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

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What a day that was!

From the moment many of the Laois players were applauded from their homes, to the team bus leaving Portlaoise, a thrilling match and celebrations in Croke Park after winning the All Ireland ladies intermediate football final and a welcome home back at the Killeshin Hotel, it really was a day of days.

Not since 2001 had the Laois ladies football team played in Croke Park and thousands of supporters duly made their way to Jones Road for the All Ireland intermediate final.

Eight Talking Points as Laois ladies footballers claim All Ireland glory

We picked our player of the match, looked back at some of the game’s great moments and wondered what lies in store next for the wonderful Laois ladies football team.

The Laois ladies football team have been crowned All Ireland champions after a hard-earned win over Wexford in Croke Park this afternoon.

3 – Brilliant Laois ladies claim All Ireland glory

The Laois ladies football team were crowned All Ireland intermediate champions after a hard-earned 1-13 to 1-11 win over Wexford in Croke Park on Sunday afternoon.

Having lost to Wexford in this year’s Leinster semi-final as well as last year’s All Ireland semi-final, Donie Brennan’s side turned the the tables in GAA HQ in a thrilling contest that went right down to the final whistle.

Our match report detailed the game blow by blow.

4 – Explained: What the new structure on the Abbeyleix Road in Portlaoise actually is – and what it means

Anyone driving on the Abbeyleix Road or Fr Browne Avenue bear O’Moore Park in recent weeks will have notice a significant new concrete structure being erected.

‘Protectour’ is a large permanent artwork marking the gateway to Portlaoise town by Wicklow artist James Hayes.

David McDonald Unlocked

For the vast majority of people who lived in Portlaoise over recent decades, little was known about the goings on in the town’s maximum-security prison.

Now a new book by a retired prison officer who grew up in the town, lifts the lid on the goings-on behind closed gates at ‘The Bog’ as Portlaoise Prison was dubbed.

David McDonald’s story of his career in the prison service ‘Unlocked’, told with Irish Examiner journalist Mick Clifford, is a fascinating one and it will be of particular interest to Portlaoise people.

Laois pub closures

6 – New figures show a 31% decline in Laois pubs since 2005 – and 13 closed since Covid

New figures from the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland show that there have been 13 pub closures in Laois since Covid.

The data also shows that the total number of pubs in the county is down almost 31% since 2005, a greater percentage decline than any county in Ireland.

According to the report ‘The Irish Pub: Stopping the Decline’ there are now 109 pubs in Laois, compared to 122 in 2019 and 157 in 2005.

Noel Ryan RIP

7 – Sadness at death of Noel Ryan from Portlaoise, huge supporter of community and charity groups

There is sadness in Portlaoise and surrounding areas following the death of Noel Ryan, a man well known in business, community, charity and sporting circles.

A former owner of Condell and Ryan Motor Factors in Portlaoise, he was heavily involved in a number of local groups, including Laois Vintage and Portlaoise Rugby Club.

Aged in his late 80s, he served as president of Laois Vintage Club for 15 years – from 2003 to 2018.

Sean O'Shea and Tom Byrne

8 – Joint management team confirmed for Laois U-20 footballers for 2023 season

Sean O’Shea from the Arles-Killeen club and Dublin native Tom Byrne are set to be appointed as joint managers for the Laois U-20 football team for the 2023 season.

O’Shea and Byrne were both involved alongside Eddie Kinsella in the past couple of seasons – but have come together as a joint management team for next year following Kinsella’s decision not to put his name forward for the role.


9 – Gardaí appeal for information after attempted burglary on Laois hotel

Gardaí in Abbeyleix are appealing for information following an attempted burglary at the Abbeyleix Manor Hotel in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

It’s understood that a car pulled up at the side of the hotel near the bog walk and went about gaining entry via a door on that side of the hotel.

However, they fled the scene when a member of staff appeared.

10 – Late Foster point sees Portarlington edge O’Dempsey’s in classic

Now that was a game of football.

Portarlington are through to the quarter-final of the Laois senior football championship after surviving a ferocious battle with O’Dempsey’s this evening in O’Moore Park.

A late point from 2021 player of the year Jake Foster was the winning score, helping Port to a 0-16 to 1-12 win.

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Steven Miller is owner and managing editor of LaoisToday.ie. Husband of Emily, father of William, Lillian and John, he's happiest when he's telling stories