Laois Community Forum invites members of all community and voluntary groups/organisations in the electoral area to come and meet us in Portarlington Community Centre, Portarlington on Wednesday March 28 at 8pm. The forum represents the community and voluntary sector in Laois at county level and wants to bring you up to date on its activities and also to get your views. For more information, please contact 057 86 74337 or email LaoisCommunity Forum@laoiscoco.ie. View our website www.laoiscommunityforum.ie or check out our Facebook page.


The town of Portarlington was well represented in the Heritage Hotel on Sunday March 18. We had 4 beautiful girls from the town taking part, and it was wonderful to see Niamh Bracken been chosen as Laois Rose for 2012. Niamh represented the Portarlington Pharmacy as did the lovely Niamh Madden from St, Brigids Square. Also taking part was Carol Lambe representing the French Festival Committee. The East End was represented by Denise Nolan, Lea Road. Niamk Bracken is daughter of Eamon & Bernie Bracken from Corrig Portarlington, and she will go on to the Regional Finals in Portlaoise on the June Bank holiday weekend. All of Port will be behind Niamh, and we wish her the very best of luck.


It was with sadness that the town of Portarlington heard of the death of Benny Hunt on Wednesday March 21. A true Gentleman and a man who was known to everyone in Port as our local postmaster for many years. Benny who was in his 91st year, and was predeceased by his wife Mary a number of years ago. He will be sadly missed by his Daughters Margo & Nollaig & his sons Brian, Bill & Seamus. His Grandchildren, Great Grandchildren & his extended family & many friends. Benny was a long life member of the GAA and played for his Club & County on many occasions. Requiem Mass took place on Saturday March 24, with Burial after in St. Michael’s Cemetery. The attendance at his removal & funeral showed the respect that people had for Benny & his family. Rest in Peace Benny, your presence in the town will be missed.


Sympathy is extended to Joyce Dempsey and her family on the death of Joyce’s brother Arthur Martin who died in Detroit USA. May he rest in Peace.


Portarlington Folk Choir would like to thank everyone who participated in our televised Mass at the RTE Studios on March 18. To Fr. Tom O’Byrne who led us so prayerfully in the celebration of the Eucharist, to the readers, gift bearers, congregation, and especially to all our dedicated choir members including our soloists and instrumentalists for their continued commitment and hard work. It has been a very exciting experience for us all and we would like to thank everyone for their support.


Portarlington Tidy Towns Easter Draw. There are Lily O’Brien Easter Egg Baskets in 10 outlets around town to raise money for the Hanging Baskets, and flowers for the containers. They are €2 per line; we would appreciate your support.


Oak House Resource Centre, Ballymorris are hosting a Coffee morning & Cake sale on Friday March 30 between 11am and 2pm in Oak House. Your support would be appreciated. All are welcome.


The parents Council of Colaiste Iosagain would like to thank most sincerely everyone who contributed to their recent flag day.


Work continues in the town as part of the Dirty old Town programme. The TV programme will go out the 1st week in April. People will have seen the scaffolding on Arlington House. This will be a brilliant makeover and will enhance the look of the area especially from both sides of the bridge. We cannot express enough our thanks to the wonderful people of the town for the great Voluntary work since these Projects started. The enthusiasm is beyond belief. Dulux are sponsoring paint for makeover of the Main Street & this work will take place in the coming week. Many thanks to the businesses on Main Street who have already painted their premises. Hoarding at St Michael’s Park/Sandy lane will be removed this week, and the owner Pat Booth will replace hoarding with a pillar & post fence. Coillte are giving enough plants to grow along the new fence. You must be aware that it will take some time for Shrubs to grow etc, but we feel that Portarlington should be free of all hoarding, and our Tidy Towns committee have been working towards this for some time.


Fundraising still continues and the Committee would like to thank everyone for their continued support. Our 4th Car Boot Sale took place on Sunday last March 25 in the former Kellys yard. Once again thanks to Mick Bennett for facilitating the event in his premises, and to Sinead Ryan who never fails to be there to help the Committee. This event has been such a success, and the public have been asking for more. The Committee will discuss this at next Committee meeting.


Poker Classic takes place on Good Friday April 6 in GAA centre. Texas Hold’em - Min prize money €2,000. Poker Classic – 5 Card draw - €1,000 in prize money. If interested contact any Committee member, Facebook Port DOT Project or e-mail dirtyoldtownsport@live.ie.

American Tea Party on Friday April 20 in the GAA Centre.


