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

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1 – In Pictures: A selection of images from Shine 2022 at Emo Court

Shine Emo Court

What a day!

The crowds flocked to Emo Court in their thousands on Saturday for Shine 2022, the inaugural one-day trade-fair style event that had over 100 local exhibitors and Ireland’s Fittest Club event as its centrepiece.

In the beautiful surrounds of Emo Court, it had the usual trappings of an event of its kind: food village, children’s entertainment and an army of well-organised local stewards – over 80 members of the Emo GAA club were on hand from early morning to late evening.

Dympna Kelly Dunamase College New

2 – Laois’s newest secondary school announce appointment of new principal 

Laois’s newest secondary school have announced that they have appointed a new principal.

Laois and Offaly Education and Training Board (LOETB) has confirmed that Ms Dympna Kelly as the new principal for Dunamase College – Coláiste Dhún Másc in Portlaoise.

Dympna is currently deputy principal in Ardscoil na Tríonóide, Athy, Kildare having taken up that position in 2017.


3 – Two women and two men charged following money laundering operation 

Gardai have arrested and charged four people following a money laundering operation from more than two years ago.

On April 6 2020, Gardai arrested two women and seized a large sum of cash during an operation in Laois.

The incident happened after Gardai stopped a car on the M7 and discovered a huge quantity of cash inside.


4 – Fire Services attend the scene as blaze breaks out at commercial unit in Laois town 

Laois Fire Services were very busy on Monday night as they attended the send of a blaze at a commercial unit.

The incident occurred in Mountrath where crews were summoned around 10.40pm.

Fire service personnel from Portlaoise and Mountrath attended the blaze.


5 – Planning permission granted for the extension of Laois primary school 

Planning permission has been granted to Castletown Primary School for a new extension for two classrooms for children with autism.

These new Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) classrooms enable students to integrate into a mainstream school community, participate as far as possible in the curriculum, along with additional supports in the areas they might struggle with.

U-9 Experience Night

6 – In Pictures: Mighty craic as U-9 footballers flock to O’Moore Park for Experience Night

The Laois GAA county grounds was buzzing on Monday night as U-9 footballers from all around the county descended on Portlaoise for the O’Moore Park experience night.

In all 22 different clubs were represented as over 500 young boys and girls played in the fun non-competitive Go Games.

Starting at 5pm on Monday evening, there were five time slots for clubs with up to six games going ahead at the same time.

Hewyood Community School Awards

7 – In Pictures: Excellence rewarded as Heywood Community School host annual awards night 

Following a two year break, the annual Heywood Community School Awards night took place last Thursday evening, May 19, in the school gym.

In front of a large congregation, students from the school were recognised for their achievements in the categories of cultural and pastoral awards, sporting awards and academic awards.

The evening culminated with the presentation of the main awards and the Bank of Ireland Student of the Year for 2022.


8 – Cheddar hugely disappointed but insists Laois can play at highest level

The Laois hurlers finished up their Leinster championship campaign last Saturday when they were beaten by 18 points by Westmeath.

Though they finished on the bottom of the group, they can still avoid relegated should Kerry win the second-tier Joe McDonagh Cup.

And Laois manager Seamas ‘Cheddar’ Plunkett insists his side are good enough for the Liam MacCarthy championship despite a number of big defeats this seaso.

“I believe this team is good enough to play at this level,” he said.

“I thought before the team had the ability to win matches and bring the top teams down to the wire.

“I think this team belongs to that (level). We didn’t perform like that and we’re all so hugely disappointed by that.”


Emo Court launch

9 – New visitor facilities launched at Emo Court and Parklands ahead of summer season

On a day of great excitement at Emo Court and Parklands last Saturday, Minister of State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works, Patrick O’Donovan officially launched a suite of new visitor facilities.

The Office of Public Works (OPW) has invested significantly in Emo Court, delivering on its ambition to place the James Gandon neo-classical architecture firmly on the map of Irish and foreign visitors.

The new visitor hub, picnic area, new car park, improved path network, improvements to the lake, and the renovated Walled Garden provide the frame for an enhanced and enjoyable experience from the moment visitors arrive on site.


Portlaoise Leisure Centre pitch

10 – Fence needed to protect Portlaoise pitch from pedestrians and cyclists

The grass pitch at Portlaoise Leisure Centre used by soccer teams from four counties may need to be protected with a boundary fence to prevent damage by pedestrians and cyclists.

But the council should first consider the opinions of residents as the park must remain accessible to all, a recent meeting of the Portlaoise Municipal District has heard.

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