Home » News » Culture Night in Laois - Explore, Experience, Enjoy

Culture Night in Laois - Explore, Experience, Enjoy

Published: 26th August 2014

Join the Arts Office, Laois County Council, Venues, Community Groups and individuals around the county for a wonderful selection of free events in Laois to celebrate Culture Night on Friday 19th September.


Open Studio Exhibition

Venue: Fruitlawn, Abbeyleix

Time: 3pm-7pm


Open Studio Exhibition by artist Carol Booth at Fruitlawn, Abbeyleix.

Part of her latest work from her exhibition in Chennai, India will be on exhibit. An adaptation of images of the Irish country and the feelings the landscape evokes for the artist. Layer upon layer of oil paint on Fabriano paper. - see carolbooth.net Carol's studio was built in a sunny corner of Fruitlawn Garden, a garden designed Arthur Shackleton - see arthurshackleton.com Everyone is welcome to come and visit the studio and wander around the garden. Art and plants are for sale. Fruitlawn is located just over an hour south-west of

Dublin. For directions contact- 057 8730146.



Music Session with Clonaslee Comhaltas

Venue: Parochial Hall, Clonaslee

Time: 9pm -11

Join Clonaslee Comhaltas for an evening of music, song and dance. All welcome, light refreshments will be served. Contact: Tel 085 1067875 for more details.



Tours, Talks, Displays and Craft Exhibition

Venue: Donaghmore Workhouse Museum, Rathdowney

Times: 3pm-8pm – Tours & Talk

6pm-9pm – Arts & Craft Exhibition

6pm-7pm – Pottery Display

7pm -7.30pm Pottery Workshops

The Workhouse’s beautifully restored Dining Hall will host a wonderful craft exhibition by the Laois Craft Group. The event will also include guided tours combined with various exhibits to explain the socio-economic conditions which led to the establishment of this and other Workhouses.

In the Kitchen area of the Dining Hall Fin O’Hara of Fin Pottery Tuition will give a display on the potters wheel, followed by half hour workshops for children (note: children must be accompanied by an adult)

Donaghmore Famine Workhouse Museum is a unique attraction in County Laois, and aims to tell the story of the families who lived and died within the Famine Workhouse walls before, during and after the Great Famine.



Exhibition and Free Guided Tour of Emo Court

Venue: Emo Court, Emo,

Time: 2 free tours commence at 6pm & 7pm (extended opening hours)

Emo Court is one of the finest stately homes in Ireland. Designed by James Gandon in 1790 for the Earls of Portarlington. it is a magnificent example of neo-classical architecture. "Through the Eyes of Father Browne" - an exhibition on the life and photographs of Father Frank Browne is also on display. On your visit take in a walk through the newly extended circular route of Emo Lake and Gardens developed by the OPW in 2014 T: 057 8626573


Traditional Music, Song and Dance Concert in Emo Court

Time: 6.30pm-8.30pm

Portarlington Comhaltas Ceoltoirí Eireann will present a lively concert of music, song and dance in the beautiful surroundings of the Drawing Room, Emo Court for all to enjoy.



Stories, Music and Song

Venue: The Fishermans’ Thatched Inn, Fisherstown

Time: approx 8pm

Enjoy an evening of good company in the historical and traditional surroundings of The Fishermans’ Thatched Inn, and entertainment by local musicians, storytellers and singers. All welcome to take part. For more information: contact Sean on 087 2324698.




Talk by Dr Arthur Broomfield on the works of poet Sylvia Plath

Venue: The Library, Mountmellick

Time: 2.30pm-3.30pm

Join Dr Arthur Broomfied for a talk on the works of Sylvia Plath. Sylvia Plath is an often misunderstood poet. Readers tend to confuse her life with her art. Dr. Broomfield will be discussing the complexities of Plath's texts and the linguistic and philosophical input that defines her work as one of the significant voices of the twentieth century. He will focus on Plath's works included in the Leaving Cert programme.


