Join the Celebration of Laois Heritage!


The Heritage Office of Laois County Council is holding a conference on the theme ” Laois Heritage Matters”, on Saturday 23rd of November, at the Midlands Park Hotel in Portlaoise.

The conference aims to bring together all those with an interest in the heritage of County Laois, to explore and celebrate the rich wealth of built, natural and cultural heritage of the county.

Catherine Casey, Heritage Officer with Laois County Council, said “This conference is a great opportunity for the people of Laois to come together and learn more about the County’s heritage, to share views, and to discuss issues with a range of heritage specialists”. The conference will also provide the opportunity to discuss the next Heritage Plan for County Laois, which will be written later this year and published in early 2020.

Topics covered during the day will include just some of the survey and awareness-raising work which has been undertaken in Laois in recent years. The morning will focus on natural heritage, looking at the recent BirdWatch Ireland survey of swifts in the county, community action for biodiversity in Kilminchy, the All Ireland Pollinator Plan and how it is being put into action in Laois, and adaptation plans for climate change.

Ricky Whelan of BirdWatch Ireland will talk on the new book “Saving Swifts”, a joint publication of BirdWatch Ireland and the Local Authority Heritage Officer Network”. Picture: Alf Harvey

In the afternoon the spotlight will come on to the built and cultural heritage of the county, with talks on the archaeology of the Great Heath, maps of Laois the Portlaoise Plane, recent work at Fort Protector in Portlaoise and conservation undertaken this year at three medieval church sites in Laois.

Archaeologist Colm Flynn will speak about conservation of medieval churches at Kilteale (pictured above), Kilmanman and Killabban. Picture: Alf Harvey.

There is no charge for the conference, but places will be limited. Those interested are advised to book early, to avoid disappointment.

The full conference programme and booking forms are available to download here. Booking is also available on Eventbrite.