There is deep sadness in Portlaoise and throughout the county of Laois following the passing of Laura Kilkenny.
Mrs Kilkenny on Tuesday June 1 and was known far and wide for her musical talent, witty humour and her incredible ability to light up a room with her smile.
Originally from Dublin, Laura moved to Portlaoise many years ago with her late husband Tony who was a prison officer.
She is survived by her son Tom and daughters Deirdre (Walsh) and Fiona (Bracken) as well as her cherished grandchildren Evan, Charlie, Amy and Katie.
She is also deeply regretted by her loving family, sons in law Joe and Fergus, daughter in law Eileen, brother Thomas and sister Maureen, sister in law Bernie Hegarty, nephews, nieces, relatives, neighbours and friends.
Laura was best known for her involvement in Portlaoise Panto for a long number of years.
Labour Cllr for Portlaoise, Noel Tuohy, knows Laura virtually all of his life and he paid tribute to the wonderful person that she was.
He said: “I knew Laura for a very long time and she was a legend in these parts.
“She was doing pantos when I was in school and she was absolutely brilliant – she will be a huge loss, not just to the panto, but to the whole community.
“She was heavily involved in drama and other activities around the county and she really was great craic.
“If you had a party that wasn’t going well, it would be Laura that you would turn to to get it started.
“She would do a medley and party piece – a beautiful singer with such natural talent.
“She worked with the panto every year since its inception. When she finished on the stage, she was making costumes and dresses.
“She gave so much time to it but she loved it too. The town loved her and she’s a huge loss.”
While JJ Tynan, Chairman of Portlaoise Musical Society, said that Laura’s talent ‘knew no bounds’.
He said: “Portlaoise Musical Society was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Laura Kilkenny.
“Laura was a true stalwart of Portlaoise Pantomime, and indeed her association with all the arts, be it on stage or backstage within Laois and beyond.
“Her talent knew no bounds and Laura epitomised what it is to be a volunteer.
“It’s certainly true that we stand on the shoulders of giant’s, Laura was without doubt a giant of her time.
“The Society extends its deepest sympathy to Laura’s children Tom, Deirdre and Fiona, their family & friends and finally to all her friends within Portlaoise Pantomime.
“May she rest in peace.”
Given the current exceptional circumstances, and to protect the welfare of everyone who knew her, a funeral with family and close friends will take place at 2pm on Thursday, 3rd June, in SS. Peter and Paul’s Church, Portlaoise and will be streamed on the webcam http://www.portlaoiseparish.ie/web-cam/.
Burial will follow in SS. Peter and Paul’s Cemetery, Portlaoise, immediately thereafter.
May Laura Rest in Peace.