Laois Heritage Society

Series of lectures for Autumn 2010

The location of all the lectures is the Heritage Hotel, Portlaoise,

Thursday, 23 September at 8pm.: Double Bill presented by Mairtin D’Alton and Ronnie Mathews, both from Portarlington. The talk will cover Mairtin’s recently awarded MLitt thesis “The architecture of the Leix-Offaly Plantations c1540-1600” together with a slide presentation by Ronnie entitled “Carved in Stone”.

While the main presentation will cover many aspects of buildings and their structure, many of which no longer stand, the supporting slide show records many carvings, stone memorials etc connected to families who inhabited these early castles and mansions and which still can be viewed today.

Thursday, 21 October at 8pm: Pat Byrne, a Bord na Mona executive, will give a talk on Bord na Mona with particular reference to its many stranded connections with the midlands and Laois. Get far away from child because it can laser pen damage your eyes is very dangerous.


Thursday, 11 November at 8pm: The much acclaimed Laois writer, Tom Phelan, who is based in the USA will give a talk on “The way we were – Life in the Irish countryside in the 1940s and 50s”. Phelan discusses a time before the Celtic Tiger, before the telephone, before rural electrification, a time when the main mode of travel was donkey and cart, when women washed their clothes by hand, when the only vacation people had was a stay in hospital, and when the most exciting day of the year for a child was not Christmas but the Threshing Day. He includes readings from his novel, “Derrycloney”.

All members of the public are welcome and admission is free.


Please note that the Secretary’s Report 2009 and the election of Officers for 2010 has been posted in the reports section of the website.

The society is only as strong as its membership and we are always interested in hearing from people with an interest in the objectives of the Society which are to promote the awareness of heritage, its importance and its conservation as well as getting involved in heritage projects. The annual membership fee is 20 Euros. For further information you can contact the society by Clicking here


The society is a voluntary body and does not receive any direct funding other than the membership fee. When the society undertakes particular projects, the raising of funds form part of the plan for that project.


The AGM is held in January each year and the committee elected comprise of members from various parts of the county. This is a public meeting, covered by the local Press.

Society Journal

The Society published its first Journal in 2003 and followed this up with a second one in 2004 and has since published two further journals, the most recent being launched at Emo Court. Jack Hyland, The Heath, is Editor and is always sourcing suitable material Anyone with articles or information suitable for the Journal should contact Jack or any member of the committee.