A Pop up Gallery has opened over Lyle Goodwin’s shoe shop as part of Ports DOT Project. Some of the artists and students from the surrounding area of Port will be showing, in this hidden gem of a building. Please support the group, Una McCormack, Patricia Bennett, Ray Murphy, Karen Morgan, Jim Scully & Maureen Phelan. The gallery will open for a number of hours every day.


Bingo continues every Wednesday night @ 8.30pm for our Senior Citizens in the Social Services Centre. New members welcome. Come along and play a few games of Bingo, and enjoy a nice Cuppa and have a chat with everyone. For further details contact Centre between 9am and 12 noon Monday to Saturday.


Once off sale is being held in the Thatch Pub, Killenard on Friday March 30 from 8-10pm. Great bargains to be got, products available to buy on the night. 


Dog Fouling Awareness Week will take place from 26th - 30thMarch 2012.  Staff from the Environment Section of Laois County Council will be working in partnership with the Tidy Town Groups across the County, the Gardaí and the local community to raise awareness, promote responsible dog ownership and highlight the dangers associated with dog fouling.  Dog fouling is unpleasant for everyone and can also carry diseases, for example, toxocariasis in humans can cause serious illness and even blindness.  

The entire community needs to be vigilant and we all have a role to play in the effort to remove dog fouling from our streets. If you have a problem with dog fouling in your area or you would like to report an incident, please call our free phone confidential litter hotline at 1800 323 230


Jackpot €2,800 on Tuesday March 20.  No Winner of jackpot. Numbers 4-8-13-15. €50 each to Gus Fassniage c/o M Colgan,Brendan Ennis c/o J Kelly, Jonny Howard c/o M Colgan, Jack Hynes c/o P Mulligan, Keith Shanahan c/o P Mulligan. Promoters Prize Matt Colgan. Next Week Jackpot €3,000. Battle Of The Barrow Fight Night between Gracefield GAA and Portarlington GAA  will be held in Portarlington GAA Centre, on Sat March 31. Doors open at 7pm. First Fight 8pm  Followed by Disco with DJ Peter McEvoy, Admission €15  Over 18 , Tickets available from Clubs  Come along and support your Club. A good night’s entertainment assured. Gracefield GAA Club would like to express their deepest Sympathy with the Hunt Family on the death of Benny, May he rest in peace.


Week no 12. Jackpot €1,800. No winner of Jackpot. Numbers 14-19-20-23. €50 each to Dolores Keogh c/o J. Ward & Madeline Ward c/o PJ Ward. €25 each to Jap Murphy c/o Rose McCann & Tom O’Shea c/o T O’Shea. Promoters Prize went to D. Smith. Next Jackpot €1,900. Portarlington Gaa lost a true Gaa Legend last week and their Club President with the sad passing of Benny Hunt. Benny represented his club and county with distinction in both codes and has been involved with Port GAA since he arrived in the town many years ago to run the local post office. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Hunt family and his many friends at this sad time, may he rest in peace. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam. 


Portarlington Credit Union are holding an open night for Leaving cert students & their parents on Thursday March 29 @7.30pm, regarding student loans and any other Financial advice needed for your 3rd Level Education.


Coaching with Tony Lok resumes on Tuesday April 17 & Friday April 20. All ages and levels catered for. Places limited. If interested contact Nuala @ 087- 1231135 to register.


Congratulations to the girls in 6th class who won gold, and the 3rd and 4th class team who took silver in the All Ireland Sportshall Athletics finals in Athlone on Wednesday March 21 . Having been coached by Eamonn Henry since the Autumn, the girls were delighted to qualify in the semi-finals last week. On Wednesday last they competed against teams from as far away as Donegal and Clare. Competition was very strong, and the girls put in a phenomenal performance on the day. Many thanks to Eamonn Henry and his colleagues in Offaly and Laois Sports Partnerships for training the girls. Thanks to Majella Fennelly and Caroline Myers in Laois Sports Partnership for providing transport to the events. 


Used postage stamps wanted for the Foreign Missions. Please drop in through the letter box of the Nook in Patrick Street.


If you are interested in growing food then come along to our new Grow It Yourself, group. We will have a get together on the last Thursday of each month and a family weekend morning session also. The first meeting is at the French Quarter Cafe, French Church Street on Thursday March 29 at 7.30pm.


We have a family GIY planting workshop and Seed Swop on Saturday March 31at 11am in the Portarlington Allotments. Bring the family with some empty yogurt pots, old flower pots and toilet roll inserts. If you have surplus seeds or seedlings bring them along to swop. Coopers hardware have given us some seeds to sow and encourage our GIYers. Information on GIY is at www.giyireland.com. Ring Theresa at 086 1590529 with any queries.