JUNE 2017 ISSUE 5
COMEDY & MUSIC EVENT JUNE 16-18
OLD FORT FESTIVAL JUNE 23/24/25
EXTENSIVE FESTIVAL COVERAGE INSIDE
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Laois County Council Arts Office announce Summer Arts Programme The Arts Office, Laois County Council has an array of workshops available for young people to enjoy over the month of July. Starting off with this innovative workshop titled Cog and Axle with Colm O’Hanluain running in Portlaoise from Tues 4th to Thurs 6th July from 11-1 for ages 10-12. The workshops will involve learning about simple machines through story and play. Participants will create complex hanging mobiles based on the story of Henry’s Piano and learn about, and engage in, paper engineering (pop-up cards) using their understanding of levers and inclined planes. Cog & Axle has participated at the Festival of Education in Learning and Teaching Excellence (FÉILTE) at the RDS, The Dublin Maker Fair 2016 and at Cork City Science Fair at UCC 2016 where hundreds of children and adults enjoyed exploring simple machine through the story of Henry’s Piano. At the Laois Arthouse in Stradbally well-known artist Caroline Conway will be exploring pattern and texture through print and collage. These workshops will run over 3 days from Tuesday 11th to Thursday 13th July in the mornings from 11-1 and a second workshop in the afternoon from 2 to 4, for children aged 6-12. Caroline has been working in schools and with community groups for many years. Having trained at Edinburgh College of Art in print and fabric, she has exhibited widely and been awarded a number of Public Art Commissions, working in the mediums of printmaking and animation. Young people interested in pottery can join Fins Pottery Tuition from Tuesday 11th to Thursday 13th July from 2-4 in the MDA building in Mountmellick for some fun working with clay. Over the three days participants can explore the many different techniques of creating with clay. The Youth Café, Rathdowney will host a three day introduction to drama for young people, led by drama tutor Mirjana Rendulic. They will learn new skills, gain confidence and meet other young people who are interested in learning about acting and performing with an emphasis on having fun. For ages 10-16 these workshops run from Tuesday 25th to Thursday 27th July from 10.30-12.30 and a second group
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in the afternoon from 1-3. Mirjana is currently working with Laois Youth Theatre in Portlaoise. She is a qualified Drama Facilitator, Actress and Writer and holds L.A.M.D.A Gold medal in Acting, HND in Performing Arts and Fetac (Level 6) in Drama Facilitation.
The Arts Office will also facilitate workshops in July as part of Laois County Councils’ social inclusion policy with art workshops in the MDA Mountmellick, in association with the Youth Development Centre. For adults we have a painting course titled “Painting and Drawing in Light, Mood and Movement”, running in the Laois Arthouse, Stradbally from the 7th to the 9th June, directed by acclaimed artist John Keating. More details on all of the above workshops from the Arts Office T: 057 8664033/13 or E: artsoff@ laoiscoco.ie. The Music Generation Laois Summer Programme 2017 also includes a busy line up with a School of Rock and Pop, running from 3-7 July, a Trad Summer School, from 21-23 July. The Trad Summer School includes some very exciting concerts including: Opening Gala Concert featuring tutors from the Summer School and the Music Generation Laois Trad Orchestra on Friday 21 July, at the Dunamaise Arts Centre, at 8pm. Beoga on Saturday 22 July, at The Courtyard @ Kavanaghs, Main St, Portlaoise at 7pm. Beoga are a brilliant Irish Trad band who have shot to international fame since recording with Ed Sheeran. Admission €15, book tickets in person or online through Kavanaghs Live Music Venue. Student & Tutor Concert on Sunday 23 July in the Portlaoise Further Education and Training Centre, Tower Hill, at 3pm. This finale concert will showcase students from the Summer School. Free admission, donations welcome. BOOKING: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 057 866 4176 For more information visit: musicgenerationlaois.ie
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Best Wishes to everyone involved in the Old Fort Festival 2017
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JUNE 2017 ISSUE 5
3 Vincent O'Brien (Strength in Numbers), Michelle de Forge (festival treasurer/ Dunamaise Arts centre), Barbara Brown (festival committee, Brown’s Vineyard), Michael Parsons (festival committee), Sean Murray (festival committee/Laois Heritage soc) Teddy Fennelly (festival committee Laois Heritage soc), PJ Kavanagh (festival committee) Soldiers: Éamon Dunne, Barry Walsh and Gerry Brennan, called Lord Edward's own living history group. Based in Monasterevin.
The streets of Portlaoise will come to life this June 23rd, 24th and 25th with the Old Fort Quarter Festival making a welcome return for its second year celebrating the towns historic past. The family friendly weekend has expanded to cater for even more tastes with a brand new Street Stall Food Festival featuring a variety of cuisines from around the world from Hungarian to Mexican street food and local producers. Barbara Brown from Brown’s Vineyard who has organised the food festival emphasised the importance of supporting local enterprise: “We have lots of local food producers on hand and these guys all need our support.” Another new element of the Old Fort Quarter Festival this year is a display of family orientated events and activities based on heritage such as medieval shield making for children, medieval hair styles for children and interactive medieval armour displays in Gaelic and Tudor style. Raven Haven Aviaries will have a bird display at Fitzmaurice’s Square and regular walking tours of the Fort will be carried out over the Saturday and Sunday. The family fun doesn’t stop there with street theatre and art workshops running across the weekend. There will be storytellers and puppet shows, magicians, clowns, acrobats, face painters, drumming workshops, pavement art, stilt-walkers and a range of costumed crazy characters about town. One of the biggest highlights of the festival is the live music on Main Street from a number of top acts. “This year the Old Fort Quarter Festival brings a fantastic mix of music to the Portlaoise Town Centre with something for everyone all over the three nights of the festival,” said PJ
Kavanagh of Kavanagh’s Bar & Venue, one of the committee members for the festival. Current chart toppers Chasing Abbey are set to kick off the festival with a bang on the Friday night with one of the biggest anthems of 2017 'That Good Thing'. Last year’s festival favourites, Transmitter and Pogueology return to headline their respective nights while Electric Picnic stalwarts Smash Hits close out the festival on the Sunday night. The best of local music will also be a highlight of the weekend with James O’Connor & The Friendly Strangers, Strength in Numbers, The Valves and The Fanzines all taking to the stage. The Old Fort Quarter Festival draws its title and theme from the little known, but fascinating history of the original ‘Fort of Maryborough’. The history embedded in this festival dates back to 1547AD when the town of Maryborough (Portlaoise) developed around the Fort and the celebrations aim to bring awareness to the history of the area for generations to come. More details of times of all the events can be found on the Old Fort Quarter Facebook Page. Check out details of the Old Fort Festival throughout this issue of Grand Central. Sean Murray details the storied past of the fort on pages 8 & 9. Robin Kavanagh pays a visit to one of the local chefs taking part in the Food aspect of the festival, Stefan’s 5 Elements Kitchen on page 11, and we’ve a full run down of the festival’s musical line-up in the entertainment section!
