While the political gathering that is the James Fintan Lalor Autumn School has been cut to a one day event, it promises to be packed with intense debate.
Penellists include household names like Senators David Norris and Marie Louise O'Donnell, Laois broadcaster Seamus Hosey, author Prof Muiris O’ Suilleabhain, Patricia King Trade Unionist and General Secretary of Irish Congress of Trade Unions, writer Eoghan Harris, and artist and p0litical activist Robert Ballagh.
They will discuss “Brexit: Our Identity Our Future' , and “Ireland Today”.
There will be individual soapbox style presentations from Jane Maxwell curator at TCD Library, and journalist Kevin Myers, before and after lunch, available at a low price from the bar carvery.
Musical entertainment will be provided by members of Portlaoise and Mountmellick Comhaltas.
The school takes place on Saturday November 18 at the Midlands Park Hotel, and tickets are €10.
It will be opened by Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan, with an introduction also by Cathaoirleach Cllr Padraig Fleming.
Historian Diarmaid Ferriter will chair the morning session and Laois journalist Claire O’Brien will chair the afternoon audience Question and Answer session.
“A full day of excellent debate, discussion, music and reflection is in store for all,” accoriding to Laois Heritage Society, who are running the school this year.
While the society has been involved since the JFL Autumn School conception five years ago, this year, Laois County Council asked the Society to take over the running of the event.
After President Teddy Fennelly and Chairman Michael Parsons put forward a strong case for the Society to continue the Autumn School, members agreed to run a one-day event.
Kathleen Culliton was elected Chairman of the JFLAS sub-committee.
“We have been able to assemble a fantastic line-up and it should be a fantastic day,” she said.
The event has been able to continue thanks to funding from Creating Ireland and Laois Tourism.
By popular demand, the film of the ‘interview’ with James Fintan from the first School will be played when the official day finishes.