijt-Lawlor has confirmed that 24-hour security is indeed in place at the factory, which she has said she is absolutely delighted with.
When contacted by the Leinster Express, a spokesperson for NAMA said that the agency is precluded by legislation from commenting on individual cases. However, in a statement issued it was said: “The agency does not own nor does it manage properties securing its loans. Rather, such properties are managed by their owners or, in the case of properties that have been the subject of enforcement action, on their behalf by the duly appointed receiver or administrator. As a secured lender, the agency’s primary concern is that properties securing its loans are professionally managed by their owners or appointed receivers/administrators and that they ensure thorough compliance with all statutory requirements.”