Nationalist of Laois – Mystery of an endangered lake in Laois

By Joe Barrett

The mystery of the disappearance of Emo Court Lake has finally been solved.

The lake is not natural. It is powered by a source about four miles away.

When a blockage occurs in the stream between the spring and the lake, the water levels drop dramatically, sometimes causing the lake to disappear.

Visitors to Emo Court often notice that the amount of vegetation on the lake bed takes over when in fact the problem is that the water levels are dropping and exposing the vegetation as a result.

This is according to State and Local Minister TD Seán Fleming, who provided an update on current work and improvement plans for Emo Court.

To address the issue of the lake’s disappearance, Minister Fleming said the Office of Public Works (OPW) “will investigate the stream to look for signs of blockage or if the water supply is diverted. to other places. Currently, the lake’s water levels are supplemented by a local well at Emo Court.

“Significant improvement works are currently being undertaken by the OPW, which includes the renovation of the first floor, the ground floor and the basement of the house for an investment of approximately 2 million euros.

Regarding parking, Minister Fleming said: “€ 570,000 are currently being invested in the provision of a new parking lot, which should open in April 2022. There will be 173 parking spaces, eight universal access parking spaces , eight electric vehicles. parking spaces and four parking spaces for buses. The surface will be a gravel finish. This will be a major upgrade to the amenities for anyone visiting Emo Court.

Minister Fleming said: “Long term plans for the empty Emo Court chalets will be to use them specifically for artist residencies to support cultural programming at Emo Court. “In the meantime, these unoccupied properties are being used for the storage of objects and artefacts from the main house while work is in progress in this building. Currently, the two chalets and the gamekeeper’s chalet are heated to preserve the buildings and have security and fire alarms and their condition is constantly monitored. “I have a keen interest in Emo Court and have had ongoing discussions with the OPW regarding a number of issues at Emo Court. “I look forward to the new parking facilities early next year and the ongoing work on the house. I would like the question of the disappearance of the lake to be addressed afterwards. Finally, I look forward to the establishment of the new artist residencies in due course. “Overall, this represents a substantial level of current investment and future plans by the government for Emo Court, which is so important from a historical, community and tourism perspective.”

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