The Abbeyleix Garden Fete will take place on Bank Holiday Monday August at 2pm. The fete will take place in Church of Ireland Rectory Gardens. It always promises to be a great family day out with a selection of stalls including bric a brac, home baking, book stalls, plants and lots of fun and activities for kids.


Arthritis Ireland has established a new group in the Laois area and are trying to create awareness within the county. They have a new friendly strolling group that meet each Wednesday at Portlaoise Leisure Centre swimming pool from 7-8pm. Its a social weekly meet-up for a gentle stroll and a chat for any persons, any age, with Arthritis, Fibromylgia or any such conditions, their families and/or carers. Come along & give it a try? They very much look forward to meeting you. For further information about the group please call 089 2525344.


Congratulations to the two groups from Abbeyleix who were successful in their applications for funding through the community grant fund. These are Tidy Towns and Abbeyleix Heritage Company. Tidy Towns plan to erect a commemorative seat to celebrate the beginning of independence and remember the Laois connection to 1916.

Abbeyleix Heritage Company are creating a short film on the personal recollections of Mary O’Shea, a former midwife and district nurse from Abbeyleix who served the districts of Abbeyleix, Durrow, Ballinakill, Shanahoe and Raheen, delivering over 1,500 babies. She was working as a midwife in the Rotunda Hospital during the events of Easter Week 1916 and described how Dublin was turned into a war zone. Mary was later an active member of the Abbeyleix Guild of the ICA and wrote about her experiences to commemorate 50 years of the Guild. Many thanks go to the late Evelyn Phelan, a past president of Abbeyleix ICA Guild and Mary’s surviving family for the information received about Mary O’Shea.


The very successful summer seisiúns continue at Heritage House with a mixture of music, song, dance and story telling. Anyone who is there and would like to perform will get the opportunity, either individually or in a group. The seisiúns continue until August 26. There is no charge for the evening, but donations are accepted to cover costs such as tea and coffee which are provided. Please encourage neighbours, friends, visitors and relations to come along as all are welcome. This is a very enjoyable evening, and the more people that attend, the better it is.


Hospital whist - Top scorers: Michael O’ Brien. 1st lady: Bride Reilly. 2nd lady: Rita Arrigan, Tom Lalor. 1st gent: John Fitzpatrick. 2nd gent: Sean Carroll. Halves: 1st: Mollie O’ Brien, 2nd Francis Gleeson. Quarters: 1st Lena McEvoy. 2nd Teresa Phelan, 3rd Joe Graham, Rose Cunningham, 4th: Breda Metcalfe. Juvenile: Damian Carter. Raffle: Francis Gleeson, Bernie Carroll, Damian Carter, Teresa Mulhare. If you are interested in playing or learning to play whist please contact Tom Lawlor on 087 7721871.


Tidy Towns judging is imminent and the committee would really appreciate it if everyone could play their part and keep in and around their properties weed and debris free over the coming weeks. The group meets every Tuesday evening but this kind of work can be done at any time. If you want to help out, even for one hour, or want to get more information contact Mary on 057-8731257. The committee also want to thank people for their continued support.


Heritage week 2015, which runs from Saturday August 22 to Sunday August 30, is going to be a week packed with amazing events and activities with something for all ages and in all corners of the county and is a great way to see and celebrate the great work that is carried out in all communities in Ireland to preserve and promote our natural, built and cultural heritage. This year’s theme is ʻFrom mill to forge, from mind to hand – discovering Ireland’s industrial past’. The variety of events is broad and includes a ride on a steam train in Stradbally, a Victorian musical show in Mountmellick and a project that brings films preserved in the Irish Film Archive back to the communities in which they were made.

Abbeyleix also has a wide range of activities: Heritage House will host their award winning kids shipwreck dig on August 24 from 11am-12.30pm where children can experience the unique thrill of making a discovery on an archaeological excavation and learn about the lives of people in ages past. It will hold a ‘working with greenwood’ demonstration on Saturday August 22 where the techniques and skills in working with greenwood using only traditional hand tools can be learned. This ranges from making simple wooden utensils to complex boat structures. Heritage House will also have free admission all week.