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ISSUE 5 JUNE 2017
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JUNE 2017 ISSUE 5
whitehorse festival 2017 tom delaney’s
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Bealtaine Festival comes to a close
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.
Portlaoise Musical Society has been putting on fantastic musicals in the Dunamaise theatre, Portlaoise since 1999. The society has put on some great shows over the last number of years, these include: Oliver, Beauty and the Beast, Grease, Jesus Christ Superstar and many more. Last year they put on a wonderful production of Hello Dolly. This year they have decided to do a different style show. This years production is Rock of Ages. Rock of Ages is a rock musical, with a book by Chris D'Arienzo, built around classic rock songs from the 1980s, especially from the famous glam metal bands of that decade. The musical features songs from Styx, Journey, Bon Jovi, Poison and Europe among other well-known rock bands. Rock of Ages takes you back to the times of big bands with big egos playing big guitar solos and sporting even bigger hair. This years production will be directed by Paul ‘Nippy’ Norton, choreographed by Grace McGrath and musical directed by Emer Hartnett. The auditions for ROCK OF AGES will be on Sunday 25th of June at 1pm in St. Paul's. You can get your audition pieces from Sharon in Caffe Latte, Lyster Square,Portlaoise. The society is always looking for new members. For any more information you can follow Portlaoise Musical Society on Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat.
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: Song Poetry 1 Margaret Creagh Nelson, Rathdowney 1 Arthur Broomfield, Ballyfin Co Laois 2 John McAuliffe, Newpark Portlaoise 2 Freda Collier, Portlaoise 3 Jim Bonham, Mountmellick 3 Christine Broe, Rathgar Dublin 6 Prose 1 Sheelagh Coyle, Mountmellick 2 Joy Hewitt, Mountrath 3 Mary Carmody, Portlaoise
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FORT PROTECTOUR 8
The Old Fort located within the centre of Portlaoise, from which the modern town has developed, was built by a new wave of English Settlers in 1547/48. It was one of two such forts built in counties Laois and Offaly, with the latter constructed at a pre-existing settlement at Daingean. A similair fort was also built at Leighlin Bridge on the Barrow in Co. Carlow. These forts were designed to hold a considerable garrison of troops, who could be called upon in times of disturbance and rebellion throughout the two counties. At the time the native chiefs of these lands were constantly harassing English plantation settlers who had been granted their lands by the crown. Laois was seen as an important asset to pacify as it was the land link between the Pale and the consolidated Ormonde Kingdom under the Butlers and further south into Desmond Munster. The English wished to incorporate both counties into the Pale and ensure safe passage and economic harmony between the English administration in Dublin and as far away south as Cork. Contemporary accounts from the time tell us that Laois had abundant resources including great ancient forests, which were an important source of high quality timber, “wools, hides, tallow, honey, corn and cattle which were rich and plentiful”. Ever since the support lent by the O'Mores and other Chieftains of Laois and Offaly to the Silken Thomas rebellion in the 1530's, the English grew suspicious to the activities of the natives in these lands. The stage was set to plant the county, pacify the natives and open up its resource potential to the wider English administration in Ireland. The choice of Portlaoise as the site for the construction of the Fort is a little puzzling. It may have been its geographical location as a central area in the county which tipped the balance in favour of the laying of its foundations here. An earlier rounded keep type fort was located at the present day convent which was marked on the early maps of the fort from the 1560's as the “Stone House”. The presence of the near-by esker ridge known today as “the downs” and the Triogue river would have provided natural features on which trade and troop movements could be manipulated as to the desire of the Forts Constable. The name of the Fort was Protectour, again mentioned on the earlier maps of the site. This is attributed to the Uncle of the young King Edward VI, Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset known as the “Protector of the Realm”. At the time of its construction the King was only nine years of age. The English were fighting a war with the O'Mores who were trying to regain their lands lost during the Silken Thomas revolt. St. Leger, the viceroy assisted by a force of over 1,000 troops who landed under the command of Bellingham at Waterford defeated the latest revolt. Bellingham is widely considered to be the man responsible for the building of Fort Protectour, under sponsorship of the crown. He was a notable war leader and had fought in France and even as far away as Hungary in the years before he replaced St. Leger as Viceroy of Ireland in 1548. He was ordered to cut passes in these districts and “keep repair of roads and fords”. By 1550 the O'Mores and other Chiefs had submitted to Bellingham at Dublin, with many of their fighting men including the clan leaders being compelled to join the King's army in England as part of the surrender conditions. A Lord Chancellor report on Ireland in May 1552
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indicated that Laois and Offaly were considered part of the Pale, with Fort Protectour considered as the administrative, economic and military centre of Leix. Reports also emerged that the plantation in the county was costing 7,000 pounds per annum and much of the lands had not been leased. By 1555 a new Lord Deputy or Viceroy emerged on the scene, The Earl of Sussex. His policy of aggression on the natives and the shiring or creation of an official County known as Queens County (in honour of the recently crowned Queen Mary) in the following year was an attempt to underpin the influence of the plantation. Fort Protectour was to become known as Maryborough. As part of the new deal, harsh terms were imposed on the natives, which were to be enforced from the garrison at the fort. Such terms included the pushing of natives on to more marginal lands such as bogs and mountains as well as controlled marriages between native families. The situation in the county seems to have deescalated for a time as a report from 1560 from the Attorney-General of England recommended a reduction in the garrison to between 500-600 soldiers. Given the tenuous relationship between the natives and the new settlers trouble erupted in 1564 and lasted almost continuously in the county until 1601. By the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1558), Maryborough and its fort had a new constable and strongman named Francis Cosby, a English Captain and Lord of the Kerne. Whilst constable there a record from 1565 shows us that part of the garrison at the fort consisted of four petty captains, one drummer, one surgeon and 39 arquebusiers (elite precursors of musketmen) as well as horseman and foot soldiers. Settlers from England began to arrive in the county to exploit the opportunities created as new lands became available and security improved as a consequence of the Fort. A map from the 1560’s show use that Maryborough was not just a Fort but also a walled town with the Fort at its centre. Houses located outside the walls show some of the first settlers, such as; White, Lamben, Son, Rogers, Good, Harding, Weldon and Chapman, names which are likely still to be found amongst the modern inhabitants of the town. Strong points within the Laois landscape such as castles at Dysart, Stradbally, Blackfort, Shaen and Coolbanagher are all shown on the Cotton map from the period, which were in times of attack often resupplied by the garrison at the Fort. By 1570 the town had been granted an annual market and was granted a charter of incorporation giving it privileges akin to towns such as Dundalk and Drogheda. The town began to prosper during this period and it is likely that the church (on Railway Street!) was added to the settlement at this time. However like the proverbial thorn in the sides of the English Settlers, a new strong and fearsome O’More Chieftain named Rory Oge emerged from the hazel and scrub of the Laois countryside to place fear in the hearts of the settlers. The economic situation of the plantation in the whole county suffered as a result, with cattle raids, crop confiscated and burning of settler dwellings by the Gaelic resurgence. Exchequer reports from the mid-1570’s showed that the plantation was costing much more to maintain than it was providing revenue to the crown. The English response was treacherous and disparate. On New Year’s Day 1577 a parley was arranged between the clans and the English settlers at Mullaghmast near Athy Co. Kildare. It is said that over
