Ambassador to forge Lithuanian links to Laois with Portlaoise visit

Leinster Express Reporter

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Lithuania laois

Lithuanian Ambassador to Ireland

The newly appointed Ambassador of the Republic of Lithuania in Ireland, Egidijus Meilūnas will visit Portlaoise to meet with the Laois Lithuanian community in March.    

Since his appointment in September 2017, Ambassador Meilūnas has pledged to visit all the Irish-Lithuanian communities across the country to help foster Lithuanian identity and to strengthen and promote Lithuanian-Irish relations.

Census 2016 revealed that there are 669 Lithuanian speakers in Laois. Some 666 people were born in Lithuania while 749 declared themselves as Lituanian nationals.

Ambassador Meilūnas will commence his visit in Portlaoise Library where he make a donation of a large collection of Lithuanian language books which will accessible to all Lithuanian children living in Laois.   

His visit will conclude with a celebration in Portlaoise Parish Centre at hosted by the local Lithuanian community and supported by Laois Partnership Company.  The event will feature performances from the Laois Lithuanian National dancing group, poetry, songs and a special performance from Dancing Jewels Ballet School led by prominent Lithuanian ballerina Sviesa Joha.

Ruta Maciuliene is Chairperson of Mes Is Laois (the Laois Lithuanian Community).

“It is a huge honour for the Lithuanian community of Laois to welcome  Ambassador Meilūnas.  It is especially significant since 2018 marks a very special anniversary for the people of Lithuania - the centenary of the restoration of Lithuanian Independence.  Ambassador Meilūnas’ visit is a fantastic opportunity for us to celebrate Lithuania and encourage all Lithuanians living in Ireland to be proud of our country,” she said.

Peter O'Neill is Chairperson of Laois Partnership Company.

“Laois Partnership Company are delighted to support Ambassador Meilūnas’ visit to Portlaoise.  The event will be a wonderful occasion which celebrates and showcases the vibrant Lithuanian culture that we have here in Laois and will inspire our local Lithuanian community to nurture their heritage and their language,” he said.

The Ambassador will visit on Friday, March 2. He will visit the library at 5pm Portlaoise Parish Centre at 7pm.

More details from Laois Partnership