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St Stephen’s Day events hit as traditional Abbeyleix hunt cancelled and Clonaslee walk and Portlaoise run go virtual

St Stephen’s Day has traditionally been a great day to get out of the house and take part in some local community event but it’ll be a lot quieter this year.

A number of local St Stephen’s Day events have either been cancelled, not organised at all or gone virtual.

Among those to be changed this year is the annual St Stephen’s Day hunt that started in the square in Abbeyleix. It will be the first time in about 100 years that it won’t be taking place.

“Unfortunately due to Covid 19 Laois Hunt has cancelled its traditional St Stephens Day Meet in Abbeyleix,” said David Lalor, Master of the Laois Hunt.

“In the interest of public health and the danger of attracting a gathering it was decided to cancel the very popular event.

“Laois Hunt would like to take this opportunity to thank the public and the members of the Guardi for the tremendous support it has received in Abbeyleix over the past many many years and looks forward to returning to normality in 2021.”

Portlaoise Athletics Club have moved their annual 5k fundraising run to a virtual event, meaning you can run the Block Road route at any time (or another route that suits you) and make a donation on Go Fund Me to their Cuisle Centre appeal.

“We have proudly held this event annualy since Jimmy McComack started it some years ago, but as you know Covid has restricted it to club members only this year.

“However you can still play your part by completing the Block Road route any part of the day and donating at this link.

“This St Stephen’s Day we are holding a virtual 5k Fun Run/Walk/Jog.  Start at any time between 10am and 12 midday, anywhere in the world!

“Post your times and photos  to our Whatsapp on (087) 6100 908. Cuisle is a registered charity based in Portlaoise offering professional support to anyone affected by a cancer diagnosis throughout the cancer journey.

“All funds raised by the Portlaoise AC will go to the centre to help with their running costs.  Your support will mean a lot to both Portlaoise AC and the Cuisle Centre and we are, as always, most grateful for your generous support.”

Likewise, the annual Clonaslee St Stephen’s Day walk in aid of Laois Hospice is also taking a different format.

“To accommodate the unprecedented circumstances in 2020 and to ensure people remain safe, we have taken the decision to make our annual event virtual this year,” they say.

The organisers are asking yoou to walk, jog or run a distance of 5km or 10km on December 26, 27 or 28 (within the current Covid-19 regulations) and make a donation on www.justgiving.com . Alternatively you can contact Sheila Burke on 087 6339540.

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