Heritage Week Event Guide Launched


A guide to all the free, fun, family-friendly events taking place in Laois for Heritage Week has been launched. The week, which takes place from August 13th – 21st, celebrates all the best of the built, natural and cultural Heritage of the county and the communities and individuals who look after it.

The theme for Heritage Week this year is “Biodiversity and Sustainability”, and it really seems to have inspired people, with events including a visit to Laois’s largest rookery, the Birds and the Bees with broadcaster Éanna Ní Lamhna, guided walks of the biodiversity of Emo Court, the Grand Canal, Abbeyleix Bog and the Ridge of Capard.

Members of the Laois Garden Trail have opened their doors for Heritage Week, with guided walks  of many of the gardens available (booking required). The Public Participation Network for Laois has two events especially for PPN members -a guided visit to see the Portlaoise Pane and a tour of the Rock of Dunamase  – All bookings are through Laois PPN contact PublicParticipationNetwork@laoiscoco.ie.

A group of people om a guided tour of a historic ruin

Guided tours of the Rock of Dunamase are always popular. Picture: Alf Harvey.

The Nore Vision project in Castletown will offer a talk on the mills and bridges of the River Nore, while the ever-popular En Plein Air outdoor art tutorials will return to the beautiful Heywood Gardens, as part of the Twin Trees Heywood festival.

The sustainability message will be explored during a tour of Ballykilcavan, the 13th generation Walsh family farm just outside Stradbally, with a particular focus on efforts to preserve the farm’s natural and built heritage while also creating and running a craft brewery. On the fully guided farm tour, owner David Walsh-Kemmis will explain the sustainability measures undertaken at the brewery and highlight the restoration of the 18th century farmyards, as well as regenerative agricultural practices that include efforts to promote biodiversity.

Participation in Heritage Week is open to individuals, families, communities and organisations, with new and experienced heritage enthusiasts alike encouraged to get involved.

An old style train with steam rising from beneath it

Stradbally Steam Railway during Heritage week in Laois. Picture: Alf Harvey/HRPhoto.ie

Thomasina  Connell, Cathaoirleach of Laois County Council said: “The heritage of our county is as diverse and unique as the communities, volunteers and individuals who look after it so well. Heritage Week is a great opportunity for us all to come together in celebration of our traditions and stories, while showing appreciation to all those who help make them accessible to the public. With events that span music, the environment, history, and nature there really is something for everyone in this year’s programme and the large selection of family-friendly events will appeal to those looking to make some lasting memories and end the summer break on a high note.”

A group of people walking on the tow path of a canal

Exploring the wildlife of the Grand Canal will be on offer for Heritage Week. Photo: Michael Scully – no reproduction fee.

Catherine Casey, Heritage Officer with Laois County Council said “as always there has been a wonderful community response to Heritage Week, with almost 50 events organised across the county. After two years when Heritage Week had to be celebrated mostly online, this is a great response and shows how keen people are to showcase and explore their local heritage. We are so grateful to the organisations, communities and individuals who organise events to celebrate their own local heritage each year.”

For all the details of events in Laois, view the event guide below, download here or check out our interactive map.

Heritage Week is co-ordinated at national level by the Heritage Council and at local level by the Heritage Office of Laois County Council.

More information on events in Laois is available at www.laois.ie/heritageweek.

Heritage Week in the county is co-ordinated by the Heritage Office of Laois County Council.