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Wishing the Old Fort Festival 2017 Every Success
StoneHouse as mentioned in the text (oldest known structure in Portlaoise, pre-dates the fort by a few years, likely built 1540's)
JUNE 2017 ISSUE 5
The hidden history of medievel Portlaoise and the fort that inspires the festival
BY Sean Murray Laois Archeology
400 unarmed members of the Gaelic septs were put to the sword. Rory Oge escaped and laid siege to the town, harassed the English for another year causing Crown 200,000l in damages over the course of his rebellion, before being finally killed in an ambush by the Lord of Ossory. As a result fortifications at Maryborough were not upgraded sufficiently to prevent an attack by the 15th Earl of Desmond in 1582. The town was burnt and plundered with arms, armour, horses and other property carried away. It seems the fort was rebuilt and a new constable called George Harvy was appointed at a cost of 1,041 per annum in 1586. The Country descended into all-out war from 1593-1603 and Laois had an active involvement. Rory Oge’s son, Owney Mac Rory O’More continued the fight and laid siege to Maryborough twice, burning the town on the first occasion and ambushing troops which ventured out of the fort on the second occasion. In 1597/98, the then Captain of the fort Warham Sentleger lost two companies of men in pursuit of the O’More and Captain Tyrrell. O’More and his men returned to the Fort and laid siege until a huge army of 4,000 “horse and foot” was sent from Dublin under the command of the Lord Lieutenant to relieve the garrison. 35 Gaelic swordsmen were captured and their heads were placed along the walls of the Fort. By 1600 Owney had been defeated and the rebellion was over in County Laois. The Fort although battered was repaired and still stood as a bastion of English colonialism for another 50 years. Until it was captured by Owen Roe O’Neill in 1646 and its then governor Sir William Gilbert surrendered. The papal nuncio Cardinal Rinnuccini took refuge in the Fort in 1648, before it was recaptured by Lord Castlehaven in 1549. It is believed that the fort was eventually dismantled in 1650 under the orders of Cromwell to prevent it from falling into the hands of the papists. Parts of Fort were used as a barracks in the 18th Century for a British Dragoon regiment but by the 19th century much of it had fallen into disrepair, with the Castle as depicted by Grose in 1792 being dismantled in 1835. This would have stood on the southwest section of the fort at what is known as today as Fortunes Corner. Today a conservation project is under way on the fort, funded by Local Government, the Laois Heritage Society and the Dept. of Heritage. The aim is to preserve and incorporate the fort within the modern fabric of the town. Although built as one of the first Plantation Forts by the English it stands as a reminded to a turbulent past of conquest and control over the native populations. Built as a monument of might and authority it can also be symbolized as a structure which defined the struggle of the native Gaels.
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Pic:Cotton Map of Laois 1563 showing Fort Protectour Above: 1560’s plan of Fort showing houses outside fort walls with names of occupants (mentioned in text Chapman etc.) also shows town walls outside fort
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JUNE 2017 ISSUE 5
Stephan's 5 Elements Kitchen Pioneers of Healthy Living
It seems as though food trends are as unpredictable as fashion these days, but one thing that is becoming increasingly obvious to the world is the importance of nutritious food for a balanced body and mind, and Stephan's 5 Elements Kitchen has made this lifestyle much more tangeable for Laois inhabitants. Stephan's inspirational recipes come from his many years as a chef in a Tibetan monestary and Toaist lifestyle. Taoism focuses largely on a wholesome "5 element" diet - wood, fire, earth, metal and water. Stephan and his staff offer a range of unique plant-based snacks, meals, desserts, smoothies and juices that follow these practices. His diverse 3 course dinner and taste platter deal will leave you speechless and wanting more! More importantly, the option to bring your own wine or beer puts this tasteful, tucked away cafe/restaurant on another level. The cafe even overlooks a quaint and dainty garden where some of Stephan's ingredients are grown and used in his nourishing recipes. A few personal favorites are the vegan Strawberry Cheesecake, the Spinach Penne, the Beet Blast juice with apple and the Luxury Chocolate smoothie. Located in the Healthy Living Ireland on Portlaoise Main St., this adventurous establishment is easily accessible and won't leave you with a hole in your pocket. The Healthy Living centre hosts a number of individual services including Neurotherapy, Hypnosis, Homeopathy, and PT's, making interesting conversations inevitable in this cafe. So do yourself a favor and visit Stephan's 5 Elements Kitchen, open from 11am to 8pm, 6 days a week, and open your mind to a new and exciting world of healthy food!
STEPHANâ€™S 5 ELEMENTS KITCHEN WILL BE PART OF THE OLD FORT FOOD FESTIVAL, TAKING PLACE ON MAIN STREET PORTLAOISE. This is the first year of The Old Fort Quarter Food Festival and there are some fantastic stalls lined up from Mexican Street Food, Spanish Street Food, Hungarian Street Food and Vegetarian Street Food. There will be lots of local food producers and of course there will be ice-cream on hand for the kids! Tell your foodie friends and let them know about The Old Fort Quarter Festival happening in Portlaoise, Co. Laois 23, 24 & 25 of June 2017!
BY ROBIN KAVANAGH
ISSUE 5 JUNE 2017
PORTLAOISE TO HOST IT’S FIRST COMIC CON
Portlaoise will host it’s very first comic convention on Saturday, June 24 in O’Loughlin’s Hotel, running from 11am to 6pm. At Celtic Con we have a host of fun interactive and exciting attractions including COMIC VILLAGE, GEEK MARKET, GAMING ZONE, ALL DAY COSPLAY, ART COMPS AND SOME FANTASTIC GUESTS “Before the Marvel Universe, there was celtic mythology, which had its roots in the midlands of Ireland. No wonder, then, that the old Celtic heartland of the midlands loves comics, cosplay and drama.” This year’s Celtic Con, in the ancient and wonderful midlands, will bring communities of comic lovers to life as people fill the venue in their outstanding Cosplay, There will be a geek market selling all the nerdy merchandise you need, while your gaming heart’s desires will be fulfilled in the gaming zone, which itself will be full of retro, recent, and independent games. “Of course, the main stage will be where it’s really at; a highlight will surely be Mike Carroll, who is best known (and worshipped) for writing Judge Dredd stories. He’s a big cheese when it comes to graphic storytelling, so if you ever hope to scale the exhilarating heights of the Marvel, DC, 2000AD and Dark Horse Universe, you should settle into a seat in the front row.” So if you want to pick up some cool merchandise, dress up and take part in cosplay or have some fun with some vintage games, check out Celtic Con on Saturday, June 24
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Editor/Advertising Dara Byrne firstname.lastname@example.org 087 9835678 Design/Production Fintan Delaney • Laois Press email@example.com Oisin Byrne • Jango Designs Contributors Robin Kavanagh Sean Murray Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the information included is correct, the publisher cannot accept responsibility for errors, ommissions or discrepancies.
