Laois-Heritage-PlanNew Laois Heritage Plan 2014 -2018 Launched: The new Heritage Plan for County Laois was adopted by the Elected Members of Laois County Council on 27th January 2014. The Heritage Plan will set the agenda for action for heritage in Laois over the coming years. The Laois Heritage Plan will be a working document, which outlines the actions that will be taken by the Heritage Office, in partnership with the Heritage Forum, in conserving and raising awareness of built, natural and cultural heritage in Laois, over a five-year period. The plan can be downloaded at our website or hard copies can be posted on request.

Architectural Heritage of Portlaoise Published: Do you ever use the excellent Buildings Of Ireland ( website? It’s got information on most buildings of architectural importance around the country. Co Laois is featured, but just newly added is the survey of the architecture of Portlaoise, commissioned by Laois Heritage Forum with the help of the The Heritage Council a number of years ago and carried out by Lotts Architecture. We are delighted that the architecture of Portlaoise is now rightly highlighted and celebrated on the website. Thanks to the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage for their help in making this happen.

Launch of New Lakelands Treasures I-phone App: You are invited to the launch of Lakeland Treasures in Belvedere House, Mullingar on February 5th at 11am. This new Iphone app is a unique approach to develop the family market for heritage attractions in the Midlands. In addition to visitor information, the app contains a photo treasure hunt game, to help visitors explore the sites, including Emo Court, Timahoe, Athlone Castle, Clonmacnoise, Strokestown House and more. This is an initiative of Waterways Ireland and the Midlands Regional Authority, with the support of the Local Authority Heritage Officers in Laois, Offaly, Longford, Westmeath and Roscommon. See for more.

Public Consultation on the Draft Rural Development Plan – Invitation to Seminar: The Department of Environment, Community and Local Government will be coordinating the delivery of the LEADER element of the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020. In this context the Department will host a consultation event in the Tullamore Court Hotel Thursday 6th February from 10.30 am until 4.00 pm. This is a public event open to all and you are all welcome to attend. As many of you have wider networks I would also appreciate if you could distribute this to all of your networks. There will however be a limited number of available places so early registration is advisable. In order to register can you please reply to indicating that you will attend by COB on Friday 31st January 2014.

Draft National Strategy on Bogs: The Department of Arts Heritage & Local Government has opened a Public Consultation on the Draft National Peatlands Strategy, Draft National Raised Bog SAC Management Plan, and Review of Raised Bog NHAs. IPCC would invite you to participate on shaping the future of Ireland’s peatlands, either through your own submissions or through getting in contact with us here at the office. Written submissions or observations with respect to the documents can be made to the Department by 18th April 2014. For further information, and to find out how to submit comments, visit; or

Tidier Towns Conference – The Way Forward: Feb 12, 2014, Corrin Event Centre, Corrin Business Park, Fermoy, Co Cork
This looks like a really interesting event for communities -Tidier Towns on 12 Feb in Fermoy – The aim of the conference is to motivate community groups around the country to improve their areas. Among the featured speakers is Alison Harvey of The Heritage Council, who has done a lot of work on community participation with planning.

Hop To It – nationwide survey of frogs, co-ordinated by the Irish Peatland Conservation Council: A healthy frog population actively breeding indicates clean water, good habitat and tasty foodchains. Record your sightings at by following the link for the Hop To It Frog Survey 2014. Survey Cards are also available by post (contact IPCC, Bog of Allen Nature Centre, Lullymore, Rathangan, Co. Kildare). The Hop To It Irish Frog Survey 2014 is a great way for you to celebrate World Wetlands Day on the 2nd February 2014.
Further Information is available from Tadhg Ó Corcora MSc., Conservation Officer, Irish Peatland Conservation Council, Bog of Allen Nature Centre, Lullymore, Rathangan, Co. Kildare. Phone 045 860 133, E-mail:,

Laois Heritage Forum: Lots of interesting Heritage News and events this month! Hope you find it interesting. Please follow us on Facebook (, Google+ ( or Twitter ( for regular updates.