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Our Guide to What’s On this weekend

Brought to you by Laois Tourism

It’s a busy September weekend with lots going on. Check out Free Market in Mountmellick all weekend.

It’s an architecture exhibition and ongoing research project that explores the importance of small towns. Free Market will be at a number of towns across Ireland and Mountmellick was chosen from a very long list.

Hubert Murray is well worth seeing in Dunamaise Arts Centre on Friday night or there’s the best of the 90’s in Kavanaghs Bar and Venue on Saturday, proving there is something for everyone in Laois.

Finally don’t miss the 67th Annual Clonaslee Livestock and Produce Show this Sunday, it’s always an annual favourite.


Free Market
Free Market’ is an architecture exhibition and ongoing research project that explores the importance and possible future of small market towns in Ireland. This weekend it’s a visit to Mountmellick. People are invited to take part in walking tours, a scavenger hunt, vox pop recordings, discussions and public lectures and take home a copy of the newspaper, ‘Free Market News’. All events are free with the public launch happening at 6pm on the 5th. See website for full 3 day schedule.


Hubert Murray
Dunamaise Arts Centre Hubert’s performances embody all that is best in modern roots music, combining energy, soul and storytelling. Joining him on this musical journey are two members of Irish Persian fusion band, Navá. Tickets cost €15 and the event at 8pm. For tickets see www.dunamaise.ie or Ph: 058 86 63355.


Live music, free entry and late bar – Manhattan Mixer host Little Picnic this weekend as festival vibe continues
Are you suffering from Electric Picnic withdrawal systems? Are you struggling with the fact that it’s almost a year until you can go back to Stradbally for the three-day festival again?

Well, to soften the blow, the very popular Portlaoise night-time venue, the Manhattan Mixer, are holding a Little Picnic event this weekend. Saturday night the headline act 4 till 6 are playing from 12-2am. The event is Over 21s and there is a late bar with no cover charge.

The Cottage Market
The monthly market runs this Saturday in the Macra Hall, Mountrath. This artisan market is full of home-grown, handcrafted or homemade goods. It runs from 10am-1pm. For more information see here.

Supersonic- The Ultimate 90s Brit-Rock Experience 
Supersonic bring their show to Kavanaghs Bar & Venue. This is a blistering two hours of classic 90s tunes from the likes of Oasis, Blur, Primal Scream, Radiohead, Manic Street Preachers, Supergrass, The Verve. Tickets are €10 and the gig kicks off at 10pm. For more info or tickets see or Ph: 057 86 21744.

Intensive Horticultural Course
This intensive course covers planning and design of your garden and polytunnel. It includes soil, composting, vegetables, managing weeds & much more. Dunmore Country School host this event. The course is €100 including lunch and runs from 9.30am-4.30pm. For more information or to book see here or Ph: 057 87 36578


Slieve Bloom Guided Walk
The Slieve Bloom Walking Club’s next guided walk is the Baunreagh walk. This walk is a Grade A, 10km walk and takes 4 hours. Meeting point is Clonaslee Community Centre at 11am. €5 per walk or €20 annual membership (€30 for family). For more information see www.slievebloom.ie.

Children’s Creative Writing Workshop
Emo Court hosts an International Literacy Day presentation with Debbie Thomas. You’ll invent characters, investigate a crime scene and weave some knotty plots. The cost is €10 per child or €30 per family. The course runs from 3pm-5pm. For more information see http://emocourt.ie/calendar/

Clonaslee Livestock & Produce Show
67th Annual Clonaslee Livestock and Produce Show runs this Sunday. This wonderful show celebrates agriculture, livestock, produce and a little bit of culture and tradition. Combining competitions with entertainment, exhibitions and excitement, there is something for all the family on this great day out.

This is running beside the Clonaslee Community Centre and it costs €10 per person with school children going free. The show begins at 12pm. For enquiries, contact Garrett Culliton on 086 837 2039 or email clonasleeshow@gmail.com.

5k Run to Remember
The annual run to remember race will begin in Portarlington Community Centre. Adults entry is €10 Juniors are €5 & Family is €20. All proceeds are in aid of Laois/Offaly Specialist Palliative Care & Portarlington Community Centre. After the race come back for refreshments where they will have a “Remembrance Tree” and a “Remembrance Slideshow”. Registration is at 9am with the race beginning at 10:30am. For more information see https://www.facebook.com/Portarlington-Community-Centre-126931253986661/

Ballintubbert Classic Car Picnic
Ballintubbert Gardens hosts the Ballinakill Vintage & Classic Owners Club for a family fun day at Ballintubbert Gardens and House. Bring your own picnic and enjoy the fantastic display of classic cars. Entry is €5 per adult & children are free. It runs from 1pm-4pm. For more information see https://www.facebook.com/events/858404174542942/

A Taste of Shanahoe
This is a great family day out to see what one of our local communities has to offer. Shanahoe Community Hall will host this event. Enjoy finding out about local businesses and clubs. There will be a big raffle with lots of prizes to be won, a friendly cuppa and entertainment. There is no cover charge and it runs from 2pm-4pm. For more information see https://www.facebook.com/shanahoeparishhall/

Foraging Workshop
Ballykilcavan Farm & Brewery are hosting Julie of Wild Food Kildare foraging workshop in the amazing walled garden at Ballykilcavan Brewery. The cost is €35 and it runs from 12pm-3pm. For more information see https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/foraging-workshop-with-wild-food-kildare-tickets-68320946791

Laois Heritage App
Out and about Laois and want to know more about the local sites? Download the Laois Heritage App on the Google Play Store or Apple IStore. It covers 14 different sites around the county with a brief audio guide on each. The Laois Garden trail can also be found on this app.

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.