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built by big shots They have an eye for talent in Big Shots!! Long before Conor McGregor became arguably the most famous fighter on the planet he was singled out by the guys in Big Shots and sponsored by the Portlaoise business on his way to the top!! So when the guys in Laois’s top sports and fitness nutrition shop tell you a guy is going to be big.... you listen! The guys have been building up a stable of MMA talent, most exciting of which could be a local prospect - Carlow Kid Andy Murphy. The fighter is due to compete on what is seen by many as the biggest MMA promotion in Europe outside of the UFC, BAMMA, with the fight taking place in the 3Arena on July 7th at BAMMA 30. The fighter recently dropped by the shop (pictured right) as he continues his preperations for the big fight. Also added to the Big Shots stable are Nate Wright, Aaron O’Reilly and ‘Stormin’ Norman Parkes! Remember the names - when Big Shots build them up, they are built to last!
Stormin Norman Parkes
Big Shots Darren Fogarty with Carlow Kid Andy Murphy in the shop ahead of his BAMMA fight on July 7.
PROTEIN • MASS GAINERS BCAAS • CREATINE FAT BURNERS SPORTS WEAR VITAMINS • PRE WORKOUT
JUNE 2017 ISSUE 5
SW LAOIS • EXIT 18
MOUNTRATH - TRUMERA CAMROSS - SLIEVE BLOOM CASTLETOWN - RAHEEN
St. Aengus FC - Division 4 CCFL Champions 2016/17
The library currently plays host to a range of clubs of groups, including a creative writing group, book club, local history, knitting and Irish language groups. The Irish Language group meet the third Thursday of every month from 6pm to 7.30pm in the Library where people are encouraged to come along and have a chat As Gaeilge. There is plenty of help on offer for people to brush up on their Irish and local gaeilgeors such as former GAA president and Gaelscoil principal Liam O’Neill often pop in to help develop the group. The Book Club meets the first Thursday of each month in the library from 6pm to 7.30pm with members getting together to discuss and recommend the best of what they are reading. The Knitting Club meet weekly in the library every Friday from 10.30am to 1pm for a chat and to exchange tips and patterns. The Adults Creative Writing Group meets the first Wednesday of each month at 11am, with members given topics to develop and write about and share with their peers. There is also an Adult colouring group that meets on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month. Away from the library there are plenty of other groups and activities to join and enjoy. The Mountrath Ramblers walking group meet each Tuesday morning from 11am to noon and every Thursday evening between 7.30pm and 8.30pm. Walkers are asked to arrive ten minutes before the walk for registration and a warm-up in St. Fintan’s Church car park. The group can be contacted by calling Anne on 087-9067386 of find them on Facebook Mountrath Ramblers Walking Group. For those men out there looking to something a little more ‘hands on’, the Mountrath Man’s Shed. The group meet every Tuesday and Thursday from 8pm in the Old Girl’s School, Patrick Street, Mountrath. Contact Seamus Burke on 087 2534210 for details.
MAIN STREET MOUNTRATH 05787 56287
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ISSUE 5 JUNE 2017
MOUNTRATH COMMUNITY FORUM LAUNCHES MONTHLY COTTAGE MARKET
The Mountrath Cottage Market officially open and underway! The Fair will take place the first Saturday of each month with the next market planned for Saturday, July 1.
Service Station 0578756473 • Mountrath, Co. Laois
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Mountrath Community Forum launched the first of a new series of monthly town fairs known as ‘The Cottage Market’ in the town on Saturday, June 3. The market will runs from 10am to 2pm and all stall holders will present goods that are homemade, home grown or hand crafted. The Forum has been looking to create a showcase for local cottage industries and small businesses and it is hoped The Cottage Market, located in the Farmer’s Hall (Macra), Main Street, Mountrath, will provide just such a platform. A spokesperson for the market said “We were very proud & honoured to have had the ladies & gents from “The Country Markets Mountrath” and Cllr James Kelly come along & officially open “The Cottage Market Mountrath” yesterday morning! A great day was had by all with a large array of bakers, makers, crafters, gardners etc We thank The Mountain Community Forum for returning the market experience to the town of Mountrath! We thank the huge team of volunteers who came from the four corners of the community to help us set up early yesterday morning & stayed with us until the last tent peg was safely put away again yesterday afternoon. We are truly grateful to each & everyone of you! Thank you to everyone who came to the markets yesterday morning! It was lovely to hear the positive feedback & enjoy a chat over a cuppa. It was lovely to see neighbours & friends meeting with each other at the market. Thank you to our Marketeers for joining us & bringing such a wide range of produce. The variety & standards were so high! We couldn’t have asked for more. We were thrilled to have the European Champions from the Kettle Bells Club with us for the morning! They are only just back from their latest round of competitions in Athens with 4 gold & 1 silver medals. We will be doing this all over again on the first Saturday of each month - same time, same place! Next market day will be 1st July.”
MATCH TRIPS STAGS/HENS CONCERT HIRE SPECIAL EVENTS
JUNE 2017 ISSUE 5
A welcome splash of colour and the hustle and bustle of a town fair in Mountrath!! Pic: Lucy Conroy
Main Street, Mountrath, Co. Laois Tel: 057 87 32673
UNISEX HAIR SALON
Ladies Wash Cut & Blow Dry €25 Ladies Blow Dry €15 Ladies Colour Cut & Blow Dry €55 Long Hair €65 Ladies Cut Colour T-bar Hi-Lights €80 Full Hi-Lights €75 Long Hair €85 Upstyles for weddings, Debs, and partys for all occasions from €25 Gents Dry Cut €10 Gents Wash & Cut €12 Gents Hi-Lights €30
A very busy Community text alert and Mountrath Community Forum stall Pic: James Kelly
Shannon Street, Mountrath
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Five Laois ladies from the Mountrath Kettlebells Club set off to Athens to represent Ireland at the IKMF European Kettlebell Marathon Championships, and came back European Champions with an incredible haul of Four Golds and a Silver. The group were led to Greece by European Gold medalist and club instructor Maggie Grehan Magee who added to her previous European Gold in the 16Kg category to become a multiple time champion. Claire Conroy made her second trip abroad representing Ireland and this time took Gold! Debutants Linda Lanham, Marie O’Keefe and Roisin Tobin also got in on the medals with Marie and Roisin taking Gold and Linda claiming silver. The Ladies were treated to a heroes welcome upon their return home with the Mountrath Development Association holding a reception for them in St. Fintan’s Hall to acknowledge their unbelievable achievement. With the taste of European Gold only wheting their appetite, the Ladies already have their eyes focused on their next goal, the World Championships in Milan where hopefully they can add to their tally! The Mountrath Kettlebell Club hold their classes every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday in St. Fintan’s Hall, Mountrath from 7-8pm and cost €5. New members are always welcome.
