‘Historical maps of Laois’ is the topic of a talk to be given by Dr Arnold Horner, of the geographical dept of UCD, in the Heritage Hotel, Portlaoise, on Thursday, April 19 at 8pm. This promises to be a very interesting subject delivered by one of the best recognised experts on Irish historical maps. Dr Horner is author of a number of books on history related matters including some on old maps. The talk is part of the spring series of lectures organised by Laois Heritage Society. All welcome and admission is free.


Our annual table quiz will be held in the Rock Inn Friday night, April 20, table of 4 €20. All members and non members are welcome on the night. If anyone wishes to avail of our hall they should contact 086 3253100. New members are always welcome, anyone interested in joining Macra should contact 087 9212202.


Following its recent very enjoyable outing to Emo Court in search of the Great Spotted Woodpecker, the Laois branch of BirdWatch Ireland is holding its next meeting on Wednesday, April 25 at the Portlaoise Parish Centre starting at 8pm. Richard Jack of Coillte will be speaking on the subject of ‘Coillte and wildlife – only part of the jigsaw’. The meeting is open to everyone with an interest in birds, and entry is free of charge. Richard will be following up his talk by leading a walk in Brittas Wood on April 29. Meet at the green, Clonaslee, at 10am. All details of events, news and future meetings can be found on the BirdWatch website at www.birdwatchireland.ie.


Portlaoise Pantomime Group will hold their AGM in Kavanagh’s, Portlaoise on Thursday April 19 at 8pm. All are welcome, particularly new members. A good attendance is expected due to the huge success of last season’s production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.


Dancing rehearsals every Wednesday 2-3pm. April 18 sports including bocci. April 25 quiz. April 30 holiday W.Cork

New members always welcome. Contact 057 8621571 or 057 8621913.


Evening of music in support of Laois Offaly Families for Autism and Portlaoise Educate Together NS takes place on Thursday, May 3 at 8pm in the Dunamaise Arts Centre. Features performers who work with children and hosted by Declan Kelly from Telly Bingo.


The Portlaoise Musical Society is hosting a launch night for Singing in the Rain which it will stage this autumn. If you’re aged 16 (non-exam years) or over and would like to be part of the fun filled exciting experience. The launch takes place on Friday, April 8 at 8pm in the Milebush Bar, Mountmellick Rd, Portlaoise. For more contact Damien on 085-1655 496 or Georgina on 086 3044 152.


Are you planning to participate in the Flora Mini Marathon in Dublin this year? Amen Support Services Ltd are looking for volunteers for the event on June 4 in Dublin to raise much needed funds to provide services for male victims of domestic abuse. To register visit the website at www.florawomensminimarathon.ie and then contact Amen Support Services on info@amen.ie or 046 9023718 to let us know that you will be joining our team on the day.


Portlaoise Parish Lourdes Committee would like to advise that a box will be placed on the counter in the parish centre for the month of April for anyone who wishes to apply for sponsorship to the committee to travel on our 2012 Pilgrimage. If your application is for medical reasons please include a doctor’s letter confirming your ability to travel. If you are nominating someone please advise them of what you are doing. All applications must include an address and contact number.


Portlaoise Lions club will hold their annual book sale on Saturday, April 21 in the old RTV rental shop beside courthouse. If any one has any second hand books and would like to donate them to this charity cause, please ring Richard at 0851743836 and arrangements can then be made to collect. Your support will be greatly appreciated.


To date 30 ladies from the Heath and surrounding area have registered to take part in this year’s Flora Womens Mini- Marathon in aid of the Heath National School organised by the parents council. Anyone who would like to join in the fun please contact Aideen Keyes 86 8272407. Bus will be provided to take all registered to and from the event.


Flag Day in aid of Portlaoise Mental Health Association at local stores in Portlaoise on Thursday, April 19. Your support is greatly appreciated.


Merchant Quay Ireland Midlands family support group supporting people living with addiction in Laois. Meetings held every Wednesday night from 7.30pm to 9.30pm in 1 Grattan Court, Mountrath Rd, Portlaoise. For information contact Bernie on 087 2925727. This is a free and confidential service.


A special word of thanks to all who supported the Trocarie Lenten Campaign. The total collected to date is €16,835.00. Please bring any remaining Trócaire boxes to mass next Sunday or you can leave them into the parish centre.


Sponsored by the Pioneers takes place at The Centre, New Rd. Portlaoise on Thursday, April 19 from 6.30pm.


There was no winner of the Portlaoise Parish Lotto jackpot when the numbers were drawn on April 12. The 7 Match 3s receive €143 each. Numbers drawn: 2, 3, 15,16. This week’s jackpot is €14,000


Feltmaking workshop, free of charge, booking essential, date to be confirmed. Phone 057 8622333 for details and booking. The Carnation Theatre Company Company will perform ‘Circus’ on May 17, 11am. Free of charge but booking essential. Knitting group, Wednesday Mornings, 11am-1pm Ciorcal Cainte, chat in Irish for all levels, Wednesday evenings, 5.15-6.30pm. Book Ccub meeting Wednesday May , 6.30pm.


Free demonstration on use of outdoor gym equipment and ‘Fittlesticks’ (Nordic walking programme). Wednesday, May 9, Portlaoise Leisure Centre, 11–1pm.


The 50+ Active Retirement Association in Portlaoise have organised dance lessons with tutor Maureen Culleton in the beautiful art of the Viennese Waltz. Workshops will also take place with students from Emo NS in May and both groups will join together for a final performance in formal attire on Wednesday, May 30. Contact 057 8621571.


Condolences to the family of the late Maureen Hickey (née Lennon) of Newpark who passed away peacefully on April 15 following a long illness. Deeply regretted by her family and friends. Reposed at her son Enda’s residence, Derrydavey, Mountmellick last Sunday with removal to SS Peter and Paul’s Church, Portlaoise, for requiem mass last Tuesday, followed by interment in SS Peter and Paul’s Cemetery. Donations, if desired, to the Irish Cancer Society or Laois Hospice.


Condolences to the family of the late Pauline Spillane (nee Ryan), of Glynside, Portlaoise and formerly of Abbeyville, Larrha and Shallee, Nenagh) who passed away peacefully on April 11 at St James’s Hospital, Dublin; deeply regretted by her loving husband Jimmy, son Michael, daughter Hilary, brother Denis, sister Enda, relatives, neighbours and friends. Reposed at her son’s residence at Collier’s Lane, Portlaoise with removal to Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Silvermines for funeral mass last Saturday followed by burial in Kilmore Cemetery.


Kickboxing and Taekwondo classes for all ages from 4yrs old upwards in Mountmellick and Portlaoise on Monday, Tuesday and Friday. Facilities include punch bags and boxing ring. Classes are taught by a 4th degree Irish national coach. For details contact 087 2768843.