Laois Bealtaine Festivals

2020 with regret this year we had to cancel a full programme of events planned for to happen throughout the month of May.  A full colour programme was published but with safety in mind the programme could not go ahead.  We look forward to working on plans for 2021 either live or online.  Please contact the Arts Office if you are planning an event either online of live that is suitable for older people and would fit into the programme for next year.  email:





In 2019 throughout the month of May, events took place around Laois, in celebration of Creativity during the Bealtaine Festival. At Laois Arthouse Stradbally the Launch of ‘Fiesta’ too place. An exhibition by the Stradbally Active Retirement Group, opened throughout the month of May including a selection of paintings, including still life and landscapes the group have developed over the year. A series of “Reconnect” Pottery Workshops ran  over three weeks with ceramic artist Cathy Whelan. To explore the therapeutic nature of clay through simple techniques and mindful movements, participants created a unique piece of work. St Josephs Mountmellick Embroidery Group exhibited this age old craft at an open afternoon at Laois Shopping Centre, where the public were invited to take part or view how the work is made, to encourage new members to join.

A series of writing workshops with Jean O’Brien held at Laois Arthouse gave people a chance to explore their own stories, in a lively and friendly atmosphere whether through, prose or poetry or a mixture of both. Sharing work by other writers, writing their our own pieces and sharing them on the last week.

“Musical Memories” musicians from Laois School of Music and Music Generation Laois will give a series of performances at Shaen Hospital, St Vincent’s Hospital Mountmellick and Abbeyleix Hospital for residents and day care visitors. Family members were encouraged to attend and share the musical memories with their loved ones.  Denise Boyle (Fiddle) Nuala Kelly (Vocals/Guitar) and Mary Wisely (Piano Accordian).

Other community events included the Launch a new collection (E.P.) of songs by Ballylinan songwriter Paul Hickey along with his band ‘Soakin’ Rope’. In a concert that also featured Lugacurren traditional group ‘Ol, Ceol agus Craic.

An Afternoon of entertainment including Bingo, Music, Song and Dance and afternoon tea Organised by the Borris-in-Ossory Social Services Committee.  Line Dancing in Ballyfin for fun  There was a warm welcome to all who have Line Dancing on their “to do list”. Hospitality, fun and gentle exercise guaranteed.     A performance by the Sing for Joy Choir  – This vibrant community choir, offered a céad Míle fáilte to come and enjoy songs to welcome Summer.