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The week that was: Looking back on our most read stories of the past seven days

Padraig Walshe
Padraig Walshe

1 – ‘We need to look after people who are getting up for work’ – Fiery exchanges as Laois Councillor hits out at Council tenants who ‘won’t work’

There were fiery exchanges in the adjourned Laois County Council meeting on Monday following a discussion over housing stock and income thresholds in the county.

Fine Gael Councillor Aisling Moran, in the course of the discussion, claimed that there are ‘an awful lot of people’ currently in council houses who ‘won’t work’.

The Portarlington-Graiguecullen Councillor said that working people in Laois are ‘paying for these people’ and are also over the income threshold to make them eligible to apply for a council house themselves.

Laois GAA Transfers

2 – Blow for Portarlington as Adam Ryan transfer among those confirmed in recent weeks

Portarlington will have to do without the services of Adam Ryan in 2023 as they bid for a fourth Laois senior football title in succession.

Ryan, an ever present on their championship-winning teams, stated last year that it was his last season with Portarlington as he had recently moved to live and work in Sligo.

We also listed all the recent GAA transfers into and out of Laois clubs in recent weeks.

3 – In Pictures: Portlaoise GAA gather for Dinner Dance to celebrate 135th anniversary

Portlaoise GAA might not be enjoying the same level of dominance with their adult teams as they once did – but there is still a huge amount for the club to celebrate.

And they did that at a special Dinner Dance in the Midlands Park Hotel on Sunday night.

As well as it being the club’s 135th anniversary last year – founded way back in 1887 just three years after the formation of the GAA itself – they had championship medals to present to their senior ladies football team and Junior ‘A’ men’s footballers.

Photographer Denis Byrne was on hand to capture a selection of images for us.

Amy Dunphy RIP

4 – Deep sadness and tribute paid as young mother is laid to rest

There was deep sadness in Portlaoise over the February Bank Holiday weekend as a young mother was laid to rest.

Amy Dunphy, from Marian Ave in Portlaoise, died unexpectantly at home on Thursday February 2. She was predeceased by her infant child Jamie and partner TJ.


5 – Laois wedding venue secures two prestigious accolades at national awards

Laois’s spectacular wedding venue Ballintubbert Gardens & House has been announced as a winner in the national wedding venue awards.

The celebrated wedding venue has been crowned as Ireland’s Best Outdoor Wedding Venue, retaining the top spot in this award category for two years in a row.

The exclusive historic estate also received an acclaimed Judge’s Choice Award.

6 – O’Moore Park hoodoo ended as Laois footballers defeat Wexford to maintain perfect Division 4 start

The Laois senior footballers ended their more than three-year wait for a win in O’Moore Park as they defeated Wexford in Division 4.

Their last win at the stadium came in February 2020 against Armagh – exactly 1,100 days ago.

But that unwanted record is gone as Laois maintained their position at the top of the table following their second successive win with a 1-18 to 1-13 win.

Vanda Rafter RIP

7 – Shock and sadness as staff member of Portlaoise College

There is deep sadness in Portlaoise College following the unexpected passing of one of their staff members.

Vanda Rafter (née Szwaglis), from Glenside in Portlaoise, passed away unexpectantly at Portlaoise Hospital on Tuesday February 7.

She worked in the canteen in Portlaoise College for many years where she was loved by staff and students alike.

8 – Plea made for ‘tractor and spreader’ to tackle icy Laois roads before ‘someone is hurt’

Laois County Council has been called upon to purchase a tractor and spreader to salt the roads which are currently not covered under the salting plan.

The call was made by Independent Councillor Ben Brennan at a recent meeting in the Council chamber.

Cllr Brennan said: “In the interest of public safety, I call on the Council to provide finance for each Municipal District to purchase a tractor and spreader.”

9 – Laois hurlers set for TV appearance as GAA confirm schedule for this weekend

The Laois senior hurlers will be on our TV screens this weekend after the GAA confirmed its schedule.

Willie Maher’s charges are up against Davy Fitzgerald’s Waterford on Saturday in Round 2 of Division 1 of the National Hurling League.

The game throws in at 5pm in O’Moore Park and the TG4 cameras will be there – with coverage beginning at 4.30pm.

Padraig Walshe
Padraig Walshe

10 – ‘He represented all sections of farming with commitment and distinction’ – tributes paid to ‘fearless campaigner’ Padraig Walshe

Tributes have been paid to Padraig Walshe, the Laois man who was a former president of the Irish Farmers Association, who died suddenly on Wednesday.

The Durrow man was president of the IFA from 2006 to 2010 and was a massive figure in farming and political circles.

“I am saddened to learn of Padraig Walshe’s passing,” said Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue.

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