Photo: Denis Byrne
Laois County Council has purchased the old Scoil Mhuire primary school building in Portlaoise which is set to become a new home to two of the county’s biggest local music groups: Music Generation Laois and Laois School of Music.
The Leinster Express reports that the school, which has been vacant for a year, was built on the site of the town's 16th century garrison inside a stone fort whose walls are still largely intact. The Fort Protector was the first English fort in Ireland, built to quell Laois rebellions. Laois County Council plans to use the site as a base to provide music and performing arts education to over 600 young people involved with Music Generation Laois and Laois School of Music.
Reacting to the news, Music Generation Laois Coordinator Rosa Flannery said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have secured a premises for ourselves and Laois School of Music. Thank you to Laois County Council, Laois Arts, Laois and Offaly Education and Training Board and the brilliant Nuala Kelly, Co-ordinator of Laois School of Music. The new home for Music Generation Laois and Laois School of Music will continue to build upon the strong partnership between Laois County Council and Laois Offaly Education and Training Board. It is onwards and upwards for the future of music in Laois!”
According to LaoisToday.ie, Cllr. Willie Aird also warmly welcomed the decision as “a very good choice. We have to have a place for Music Generation – there are 600 people using it.”
This good news comes on the heels of Music Generation Laois’ hugely successful summer camps, the Trad Summer School and the Summer School of Rock and Pop, where young people across the county had the opportunity to work with a highly skilled team of professional musicians that culminated with performances in Dunmaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise. Music Generation Laois are also gearing up for September and all that this academic year will bring musically.
Music Generation Laois is managed by Laois Music Education Partnership, led by Laois County Council in partnership with Laois and Offaly Education and Training Board and Laois Partnership Company.
For more information about this and other Music Generation Laois programmes and events contact:
Rosa Flannery, Coordinator
Music Generation Laois, Laois County Council, Áras an Chontae, Portlaoise, Co Laois
T: +353 57 866 4176