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16000 COPIES CIRCULATED • 12000+ DOOR-TO-DOOR BRINGING YOUR BUSINESS TO A WIDER AUDIENCE TULLAMORE
MOUNTMELLICK 1700 HOUSES
MONASTEREVIN 1587 HOUSES
PORTLAOISE 8200 HOUSES STRADBALLY
MOUNTRATH - TRUMERA CAMROSS - SLIEVE BLOOM CASTLETOWN - RAHEEN
SW LAOIS • EXIT 18
MOUNTRATH 605 HOUSES ABBEYLEIX 818 HOUSES DURROW
In this Edition of Grand Central we are developing our distribution further, including Abbeyleix door to door for the first time. To have a story or feature included in our future editions or to advertise, e-mail email@example.com or call 087 9835678.
ISSUE 5 JUNE 2017
whitehorse midsummer comedy & music events june 16-18
a savage comedy show A bumper weekend of entertainment will take place in Eddie Kirwan’s Mountrath as preperations for this year’s Whitehorse Festival continue with a MidSummer Comedy & Music event in the Big Tent. Kicking off the weekend is the festival’s first comedy night - MCed by local comedian Mark Doheny and starring much loved TV writers and comedians, John Colleary and Pat McDonnell. Both men feature regularly on several shows on RTE, most notably The Savage Eye and Irish Pictorial Weekly. John Colleary has performed at Kilkenny Cat Laughs, The Vodafone Comedy Carnival and The Galway Comedy Festival in the last few years. He has written and starred in IFTA nominated shows - The Savage Eye and Irish Pictorial Weekly. As well as comedy John has appeared in straight roles in recent feature films working most recently with Jake Gavin on Hector, and Ken Loach on Jimmy’s Hall. Pat McDonnell is one of Ireland’s funniest actors and comedians but his most memorable role to date is that of the ugly-jumper wearing singer in Father Ted, Eoin McLove - a sublime homage to Donegal crooner Daniel O’Donnell. Who could forget the singing priest’s infamous line: “I have no willy?” This incredible line-up of top TV comedic talent was put together for the festival by local comedian Mark Doheny. Mark’s star continues to rise as he tours around the county, MC’s the famous Kavanagh’s Comedy Club and has recently become the comedy correspondent for online Laois news website LaoisToday. Admission to the comedy night is only €10 with proceeds going to the funding of the Whitehorse Town Festival taking place on Sunday, July 30. Weekend passes are also available for both the comedy night and Sunday’s Music festival for only €15.
Colleary and McDonnell seen performing together in such shows as The Savage Eye, Irish Pictorial Weekly & Fr. Ted, as well as touring throughout the country at festivals such as the Cat Laughs!!
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mountrath’s biggest music night of the year - sunday, june 18
funk soul brothers
Soulset have a busy June ahead with several gigs lined up around Laois in various venues, events and festivals. The band will be performing as part of the Whitehorse Festival Big Tent Music event taking place on June 18 in Eddie Kirwan’s, Mountrath. The seven piece, based in Portlaoise but with members from around the country, are a straight up blues and soul band, playing classics from the 60’s and Blues Brothers and Commitments revival tunes to modern day hits from Amy Winehouse, Bruno Mars and Adele. Soulset boast a wall of drums, bass, guitar, trumpet, saxophone and keyboard; and have a brilliant singer and frontwoman in Angi McNulty. Soulset will also be gigging in Manhattan Mixer on Saturday, June 10 at 10pm and will also be performing for the Arch Club in the newly renamed Midlands Park Hotel on Thursday, June 22.
BUMPER LINE-UP IN THE BIG TENT Sunday, June 18 sees the Big Tent in Eddie Kirwan’s taken over by a host of the county’s biggest and best bands, the likes of which won’t have been seen in the town in years. As well as the 7-piece blues and soul behemoth SoulSet, another of the county’s hottest new bands, Soul Beats will also be performing. Soul Beats blew everyone away at the recent Spring Fling music festival with their expanded line-up, playing a blistering set list of tunes. Keyboard player Mairead Carroll said “Soul Beats are a five piece, high energy band, that play a mix of old-school classics and work their way right up to the current hits. With Doireann as lead vocalist, myself on keys, Conor on lead guitar, along with Jordan on percussion and Eoin rocking the bass, the group are sure to keep you up out of your seats and on the dance floor all night long!” Another new band to the Laois scene playing at the event are Robin & The Hoods, made up of singer Robin Kavanagh, guitarist Shane Booth, bassist Dara Byrne and drummer Brendan Dalton. The quartet have been gigging for year’s together in different bands or guises so have quickly become a force to be reckoned with on the music scene, playing a mix of modern favourites from Rihanna to classic Thin Lizzy tracks. Acoustic favourite Joe S will be making his appearance in Mountrath, having firmly established himself in Portlaoise with regular gigs in all the top music venues. Finally, Mountrath’s very own super group - the White Horses - made up of members of Radio Nowhere, Rain Dogs, the Shambollics and more will take to the stage and jam out the end of the show!! This will be an extra special gig for the lads as the two members of the Shambollics, Tank and Sean, will be off to Spain for the summer to perform a residency in the Irish Bars. Admission to the music night is only €10 with proceeds going to the funding of the Whitehorse Town Festival taking place on Sunday, July 30. Weekend passes are also available for both the comedy night and Sunday’s Music festival for only €15 and are available from Eddie Kirwan’s Bar Mountrath or on the night!
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PICNIC BOUND BONGO STEVE RETURNS TO SOHO One of Ireland’s most unique artists on the electronic music scene, Bongo Steve, returns to Soho this June as part of his nationwide tour that also sees him Electric Picnic bound in September. Born out of Cork City, Ireland, Stephen Healy otherwise known as 'Bongo Steve' , is a fixture of his home city nightlife culture. Steve has been gaining attention from all in the industry, since he begun to fuse his orchestral percussion talents with his renowned DJ sets. Since, Steve has performed at sold out shows before international Artists such as: Mk, Tchami, Route 94, DJ Fresh, Tough Love, Sigala, Basshunter, David Zowie, Mark Knight, Matoma, Jax Jones and DJ Mari Ferrari. In 2016, Steve performed at one of Europe's biggest dance festivals, Ultra Europe, Croatia and Ireland's biggest music festival, Electric Picnic. He has also performed at Spring Break, Croatia in 2015 and Indiependence Music and Arts festival, Ireland. In recent months, Steve has begun production on his first album, which is due to come by summer 2017. His love for beats, forms the basis in which his unique live shows are created with a range of genres. His main genres being; House, tech house, EDM, tropical house and commercial. Doors open at 11pm and admission is €10.
late venue • nite club
TOP IRISH DJ/PERCUSSIONIST FRIDAY, JUNE 16 ADMISSION €10
OPEN EVERY THURSDAY • FRIDAY • SATURDAY
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n w o D ti S w e N u n e M Pizza
ROBIN & THE HOODS
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CHILLOUT LOUNGE WITH DJ LAMBO
SAT • JULY 1
with a z z i P Mezza
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OLD FORT QUARTER MUSIC LINE-UP OFFALY’S FINEST FOR FRIDAY One of the Midland’s hottest new bands, Chasing Abbey, will be headlining the Festival Stage on Friday, June 23, marking the start of three brilliant days of music in Portlaoise. Formed in 2016, Tullamore group Chasing Abbey bring a unique pop, dance and hip-hop style to the fore. If you're searching for chilled-out, foot-tapping hip-hop, Ro, Bee and TeddyC, collectively Chasing Abbey, have been making waves since they formed last year. They've been described as "One of the most promising bands in the country," by the Offaly Express, and "Three men who are very, very talented," by Today FM. Having grown up together with a shared love for music, the lads cite artists like Biggie Smalls and Clean Bandit as influences. Their new single 'That Good Thing' combines smooth rap vocals, catchy techno hooks, and a banjo riff of all things. There could definitely be big things in store for these lads.
