Latest Laois News: Out and about in Durrow

Latest Laois News: Out and about in Durrow

All the news from Ballinakill, Cullohill, Durrow and Spink


All sections will be back up and running from February 1st, with Camps, day trips and and a very cool activity planned for an area in Durrow. The group have huge numbers in all sections this year so unfortunately can’t take any new members at the moment. A waiting list is currently in operation for September and to add your child just send their name and their age to by email. The scout garden has been replanted to blossom in the spring and we would like to thank everyone who donated pots, wellies, etc… You’ll all see them brought to new life every soon. Again just a reminder, the herb garden and book box are in the garden and are for all the community to use. All the Youth members and Leaders are looking forward to the new scout year and the group would like to thank everyone in the community for their continued support.


Good news was announced this week for Durrow residents and businesses alike. Following the closure of Durrow’s Bank of Ireland branch late last September, much concern surrounded the future of the bank’s ATM service which was not terminated at the same time. Fortunately St. Canice’s Credit Union, Durrow have now agreed to provide ATM services from their premises nearby in the town. Planning permission for the new ATM was lodged this week and in further good news, Bank of Ireland have agreed to keep their ATM running until such a time as the Credit Union ATM is fitted and in service. Local businesses and residents welcomed the good news with one pointing out that unlike other towns nearby, Durrow does not have any retail outlet with an ATM in-store, so this is a vital service for the town in the absence of in-store ATMs. It is hoped the new ATM will be in service before the summer.
DURROW PARISH LOTTO: After a couple of years missing, Durrow Parish Lotto is coming back with a bang and a special €2000 Jackpot! The first draw is on Monday 7th February.  Tickets are available through your clubs and usual outlets! When you play Durrow Parish Lotto, you are supporting local clubs and groups, including Third Laois Durrow Scouts, Our Lady’s Meadow National School, the Fishing Club, the Gun Club and the Harps GAA Club. And you are also with a chance to win big! Go on, get a ticket… it could be you!

Ballinakill, Cullohill, Durrow and Spink news courtesy of The Castle Arms Hotel
Ballinakill, Cullohill, Durrow and Spink news courtesy of The Castle Arms Hotel


A selection of players from the World Darts Championships will take part in a fundraiser in The Castle Arms Hotel on Friday, February 18th at 7.30pm. The championship players will play against local players (maximum of ten) and anyone wishing to take part must raise up to €200 through sponsorship cards. Call Barry on (085) 8602316 for further information.


Durrow’s climatological station completed it’s eleventh full year of records last New Years’ Day. Some interesting weather   conditions were noted throughout the year that saw below average wind speeds and rainfall following a year that saw weather patterns dominated by high pressure which gave a rather settled and fine theme to 2021. Last January was a cold month dominated by frosts and snowfall at times, though no disruptive amounts fell. It was during this cold spell on January 9th that we recorded an air temperature of –9.2c while the grass frost that night plunged to a numb –12.1c. Met Eireann are currently compiling all data from 2021 but it looks like the –9.2c recorded was the lowest nationally since Storm Emma in 2018.A milder and wetter February followed and this gave way to a mild but drier March, though some rain was still around. April and May were very cold months with rainfall very absent in April, however May was notably wet. The summer kicked off in style with a warm June and a very warm July. Above average by around 2c, July gave us a memorable heatwave that saw Durrow record nine days in a row above 29c. The hottest day of the year was on July 22nd when the mercury soared to 31.2c, just 0.1c shy of our all time record in 2018. August saw the summer heat abate but the dry theme continued like all the summer – well below average  rainfall. In September we saw the summer conditions hang on and some notable heat in the first week saw temperatures soar back up to 28.3c in the first week. The rest of the month  continued warm with temperatures overall 2c above norms. Rainfall too was below normal. October with the shortening daylight hours saw Atlantic fronts return to give an average months worth of rain and it was mild. Late Autumn into November continued with mild weather but it became much drier once more -there was some frost about though in the last week. The first month of winter felt like late-Autumn overall, very little frost about and probably the  windiest month of the year with a few gales recorded as storms came close to Ireland’s west coast. However the weather settled down for the  Christmas period with some cold at first before turning quite mild for the post-Christmas week. As mentioned – the year as a whole was dry compared to normal with just 711mm of rain compared to an average of around 850mm to 900mm one would expect. Looking ahead to 2022 and a very dry January so far with little or no rain due before February rolls around. Early signs are for more unsettled conditions into the start of February. For live data visit – automatically updated every five seconds and automatic climate data stretching back to 2008.

photo of country road in laois ireland in good weather
Summary of Durrow’s weather in 2021 above


Want to save money on your energy and heating bills? We have been working hard on sustainability in Durrow but we need more help from our businesses and our residents. Anyone who is interested in our Sustainable Energy Community, please contact Kevin on (087) 1947743. The Durrow Tidy Towns AGM will take place on Thursday 10th February at 8pm in the library on Chapel Street, all are welcome to attend. Don’t be a litter bug! Litter Picking continues at volunteers own  convenience due to darker evenings. We’d like to express our thanks to all our litter pickers over the last few years, we couldn’t keep on top of it without all of you.


New Natural and Social History Information Signage on the River Erkina and Durrow Bridges are now in place at the Erkina/Old Bridge area.  Signage was facilitated with a grant from Laois County Council LCDC. We have been working on this area for the past year and will continue this year. A grant has also been secured from Failte Ireland by Durrow Development Forum for this area and we are looking forward to seeing the area develop into an all year round outdoor usable space. Thank You: A huge thanks to Dunnes Garden Centre Durrow who donated stock which had damage to its packaging to Durrow Tidy Towns for recycling, saving same from landfill. Absolutely fantastic items which were cleaned and repackaged into fantastic prizes for our fundraising plate game smash at the Durrow Christmas market. We are absolutely blessed to have so many of our businesses involved and assisting us.Bulb Planting: It’s been approx. fifteen plus years since we had our fundraiser to sponsor a bag of bulbs for planting the beautiful daffodils on the approach roads into Durrow. You may have noticed that the burst of spring yellow has not been as bright lately on the Abbeyleix road. We are reaching out to the community to sponsor a bag of bulbs and if you’d like to do so online there’s a link on the Website. If you’d like to sponsor any amount towards the bulbs you can also do so by dropping an envelope marked Durrow Tidy Towns to Lawlors Gala in the square or to our treasurer Rita Casey. Thank you as always for keeping Durrow beautiful. Visit online


Parish Office: The new Parish Office is now open at the Presentation Centre beside the Church or call (085) 2625033. Opening hours for this office will be from 10am to 2pm Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The booking of Masses, Christenings of babies, sale of Mass Cards, Booking of weddings and funeral arrangements will go through this office. All matters relating to Church business in the Parish must also go through this office.

Durrow is one of two Laois locations to get Outdoor Dining funding
Latest news from Ballinakill, Cullohill, Durrow & Spink. Courtesy of The Castle Arms Hotel.


Our new contact phone number for confidential assistance is (087) 6974792.

SYMPATHY is extended to the family and friends of John Woods, Carrigan Street, Durrow, Laois County on their recent bereavement.


We have just received an excellent selection of New Non-Fiction Books. Membership is free and you can borrow books for up to three weeks. Your Recommend Reads: To celebrate ‘Ireland Reads’ on Thursday 25th February, we will be taking recommendations of all types of books from young and old. To take part, think of three books that you really enjoyed and contact us to arrange to have your suggestions added to our Recommend Reads List which will be displayed in the   Library. Valentine Poetry Draw: To celebrate Valentine’s Day we want you to write a short poem, less than ten lines. It can be a Limerick, Sonnet, Haiku, Serious or Funny, it can Rhyme or Not! Enter as a family or an individual. Contact the Library for an entry form. Every entry will be entered into a draw with lots of spot prizes. Entries will be displayed in Durrow Library for the month of February. Opening hours are Tuesday 11am -7.30pm and Wednesday 10am -5.30pm (closed for lunch 1.30-2pm). Phone: 057 8736090 or by email.


