Launch of Laois Folktales

Launch of Laois Folktales

Laois Folktales Launch – A Return to the Crossroads for Heritage Week

The launch of Laois Folk Tales by Nuala Hayes, with illustrations by acclaimed artist Rita Duffy, published by The History Press Ireland will take place at Dunamaise Arts Centre in Portlaoise at 7pm on Thursday 27th August, as part of Heritage Week 2015.


This will be a celebration of the rich culture and heritage of County Laois and will include local storytellers and musicians along with Nuala, who will share some of the weird and wonderful tales she collected during her time at the Arthouse in Stradbally.

dunamaise arts centre

Dunamaise Arts Centre


In 2002 Nuala was appointed Artist in Residence in County Laois. Her job was to ‘unearth’ the stories hidden in the landscape and history of Laois and the Slieve Bloom mountains. In the process she met with many people who shared stories and lore with her and the voices and stories were recorded and filmed for future generations to listen and enjoy.

One of the wonderful original illustrations by artist Rita Duffy that feature in the new Laois Folktales book (Rita Duffy)

One of the original illustrations by artist Rita Duffy that feature in the new Laois Folktales book


In 2014, she returned to the Crossroads of Ireland, from where all the roads led to the centre. This time she worked at Arthouse in Stradbally, to rework some of the stories in book form, and to pick up the threads and weave some more tales from the rich fabric of the history and the life lived for thousands of years in the Midlands of Ireland.


The project was supported by the Heritage and Arts Offices of Laois County Council, and Laois Library Service, with the assistance of the Heritage Council. As part of this year’s project, Nuala ran storytelling workshops in Mountmellick and Mountrath Libraries, during which she shared some of the stories she had gathered and local people contributed their own tales. All are welcome to the launch in the Dunamaise Arts Centre on Thursday 27th August, at which Nuala will sign copies of the new book.


To BOOK TICKETS (€7/€5), please contact the Box Office on 057 86 63355 or visit the website on


Details of all these events and more are in the Heritage Week event guide for Laois available to download from Details of all events nationwide are at