THREE NIGHTS OF AMAZING BANDS ANNOUNCED FOR OLD FORT FESTIVAL STAGE
“3 men who are very, very talented. They’ve got a brilliant sound and I think a very unique sound in Ireland” - Louise Duffy, Today Fm “Coolest thing to come out of Tullamore” - Today Fm
“You know where you should be going for your Hip Hop? Tullamore, Co. Offaly. This is Ro, Bee & TeddyC, they’re called Chasing Abbey and we love this tune here at Today Fm.” - Dermot & Dave, Today Fm “One of our most popular Homegrown Heros so far” Dermot & Dave, Today Fm
The local highlight of the festival Friday night (June 23) will be the performance of Portlaoise Pogues tribute band Pogueology. The seven piece big band is made up of some of the county’s finest musicians and performers and are coming off a string of high profile gigs, with an appearance at the prestigious Trinity Ball now on the band’s resume. They play a high energy set of all the Pogue’s best known and loved tunes, as well as forgotten classics and gems and have been endorsed by the main man himself, Shane McGowen! Be sure to check the festival facebook page for times closer to the event so as not to miss this performance on the festival main stage!
LOCAL LINE-UP FOR SATURDAY NIGHT
Saturday night (June 24) at the Old Fort Festival has a strong local vibe as three of the county’s most popular bands take to the festival stage to blast out the tunes and entertain the crowds. The Valves play a mixed bag of covers with a quirky, energetic feel, from classic surf guitar to recent Indie rock. They cover artists as diverse as The Beatles, The Kinks ,The Rolling Stones, Pearl Jam, The Who, The Pixies, Arcade Fire, The Cure, and lots more shaken and stirred into a cocktail of covers from rocks beginnings to current well loved tracks. The Valves have a light hearted approach keeping true to the energy of the music, paying fond tribute to the songs that inspired them become musicians and are one of the most
popular bands on the local scene. Also performing on the Saturday night are James O’Conner & the Friendly Strangers. Portlaoise born singer songwriter artist James O’Connor is no stranger to the music scene, having recorded his debut album album “After Hours in the famous “Sun Studio” in Memphis in 2009. His 2010 single ‘Falling up’ reached an impressive number 9 in the Irish singles charts. His 2011 follow-up single “Mr Fake” reached number 22 in the Irish singles charts proving that O’Connor has a loyal supportive fan base in Ireland. Both acts are incredibly popular and should get the crowds going in the early evening hours! Check the festival social media pages for times!
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TRANSMITTER HEADLINE SATURDAY
Headlining Saturday’s line-up of bands are possibly Portlaoise’s biggest export, Transmitter. With over 15 years of experience on the live circuit, Transmitter are one of Ireland's most indemand professional live acts. With a powerful and energetic setlist, they mix the biggest anthems of today with classic hits from the past 5 decades, to create an incendiary live show. Combine all this with the top quality sound and lighting show you might expect from a major label act and you begin to understand what the Transmitter live experience is. Brothers Stewart, David and Robert Quinn (who have been with band since the black and white days of casette tapes, VHS, and Atlantic 252) are aided and abetted by Wayne Connaughton on the bass guitar. In recent years, Transmitter have played at events as diverse as O2 In The Park (to 120 thousand people), PPI National Radio Awards, Croke Park Stadium, College/ Society/Graduation Balls, CopperFace Jacks Nightclub in Dublin and performed at the GAA/ GPA Allstar Awards 2011 and 2014. They have appeared on RTE and BBC Television, had their original music played extensively on National and Local Radio (including live sessions on 2FM and TodayFM), and toured in the UK, Europe and the US.
SUNDAY’S A SMASH Sunday’s line-up of acts sends the second annual Old Fort Festival out on a high note with three incredibly popular acts announced!! The Fanzines have a very loyal fan base and are a regular on the gigging scene. Singer Alan was the vocalist for early 90s Kilkenny metallers ‘My Little Funhouse’ who toured with Guns’n’Roses . Bassist Paul has worked as a music professional his entire career including stints touring with 80s favourites Madness and That Petrol Emotion. Alan had a covers band ‘The Bad Babysitters’ featuring ex members of ‘Something Happens’ and Phil Lynott’s post ‘Lizzy band. Guitarist Alan met Paul in the 80s sharing a love of The Jam and have been occasional collaborators ever since. Drummer Dara played with Nova Static (who played at The Electric Picnic) and is in Portlaoise’s Ukulele Band. Strength in Numbers are one of Portlaoise’s longest serving bands having formed in July 1986. The band play a blistering live set and they play to large crowds across several venues in the town. And finally, to round off the festival’s music programme will be the incredibly popular Smash Hits! The Smash Hits! story began in May 2009 when the band sold out their first Dublin show at The Sugar Club. The 6-pc managed in the process to become something of an overnight success in that they were immediately offered a monthly residency at prestigious Dublin venue Tripod and were quickly ushered onto the bill at Oxegen ‘09 a few weeks later. Later that year Smash Hits! opened up the Electric Picnic on the main stage ahead of MGMT, the Michael Nyman Orchestra and Orbital . On the back of these successful A-list festival appearances, the word began to spread further afield and the Hits were soon selling out residencies in many of the country’s top venues with show-stopping performances in particular in the 800-plus capacity Waterford’s Forum Theatre, the 1,000-plus capacity Garavogue in Sligo and at the Cork Jazz Festival. The Fanzines, Strength in Numbers and Smash Hits! will be performing on Sunday, June 25 on the Festival Main Stage!
