Work has started on this initiative and should be completed this week. As part of the Creative Ireland Laois programme, this project was developed in partnership with the Arts Office, Heritage Office and students at Coláiste Dhún Masc to design and install a mural at the Old St Peter’s Graveyard, Railway Street, Portlaoise. The impetus for the project came from the late Councillor Jerry Lodge and the Portlaoise Tidy Town Committee, following on from conservation works to the graveyard started in 2017 and aiming to open it to the public as a “pocket park”.
This project endeavours to inspire interest in the heritage and archaeology of the town and county for the next generation. It is part of the greater Fort Protector project and rejuvenation of the central of the town. Old St Peter’s is included in the recently announced Urban Regeneration funding for the historic core of Portlaoise.
The mural depicts Rory Óg O Moore and his wife Margaret O’Byrne (of the famed O’Byrne Clan of Wicklow. The iconic Laois site the Rock of Dunamase, is in the background. Wolves and wolfhounds also featured in the mural.
Heritage Officer with Laois County Council Catherine Casey said “There has been a lot of focus on Fort Protector in recent years, and we are delighted with that. But the fabric of the Fort, built by the English planters, is just one part of the origin story of Portlaoise. We wanted to use this mural as an opportunity to commemorate the people the Fort was built to keep out – the Gaelic tribes led by the O’Moores. The location of Old St Peter’s – just outside the walls of the Fort – makes it a perfect place to remember the people outside the walls. We’re grateful to Creative Ireland for their support for the project, and also to the Heritage Council, whose ongoing support for Old St Peter’s has been crucial over the past number of years”.
Coordinator of the Creative Ireland programme, Muireann Ní Chonaill said, “It is hoped that further projects to enhance streets in towns and villages throughout the county will take place with help from the Creative Ireland programme.”
Further details from Muireann Ni Chonaill, Coordinator of Creative Ireland Laois at T 057 8664109/4033 E: firstname.lastname@example.org