Durrow Community Bike Hire Scheme , building a community of leisure cyclists! Avail of our Share a Bike Scheme! Includes supply of bicycle, helmet and hi-vis jacket. Commencing Apriil 1st and ends on October 1st. Benefits include: Priority Booking of Bicycle, Helmet and a Hi-Vis Jacket for a six-month period; Seven Day Availability – Must be booked 24 hours in advance; Free Use of our Bicycles, Helmets & Hi-Vis Jackets for “Rothar Rogues” Gatherings; Free Use of our Bicycles, Helmets & Hi-Vis Jackets for “Cycle Sisters” Gatherings; No Expensiue Bicycle Purchase – No Maintenance Costs – No Storage Problems! Share-A-Bike Scheme based on normal 2/3-hour usage per hire. Does not include hire for “Special Promotion Events” etc… Membership of Share-a-Bike Scheme is non-transferrable. For immediate booking, please contact (086) 8694691 or at by email. This offer ends on March 1st 2022. Facebook: PedalVintage Instagram: PedalVintageDurrow

All the latest news from Durrow, Ballinakill, Spink and Cullohill
All the latest news from Durrow, Ballinakill, Spink and Cullohill


Laois SPCA, in conjunction with Kyle Vet Clinic Durrow (057) 8734111, are running a subsidised cat neutering scheme. We urge people to get their cats done to avoid unwanted litters in the Spring. We recommend that your cat be neutered at approximately 4 months. Any later, you run the risk of them  being already pregnant. €20 per cat, male or female. This offer runs from January 17th until February 28th 2022, so don’t delay!


We currently have four vacancies on our Community Employment Scheme: Position: 4 x Environmental Workers; Location: 2 positions in Durrow and 2 positions in Ballacolla. No Experience Required. Work 19.50 hours per week. Eligibility to participate in CE is generally linked to those who are 21 years or over and in receipt of a qualifying social welfare payment for 1 year or more or 18 years and over for certain disadvantaged groups. Your eligibility will have to be verified by the Department of Social Protection. Please contact Astrid Andersson on (057) 8736870 or to by email.


Congratulations to Susan Cullinane, the winner of Split the Bucket on January 19th. The winning envelope was bought in Freeman’s Pharmacy. Congratulations also to our January 12th Split the Bucket winner John Brophy, who received his €359 winning jackpot. John is one of our monthly standing order subscribers. A standing order of €8 a month gives one entry a week, €16 a month gives two entries a week and €20 a month gives three entries a week. If you would like to set up a monthly standing order please contact Joe Deegan on (087) 9678729 or Shane Brophy on (087) 2034035. Thanks to everyone, who supports our weekly Split the Bucket draw.Congratulations to Pat Barnaville the January winner of the Bonus Ball Draw which is held on the third Saturday of the month. Enda Carroll is the new administrator of the draw and if you would like to participate in the monthly draw, please contact the Club’s PRO Shane Brophy on (087) 2034035 who will put you in contact. Fitzgibbon Cup: The very best of luck to our club members who are participating in the Fitzgibbon Cup this season. Padraic Dunne and Ciaran Comerford both line out for the University of Limerick while Danny Comerford and Cathal Phelan both line out for Maynooth University. Meanwhile, Podge Delaney lines out for IT Carlow and he also captains the team.

St. Brigids hold out after great rally from The Harps
All your sports news from from Ballinakill, Cullohill, Durrow and Spink


The Lions AFC Committee would like to thank all those who supported, sponsored prizes and helped out in the Lions Annual Christmas Draw. The New Year begins with some exciting fixtures with our U12s, U13s and U14s all playing their Sketcher Sup (South East Region) last eight cup ties over the next three weeks. What is even more exciting is that all cup ties are at home in the Lions AFC Club Grounds and we hope if you are free you will come and support the teams! Fixtures: Saturday January 29th -Lions U13 v Callan U13; Saturday February 5th – Lions U12 v St Josephs (Wexford) U12; Lions U14 v Dungarvan U14. Keep an eye on our Facebook and Instagram pages for further information.

