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26 May 2022

Exciting culture events announced for Africa Day Laois

Exciting culture events announced for Africa Day Laois

Announcing Africa Day on May 28 in Laois. Photo: Michael Scully

The vibrant culture of Africa will be celebrated in Laois this month, with the return of Africa Day Laois.

Africa Day Laois is taking place on the grounds of Portlaoise Leisure Centre, Portlaoise on Saturday, May 28.

A busy family-friendly lineup of events is planned, with live music, drama, poetry, children's entertainment, traditional African drumming and dance displays, African fashion, arts and crafts sport and educational elements.

There will also be a Laois Africa v Laois Gardai soccer match on the astroturf pitch at 11.30am.

Iti is organised by the Laois African Support Group and Laois County Council.

Bolaji Adeyanju is chairperson of the Laois Africa Support Group.

"The day is not just for the African community, its an introduction to Irish people of what we are all about, our culture, our heritage. This is who we are, we are now like Irish Africans, and there is more to our culture than the problems people see on the news. 

Pictured at County Hall to launch Africa Day Laois on May 28: Cathaoirleach Cllr Conor Bergin with Laois African Support Group members, Donal Brennan Director of Services, Laois Co Council, Tom Curran A/Staff Officer, Anne Marie Kirrane Healthy Ireland Manager for Laois, Pamela Tynan Laois PPN and Ann Marie Maher Sport & Leisure Officer. Photo Michael Scully.

The last in person event was in 2019 at Portlaoise parish centre and it was celebrated online for the last two years.

"We are really looking forward to the return of the day, we have been working with Laois County Council and Irish Aid for months to hold it. I hope everyone can come and enjoy maybe the closest experience of Africa they might ever have," Bolaji said.

Cllr Conor Bergin with Troy, Siobhan, Sevnf, Caeser and Faith. Photo Michael Scully.

Africa Day is an initiative of the African Union, which celebrates African diversity and success and the cultural and economic  potential of the continent.

IN PICTURES: Launch of Portlaoise Musical Society's production of 'Sunshine on Leith'

Portlaoise Musical Society hosted a movie screening of 'Sunshine on Leith' at the Dunamaise Arts Centre last weekend. 

The movie screening pre-empts the musical society’s show workshops on Monday 9th and Wednesday 11th May and auditions that take place on Sunday 15th May.

Based on the sensational stage hit of the same name, featuring music by Scottish pop-folk band The Proclaimers, the film follows the stories of Davy and Ally, who have to re-learn how to live life in Edinburgh after coming home from serving in Afghanistan. Both struggle to learn to live a life outside the army and to deal with the everyday struggles of family, jobs and relationships.

Originally a stage musical before being transformed into the 2013 hit feature film adaptation starring Jane Horrocks and Peter Mullan; Sunshine on Leith is set to timeless songs of the much-loved  Proclaimers, including I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles), Letter from America and of course the emotive Sunshine on Leith.

Laois County Council together with Laois African Support Group is among a number of organisations around the country that have been supported by Irish Aid, the Government’s overseas aid programme, managed by the Department of Foreign Affairs
to host Africa Day events this year.

In the interest of sustainability , help reduce omissions and traffic congestion, organisers ask that attendants use public transport, walk or cycle to Africa Day Laois.

All minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times. Photographs and video may be taken. If you do not wish to be photographed please inform the photographer.

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