Bealtaine Festival Open Mic Competition

Bealtaine Festival Open Mic Competition

The 2017 Laois Bealtaine Festival came to a close on Wednesday 31st May with a wonderful  afternoon of music, song and the spoken word for the Open Mic Competition at the Dunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise.  The Cathaoirleach of Laois County Council gave a welcome address wishing everyone the best and thanking everyone involved in the success of the month long Bealtaine Festival in Laois.  Director of Services Donal Brennan also spoke and gave his own impromptu performance of a very poignant Irish  poem called Eanach Chúin  as a tribute to victims of the recent Manchester tragedy.

Open Mic Competition

The Open Mic competition included performers from around the county including Rathdowney, Mountmellick, Mountrath, and Portlaoise, as well as a lady who travelled from Dublin to take part.  The high standard of each of the performances was remarked on by the judges and it was a very hard task to select the winners in the categories of Singing, Poetry and Prose.  The adjudicators were Frances Harney and Mary Wisely.

MC for the afternoon Seamus O’Brien introduced each competitor and did a wonderful job of putting everyone at their ease before their performance.  A lovely array of prizes kindly sponsored by O’Loughlins Hotel, Nook & Cranny, Mulhall’s Supervalu, Portlaoise, Tynans Restaurant at the Storeyard, All Books Ltd, Easons Bookstore and The Dunamaise Arts Centre were presented to the winners in each of the three categories as follows:


1 Arthur Broomfield, Ballyfin Co Laois

2 John McAuliffe,  Newpark Portlaoise

3 Christine Broe,  Rathgar Dublin 6



1 Sheelagh Coyle, Mountmellick

2 Joy Hewitt, Mountrath

3 Mary Carmody, Portlaoise



1 Margaret Creagh Nelson, Rathdowney

2 Freda Collier, Portlaoise

3 Jim Bonham, Mountmellick


Thanks to the Manager and Staff of the Dunamaise Arts Centre and the community groups and individuals throughout the county who took part in the Laois Bealtaine Festival 2017 and made it such a success.

For more information contact:  Muireann Ní Chonaill, Arts Officer, Bridie Keenan, Assistant Arts Officer. T:  057 8664033 E: