The Festival got off to a great start on Friday afternoon with the family fun day in Gracfield GAA pitch, many thanks to Martin Havill and his team of volunteers, Shane O’Neill and Greg Donogher, the Lions Club and congrats to all the winners.

The Festival was officially opened on Friday evening at the Square by the newly elected Ceataoirleach of Laois County Council Paul Mitchell, who gave an insight into the Huguenot history of the town. This was followed by the street party, featuring the fantastic Monster Circus. Claire Hearty kept all the children entertained over the weekend with arts and crafts. The museum was opened for everyone to visit and local historian David Orford and Carmel was on hand to give info on the French heritage. The High Nellies stormed into town. Itchy Feet drumming workshop produced great drummers and then Louis’s karaoke got all the young talent to show off. The bands started at 6pm and played till late.

Sunday the 5k run/walk took off at 10.30pm from the parochial hall. The festival market got under way and then came prancing up the street all the pets for the pet show. The potential Irish dancers were waiting in the wings for the workshop. There was also tug of war, a duck race and kayaking. Den Una McCormack gave an art workshop for adults and there was a bonny baby competition.

In the Championship Escargot Mangent, the French postman Sam Haubry wdowned 30 snails in 1 minute 20 secs. The bands started at 5.30pm . The chairman thanked everyone for their support, the sponsors which are listed at the Festival office and the Square, traders and business people of the town, Laois Arts, Laois County Council, Laois Partnership Company, Offaly Local Development.


Anyone who is interested can come along to Unit 2, Portarlington Enterprise Centre, Canal Road on Thursdays from 4pm onwards. On Wednesday 25 we will be open at 10am to start work on GIY planters and 4pm on Thursday 26. We will be putting the planters together at the allotments this Saturday July 28 as part of the Meitheal at the GIY community plot. All help welcome. Look us up on facebook https://www.facebook.com/PortsMensShed or 086 1590529. A special word of thanks to our coordinator Darren for providing furniture and other supplies.


GIY monthly meeting this Thursday July 26 at 7.30pm in the French Quarter Cafe, French Church Street. We have a guest speaker on keeping bees. Look us up on Facebook https www.facebook.com/PortGiy or 086 1590529.


The Dirty old Town’s committee have committed to staying together for the next few months to finish off projects that were done for the programme. The River Walk has not been finished because of the dreadful weather we have had. We need to have a clean up on the walk before the next layer goes on the pathway. If anyone can spare a few hours we would really appreciate it. 
We had great volunteers during the programme, and we need to show everyone that the commitment is still there to keep our town looking well. We have already had a few enquires lately from people who are at a loose end, and would like to do something to keep themselves occupied. We also have FAS there to keep the area looking well, so we want to get rid of anything that should not be there, so it’s not a hindrance on the machines etc that are used. 
Please let me know if you can help out on any of these days. If you want to e-mail me its dirtyoldtownsport@live.ie. Or contact our FB page or any committee member.


Summer Camp (August 13-17) for boys and girls age 5 – 12. Cost only €50 for boys and €25 for girls. No rugby experience required. Registration in Adrian Dunne’s Pharmacy, Main Street, Portarlington or call Paidí on 087 9488181. August 5, BBQ feast, live music in the marquee, full bar and disco. Tickets only €12 including free entry to the family fun day on Saturday 4 (2 – 5pm). Tickets available from Adrian Dunne’s Pharmacy or any committee member.


Will hold the annual John Knight Shield, 7 aside soccer tournament on Sunday August 5 at 10am. Entry fee is €100 per team of ten players. This should be submitted by Sunday July 29. Application forms available from any member. Also training has resumed, and new members are welcome. Contact 086 1600309 for more details or look us up on Facebook.

Results from July 16.  ackpot €6,200. No winner. Numbers 14-13-11-20. €50 went to following: Margaret Foster c/o P Murphy, Ann Burbage c/o T Murphy, Ann O’ Connor c/o M Gallagher, Tom Game c/o P Dunne & Vera McEvoy c/o S Gorman. Promoters prize of €50 went to Patsy Murphy. Jackpot next week €6,400.


Week no 29. Jackpot €3,500. Numbers 4, 11, 25, 28. No winner of jackpot. €50 each to Paddy Kennan c/o Joe Whelan & Jane Costello c/o Tom Carey. €25 each to Ailish Leavy c/o J Leavy & Billy Porter c/o David Smith. Promoter’s prize of €50 went to PJ Ward. Next jackpot €3,600.


Results for July 17. Letters P-M-T-F. No winner of jackpot. Next jackpot of €6,400. Draw takes place on July 31 in the Barrow Lodge. Pre-season training is on every Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 7.30pm in Castle Park, Lea Road. New players are very welcome.


Deepest sympathy is extended to the family and friends of Geraldine Dwane (nee Yarrow) from Park Avenue, Tullamore, and formerly of St Michael’s Park who passed away on July 13. Geraldine will be sadly missed by her loving husband Dennis, her daughter Eleanor son in-law, brothers, relatives and friends. Requiem mass took place on Monday July 16 in the Church of the Assumption Tullamore, with burial after in Clonminch Cemetery.

Condolences to the family and friends of the following people who passed away recently.

Eileen Roberts, Whitefields and Martin Costello, Treascon. Also Paul Fingleton formerly of the Nook, Patrick St who died in England and Phil Brennan (nee Coleman) formerly of Main St who died in South Africa.


Rev. Thomas O’Byrne CC will leave Portarlington parish on September 1 to take up position of PP in the parish of Myshall and Clonegal. Taking his place will be Rev. Pat Hughes CC Newbridge. Congratulations to Fr O’Byrne and Fr Hughes on their appointments. Wishing them well in their new roles.


Best wishes to all the lovely couples who were married locally in the past couple of weeks.

Michael O’Connell, Courtwood and Sarah McCormack Lea Road. Brendan Dunne, Clonsast and Siobhan Costello Cloneyhurke. Darren Loughlin, Edenderry and Margaret Colbert, St Brigid’s Sq Portarlington. Liz Cunningham, Bracknagh and Dotty Gallagher, Treascon Portarlington.

Ursula Keogh St Joseph’s Tce and Peter Cassidy Rathangan. Peter McEvoy St Michael’s Park and Yvonne McEvoy Rosenallis.


Portarlington junior tennis club. €50 annual membership. Check out our website www.tennis.portarlington-online.com.