Showcasing Laois History and Heritage
An Initiative of Laois Library Service


Laois Local Studies has a collection of audiovisual material relating to Laois and/or produced by Laois people. The audio collection includes oral histories, recordings of local songs, Laois orchestras, musicians, singers and bands. The visual collection includes local documentaries and footage of local events, sporting occasions, ceremonies and theatrical performances.

The Local Studies Digitisation Project is currently migrating material stored on audio and video cassettes to digital formats, thereby ensuring their preservation and accessibility for the future.

Local Studies believes that the Laois Collection must include audiovisual material to capture and represent the creative heritage of our county. We appeal to artists, documentary and film makers, musicians, singers and bands to deposit copies of their work in Laois Local Studies. For further information please contact Laois Local Studies to discuss deposit with a member of the Local Studies staff.

Audio Collection
Visual Collection

Irish Life & Lore Series: the Laois–Offaly Collection

This collection consists of 50 recordings compiled by Maurice O’Keeffe in 2006, in conversation with local historians, folklorists and storytellers in Laois and Offaly. Laois participants in the series include the following:

Bridie Conroy (nee Clear) on living in the Slieve Bloom Mountains

Padraig Scully on his bicycle shop in Mountmellick

Bill Lawlor on the canal in Mountmellick

Sean Delaney on farming life in the old days

Sean Wisely & Mick Clear on the oral history of Rosenallis

Bill Sinnot on basket weaving

Una Bloomer & Peg Moran on tailoring, milling and politics in Mountmellick

Dolores Dempsey on Mountmellick Embroidery

Maura Reddin on milling in Mountmellick

Dick Fitzpatrick on 18th & 19th Century history of Mountmellick

John Joe Dunne on farming traditions

Seamus Conroy on the craft of thatching

Jenny Maher on growing up on a local farm

The late Paddy ‘Crip’ Connolly on old songs

Ollie Delaney on restoring the Famine Wall in Ballyfin

Ralph & Mabel Thompson on an Anglo-Irish Settlement in Ballyfin

Pat, Bernie & Nora Brennan on Ballinakill in the early 20th Century

Tom Goode on blacksmithing in Ballyfin

Bill Redmond on his physical strength, work in a sawmill, and his father’s work on a local estate

Michael Dunne on the history of Clonaslee

Michael Flynn on blacksmithing

Irish Life & Lore Series: the Irish Country House & the Great War Collection

This collection consists of 52 interviews from all over Ireland including Laois. Laois participants in the series include the following:

Adrian Cosby on the history of Stradbally and Stradbally Hall; World War II; the Spanish Flu; Stradbally Market House; Kevin O’Higgins; Brockley Park; dismantling of landed estates and the Land Commission; the Hamilton Family of Roundwood

David Cosby on being a younger son in a landed family; growing up in Stradbally Hall;

his career as an estate and farm manager; his father’s career in World War II; the Cosby Family’s connection to the Savage Strong Family in Northern Ireland

Laois County Council Interviews

This collection consists of interviews of Laois County Council staff and councillors, recorded as part of the research for the Laois County Council centenary publication in 1999.

Laois Music Collection

This collection includes music recordings by various local artists including the following:

Ballyroan Brass Band 1939


Camross Comhaltas

Camross Folk Choir

Phyllis Clegg


Aileen Delaney

Gary Dunne

Paddy Fitzpatrick

Heather Fogarty


Martie’s Singing Club

Music Generation Laois

Na Fianna

Perfect Skins

Carmel Silver

79 Cortinaz


St. Joseph’s Sunday Choir Mountmellick



Laois at the crossroads / Laois County Council, [1987]

Tales at the crossroads: stories & folklore from County Laois / Nuala Hayes, 2002

The story of electricity generation from native sod peat in Portarlington : a history of the generating station, its staff and its community / supported by the ESB ; compiled by Jim Lawlor Video

History of Portlaoise / Michael Whelan, [1998]

History of Portlaoise. Part 2 / Michael Whelan, [1999]

Bianconi and Kevin O’Higgins Video, n/d

A year in the life of Stradbally Parish / Stradbally Parish, [1996]

The homecoming: Laois Minor All-Ireland Champions / John Brophy, 1997

The homecoming: Laois Minor All-Ireland Champions / John Brophy, 1996

Paddy White

All-Ireland Football Final 1996: Laois V Kerry Video / John Brophy, 1996

The Harpurs Lane Project / The Heilos Programme, [2013]

Mountmellick Famine Commemorative Walk: 10th September, 1995 / Mountmellick Famine Committee, 1995

The four provinces newsreels Video / Film Institute of Ireland, 1996

Home Rule Rally (speech) Carlow 1913 / John Dillon, [1984]

James Gandon: a life / Sé Merry Doyle, 1996

Boglands / Aisling Stuart, 1990

The peat railways of Ireland: the narrow gauge railways of Bord na Mona / Stephen Johnson, 1996

The thresher and the dance / Matt Cunningham and friends, [1995]

Gardens of Ireland / Bord Failte, [1998]

Caoineadh na bpratai dhubha / Scoil Mhuire, Portlaoise, 1995

Castlecomer and the mines

League Football Final, Laois V Monaghan, Croke Park, 4th May 1986 / John Brophy, 1986

The official opening of Portlaoise By-Pass, 29 May 1997 / John Brophy, 1997

On our own doorstep / Laois County Council, [1986]

Meadow by the way: a history of Clonaslee / Collected by Clonaslee Boys National School., 1986

Walking back to my heart / Anne Marie Kelly

The Forge/ Timahoe National School

James Fintan Lalor Inaugural School 2013. Panel debate: a country in crisis

James Fintan Lalor Inaugural School, 20 September 2013, presenting the Premiere of From the Sod to the Sky by Mike Finn

We shall remember them: a commemorative documentary acknowledging Mountmellick’s involvement in WWI

Summon her children: a short film drama about the events of Easter 1916 in County Laois / Michael Fleming

History of Mountmellick’s Christmas Tree, 1956-2009

Comoradh 1916. Paroiste Phort Laoise I gcomhar le Comhaltas Ceolteoiri Eireann, Craobh Phort Laoise, 24 April 1916