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

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1 – Outrage as Laois farmer has silage stolen from 18-acre field

A Laois farmer has been the victim of a rather bizarre yet sinister form of crime this week.

On Tuesday, a farmer discovered that an 18-acre field in Portlaoise that he had rented from a landowner had been cut – but not by him.

To his dismay, the meadow had been completely cut, grass collected, baled, wrapped and taken away.

2 – In Pictures: Tributes paid as popular Laois principal brings 40 years teaching career to an end 

It was a great occasion in Ballinakill National School on Thursday as their principal brought her 40 year teaching career to an end on the last day of the term.

Ms Caitriona Garry officially retired at a ceremony in front of the school that was attended by past and present students, parents, fellow teachers and dignitaries.

Ms Garry, who is originally from Landenstown in Kildare, began teaching in 1982 and came to Ballinakill in January 1983.

3 – 18 potential candidates to fill the vacant Laois hurling manager’s job 

For the second time in the last three years, the Laois senior hurlers are without a manager.

Seamas ‘Cheddar’ Plunkett decided to step down as boss in a statement released last weekend.

And as Laois GAA go in search of a successor, we have listed off 18 potential candidates.

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4 – Long-serving Laois secondary school principal announces decision to retire

The long-serving principal of Colaiste Iosagain in Portarlington has announced his decision to retire.

Seamus Bennett has been principal of the Laois-Offaly school since September 2000 – but will retire on October 2.

“Seamus was appointed in 2000 and is one of the longest-serving principals in the midlands,” said a statement from the school.

Freedom of City Mary, Ed, Gary

5 – In Pictures: Laois man receives Freedom of City of London with musician Ed Sheeran 

Gary Dunne from Portlaoise has been awarded the Freedom of the City of London along with singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran and community volunteer Maeve Heath.

The award was given by The Lord Mayor of the City of London, Rt. Hon. Vincent Keaveny in recognition of their outstanding work in the London Irish Centre, for which Gary is Creative Director, Ed is patron and Maeve is their longest serving volunteer.

6 – Gardai appeal for witnesses and information following fatal road crash in Laois 

Gardai are appealing for anyone with information surrounding a fatal road accident in Laois to come forward.

The incident happened on the Athy Road outside Stradbally on Friday afternoon.

A single vehicle was involved in a collision with a wall and subsequently caught fire.

7 – In Pictures: A selection of wonderful images as the Whistlin’ Donkeys get the Old Fort Festival underway 

The Old Fort Festival in Portlaoise began with a bang on Thursday evening with a raucous gig put on by Tyrone band the Whistlin Donkeys.

The four-day festival is the first major post-Covid event in Portlaoise with live music on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

An impressive covered area has been set up in the Laois Music Centre and a massive crowd turned out on Thursday evening for the folk/rock band Whistlin’ Donkeys who are just back from a sold-out performances at the BarrowLands festival in Glasgow.

Soap Sisters

8 – Business Briefing: Sisters open new store in Laois, latest supports and news from across the county

Laois Chamber CEO Caroline Hofman caught up with Samantha Moloney Murphy, one half of S&S Soap Sisters.

The business was founded during the pandemic in 2020 by Samantha and her sister Sinéad Moloney.

The sisters recently opened their new store at 82 Main Street, Portlaoise.

Aisling Quigley interview

9 – Talking Sport Podcast: Aisling Quigley interview – making a ladies football comeback and Doing it for Dan

Given all that she’s been through it would have been very easy for Aisling Quigley to assume that she’d never play for the Laois ladies football team ever again.

But despite a number of years away from the county team, having two young children and the huge challenges that come with caring for her three-year-old son Dan – who is special needs and a young boy who captured the country’s heart during the Do it for Dan campaign in 2020 – when she got the call last winter from Donie Brennan to rejoin the panel she was honoured to do so.

In a really open interview on the LaoisToday podcast, she chats about Dan and her reasons for going back to play with Laois.

10 – Park-Ratheniska hold on to clinch promotion from ACFL Division 1B 

Neighbours Timahoe and Park-Ratheniska met in a very enjoyable ACFL Division 2 game on Tuesday evening where the winners were guaranteed promotion to Division 1B for next season.

And it was last year’s intermediate champions that emerged victorious but only after a serious battle as they held on for a narrow 0-15 to 0-14 win.


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