This weekend is all about Culture Night. There are over 20 free events all around the county.
There are free tours in Emo Court and Donaghmore Famine Workhouse.
Puppet shows in Abbeyleix, pop up Gaeltacht in Ballyfin, An Into the West screening in Portarlington and lots of live music, spoken word and arts on display all around Laois.
Make sure you plan your evening well to get the most out of such a wonderful night.
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 20
Friday night is Culture Night. Returning for its fourteenth year, Culture Night is an all-island celebration of arts, heritage and culture. Laois is certainly well represented with over 20 free events this Friday all around the county. We are so lucky to have an abundance of great locations and events to celebrate our local culture. The only problem will be trying to be in about 10 locations at once! For full listings see https://culturenight.ie/events/laois/ or pick up a brochure locally.
Showcase Abbeyleix by McCormick Puppets
Abbeyleix Heritage House will present McCormick Puppets showcasing their newest production specific to Abbeyleix, the locality, current social issues and historical events within the museum. This event runs from 6pm-7:30pm and there is no cover charge.
Ballyfin Pop-up Gaeltacht
An Sean Chistin, Ballyfin offer a Míle fáilte do gach duine to come and use cúpla focal in a relaxed and inclusive environment. This will be an informal evening of music and chat as Gaeilge with cupán tae nó caifé. This is a free event running from 8pm -9pm and no booking required.
Ballyfin Art Studio Open Night
Glory Glory Art Studio, Old Deerpark, Ballyfin is where artist Kevin McCann will host an open studio event. Refreshments and good music will also be provided. A free bus will be available for visitors to travel to and from the studio – departing from Laois County Council at 7pm and returning at 9pm. This is a free but booking is required. Call 0577 8664013/33 to book.
Tours and talks at Donaghmore Famine Workhouse
Trevor Stanley will explore the history of the famine in Laois, and also introduce visitors to the great agricultural and country life collection at the museum, reflecting its importance as a farmers’ co-operative in the early years of the State. This is a free event running from 6pm -8pm and no booking is required.
Durrow After Dark
Laois Libraries proudly present a musical salon night in Durrow Library. A night of light classical and popular music performed by violinist/violist Ali Comerford and pianist Anna Callanan. This is a free event that runs from 8pm-9pm but booking is required. Call 057 8736090 to book.
Exhibitions and Free Guided Tour of Emo Court
Emo Court is one of the finest stately homes in Ireland. Designed by James Gandon in 1790 for the Earls of Portarlington, it is a magnificent example of neo-classical architecture. Why not partake in a free tour of the recently restored Emo Court. This is a free event and no booking is required. Tours will run at 6pm and 7pm
Mountmellick – Life Stories
The MDA, Mountmellick with The Slieve Bloom Association presents ‘Life Stories’, a recording of life stories at the foot of the Slieve Bloom Mountains. Refreshments will be served. This is a free event running from 7pm-10.30pm and no booking is required.
Music at St. Vincent’s Hospital Mountmellick
Music with the residents and friends of St. Vincent’s community nursing unit in Mountmellick. Mountmellick Comhaltas will perform in the nursing unit to entertain and join with the residents to celebrate Culture Night. This is a free event that runs from 5pm-7pm and no booking is required.
History & Music at Roundwood House, Mountrath
Owners Paddy and Hannah Flynn would be delighted to welcome you for a tour of Roundwood House, as well as the grounds and outbuildings. Complete the tour in the beautiful library with tea/coffee, homemade biscuits and music by Paddy and Ted (“Roundwood Kitchen Staff”) performing songs from their new album. A free bus will be available for visitors to travel to Roundwood – departing from Laois County Council at 4:30pm and returning at approx. 6:30pm. This is a free event but booking is required. The house tour begins at 5pm. Call 057 8732120 to book.
Screening of Into the West – Portarlington
The Church of Ireland Hall, Portarlington will host a special screening of Into the West in celebration of the new Into the West mural created by Street artists ADW, as part of the Creative Ireland Cruinniú na nÓg programme. This is a free event that will begin at 5pm and no booking is required.
Open Studio and Workshops Killenard
Tap into your colours, textures and shapes and let your creativity flow at Mount Henry Art Studio, Killenard. Artist Mary Slevin will welcome all ages to drop in and create some artwork during the day.
In addition, two structured art workshops will be provided, from 5pm-6pm for children and 7pm-8pm for adults. The event is free but booking is required for both workshops. The studio is open from 2pm-8pm with workshops at 5 and 6pm. To book call Mary Slevin on 087 906 3363.
The Henry Girls in Concert
Dunamaise Arts Centre hosts this very special musical act to celebrate Culture Night. The Henry Girls have a sensational talent and their harmony singing and musicality goes beyond mere technique. The concert will feature a very special collaboration with singers from Music Generation Laois. This is a free event but booking is required. The show runs from 7pm-8:30pm and to book call057 8663355 or visit www.dunamaise.ie.
