05 Jul 2022

Laois Le Chéile set to bring all communities in Laois together

Highlight of Cruinniú na nÓg

Cruinniú na nÓg

Launch at Laois Music Centre. Emer Liston and Karen McHugh from LIN with MGL students Rois’n Rawlinson, James O'Connor and Ruth Rawlinson. Picture: Alf Harvey.

Laois Integration Network and Music Generation Laois are organising a joint initiative for this year’s ‘Cruinniú na nOg’ celebrations in Laois.

The event is called ‘Laois Le Chéile – Laois Together’ and it will be held at the Music Generation building on Church Avenue, Portlaoise on Saturday 11th June from 1 pm – 4 pm.

‘Cruinniú na nÓg’ is a flagship initiative of enabling and encouraging the creative potential of children and young people.
‘Laois Le Chéile – Laois Together’ is an inaugural event and invites all Laois communities, new and existing to acknowledge our diversity through creativity and culture.

The events on Saturday 11th June will see the vibrancy and myriad of cultures within Laois and will include an extravaganza of music, dance, comhrá, and creative making. MORE BELOW PICTURE.

Karen McHugh, Chair of Laois Integration Network (LIN) said:

“Laois Le Chéile – Laois Together’ is a welcome opportunity to bring music and integration to the heart of Portlaoise.  We are thrilled to be part of Cruinniú na nÓg - a day dedicated to the creativity and talent of young people in Laois, underpinned with the dynamic richness of Laois’s new communities: young people and their families.

“Portlaoise is one of the most culturally positive and diverse towns in Ireland with one in five Portlaoise people being non-Irish and 94 nationalities living in Laois speaking 57 languages.

“Laois Integration Network is proud to be part of this dynamic cultural milieu, with opportunities to interact with others – creating bridges to trust, respect, and understanding across cultures. Join us on Saturday, June 11 for what will be a jam-packed afternoon of celebration and cultural exchange,” she said. MORE BELOW PICTURE.

Laois Le Chéile – Laois Together will be brimming with choices for everyone including:
An early year’s music performance with children from the Montague Direct Provision Centre and the Hibernian Direct Provision Centre;  African Drumming with Laois Africa Support Group; Workshops with Music Generation Laois Ukulele Circle and Bodhran/Drumming Circle; Exciting rhythms of Beat Goes on , a STOMP-style body percussion workshop with Ollie Tunmer.

Laois Comhaltas will join the fun and young people will participate in the Ciorcail Gaeilge and create a fusion with trad music and so much more.

Rosa Flannery, Music Development Officer at Music Generation Laois said:

“Music Generation Laois are delighted to celebrate Criunniú na nÓg 2022 on the grounds of Laois Music Centre with a range of music and arts workshops, and live music and dance events. Working in partnership with Laois Integration Network is very exciting.

“We want to ensure all young people in Laois and their families have the opportunity to celebrate Criunniú na nÓg – a national day of creativity for children and young people, and we can't wait to make lots of music together on Saturday 11 June,” she said. MORE BELOW PICTURE.

Afro-Brazilian Dance Company - Criola Dance who have performed at All Together Now, Electric Picnic, Body & Soul, Culture night, Five Lamps Festival and more will raise the temperature with their high octane – interactive performance that is sure to get all ages involved.

Laois’ own Music Generation ‘Bandwagon House Band’, fronted by well-known Laois singers James O'Connor and Nuala Kelly, will kick off the afternoon's entertainment! The Bandwagon House Band is made up of Ros O'Meara on drums, John Davidson on fiddle, Siobhan Buckley on harp, David Harte on bass and Tommy Fitzharris on flute and concertina.

These musicians are well-known in music circles in the midlands, and as Musician Educators with Music Generation Laois and Laois School of Music.

The Bandwagon, a mobile music venue, first shot to prominence when it appeared in Trailer Park in Electric Picnic in 2019, to festival-goers delight. Since then, the musician collective known as The Bandwagon House Band have performed at events all over County Laois.

Aga Wypychowska – Laois Partnership Community Development Officer said: “Laois Partnership is delighted to once again support young people to acclimatise to their new home of Laois through creativity and culture at Laois Le Chéile – Laois Together.

“This is a fantastic initiative by Laois Integration Network and Music Generation Laois to forge a new cultural event in the county and I hope it will become a regular occurrence for the exploration and platforming of the unique talents of young people whist providing opportunities to create, make and experience a wide range of new activities.” more below picture.

For all information on Laois Le Chéile – Laois Together, go to

Laois Le Chéile – Laois Together is a collaboration between Laois Integration Network and Music Generation Laois and is supported by the Creative Ireland Programme in partnership with Laois County Council, Local Live Performance Support Scheme, Laois Partnership Company, and Conradh na Gaeilge.

For a full listing of all activities and information on how to participate in Cruinniú na nÓg across the county – go to and also to the national website at

Ireland is the first and only country in the world to have a national day of free creativity for children and young people under 18.


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