LAOIS Education Centre was the venue last December for a celebration of local history and heritage in the counties of Laois, Offaly and North Tipperary.
The occasion was the presentation of certificates to the primary and second level schools that took part in a competition organised by Laois Heritage Society in partnership with Laois Education Centre and supported by Offaly Historical and Archaeological Society. The competition which was open to schools in Laois, Offaly and North Tipperary, had two categories at primary and second level for essay and written projects as well as art and design. 23 teachers and 249 pupils from nine schools exhibited 23 projects on the evening and 63 essays.
The participating schools included Portlaoise College, Scoil Chríost Rí, Portlaoise, Arles NS, Castlecuffe NS, Clonaslee, Scoil Eoin Naofa NS, Roscrea, Paddock NS, Mountrath, Scoil Mhuire PS, Portlaoise, Coolderry Central School, Brosna, Birr and Derrylamogue NS.
The prizes were awarded on the evening by Teddy Fennelly and Michael Parsons of Laois Heritage Society. MC was Paddy Bates from Laois Education Centre. Among the judges were Michael Parsons, Teddy Fennelly and Mary Lalor of Laois Heritage, Catherine Casey Laois Heritage Officer, Amanda Pedlow Offaly Heritage Officer, Fran Bates, Rachel Farrell, and Kathleen O’Connor, Laois Education Centre Management Committee.
MC Paddy Bates congratulated all the students and teachers taking part in the competition and looked forward to the competition being held again. He particularly thanked Teddy Fennelly the chairman of Laois Heritage Society and all who took part in and organised what is a celebration of the rich heritage of the midlands of Ireland.
Liam Scott, head of business with the Heritage Council of Ireland commended all who took part and spoke of the value of such an exercise and how the Heritage Council depended on endeavours such as this to uncover the natural wealth of heritage resources that are available locally.
Jim Enright Director Laois Education Centre again complimented all involved including teachers, principals and particularly the pupils who produced wonderful displays of local heritage.
“The real value of projects like this is that they serve to inform and promote an appreciation of the heritage and culture that very often lies at our own doorstep”.
Jim went on to thank all involved in the project and had a special word of thanks for Yvonne Lacumber, Local Course Administrator with Laois Education Centre who had almost single-handedly made the evening the success that it was. Alyssa McCann, 6th Class, Scoil Mhuire Portlaoise then recited her poem on the Rock of Dunamase for all.