Readings and Music with Anne Egan, poet and musicians Eddie Sheehan & Niamh Furlong

Venue: The Old Bank House, Mountmellick

Time: 6pm

Join author Ann Egan as she reads some of her favourite Laois Heritage Poems, interspersed with some wonderful music from Eddie Sheehan & Niamh Furlong. Ann Egan, Laois native and former Laois Writer-in-Residence, winner of Listowel Writers’ Week Poetry Prizes, Oki Prize and many more, is author of four books, latest, ‘Telling Time,’ Bradshaw Books, was Editor of, ‘Laois Echoes With Fionn MacCumhaill’ and guest editor of, ‘ Midlands Arts and Culture Review.’ Ann will read her poetry in Munich in November.

Eddie Sheehan, primarily known as the lead singer with Manchester’s legendary Celtic rockers Toss The Feathers with whom he was the Singer/Guitarist for 8 years, Eddie has just released his second solo album titled “Let The Light In”. He has a vocal style that’s proud, strong and distinctive and a pulsing rhythmic style of guitar playing. Niamh Furlong is all Ireland medal winner at (under age and senior level) flute solo competition and senior trio competition at Fleadh Ceoil na hEireann. She has travelled extensively with music groups across Europe including playing for the European Parliament in Brussels at the age of 15.


Art workshops for Adults

Venue: The Forum Hostel, Mountmellick

Time: 7.00 - 8.00 pm

Join Collette Dunne for an hour long adults only art workshop. The workshop is designed to give the participant the opportunity to try their hand at painting and to create works of art.

Places are limited so booking is required – contact The Forum on 057 869 7557 to book.


The Irish Midlands Concert Orchestra

Venue: Mountmellick Community Arts Centre

Time: 8pm

Experience a fabulous summer night of music. The Irish Midlands Concert Orchestra is an amateur professional orchestra for adults based in the Midlands. The orchestra aims to perform a wide variety of chamber, classical and concert music to a high standard. The IMCO has performed over the last two years in Emo, Killenard, Portlaoise, and Mullingar, among other venues. Vincent Hunt, the Kinnegad based cellist and conductor, along with assistant conductor John Kenny, a Dublin native trumpet player and conductor are leading the charge to develop this group and represent the region. Music programme consists of works from Brahms, Strauss, Handel, Abba, Beatles, among other favourites. For more information or interested in joining, contact Kimberly Melia at 0863751604 or view website: www.irishmidlandconcertorchestra.weebly.com


Film Screening: Portarlington Drama Society

Venue: The Anvil Inn, Main St, Portarlington

Time: 9pm-11pm

Following the success of their production of the play "Comparisons" by local writer Henry Madden in the Dunamaise Arts Centre on 29th & 30th May 2014, the Portarlington Drama Society will show film excerpts from the performance for all to enjoy.



Music, Song and Dance

Venue: The Parish Centre, Stradbally Rd, Portlaoise

Time: 11am -12.00pm

Cultúr na Maidine - "Back to our Roots”, an informal session of music, song, dance and stories for over 50’s and for adults with special needs. The event will be hosted by Maureen Culleton.


Exhibition featuring works from Laois County Council Art Collection

Venue: Áras an Chontae, JFL Ave, Portlaoise

Time: 2pm-5pm

A selection of artworks from the Laois County Council Art Collection will be on display at the Link Building, Áras an Chontae for Culture Night 2014. Exhibits will include pieces by John Keating, Brendon Deacy, Cathy Carmen, Pat Fox, Jock Nichol and many more will be displayed for the public to view in the county building for this short period of time.




