As part of this year’s Heritage Week, running from Saturday August 20 to Sunday August 28, there is a packed programme of free, fun, family events taking place at various venues around Laois.
From wildlife art to historical walking tours and from map-making and mud building to kids archaeology, there really is something for everyone.
In Abbeyleix, there will be an Irish Wildlife Trust Laois/Offaly children’s nature photographic exhibition at the Abbeyleix Library Gallery, on Saturday 20 and Saturday August 27, from 10am - 2pm, and from Tuesday August 23 to Friday 26 August, from 9.30am - 1.30pm and 2.30pm - 5pm.
This features a selection of nature photographs taken by children aged 5-12.
There will be a Fulacht Fiadh experience on Saturday, August 20, from 10am - 4pm, at Heritage House, Abbeyleix, offering people a chance to go back almost 4,000 years in time to the bronze age and use a Fulacht Fiadh (an ancient cooking site using fire, rocks and water) to cook and have some fun.
Also in Heritage House, enjoy toy nostalgia with an interactive exhibition of a wide range of original and reproduction children’s table top games from 1840 to 1990.
The award winning kids shipwreck dig is back this year on Thursday, August 25, 11.30am - 1pm. Come to Heritage House and experience the unique thrill of making a discovery on an archaeological excavation and learn about the lives of people in ages past.
Abbeyleix Estate will open to the public during Heritage Week on Sunday August 28, 2pm - 5pm by permission of its current owner Sir David Davies. Abbeyleix Old Church and graveyard is also open by kind permission of Viscount De Vesci.
Tales of magic, myth and mystery with renowned author and storyteller Eddie Lenihan will take place at Abbeyleix Library on Tuesday August 23, from 6.30pm - 7.45pm.
This will also take place on Monday August 22, from 7pm - 8.15pm, at Rathdowney Library, and on Wednesday August 24, from 6.30pm - 7.45pm, at Portlaoise Library.
An Irish wildlife art workshop with artist and author Gordon D’Arcy for 8-13 year olds takes place at Abbeyleix Library on Wednesday August 24, from 11am - 12pm.
This workshop will also take place on Tuesday August 23, from 11am - 12pm, at Portarlington Library, and from 3pm - 4pm at Portlaoise Library.
There will also be a workshop on Wednesday August 24, from 3pm - 4pm, at Mountmellick Library.
And finally in Abbeyleix, there will be a talk by Tom Cox, local historian, on everyday life in Laois in 1916 on Friday August 26, from 7pm - 8pm, in Abbeyleix Library.
Elsewhere in the county, over in Rathdowney, the Donaghmore Workhouse and Agricultural Museum will be open as part of Heritage Week on August 20 and 27, and August 21 and 28, from 2pm to 5pm, and from August 22 to August 26, from 9am - 5pm.
For more on Heritage Week, visit Laois County Council at www.laois.ie.