Full Programme Of Events Announced For Laois Bealtaine Festival

The creative festival, geared towards an older audience, returns this May.

Laois County Council Arts have partnered with the Dunamaise Arts Centre and Laois Library Service to present a selection of creative projects during the month of May celebrating the Laois Bealtaine Festival for older people.

We invite people of an older age to join in some of the wonderful events that are happening in Laois for the Bealtaine Festival 2022. In celebration of Creativity the theme for 2022 is ‘And catch the heart off guard’.

Writing Your Story

Join renowned local writer Pauline Clooney - Wednesday 4th, 11th 18th, 25th at Laois Arthouse Stradbally from 11am-1pm for a course for creative non-fiction writing (Memoir/biography/autobiography).

If you have a story you want to record for posterity or an interest in something or someone specific that you would like to write about, then this may be the course you are looking for.

Through prompted written exercises, instruction in the art of writing and the sharing of your work you will be encouraged and guided through the processes involved in writing about fact in a creative manner.

Course consists of four 2-hour sessions.

Booking essential: T: 057 8664033 email: artsoff@laoiscoco.ie.

Free event.


In Trust. In Gratitude. In Hope at Laois Arthouse Stradbally

10 Years at Laois Arthouse Exhibition - guided tours throughout May.

Active Age Groups are welcomed to visit this wonderful exhibition featuring the work of 64 artists providing their unique insight to Laois born poet Pat Boran’s specially commissioned poem ‘The Window Seat’ with a stunning series of artworks in a variety of themes.

Opening times: Tues-Fri 1pm-4pm or by appointment.

Booking required for groups only: T: 057 8664033 or E: artsoff@laoiscoco.ie.


Fun Introduction to felt making with textile artist Maria McGarry

Thursday 5th, 12th May, Laois Arthouse Stradbally, 2pm-4pm.

Learn the technique of laying fibers of merino wool to create felt using soapy water and gentle rolling.

Participants will create their own designed stained glass inspired piece.

Booking essential: T: 057 8664033 email: artsoff@laoiscoco.ie.

Free event.


As part of Bealtaine, Laois Arts Office in partnership with the Dunamaise Arts Centre are launching a new Creativity in Older Age programme in collaboration with Laois Housing, Age Friendly Laois and Healthy Ireland Laois.

The creative programme will consist of engagement with older people living within social housing schemes in Laois and older people with early stages of dementia Laois.

In addition, the Arts Office will engage with older artists in the county to understand their professional support requirements.

All information can be accessed at www.laois.ie and Creative Ireland Laois social media channels.

The Creativity in Older Age programme is supported by Creative Ireland Laois as part of the Creative Ireland Programme in partnership with Laois County Council.

Commenting on the launch, Arts Officer and Creative Ireland Laois Coordinator Muireann Ní Chonaill said;

"We are delighted together with our colleagues in the county to bring a varied programme celebrating creativity in older age. Happily this year’s Bealtaine Festival will give older people the opportunity to get out and about again, meeting old friends and making new one whilst enjoying creativity.”

The Dunamaise Arts Centre Bealtaine events include:

FILM: Sunshine on Leith

Thursday 5 May, 7pm.

Based on the sensational stage hit of the same name and featuring music by pop-folk band The Proclaimers, which the award-winning Portlaoise Musical Society will bring to the Dunamaise stage for its Irish premiere this November. Friday 6 May, 8pm.


THEATRE: Sorry for your Loss

Saturday 7 May, 2pm.

An unmissable night of fun and craic that will have you killed with laughter. The adult comedy show that gives uncle Paddy the send-off he always wanted. If it’s laughter you’re after then this is the wake for you!


MUSIC: Tell Me This Now

Friday 13 May, 8pm.

Mountrath Youth Theatre and Mountrath Golden Years Club come together for an afternoon of storytelling to see what we can all learn from each other.


THEATRE: Shirley Valentine

Thursday 19 to Saturday 21 May, 8pm. (7.30pm & Sat. matinee 2.30pm)

Treat yourself to an evening of laughter and triumph, as Norma Sheahan, one of Ireland’s leading dramatic actors, breathes new life into Willy Russell’s effervescent and iconic character Shirley Valentine.


THEATRE: Waiting for Gateaux

Wednesday 25 May, 11am and 8pm.

The Irish-premiere of this riotous, laugh-a-minute comedy about friendship, frostbite and French fries! Starring Mary Byrne (X-Factor) and Eilís O’Carroll (Mrs. Brown’s Boys).


FREE CINEMA: Military Wives

Friday 27 May, 8pm.

A 2019 British comedy drama film inspired by the true story of the Military Wives Choirs, a network of 75 choirs in British military bases across the United Kingdom and overseas.


MUSIC: Declan Nerney in concert with Louise Morrissey and John Hogan

Sunday 29 May, 8pm.

Join Irish country music artist Declan Nerney with his super live band and special guests Louise Morrissey and John Hogan for a nostalgic night of
music, song and laughter.


A wide ranging programme of events also taking place at Laois Libraries, as well as lifestyle and wellbeing events run by Laois Sports Partnership.


The full programme is available on laois.ie.

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