WATCH Walking back to the heart of Portlaoise

Conor Ganly


Conor Ganly


What makes 12 primary school children want to go back to class at the weekend?  What makes a former County Manager admit to making mistakes? What makes 30 women come back to their town after 50 years?

These questions will be answered in a film by award-winning broadcaster and documentary maker Ann Marie Kelly at the premiere of her second film "Walking Back To My Heart" in Dunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise.

Shot over the course of three years, the film focusses on stories from the past and looks to reimagine the future of Portlaoise through the eyes of a group of 12 children led on a walk around the heart of the town by renowned local poet and author Pat Boran. 

This unique snapshot of a town in transition blurs the lines between the past and present and unfolds to reveal a story full of memories, emotion and hope, and reveals the importance and reward for investing in the future. 

Containing previously unseen archive footage of the town and its people, Pat revisits his childhood classroom in the Convent, and in the course of his journey with the children, finds hidden amidst the decayed areas surrounding the Main Street the possibility of new life. 

The film is currently being submitted for consideration on the international film festival circuit and is supported by Creative Ireland funding. 

Director Ann Marie Kelly's first film "Wally" was broadcast on RTE One television in 2013.  In October of this year, Ann Marie picked up 2 IMRO National Radio Awards for her Open Door programme on Midlands 103 and as Specialist Music Broadcaster of the Year.

The film will be screened on Monday, December 17 at 7pm.

Tickets for the event are priced at €7 with all proceeds being donated to the special needs classes of Holy Family Junior School. 

There will also be a Q&A with the production team after the screening. 

For more details and bookings contact Dunamaise Arts Centre at: or (057) 866 3355