WONDER WOMAN BREATHES LIFE IN TO THE DC UNIVERSE Following the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe which began with Iron Man (2008), Warner Bros. desperately wanted to create a shared cinematic universe of their own to emulate that success, based on the DC pantheon of superheroes. Alas, their previous efforts have received a very lukewarm response from critics and comic fans alike. Man of Steel took the endearing, light-hearted Superman and made him broodier and less fun. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was an unfocused mess, more interested in setting up sequels than being a good film in its own right, and Suicide Squad was a complete tonal disaster with a nonsensical plot. Now we have Wonder Woman, the fourth movie in the series and second to feature the Amazon Warrior following her scene-stealing last-minute debut in Batman v Superman. Thankfully, Wonder Woman represents a huge leap forward for the DC Cinematic Universe and could mark the moment that the DC Universe finally finds it’s stride. Diana (Gal Gadot), daughter of Greek God Zeus, is living on a mystical island with the Amazon warriors, and is desperate to prove her worth when World War I British spy Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) crash lands on the island. Diana decides to journey back with him to London, where she vows to fight and end the war for good. Wonder Woman is a breath of fresh air for the franchise, and unlike the previous entries in the series, Wonder Woman has a heart-warming sense of optimism at it’s core. We see the Amazon warriors training and a young Diana eager to escape her tutoring and instead train to be a warrior. The plot is kept simple and engaging, leaving behind the mess of subplots and back-stories of the earlier DC films. Once Diana enters the world of men, it becomes a fish-out-of-water story, which works due to Gal Gadot’s charming performance. She gazes at the vehicles, the outfits and the buildings, with a look of wonder (pun shamefully intended) on her face. She also tries ice-cream for the first time, and tells the vendor that he should be “very proud.” The film has a lot of great humour and character-development for its two leads, so when the action sequences begin, we are invested. As Wonder Woman emerges from the trenches in her iconic outfit and begins to deflect enemy bullets with her shield, it’s impossible not to get the chills, especially when her theme music (composed by Hans Zimmer in Batman v Superman, rearranged here by Rupert Gregson-Williams) kicks in. Despite all it does right, Wonder Woman is not perfect. Like most superhero films, the film devolves into an excessive, CGI fueled-finale that goes on far too long, and a last-minute reveal feels contrived and unnecessary. Nevertheless, it is a terrific film. Funny, heartfelt, emotional, beautifully shot, and anchored by a fantastic performance from Gal Gadot, Wonder Woman is proof that the DCEU is capable of great things. Let’s hope that future films in the series take after Wonder Woman and not Batman v Superman. Wonder Woman is showing now in Odeon Portlaoise. Seán’s Rating: 4/5
Dunamaise Film of the Month
The highlight of the Dunamaise Cinema line-up this month is the Martin Scorcese period piece, Silence, a film twenty years in the making and a real labour of love for the legendary director. It tells the story of two Catholic missionaries (Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver) who face the ultimate test of faith when they travel to Japan in search of their missing mentor (Liam Neeson) - at a time when Catholicism was outlawed and their presence forbidden. Like an ember glowing, so did the desire in the hearts of Portuguese Catholic Fathers, Sebastião Rodrigues and Francisco Garupe, to investigate the truth behind Father Cristovão Ferreira's abrupt end of correspondence. With the rumours of Ferreira's apostasy echoing in their minds and in great disbelief, the zealous Jesuit missionaries set off to Japan, in 1633, amidst the bloodshed of the anti-Christian purges, with the intention to locate their teacher. Under those circumstances, the two-man army with the aid of their guide Kichijiro, a Japanese fisherman, ultimately arrive in Japan, only to witness the unbearable burden of a different belief in a land founded on tradition. Sooner or later, and while following the traces of Ferreira's sightings, Father Rodrigues will eventually reach Nagasaki, where as a prisoner of the Japanese Grand Inquisitor Inoue, not only will he witness the hideous tortures performed on the Japanese Christians, but he will also have to put his faith to the ultimate test: renounce it for the sake of the prisoners' lives. Silence will be screened in the Dunamaise Theatre on Wednesday, June 21 at 8pm.
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JUNE 2017 ISSUE 5
HANDBAGS, COINS AND CARS:
THE RISE OF ALTERNATIVE INVESTING
Stocks and shares are just so over.* These days, savvy savers are going alternative. So-called “passion” investments, such as fine wine, art and vintage watches, are where it’s at if you want a faster return on your cash. You can also carry your investment around with you – far from being a mere statement accessory, a number of designer handbags are more lucrative than investing in the stock market. Take the Hermes Birkin – the iconic tote has increased in value by an average 14.2 per cent each year since its launch in 1981, making it a safer bet than gold. Good news for wine buffs, too – fine wine saw a 24 per cent increase in value in 2016 alone (FYI, it’s all about north Italian vintages right now). And coin collectors are laughing all the way to the bank – in September 2015, a 1839 Queen Victoria proof set sold for €596,608 double the previous record. For those who think there’s no money to be made from cars, think again – total growth over the past decade was 457 per cent. This is a bigger increase than even property, which have increased in value on average 20 per cent in the last decade and 152 per cent since 2000 across Europe. And it’s not just super-cars commanding a hefty price tag. Among the list of top investor car makes, Ford offers among the lowest entry costs. “The legendary Ford GT40 supercar accounts for the lion’s share of the most expensive Fords ever to be sold at auction and the new Ford GT, which is being delivered to customers right now, will be our most exclusive car ever – limited to volumes of no more than 250 per year globally,” said Jim Farley, executive vice president and president, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Ford Motor Company, who is a passionate racer and collector, and counts a GT40 in his private collection. “But more attainable classic hot hatches are showing impressive gains – providing they are in good condition.” In March 2016, a Ford Escort Cosworth with less than 2,500 miles on the clock sold at auction for €80,001 after first going on sale for €26,102 in 1992. The average price of a Cosworth is now more than double that original price and the Fiesta XR2, which went on sale in 1981 for €6,505, has trebled in value since 2014 to an average sale price of €10,701. There are also stories of sporting Ford vehicles exchanging hands in private for higher sums than are made public. “Before you decide where to put your money, think carefully about the right investment for you,” said Andrew Shirley, who compiles the Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index: “Although the indices that track asset classes like classic cars have seen very strong growth over the past 10 years, potential investors need to be cautious. Not every car will have seen its value grow by the same amount. There are also significant costs associated with the ownership of luxury investments, such as storage, maintenance and insurance. My advice is to always buy something that you love and will enjoy owning. Any increase in value should be seen as a bonus.” One rationale for the huge increase in classic car values is that profits from sales by an individual are exempt from tax in countries across Europe. However, for many collectors it’s the realisation of a childhood dream to buy a car they always longed for.
172 FORD FIESTA
DISCOUNTS INCLUDE 3-YR ROAD TAX OFFER ON FIESTA, FOCUS AND ECOSPORT
172 FORD ECOSPORT TITANIUM+ DIESEL
“I’ve always enjoyed Capris since I was 18 years old and had a Daytona Yellow GXL with black vinyl roof “ said John Pepper, a 56-year old collector from Essex who currently has around 18 Capris in various states of repair. “I think I was put on this earth to find as many as I could and put them back on the road. I know they’ve gone up in value, but that’s not the point, I just like playing with them and talking about them, it’s in my blood.” To date, the most expensive Ford vehicles sold at auction are: MODEL
PRICE US$ (Euro)
1968 Ford GT40
1964 Ford GT40 Prototype
1965 Ford GT40 Roadster
1966 Ford GT40 Mk1
1967 Ford Shelby GT500 Super Snake Mustang
172 FORD FOCUS TITANIUM
172 FORD MONDEO TITANIUM
172 FORD KA+
172 FORD KUGA ST/LINE
0% FINANCE UNDER PCP Personal ContraCt Plan
Dublin Road Portlaoise – Tel 057 8622048 Open Mon-Fri 9am-6pm; Sat 9am-2pm
* The saving shown applies to Ford Fiesta & Titanium, Focus Zetec & Titanium, EcoSport Titanium+, Ford Mondeo and Ford Kuga ST/Line models only. Alternative NEW CENTURY savings are available on other models. Models shown is for illustrative purposes only. *Finance Example: Ford KA+ Studio 1.2L 70PS 5Dr. †Discounted Retail Price €13,825. Customer Deposit/trade in €4,148. Finance Amount €9,677. 36 Monthly Payments of €127.17. Total Cost of Credit €0.00. GMFV†† (Optional Final Payment) €5,100. APR 0%. Min deposit 10%. ††The Guaranteed Minimum Future Value (GMFV) is payable if you renew or retail the vehicle at the end of the agreement. This is a Hire Purchase agreement provided by Bank of Ireland Leasing Ltd. t/a Ford Credit. See ford.ie for full offer details, terms and conditions.
