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The Week that Was: Looking back on our most read stories of the past seven days

1 – Three Laois growers among 13 top grain suppliers honoured for their top-class crops

Three Laois growers picked up coveted awards at the Tirlán Quality Grain Supplier of the Year Awards ceremony.

From feed beans to food grade oats, the annual Quality Grain Awards programme recognises the excellence of the top-class Irish crops delivered by Tirlán’s 1,100 growers each year.

2 – 2019 independent Local Election candidate joins Fianna Fáil ranks

Naeem Iqbal, the Pakistani native who contested the last Local Elections in the Portlaoise area as an independent candidate, has joined Fianna Fáil and is in line to be on the party ticket in 2024.

Mr Iqbal, a Pakistani native who has been living in Ireland since 2005 with his young family, got 454 first preferencess in 2019 and was eventually only eliminated in the 13th count on 638 votes.

On first preferences, he was the seventh candidate in the Portlaoise area but was finally overtaken by Thomasina Connell, who took that last seat.

3 – Laois farmer honoured with top prize at Irish Malting Barley awards ceremony in Guinness

Laois farmer Paul Delaney from outside Portlaoise has claimed the 2022 Irish Malting Barley Excellence award at a ceremony in the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin.

Delaney was presented with the prestigious Guinness Perpetual Cup for Malting Barley Excellence by Minister of State for Land Use and Biodiversity.

Delaney, who is from The Heath, took the top prize – the Guinness Perpetual Cup for Malting Barley Excellence.

4 – Weekend Read: The fascinating financial career of Portlaoise man Sean Conroy

It’s a long way from Portlaoise to Pennsylvania Avenue – the home of US presidential power – and Wall Street but it has been a fascinating journey for financier John (Seán) Conroy.

The Portlaoise man – named John on his birth cert but called Seán by his parents because of the proliferation of Johns locally- looks back on his childhood in St Brigid’s Place, Portlaoise, with affection.

5 – Kerry native appointed as all 16 Laois senior football teams have managers for 2023

All 16 of the Laois senior football teams now have managers in place for the 2023 season.

Rosenallis have become the final team to appoint a manager with Paud Dillon taking the reigns.

6 – Laois U-20 footballers denied a big win in Cork

Cork summoned a late equaliser to deny Laois in the opening round of the John Kerins Cup at Páirc Uí Chaoimh last week.

The visitors took the lead for the first time with a couple of minutes remaining through the boot of corner-forward and free-taker Colin Dunne following a foul on centre-back Simon Fingleton who had roamed up field, but Olan Corcoran was equal to the task to give his side a hard-earned draw.

7 – Former Laois footballer Munnelly takes coaching role with Roscommon club

Former Laois footballer Ross Munnelly has taken a coaching role with a top Roscommon club.

The Arles-Kilcruise forward was confirmed as part of the management team for Pádraig Pearses over the weekend.

The club are to be managed by Frank Canning – brother of legendary Galway hurler Joe.

8 – Excitement building as Laois’s newest festival coming to Portlaoise over May Bank Holiday weekend

The brainchild of Dale McKay and Siobhan Buckley who are both involved with Music Generation Laois, Portlaoise Tradfest, billed as Portlaoise’ first fully fledged Tradfest featuring a session trail, concerts, festival club and music workshops, will take place on April 28 and 29.

Its aim is to showcase the talent and the hunger that exists for traditional music in the county.

In late 2022, bodhran player Dale McKay from Portlaoise, approached harpist, Siobhan Buckley, with the idea of creating a Irish traditional music festival.

9 – In Pictures: St Brigid’s celebrate 2022 camogie success in style

The St Brigid’s camogie club have suffered more than their fair share of disappointment on the local GAA scene in recent years, losing four county finals in a row.

But they made up for it in style in 2022 when they got the better of Camross on a scoreline of 1-13 to 1-9. 

10 – Portlaoise produce a mammoth upset to advance in the Towns Cup

What a win for Portlaoise and what a day for Portlaoise Rugby Club as the magic of the Towns Cup returned to Togher in style.

The game marks 20 years since Portlaoise famously won the Towns Cup and coincidentally it was Navan they bested to do so.

Portlaoise have been in the doldrums this season, lying bottom of Division 2A in the Leinster League, so the game was a welcome distraction.

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