With National Heritage Week 2023 fast approaching its time to check out what’s happening here in Laois. This year Heritage Week will run from 12th – 20th August, with a huge range of events taking place across the county, including lots of talks and events in Laois Libraries.
Children’s Events in Laois Libraries
Dinosaur Show with Bugs and Beasties, Mountmellick Library, Tuesday 15th August, 3pm. Join Dale Threadwell to learn all about bugs and beasties, including readings from Dale’s books, Harry the Hedgehog and Robby the Robin
Irish History Live: Ancient Times, Rathdowney Library, Wednesday 16th August, 10am. Children of all ages will enjoy Michael Moylan’s fun and interactive workshop which explores ancient times in fun and engaging ways
Irish History Live: The 1916 Rising, Durrow Library, Wednesday 16th August, 12pm. Michael Moylan’s interactive workshop on the 1916 Rising will entertain and educate children of all ages with the use of costumes, replica weaponry and Michael’s humorous story telling
Irish History Live: The Titanic, Abbeyleix Library, Wednesday 16th August, 3pm. Michael Moylan’s travelling museum brings to life the story of the Titanic. This interactive history show will engage, entertain and educate children of all ages
Irish History Live: World War I, 1914-18, Mountmellick Library, Thursday 17th August, 10am. Michael Moylan’s interactive workshop on World War I will entertain and educate children of all ages with the use of costumes, replica weaponry and Michael’s engaging story telling
Irish History Live: The Middle Ages, Portlaoise Library, Thursday 17th August, 12pm. The Middle Ages are brought to life in this interactive history show using costume, replica weaponry and artefacts. The humorous and lively storytelling of the presenter will engage and entertain children of all ages
Irish History Live: The Tudors, Stradbally Library, Thursday 17th August, 3pm. Children of all ages will enjoy Michael Moylan’s fun and interactive history show exploring the Tudor times in fun and engaging ways
Bronze Age Jewellery Crafts with Donna Gilligan, Mountrath Library, Wednesday 16th August, 11am, Portarlington Library, Wednesday 16th August, 3pm, Durrow Library, Thursday 17th August, 11am, Abbeyleix Library, Thursday 17th August, 3pm
Donna is an archaeologist and museum curator. She has worked in heritage education for children for over a decade, developing effective and enjoyable methods of child-friendly heritage interpretation through activities and workshops. Her Bronze Age Jewellery Craft events will take place in library branches in in Mountrath, Portarlington, Abbeyleix and Durrow during Heritage Week.
Adult Events in Laois Libraries
Regina Dunne, public historian, will deliver a hands on workshop at Abbeyleix library this Heritage Week focusing on Digital Skills for Local History. This workshop is suited to absolute beginners and those looking to expand their knowledge on resources for study of local history. A selection of the websites that will be utilised are the Irish Civil Records, the Griffiths Valuation documents and the Irish Census records. Other topics such as storing your research will be touched on
World War I Volunteer Aid Detachment (VADs) of Queen’s County, Portlaoise Library, Wednesday 16th August, 7pm.
Regina Dunne, public historian, has been researching the Volunteer Aid Detachments (VADs) of Laois for a number of years now and has gathered information on over 300 volunteers with addresses registered in County Laois. This talk will focus on Regina’s research to date, highlighting the women who worked on the front lines or military hospitals in France, England and Ireland. Some of these women were mentioned in dispatches and awarded medals but have been relatively forgotten about until now. Regina hopes her research will encourage relations and local history enthusiasts to further explore the role of these women in Laois society in the early twentieth century
Irish Grant Committee Reparations in Laois, Mountrath Library, Thursday 17th August, 6.15pm.
Dr Cormac Moore will give a talk on applications for reparation for alleged damage to property from the Truce to the Civil War in Laois. In 1922 the Irish Distress Committee, later reconstituted as the Irish Grants Committee (March 1923), was set up in London to provide assistance to refugees from Ireland, but later extended its activities to granting loans to persons having valid claims against either Government. Its work was suspended and charged with the responsibility of discovering whether any further action with regard to persons who had suffered injury to persons or property in Ireland since 11 July 1921 was necessary
‘Ireland’s Weather and Climate: A Journey Through Time’ – Portlaoise Library, Thursday 17th August, 7pm.
Evelyn Cusack, Laois native and renowned meteorologist, takes us on a journey looking at Ireland’s climate through time, including a look towards the future. Evelyn worked for Met Éireann for 42 years, retiring as Head of Forecasting earlier this year. She is the longest serving weather presenter on RTÉ
Historic Portarlington: an Evening of Talks, Portarlington Library, Thursday 17th August, 8pm
Join Liam Murphy of Irish Rail for a talk on the ‘Conservation of Victorian Buildings at Portarlington Railway Station,’ with copies of the original drawings on display. This will be followed by Ray Simmons’ talk on ‘Saving a Country House: the Restoration of Woodbrook House.’ The final talk will be delivered by David Orford on ‘Portarlington’s Forgotten Artist: Walter Chetwood Aiken of Woodbrook House.’ The evening will conclude with light refreshments
An Evening of Irish Dancing, Music and Singing with Spink Comhaltas, Durrow Library, Thursday 17th August, 5.30pm
Spink Comhaltas is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2023. Join in the celebrations during Heritage Week in Durrow Library
For information on all Heritage Week 2023 events happening in Laois check out the Laois Heritage Week Brochure