The Equinox – Culture Night
Kavanagh’s Bar & Venue (Upstairs) will host a night of performance-based art in celebration of the Autumnal Equinox. Beautiful, mystical, and magical performances from artists of Laois and across Ireland – visual art, magic, performance art, poetry, dance, music, burlesque. There is no cover charge and it runs from 9pm to 12am. Booking is not required, however this is an over 18s event.
Dance performance by LYDE
Laois Youth Dance Ensemble will perform at Laois Shopping Centre from 5.30pm-6pm. Expect flow, originality and artistry! This is a free event and no booking is required.
Showcase of Mountmellick Embroidery
Laois Shopping Centre will host the Mountmellick Embroidery Portlaoise Group as they exhibit their exquisite work. The public can see how this age-old craft is created or join in making work in an effort to encourage new members to join the group and keep this craft alive. This runs from 7pm-8.30pm and is free for all.
The Language of Love – Portlaoise Library
Laois Writers’ Group presents “The Language of Love”, sharing the best of classical writing on the theme of love in all its forms. This is a free event running from 8:30pm-10pm but booking is recommended. To book call 057 86622333.
When All Is Said: Anne Griffin in conversation with Claire O’Brien
Anne Griffin is author of When All Is Said – a number 1 Irish best seller. Set in the bar of a grand hotel in a small Irish town, ‘When All Is Said’ sees 84-year-old Maurice Hannigan finally tell his story to different people who sit at the bar beside him. This runs in Portlaoise Library at 7pm-8.30pm and is a free event but booking is recommended. To book call 057 86622333.
Traditional Evening with Spink Comhaltas
Enjoy an evening of traditional Irish music, singing, storytelling, and dancing in the beautiful Knock Community Hall in Spink, with some of the best musicians in the country performing as part of the evening. This is a free event that runs from 7:30pm-9pm.
Ceadere Ceramic art Exhibition
The Laois Arthouse Gallery Stradbally will open for a specially commissioned ceramic art exhibition ‘Ceadere’ by arthouse resident artist Cathy Whelan for Culture Night. This is a free event running from 5pm-8pm but booking is required. Call 057 8664033 to book.
Kavanaghs Bar & Venue host the amazing Queen Tribute Act, Flash Harry. This is a must for all Queen fans. Tickets are €21.00 and the gig begins at 9.30pm. For tickets or more information see http://kavanaghsportlaoise.com or call 057 86 21744.
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 21
Mountrath Christmas Lights Does Calendar Girls
Eddie Kirwan’s Bar will host a fun fundraiser in aid of Mountrath Christmas lights. Who will make it into the calendar! This promises to be a great night out. The fun begins at 9pm. For more information see https://www.facebook.com/events/509127589829462.
Nomad Players present Invisible Women
Dunamaise Arts Centre hosts two hilarious monologues by Alan Bennett. These two short plays are both funny and entertaining and a great way to pass an evening. Tickets are €16/€14 and it begins at 8pm. For more information see dunamaise.ie or Ph: 057 86 63355
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 22
Slieve Bloom Guided Walk
The Slieve Bloom Walking Club’s next guided walk is the Spink Mountain/ Silver River Walk. This walk is a Grade B, 10km walk and takes 4 hours. Meeting point is Cadamstown Car Park at 11am. €5 per walk or €20 annual membership (€30 for family). For more information see www.slievebloom.ie.
Flamenco with John Walsh & Gines Pozas
Emo Court provides the perfect backdrop for an evening of music. The brilliant guitarist John Walsh will present a performance of classic Flamenco palos (song forms), as well as some of his own instrumental compositions for guitar. The show runs from 7.30pm to 9.30pm and tickets cost adult €15 or a family of 4 €50. To book or find out more see https://www.eventbrite.com/e/john-walsh-flamenco-guitar-guests-tickets-62394219791
Giving Light & Hope Walk
Oughaval Wood , Stradbally is the venue for the next Giving Light and Hope walk. Come along with your family and friends. So many of us have lost loved ones to suicide, so it’s nice to come together and support each other while remembering our loved one. The walk takes place at 1pm. For more information contact Caroline on 086-0610098
Emo 100km Cycle
Why not take part in either a100km or 50km cycling event this Sunday in aid of Emo/Rath Senior Citizens. The cycle begins and ends at Emo Community Centre and you can choose the distance that suits you best. Refreshments will be served on return to Emo Community Centre. Entry is €20 and registration is as follows: 9:30am 100km: 10:30am 50km. Call 087 265 4001 for further info. https://www.facebook.com/Laois-Cycling-and-Touring-Club-1648283442127885/
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.