Portlaoise town centre was a hive of activity last weekend as the town celebrated the inauguration of Liam O’Neill as President of the GAA with a Spring Street Market.
“It was a great success, bigger than last time,” Alison Brown of the local Downtown Portlaoise traders group enthused.
“It was double the length of the last one - we closed Main Street from The Courthouse down to Shaws. We got a huge yes from everybody we approached, the council said yes, the guards said there was no problem closing the road. It’s a really good news story of how everyone in the town pulled together,” she said.
The town was buzzing from early morning as the traders set up their stalls and the visitors from the GAA congress were very impressed when they visited the town later that afternoon.
“The people from the congress thought the town looked fantastic. We had a GAA theme running through the day. We had a hurley making demonstration and we had a preview of GAA Jewellery which is not even available to buy yet. Last Saturday was a very proud moment for Portlaoise,” Alison said.
Alison paid tribute to Laois County Council and Laois Partnership for their support and help with last weekend’s street market.
“Without their support it wouldn’t have been possible. With their help we could make the day more exciting and appealing to people. It really showcases what is going on in Laois, which is great to see. We already have traders booking in for the next one, which is a good sign.”
Transition year students from the CBS and Scoil Christ Ri took the opportunity to promote the wares of their mini companies and the Lions Club also sold many books on their stand.
“Everyone was dying to take part, the music was provided by local buskers and Comhaltas group. But one of the best parts for me was seeing people bump into one another on the street and stop to have a chat, there was great banter on the street,” she said.
Alison also credited the Downtown Committee which is already looking forward to the future and planning for their next big street market which they hope to run in June when the Feile takes place in Laois.