In 2017, the School, organised by Laois Heritage Society with the support of Laois County Council, took place at the Midlands Park Hotel, Portlaoise on Saturday 18th November. Speakers included Diarmaid Ferriter, Jane Maxwell, Seamus Hosey, Claire O’Brien, David Norris, Patricia King, Kevin Myers, Marie Louise O’Donnell and Muiris O’ Suilleabhain.
Following the official opening of this year’s school by Charlie Flanagan, TD Minister for Justice and Equality, the day included Panel Discussions on topics such as “Brexit: Our Identity, Our Future”, and “Ireland Today”, with an individual soapbox style presentations from Jane Maxwell and Kevin Myers.
Musical entertainment was provided by members of Portlaoise and Mountmellick Comhaltas.
Audience participation was encouraged throughout the day. The event concluded with a showing of the play “From the sod to the sky” by Mike Finn will be introduced by MC Kathleen Culliton.