Adela and the Meanits on the Rock of Dunamase: Walk and Concert

Venue: Dysart Wood Car Park, Stradbally Rd, Portlaoise

Time: Meet and Park at 5pm- return for 6.30pm - weather permitting

Climb to the top of the Laois landmark, The Rock of Dunamase, and experience a unique musical performance in the surrounds of the ruins of the ancient fort. This concert, organised in association with Music Generation Laois, will feature well-known Laois band, Adela and the Meanits, and will include a special performance of ‘Mairseail Rí Laois’ - The King of Laois’ March. The climb to and from the fort will be led by the Laois Walks Festival Committee, who have kindly volunteered their time to assist with this event. Light refreshments will be served (steep climb, please wear appropriate footwear and clothing).

Those who wish to make it a more interactive experience by availing of a free audio guide to the Rock of Dunamase now available to download from abartaaudioguides.com. Hear about the Viking raid on Dunamase in 844 AD and how the site became a feared stronghold of the Norman adventurer Myler FitzHenry and how the site then came into the possession of William Marshall, the most illustrious knight in Medieval Europe. The guide was produced by Laois Tourism with the assistance of Laois Partnership. The Rock of Dunamase is also part of the Laois Heritage Trail, see www.laois.ie/heritage.”


Drumming Workshop with Eddie O’Neill (for adults)

Organised by the Library Service

Venue: Portlaoise Library

Time: 4pm-5.30pm

Experience the fun of recreational drumming with a variety of African hand drums. All instruments are provided and no experience is necessary. (Adults Only) Admission is free but booking is recommended as places are limited. For enquiries and bookings phone 057 8622333


Fabulous Beast “Rian” Featuring Liam Ó Maonlaí

Director and Choreographer Michael Keegan-Dolan

Musical Director Liam Ó Maonlaí

Venue: Dunamaise Arts Centre

Time: 8pm

FREE of charge but prior booking is essential as places are limited

Booking Box Office: 057 8663355 or www.dunamaise.ie

Co-produced by Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre and Sadler’s Wells, London Fabulous Beast creation Rian takes its title from Liam Ó Maonlaí 2005 solo album, which in

Irish means “mark” or “trace”. Eight dancers from around the world and five of Ireland’s top

musicians united with Fabulous Beast’s Artistic Director/Choreographer Michael

Keegan-Dolan and musician Liam Ó Maonlaí to create an expressive cultural hybrid.

Rian taps into healthy life enhancing traditions with influences from faraway places to evoke a timeless vision of the real indescribable nature of things. Rian was premiered at The Gaiety Theatre as part of 2011 Dublin Theatre Festival and has since travelled the world visiting the UK, Germany, Spain, Ireland, Sweden, USA, France, Australia and Hong Kong.





CCE Timpeall Cnoc Ceili Night

Venue: Knock Hall, Spink

Time: 7pm-10pm


Enjoy an evening of music, story telling, dancing, song and master class demonstration of flute, banjo and fiddle. For further details contact Lawrence Vesey at 086 2660768 or email: ccespink@gmail.com




Open Studio talks and Art Workshops

Venue: The Laois Arthouse Stradbally

Time: 3.30-4.30pm


Join the Arthouse resident artists for an hour of creative art workshops open to families or individuals of all ages. Resident artist Lorraine Walshs’ workshops will include an exploration of light and shadow and artist Caroline Keane will use recycled materials to create fun pieces of art. All materials provided - Note: Children must be accompanied by an adult during the workshops. Booking essential. To book a place contact: 057 8641740.




Laois County Council would like to thank all those involved in organising events in Laois.

For more information about Culture Night please contact:

The Arts Office, Laois County Council, Áras an Chontae, Portlaoise, Co Laois

T: 057 8664033/13 E: artsoff@laoiscoco.ie or W: www.laois.ie or visit the National Culture Night website www.culturenight.ie


Culture Night is brought to you by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht in parternship with Laois County Council.

An Roinn Ealaíon, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta a dhéanann comhordú ar an Oíche Chultúir, i gcomhpháirt le Comhairle Chontae Laoise.

Charleville Road, Tullamore, Offaly, Ireland
   Phone: 057 9346874  |  E-mail: info@midlandsireland.ie
Copyright © 2022 MidlandsIreland.ie