There are other exciting events and activities such as an illustrated talk on the heritage of trees presented by Kevin Hutchinson in the library from 6.30-7.30 on Thursday August 27.

Dr. Fiona McGowan will lead ‘botany on the bog’ on Tuesday August 25 from 11am - 1.00pm where people will visit three different habitats at the Abbeyleix Bog and learn about how botanists use plants and their ecology to discover more about our environment. See for more information and a free download of a county by county guide of all activities.


The summer reading challenge for 4-12 year olds continues at Abbeyleix Library. Enquiries to the library desk. A treasure hunt will takek place on Thursday August 20 as part of the challenge and booking is essential.

Artist Charlene Delany will exhibit mixed media in the library gallery on July 31.

Mary Slevin and Laura Amy Dunne, Mount Henry Studio, will exhibit paintings, 3D work and ceramics in the library from August 4 to 29.

Storytelling with Leslie for 3-6 year olds continues each Saturday morning at 11.30am.

The Junior Chess Club continues every Sat morning at 10am and the adult chess club will recommence in the autumn.

The adult book club are also taking a break and will resume in September.

The knitting club meets on Wednesdays from 10.30am to 12.30pm. Members and non-members are welcome.

Abbeyleix Library offers many services including: adult, young adult and children lending, audio books, language learning resources and reference books, large print fiction, internet and wifi and photocopying. It also has a study section and leisure reading area.

Further information on the summer library activities is available in the library or online at


Heritage Week Abbeyleix library will host a variety of activities. On Tuesday August 25, wildlife artist Gordon D’Arcy presents a workshop for 7-12 year olds. Michelle Castiaux presents geology for kids also on Tuesday August 25 from 3pm - 4.15pm and is suitable for children aged 8 to 12. It includes rock identification, fossil identification and a short arts & craft activity at the end. There are only 15 places available for this so please book in advance.

There are other exciting events and activities such as an illustrated talk on the heritage of trees presented by Kevin Hutchinson in the library from 6.30-7.30 on Thursday August 27. And on Wednesday 26 historian Brian Hanley will present Irish History Live, an interactive history show from 2.30-3.30pm. This is for children aged 8-12 years and will look at the 1916 Rising. All Heritage Week events are free. For further information on all library activities telephone 057-8730020 or see


There was great excitement in Abbeyleix Library on July 3 when it was used as the venue for the wedding of local girl, Orla Maher, daughter of Jimmy and Kay Maher, who married Dermot Claffey from Blueball, Tullamore. Locals were surprised and delighted when the wedding party emerged from the library to be showered with rose petals by Faye Claffey, daughter of Dermot and Orla. Their son Louis was the ring bearer and both did a wonderful job. The party adjourned to the beautiful Heywood Gardens for photographs and then on to their transformed garden for food, drinks and dancing.


This is the last week of the festival so last chance to get out there and see what great walks Laois has to offer. There are only two left and they are at Killamuck Bog, Abbeyleix on Tuesday 28 at 7.30pm and the Leafy Loops. Durrow on Friday 31 at 7pm.


Scoil Mhuire will be opening an after school club in September 2015. There will be lots of fun activities and it is a great way of making new friends and getting settled back into the school year. To book a place contact Sylvia on 087-4514883.


The Befriending Laois group are looking for suitable volunteers to visit elderly people in their community for 1 hour weekly. Volunteer training will commence shortly. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer please contact Laois Partnership Company at 087-2720715 or 087-1775729 or email


The club holds Saturday morning coaching for ages 4-12 from 10am to 1pm and supervised teenage tennis with coaching is on every Friday night from 7.30pm. Adult beginners nights with coaching is every Wednesday from 7.30pm. For more information about the tennis club contact them on Facebook or call Leisa on the club phone at 086-6684049.