Junior League Division 2 Result: Lions AFC 2 v 1 Thomastown B. (Scorers: Michael Dooley and James Duggan). Lions stayed top of Division 2 with a hard fought 2-1 win away to Thomastown B. Lions started well and dominated early exchanges, some good play by Darragh Kelly and Darren Maher set up Michael Dooley for the opening goal after 15 minutes. Although dominating possession for the rest of the half and playing some nice football they were unable to capitalise and the score remained 1-0 at half time. The second half continued in the same pattern but Thomastown were always in the game and they got a rather fortuitous equaliser when a cross deceived keeper Rob Eyres and sneaked in at the far post. Lions struggled to convert chances until substitute James Duggan was slipped through on goal by Darragh Kelly,  Duggans original effort was saved by the keeper but he made no mistake when the ball rebounded to him and smashed home the winner. Well done to all the lads on a super battling display.

photo of two boys playing soccer
All your Lions AFC Match Reports here

U15 Girls League Division 1 Result:

Lions AFC 3 v 1 Bridge Utd. (Scorers: Lucy Kelly X2) What a match! What a day! The U15 girls entertained in a thrilling match in Goresbridge on Saturday. The first half was a tight affair with the Lions going in front before the 10 minute mark after a Bridge United own goal. A deserved lead as the team fought tooth and nail for every ball. With little time to go in the first half Goresbridge equalised and would have added a quick second but for a goal line clearance from Amelia Starnes. The second half started with action end to end. Lions persisted and with 15 mins to go were rewarded for their hard work when an Olivia Hovenden corner was met by Lucy Kelly who promptly placed the ball in the back of the net. Lions defended well with Eimear Murphy marking Goresbridge star player out of the match. With persistence and determination the Lions went on to grab a third just before the end with hard work and a superb finish from Lucy Kelly as she struck her second goal of the game. The Lions deserved their win today with superb support from a few U13 girls. If only we could bottle the spirit showed.

U19 League Division 1 Result:

Lions AFC 3 v 1 Newpark (Scorers: Dan Kirby, Lochlan Curran and   Darragh Kelly) The Lions U19s kicked off 2022 with a win in Dereen against a gallant Newpark side. After a dull first half, the game kicked into life in the second half when Dan Kirby delighfully flicked on a Ciaran Flynn free kick that went all the way into the top corner. Lochlan Curran scored next with a beautiful header from a Darragh Kelly free kick. Darragh Kelly then went from provider to finisher with the third goal with a neat finish into the corner. Unfortunately Lions weren’t able to keep a clean sheet as Newpark pulled one back, although it was too little too late.

U13 League Division 2A Result: Lions AFC 5 v 1 Evergreen City. Scorers Jack Kelly, Alex Sheppard, Shane Townsend and Sean Farrell. Well done to the lads on a great result.U13 Girls League Division 1 Result: Lions AFC 2  v 1 Highview Athletic.

Lions U13 girls took on Highview Athletic of Graiguenamanagh last week in Dereen. Their first game of the new year was a tight affair. Lions started brightly and broke through the Highview defence on a number of occasions, only for their chasing defence to get back and clear the ball. Lions pressed hard continuously and their pressure was rewarded when a Highview defender handled the ball in the square. Sophie Donohue stepped up a slotted the resulting penalty into the bottom corner of the net. The first half finished 1-0. The second half followed a similar pattern to the first. Lions pressed hard and created a lot of scoring chances but could not find that final touch to score. Midway through the second half the Highview winger broke through our defence on the left wing and the speedy winger couldn’t be caught , finishing well to level the scores. Lions to their credit did not drop their heads and continued to press hard and create more chances. Minutes later after some great work by Kate McEvoy on the right wing, the ball eventually broke to Grace Shortall in the box and she finished the ball to the back of the Highview net, giving Lions a 2-1 lead. As the game progressed, Lions players tired and Highview pressed our defence hard in search of a goal. Some resolute defending by the Lions defence kept them out. The game finished 2-1 in favour of the Lions. The scoreline doesn’t reflect the dominance of the Lions, but for their first game out after the Christmas break, it was a good win. Well done to all the girls.

All the latest news from Durrow, Ballinakill, Spink and Cullohill
All the latest news from Durrow, Ballinakill, Spink and Cullohill


Women’s social soccer on every Monday from 7pm until 8pm at the Lions AFC all weather pitch. All abilities welcome. Contact Sinead at (087) 9510587 for further details.


Durrow Community Market continues on Saturdays from 9am to 12 noon on the Kilkenny Road beside the church. Social Distancing will be in practice and please adhere to the Covid-19 guidelines!
AVAILABLE: Lady available to care for the elderly overnight stays, degree in social care and years of  experience, Garda Vetted. Please contact (086) 7235241.


