Portlaoise market returns

There will be a street party atmosphere on Main Street, Portlaoise on Saturday, April 14 as the Portlaoise Market returns.

There will be a street party atmosphere on Main Street, Portlaoise on Saturday, April 14 as the Portlaoise Market returns.

Following its success at Christmas, local traders have decided to run it again, this time coinciding with the inauguration of Liam O’Neill as President of the GAA at the organisation’s congress which will be held in the Heritage Hotel, Killenard.

Main Street will be closed from 9am to 5pm from the courthouse to Shaws. As well as the usual stalls, there will be street entertainment in the form of statue man, stilt walkers and mime artists.

Music will be provided by local musicians and buskers. Transition year mini-companies from local schools will also be selling their wares. Shoppers will also be able to see a hurl being made, as the organisers try to incorporate a small piece of the GAA into their day on such a historic day for the county.

“We are hoping for a street party atmosphere on the day. We’re aiming for the same as Christmas. That was a huge success and people have been looking for more ever since,” local trader, Alison Browne said. “It’s a community effort and its great to see everyone working together.”

Tourism Officer, Dom Reddin said the GAA congress is an opportunity to showcase Laois to visitors.

“With the Downtown Market Group we are hosting a street markey/festival. All the traders will have special offers on, there will be a market and stalls and entertainment. It’s a family orientated day,” he said. “We want these people while they are visiting Laois to see the local craftpeople we have a be entertained.”

The delegates at the GAA congress will be brought on a tour of some of the county’s famous landscapes of Laois including Ballintubbert Gardens and the Rock of Dunamiase. They will also be brought down Main Street to soak up some of the party atmosphere and sample what Laois has to offer.

“All the agencies are coming together and working together. This is an opportuinty to sell Laois and to support the traders.”