Exploring Laois


Laois Passport

A new Laois Passport has been published to encourage adults and children, tourists and residents alike to explore the wonderful heritage sites of Laois this summer. The passport, produced in a collaboration between Laois Offaly Education and Training Board and Laois County Council with the support of the Heritage Council, details 7 of the heritage sites of Laois, with a space for a passport stamp each time a site is visted. Stamps are available at Timahoe Heritage Centre (and the Corner shop in Timahoe), Mountmellick Museum, Donaghmore Workhouse, Dunamaise Arts Centre and Portlaoise Tourist Ofice, Abbeyleix Heritage House and Emo Court.

Participants in the Laois Offaly ETB literacy project: Serena Fitzpatrick, Edel Phelan, Hilary Doran, Sabrina Bowden, Karla Jordan and Nicole Delaney with pupils from Scoil Bhríde, Portlaoise at Emo Court for the launch of the Laois Passport for Heritage Sites. Picture: Alf Harvey.

Participants in the Laois Offaly ETB literacy project: Serena Fitzpatrick, Edel Phelan, Hilary Doran, Sabrina Bowden, Karla Jordan and Nicole Delaney with pupils from Scoil Bhríde, Portlaoise at Emo Court for the launch of the Laois Passport for Heritage Sites.
Picture: Alf Harvey.

Passports are available from each of the sites featured, and the Tourist Office in Portlaoise. They are also available for collection by primary school teachers at Laois Education Centre, and can be downloaded here.

The passport grew out ‘Unravelling Laois’, a Portlaoise-based family learning project, which aimed to capture some of the hidden gems of the county. ‘Unravelling Laois’ started to unfold when a group of parents in Scoil Bhríde enabled their family learning project to take on a different dimension when they developed an interest in history. The DEIS funded programme, in collaboration with the HSCL in Scoil Bhride, Adult Literacy Service in Laois Offaly ETB supported these parents in visiting a range of historical sites in Laois during the autumn months of 2017.

This inspirational project is family learning in its true sense, supporting parents to help their children learn and providing them with an opportunity to develop their own learning skills.

The project developed further and it was decided that the group would publish a passport at the end of their travels, for parents to use when bringing their children to each of the sites during the summer months. This passport was taken to the next level with the support of Catherine Casey, Laois Heritage Officer, and is available to all primary schools in Laois now and is also available from the Dunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise Tourist  and all the heritage sites the project visited.

OPW guide Joan Phelan stamping passports for Daniel Doran, Clodagh Fitzpatrick, Aaron Bowden-Adair, Eoin Bowden-Adair and Ryan Dunne from Scoil Bhride, Portlaoise at Emo Court for the launch of the Laois Passport for Heritage Sites. Picture: Alf Harvey.

OPW guide Joan Phelan stamping passports for Daniel Doran, Clodagh Fitzpatrick, Aaron Bowden-Adair, Eoin Bowden-Adair and Ryan Dunne from Scoil Bhride, Portlaoise at Emo Court for the launch of the Laois Passport for Heritage Sites.
Picture: Alf Harvey.

Drop in to any of the heritage sites featured to collect you passport or download it here  – happy travels!

Laois Heritage Trail

Click here to explore Laois using our new Laois Heritage Trails App, supported by Fáilte Ireland and Ireland’s Ancient East.

Emo Court 9Emo Court 9

A wide range of events is held each year, with the aim of raising awareness of the wonderful built, natural and cultural heritage of Laois. As much as possible, we work in partnership with other groups locally (Laois Heritage Society, the Laois Branches of the Irish Wildlife Trust and BirdWatch Ireland, Abbeyleix Bog) and nationally (the Heritage Council). Events take place during Biodiversity Week, Heritage Week, Science Week and at other times throughout the year.

The Heritage Office also promotes participation in national programmes and events, such as the Heritage in Schools Scheme, run by the Heritage Council.

Enjoying a Heritage Week bug-hunt at Páirc an Phobail, Portlaoise

Enjoying a Heritage Week bug-hunt at Páirc an Phobail, Portlaoise

If you have any idea for an event during Heritage Week or at any other time, to celebrate the heritage of your local area, contact the Heritage Office for advice and assistance. We are available to help community groups and individuals with the planning and development of heritage projects of all types, including providing information on possible sources of funding for heritage projects, or conservation of historic buildings.

Laois Heritage Office is grateful for the support of the Heritage Council in all aspects of the work we do.

 

Heritage Council Heritage Week logo 2017 Heritage Council Logo