Our photographs from Alf Harvey’s archives this week feature the annual Laois Hunt Ball from 2001.
The event is one of most anticipated events on the Laois social scene, each year.
It certainly is a look back in time, both at the fashion for the horsey set, and the venue where the event was held.
The gala night took place in the Montague Hotel, Emo – a premises which was once renowned as a quality venue on the midlands entertainment scene.
However, in recent years it has become a direct provision centre – a far cry from the bustling entertainment venue it once was, catering for people from Laois, Offaly and Kildare.
Of course, like many other events, this year’s Laois Hunt Ball will not take place due to Covid-19.
The annual St Stephen’s Day hunt that started in the square in Abbeyleix also did not take place in 2020.
It was 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.”
Check out some great pictures from this event, which took place 20 years ago, below: