Festive fun in Laois

Ready for the off at the Ballacolla Walk, Pony and Trap, High Nelly Cycle and Vintage Display on New Year's day.
Picture: Alf Harvey.

Ready for the off at the Ballacolla Walk, Pony and Trap, High Nelly Cycle and Vintage Display on New Year's day. Picture: Alf Harvey.

WITH everyone indulging in eating, drinking and being merry over the festive season, there are plenty of events taking place around the county to stretch the muscles and give some exercise.

For those brave enough to head out into the elements on Christmas Day, Portarlington is the place to be as people complete the Goal Mile. This starts at 11am at Portarlington GAA Club, and people are encouraged to come out and run, walk or jog while the turkey is at home cooking.

There is no registration required for the Goal mile and people can just turn up on the day. People can also give donations on the day. Contact 087 130 2899 for more information.

The 20th annual Clonaslee Walk will be taking place in aid of Laois Hospice on St Stephen’s Day. An integral part of a lot of people’s Christmas calendar, the walk last year attracted around 1,000 walkers last year, raising €36,000 for Laois Hospice.

The walk is usually ten miles but a shorter walk of three miles on easier terrain can also be undertaken. At the half way stage of the 10 mile walk there is a soup station and along the way there are many water stations. Finally on arriving back to the community centre there is a welcome cup of tea and a bite to eat.

This walk brings the whole community of Clonaslee together, as well as attracting people from all over the country. People can go on the walk from early in the morning. For those interested in sponsorship cards, they can contact Shelia Burke at 057 86 48084; Lucy Feighery at 057 86 48063; or Michael Dunne at 057 86 48010.

In Abbeyleix on St Stephen’s Day the annual Laois Hunt will take place, with people gathering in the town from about 12pm. The annual New Year’s Walk in Timahoe will see people travel over the Fossey Hills for the 11th year in a row. President of the GAA Liam O’ Neill will be leading the walk this year, and again the proceeds raised from the walk will go to the Irish Wheelchair Association.

There are two routes to suit all walkers - a six kilometre walk and a ten kilometre walk. The walk starts at 1pm and there will be refreshments afterwards in Timahoe Community Hall. To find out more or to get sponsorship cards, people can contact Johnny Dalton.

Ballacolla is also having a New Year’s Day event, as they are hosting their annual walk, pony and trap and vintage display. The proceeds of this will go to the senior citizens and national school fund.

An invitation is extended to all walkers, pony owners, vintage owners and clubs, and high nelly clubs to take part. Participants will follow the usual route by Begadons Forge, Harveys Cross, and Lalors Ballygague whare the usual Christmas cheer will be served. Entertainment and refreshments will also be had at the finish in St Patricks Hall in Ballacolla Village. The start time for this walk is 2pm with registration from 1.15pm.


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