08 Dec 2021

IN PICTURES: Laois heritage enthusiasts take guided tour of Rock of Dunamase

A group of Laois people have learned a lot more about their county after doing an online course that culminated in a tour of the magnificent Rock of Dunamase.

Stephen Mandel of the Irish Heritage School recently led the Laois heritage enthusiasts on a walk of discovery at the Rock of Dunamase, rounding off the annual Know your Locality Laois course.

The free online course was offered to Laois people by Laois Heritage Office thanks to funding from Creative Ireland Laois as part of the Creative Ireland Programme 2017 – 2022.

Delivered online due to Covid 19, the the Irish Heritage School course took participants step-by-step through available heritage sources, allowing them to paint a picture of the geological, archaeological, and historical events that happened close to where they live.

Catherine Casey is Heritage Officer with Laois County Council.

“It was wonderful to meet up in person outdoors for a guided tour of the Rock of Dunamase, and it really added a special dimension to the course which had been delivered online up to this point.

"While the course looked at examples from throughout Ireland, it focused on the geology, archaeology and history of Laois. As such the course was aimed towards local people who are enthusiasts of natural and cultural heritage.

"We were delighted with how the course went and thrilled to announce that thanks to the generous support of Creative Ireland Laois, we will be able to offer the course again early next year,” Ms Casey said.

Stephen Mandel of Irish Heritage School, based in Birr, described the course.

“The Know your Locality course has been very popular online and we’ve been delighted to meet all the Laois people who had such a strong interest in their local heritage.

"Our course began by looking at the very bedrock under your feet, examining the geological processes and glacial events that shaped the landscape and formed the soils. The course then focused on the impacts of humans on that landscape over time, from pre-history to the last century. We look forward to delivering the course for Laois again in the New year,” he said.

For more information on the Know Your Locality Course, and to register your interest in future courses, visit: locality/

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