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

1 – Laois farm of 42 ½ acre sells for €582,000

Matt Dunne Auctioneer reported a few weeks ago he was instructed to sell the Late John Rafter’s Estate namely a derelict cottage on 42 ½ acres at Coolnacartan, Mountrath.

The Auction took place this week to a packed audience at the Maldron Hotel in Portlaoise.

The guide prices before hand for the entire was €455,000 but on the day, it made a whopping €582,000 or 28% over the guide price. In all it was priced at just under €13,700 per acre.

2 – ‘Bordering on criminal’ not to demolish houses to make way for road in Laois

“Two fine big houses” that are nevertheless “an eyesore” on the Stradbally Road in Portlaoise should be demolished to make way for a new link with the Dublin Road.

At the recent meeting of the Portlaoise Municipal District, Cllr Catherine Fitzgerald called on the council to give an update on the two derelict houses on the Stradbally Road.

She was informed that the two vacant and derelict houses at Beladd on the Stradbally Road in Portlaoise have been acquired by Laois County Council by Compulsory Purchase Order.

3 – Laois football club loses goalkeeper while hurling club gains former county player in latest transfers

Two Laois men have had their transfer requests approved in the latest round of Leinster GAA switches.

Stradbally goalkeeper Wayne Comerford has successfully moved to Valleymount in Wicklow.

Elsewher, Dan McCormack, who played at full forward on the Laois U-20 team that reached the 2019 Leinster final, is off to Clonad to play hurling.

The O’Dempsey’s footballer had been hurling with Ros Glas of Monasterevin in Kildare up to now.

4 – Laois woman’s stunning house renovation set to feature on popular RTE show this weekend

Stradbally will be the focus of prime time television on Sunday evening in the latest episode of a popular RTE show.

The Great House Revival is onto series 3 and the second episode will be focused solely around a house in Laois.

In 2016, Maryrose Simpson’s grandmother Angela passed away and she left her home on Main Street in Stradbally to her granddaughter.

The three bedroom corner house is where their family have lived for five generations. Maryrose was determined to renovate it and speaking to LaoisToday, she explained how she ended up doing the works on television.

5 – Hagan class as O’Loughlin’s Longford relegate misfiring Laois down to Division 4

The Laois senior footballers have suffered back to back National Football League relegation after they were comprehensively beaten by Longford in O’Moore Park on a scoreline of 2-17 to 1-13.

After making the drop from Division 2 last year, Laois are back in Division 4 for the second time since 2018.

Laois’s struggles in O’Moore Park go on as this was their eighth successive time to fail to win here and it was their accuracy in front of goal that let them down.

The Kennedy sisters Jean and Ciara at Faoin SpŽir in Mountrath, a county wide arts initative developed by Dunamaise Arts Centre in partnership with Music Generation Laois and Laois Arts Office, funded by the Arts Council Ireland’s in the Open/Faoin SpŽir programme and Laois County Council.
Picture: Alf Harvey.

6 – In Pictures: All smiles as special event in Mountrath goes down a treat

Celebrating the return of audiences to the arts, Dunamaise Arts Centre presented ‘A Sunday Afternooon’ in Mountrath as part of re:CENTRING Laois last weekend.

Laois musician Kean Kavanagh who shortly embarks on an Irish tour and performs at Electric Picnic 2022, joined a host of other artists on the day with an eclectic range of music, visual arts, theatre and dance providing the entertainment.

Featuring free live and In the Open, Artists Mick O’Dea, Ella de Burca and Dermot Claffey displayed their work and present masterclasses for onlookers. And photographer Alf Harvey was on hand to capture a selection of images.

Olivia Loj

7 – More than €6,000 raised for young Laois girl as she continues cancer battle

More than €6,000 has been raised in aid a of a young Laois girl who is undergoing a cancer battle.

13-year-old Olivia Loj from Mountmellick was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia.

The brave teenager has been battling with the illness and is currently undergoing treatment in Crumlin Children’s Hospital.

8 – Steeped in blue and white but O’Loughlin returns to O’Moore Park plotting Laois’s downfall

Ahead of last Sunday’s Laois v Longford National Football League game, we profiled Longford manager Billy O’Loughlin.

The Arles-Killeen man is the youngest inter-county manager in the country and returned to O’Moore Park to relegate his native county to Division 4.

Joe Biden Timahoe

9 – US president Joe Biden to visit Laois village as link established with local relatives

US President Joe Biden is to make an official visit to Timahoe later this year as part of a brief tour of Ireland after it was confirmed that he has relations in the small Laois village.

Details of Biden’s Ireland visit are expected to be confirmed in the coming days and a stop in Timahoe will be a central part of his historic stay.

A spokesperson in the White House press department confirmed that Biden “is some way related to the Ramsbottoms” and that he is very keen to visit the area.

Note this story may not actually be true. It was published on April 1, after all. 

Bord na Mona Togher

10 – Bord na Mona plant in Portlaoise set to reopen following agreement with international company

An agreement between Bord na Mona and an international company will see a plant in Portlaoise reopen.

So says local Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley who welcomed the arrangement between the Irish company and ICL.

The plant at Togher has been lying idle for a number of years now.

Under the agreement reached by the two companies, the existing peat stocks from the local bogs will be ring fenced solely for the Irish market and Irish growers.

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