For more information on Alzheimer’s contact Ann Munnelly on (057) 8663398 or (086) 8372168  Homecare Co-ordinator, Portlaoise or to by email.


Speech, Drama & Elocution Classes begin in January and are suitable for all ages from 6 to 15 years. The opportunity to take the Irish Board of Speech & Drama exams is available for all age groups, in all the grades and public speaking. If interested contact Mairead at Star Blossom  Communications, Speech & Drama School on (087) 6473414. A few of the many benefits of Speech & Drama: Great fun! – Develops the voice and personal awareness; – Improves clarity and fluency of speech; – increases confidence and improves communication skills.

All the latest news from Durrow, Ballinakill, Spink and Cullohill Credit: Laois Tourism
All the latest news from Durrow, Ballinakill, Spink and Cullohill Credit: Laois Tourism


Whether you want to learn how to sing or develop your existing skills – Amy offers one-to-one tuition or group tuition for families for everyone aged 9 or over. Learn vocal techniques, breathing exercises, control, performance and delivery. For information please contact Amy (083) 8253665 by phone or to by email. You can also reach Amy’s Social Media page by visiting online.


Do you need a smoke alarm? Or do you know of someone who does, in the Durrow, Cullohill or Ballacolla area? Every home should have a minimum of two of the life saving   devices! Durrow Fire & Rescue will provide and install smoke alarms for anyone that needs them, and there is no charge for this service. Simply email if you are interested, or if you know of a friend or neighbour that needs to have the devices installed. Please leave a contact number too.


St. Canice’s Credit Union is located on Mary Street in Durrow. It provides a range of services including Current Accounts, globally accepted Debit Cards, Loans including Mortgages and Agri, Online Banking Services and a Mobile App. Contact Mary, Catherine or Breda. Opening Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 4pm also Fridays from 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 6pm. Visit our website at online. Phone: (056) 7722042 (available six days – Monday to Saturday) or (057) 8736522. Email: (also available six days – Monday to Saturday).

Durrow, Spink, Ballinakill & Cullohill news
Ballinakill, Cullohill, Durrow and Spink news Credit Laois Tourism


With the long winter nights people are asked to keep an eye on their elderly neighbours daily. Check that they have enough fuel to keep warm, enough food to last a number of days, that they are healthy and not in need of medical attention. Check visitors and report strange movement of people and cars to your local community alert and to the Gardaí.


Pilates Classes continue in Cullohill Community Centre and will continue every  Tuesday from 1.30pm to 2.30pm. All welcome, do come along and enjoy yourself!


Scoil Rince Katrina practises Traditional Irish Dancing for all ages in a fun-filled environment. Benefits are numerous as it helps children to engage in their coordination, improves posture, helps them learn about timing and rhythm and encourages teamwork. Our main focus is to try to bring out the best in every individual and improve their confidence. There are regular competitions if dancers choose to take part. Book now to secure your place. Contact Katrina on 085 7606866. Classes take place in Durrow Community Hall on Monday evenings.

photo of face in Durrow St. Patrick's day parade
Mollie O’Rourke at the 2011 Durrow St. Patrick’s day parade. Picture: Alf Harvey.


Kids Classes 6pm Tuesdays and Fridays; Adults Classes 7pm Tuesdays and Fridays. Learn how to use a kettlebell effectively while burning up to 1000 (yes 1000) calories per class. An overall body workout that will make you stronger while burning excess fat. Kettlebell fitness also     improves mobility and flexibility. All fitness levels and ages welcome. Small class sizes and all covid guidelines adhered to. Personalised programmes for those who wish to compete. Odin Kettlebell Club are affiliated to The Association of Kettlebell Sport Ireland and operate under the guidelines of the World  Kettlebell Sport Federation. For further information or to book your place phone (089) 4400758.


The next newsletter will be out on the weekend of February 5th and 6th 2022. All adverts must be booked with Angela Drennan (087) 1928522 or (057) 8736419. Advertisements cost €2 per issue of Durrow Parish Newsletter and must be paid for in advance. Clubs and Organisations are encouraged to email with their ongoing news and notices which will be printed in the upcoming newsletter and also be posted on the website.