Cruinniu na nOg
On Saturday 15th June, the Cruinniú na nÓg festivities were a joyous hive of activity all over Co Laois.
From Mountrath, to Abbeyleix; Vicarstown to Portlaoise and onto Portarlington, the happy sounds of children and young people creating lots of fun things, not to mention great memories.
Learning new circus skills, trying musical instruments, creating pottery, making a painting, dressing -up, Viking enactments, lolly pop making, furniture making and watching movies, it was a great day for all, with a huge variety of activities.
Portarlington celebrated the new Into the West mural, created by Adam and Darren Warren and devised over the last few weeks. It can be viewed, in the Square, outside the old cinema which was the location used in the much loved family movie. The mural has become a talking point for young and old. There were two screenings of Into the West, in the adjoining Church of Ireland hall with hundreds attending both. The local youth club ran a sweet shop and helped with the set up for the event. Many volunteers assisted with all aspects, making it a very successful day. Representing the council on the day was Councillor Tom Mulhall and the event was presided over by Muireann Ní Chonaill, Arts Officer and Creative Ireland Coordinator. The guest of honour was Ruaidhrí Conroy who played Tito (Tayto)the older brother in the film. He received a great welcome and he posed for photos and chatted with the public about the happy days spent filming in Portarlington. Sadie Ainsworth who played the Cleaner in the film launched the mural and Ruaidhrí Conroy was on hand to present her with a bunch of flowers. There was a magical appearance of the beautiful white horse, Tír na nÓg, ridden by Tayto and Ossie.
Heritage House Abbeyleix was a hive of activity with a range of creative activities on offer; including papercraft, quilling with artist Pat Byrne, chocolate lollipop making with Catherine, from Mountmellick’s Cocoa Couture. Added to the mix of activities there was Shield Painting with Abbeyleix’s resident Viking, Richard Reid as well as Angelina’s Art Ventures mobile screen printing station and local musician Ray O’Sullivan’s instrument clinic and mini concerts added to the festive atmosphere.
Vicarstown came alive on Saturday with “Vikings in the Village” at the old school. Organised jointly by the Integration Service in Laois Partnership Company and the Vicarstown Youth Club. Children from the Montague Hotel joined local children for workshops in Viking Shields & Weapons making and hair braiding and then dressed up in costumes before entering the tents in the “Viking Village” where they sang some great Viking themed songs and listened to some wonderfully exciting Viking stories. To end the afternoon they enjoyed a picnic outdoors and a wonderful Circus Skills workshop.
Lots of fun was had at the Dunamaise Arts Centre also with a “Try an Instrument” workshop hosted by Music Generation Laois and Laois School of Music. A large crowd of young people got to meet and chat to the music teachers and try out an instrument of their choice in the theatre space while upstairs children enjoyed the wonderful world of puppetry with Julie Rose McCormick.
The sun shone last Saturday as Mountrath Development Association and Mountrath Youth Theatre proudly hosted one of the Cruinniú na nÓg events. A fantastic creative day for all of the young people who came from far and wide to experience new skills such as wood carving, slate etching, Basket weaving and much more.
Laois Libraries also hosted a puppet workshop, with puppeteer Julie Rose Mc Cormick as part of Cruinniú na nóg, will take place in Portlaoise Library.
A huge thank you must go to all the volunteers that assisted in all the five venues to make this day a real celebration of fun and creativity.
Cruinniú na nÓg is a creative festival for children in local communities across the country supported by Local Authorities and funded by Creative Ireland.