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The week that was: Our most read stories of the past seven days

LaoisToday top stories

1 – Garda appeal after number of men enter occupied house in Laois and steal sum of cash

Gardai are appealing for anyone with information to come forward following an incident at a house in Laois on Monday March 7.

The incident occurred at Aghnaharna Drive in Portlaoise at around 8pm.

A number of men broke into the home which was occupied at the time of the crime.

2 – Jack Nolan: ‘I’ve my own battle in St James Hospital and that starts this week’

Legendary local GAA commentator Jack Nolan is to begin cancer treatment in St James’ Hospital this week, after he announced that he was stepping aside from his Midlands 103 role on Sunday.

Jack has been commentating on GAA games since 1990 and has had a ringside seat for all of Laois GAA’s big moments over the years.

He had been involved in Laois GAA for a long number of years before that too.

3 – Top-earning Laois solicitors on Legal Aid system revealed as 2021 figures break €40 million nationally

A Laois solicitor took in almost €250,000 in Legal Aid fees in 2021, according to figures released in recent days by the Department of Justice.

Barry Fitzgerald, who has a practise on Main Street in Portlaoise, was paid €237,634.10 in 2021, making him the highest earner in Laois on the system and 41st in the country overall.

In all over €40 million was paid to almost 800 solicitors in the country, up from €34 million in 2020.

Hall of Fame recipient Christy O’Brien with family and friends at the 2016 Laois GAA Awards

4 – Death occurs of Christy O’Brien, one of Laois’s greatest hurlers of all time

The death occurred of Christy O’Brien from Borris-in-Ossory earlier this week, regarded as one of the greatest Laois hurlers of all time.  He was just short of his 89th birthday.

Highly regarded all over the country during his Laois senior career that lasted from 1952 to 1969, he was once named on the team of the greatest hurlers never to win an All Ireland. 

He won five Laois senior hurling championships with Borris-in-Ossory – whom he captained to their first ever senior success in 1956.

Lynn Ryder Sands Ukraine

5 – Laois women set to head to Ukrainian border to help humanitarian effort

A Laois mother of three is set to head off across the continent next week to join the humanitarian effort on the Ukrainian border with Poland.

Lynn Ryder-Sands, who hails from Mountmellick, hopes to depart Ireland on Monday and take the more than 3,000km trip to the border between Poland and Ukraine.

Lynn was born in Galway but moved to America at the age of five where she lived in Spring Lake, New Jersey until 11 years ago when she got married and moved to Laois.

Laois minor footballers

6 – Laois minor footballers name captain, vice-captain and 35-player panel ahead of championship

Laois minor football manager Conor Gorman has named his captain, vice-captain and 35-player panel ahead of the upcoming Leinster championship.

Emo’s Davy Costello has been chosen as captain for the year while Ballylinan’s Darragh Loughman is vice-captain.

Costello’s appointment means the club provide two county captains this year as Sean Greene is skippering the U-20s.

Della Doherty, Orla Sheridan, Oisin Jago Trinity College

7 – Five Laois students receive Trinity College entrance scholarship awards

A record number of students from every county in Ireland and 29 countries overseas have been awarded Entrance Exhibition Awards from Trinity College Dublin.

Among them were five students from Laois from five different secondary schools.

Andrew Syomushkin (Mountmellick Community School) Orla Sheridan (Scoil Criost Ri), Oisin Jago (Mountrath Community School) and James Carroll (Portlaoise CBS) were all winners.

8 – Dwyer the hero as 14-man Laois come back from the dead to see off Antrim

Cha Dwyer was Laois’s hero as his point in the third minute of injury time saw them defeat Antrim 1-20 to 1-19 and preserve their Division 1 status for another year.

It was a remarkable win for Laois who had to play for almost 50 minutes with 14 men following the dismissal of Jack Kelly in the first half.

They led for most of the game but fell behind in the 69th minute when Paddy Burke curled Antrim ahead.

Kean Kavanagh

9 – Young Portlaoise man among the acts as Electric Picnic announce line-up

Kean Kavanagh from Portlaoise is among the performers that will be on stage at this year’s Electric Picnic.

The talented musician, who performed previously at Electric Picnic in 2019, now looks set for a more prominent slot, having been included in the official poster released by the festival organisers this morning.

A long-time collaborator with Kojaque, who he tours the US and Canada with this May, he has also performed at Glastonbury, Other Voices and All Together Now as well as warming up for Lana Del Rey in Dublin.

Forest Fest

10 – The Stunning set to feature at new music and arts festival – Forest Fest – in Emo this July

A new music festival, Forest Fest, will take place in Emo this summer over three days in July.

Forest Fest, a new music and arts festival was originally launched in early 2020 and later postponed until 2021.

However, like so many events it was ultimately called off due to on-going and long running public health and travel restrictions.

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