ISSUE 5 JUNE 2017
RACING TO THE FUTURE
HOW FORD CREATED THE GT SUPERCAR TO TEST TECHNOLOGIES FOR TOMORROW’S VEHICLES
In creating the all-new high-performance Ford GT, the pioneers behind the supercar designed it not only to win races but also to serve as a test bed for new technologies and ideas for future vehicles across the Ford lineup. “When we began work on the all-new Ford GT in 2013, the team had three goals,” said Raj Nair, Ford executive vice president of Product Development and chief technical officer. “The first was to use it as a training ground for our engineers as we develop future engine technology and stretch our understanding of aerodynamics. Then, to push the boundaries of advanced material usage, such as lightweight carbon fibre. Finally, we set out to win the Le Mans 24 Hours, referred to by many as the ultimate test of endurance and efficiency.” At the same time the team was developing the GT, Ford combined several of its performance teams – Ford SVT, Team RS, Ford Racing, performance vehicle parts and merchandise licensing – into a single group called Ford Performance. “Without this kind of integrated teamwork and combined organisation, it would have been impossible to deliver the all-new Ford GT in its current form,” said Dave Pericak, global director, Ford Performance. “This kind of collaboration was critical to not only bringing Ford GT back to life but for experimenting with the kind of innovations needed to create the ultimate supercar.”
GT has proven power to inspire. The 2005 Ford GT, for instance, featured a lightweight aluminium alloy body that helped reduce weight to improve performance. Lessons learned from its production led to the innovative use of high-strength aluminium alloy in today’s Ford F-Series pickup trucks – shedding hundreds of kilograms of weight, while also improving capability, performance and fuel efficiency. Putting the dynamic in aerodynamics While GT looks fast standing still, the team optimised every shape to make it as aerodynamic as possible. A key goal was to reduce drag and optimise downforce – which helps give the supercar stability and grip on the track while accelerating, cornering and braking. GT’s aerodynamics change on demand to meet varying driving conditions, thanks to moveable elements around the body, including special ducts in the front, and a large deployable wing. The flaps open and close depending on whether GT’s wing is up or down, so the car remains aerodynamically balanced from front to back at all speeds. When the wing is up, the ducts close to increase downforce; when the wing is down, the ducts open to decrease downforce. The supercar’s wing includes all-new Ford technology – a patent-pending design that
changes the shape of the aerofoil for maximum efficiency when fully deployed. The unique design also includes a small gurney flap which, when combined with the shape change, results in a 14 per cent improvement in overall efficiency. Even the engine helps GT’s aerodynamics. The compact six-cylinder design of the car’s EcoBoost engine allowed the team to taper its fuselage to more efficient dimensions than a larger V8 configuration engine would have allowed. In addition, the low placement of the engine’s turbochargers and outboard placement of the turbo intercoolers ahead of the rear wheels help to taper the fuselage around the engine. The GT's aerodynamics produce positive downforce in all conditions. At high ride height, the downforce has a balance of 30 per cent front. In low ride height, the downforce balance is maintained at 29 per cent front. Slimming down Carbon fibre is an important new element that helps GT deliver both weight savings and sleek body shapes in ways not possible with steel or aluminium. Working with partners, including Multimatic and DowAksa, Ford is developing new ways to enable future faster, high-volume production of carbon fibre parts. For example, GT’s iconic flying buttresses that extend from the roof to the rear fenders wouldn’t
JUNE 2017 ISSUE 5
be possible in steel or aluminium because of the limitations of conventional metal stamping. Yet, carbon fibre can be shaped into complex geometric designs because it’s cut to a specific shape as a cloth and strengthened by curing at a high temperature. Fuelling the GT engine – and beyond Ford GT’s 3.5-litre EcoBoost engine is the company’s most powerful EcoBoost ever, delivering 647 horsepower.* It was developed alongside the GT race engine and the 3.5-litre EcoBoost engine used in the F-150 Raptor highperformance off-road pickup, which shares almost 60 per cent of its parts with GT’s engine. During racing, the test engine’s crankshafts in the Daytona prototype were cracking under gruelling conditions. With little time to get ready for the Sebring endurance race that year, the team made a key decision to substitute the Daytona prototype’s race crankshaft with a pre-production F-150 Raptor crankshaft. The Daytona prototype won its first race at Sebring that year. “We pushed the engine’s limits beyond what we might consider in traditional development programs, which is important as we continue to advance EcoBoost technology as a centrepiece of the company’s global lineup,” said Bob Fascetti, Ford vice president, powertrain engineering. The team also created innovative anti-lag turbo
technology that can help maximise the GT’s ability to power out of corners. This technology works by keeping the throttle open when the driver is not pressing the accelerator pedal. The fuel injectors are off, but turbo speed and boost are maintained for faster engine response and acceleration as soon as the driver hits the accelerator pedal. To further improve engine performance, GT features an all-new port and direct dual fuelinjection setup to enhance engine response. The engine is paired with a responsive seven-speed dual-clutch transaxle for nearly instantaneous gear changes and exceptional driver control.
Get low “All of the weight savings and engine advancements served a singular purpose – creating the fastest, most-efficient Ford GT ever,” Pericak said. “Once that was achieved, we reinvested some of those weight savings in truly innovative technology that made the car even faster and more fun to drive.” These technologies include GT’s hydraulic suspension, which changes ride height with a turn of the knob that adjusts Drive Modes. The suspension lowers the supercar from Normal mode into Track mode – a 50 millimetre difference the driver can see and feel. Track mode raises the wing and closes the front splitter ducts, delivering optimal downforce for spirited,
closed-course driving. When the GT changes modes from high to low ride height, changes in spring rates, matching damper settings, and active aerodynamics, come together to create two unique cars in one. Another feature of the hydraulic suspension – front-lift mode – helps GT clear speedbumps and driveways. The driver can raise the front of the car on demand at speeds below 40 km/h (25 mph). The system automatically returns to normal lower ride height when it reaches 40 km/h (25 mph). Tech for all GT’s role as a technology test bed is evident throughout the supercar, with some innovations, such as carbon fibre lightweighting, serving as longer-term possibilities, while others are hitting showrooms soon. Additionally, the company’s push into customised Drive Modes that help customers fit a vehicle’s performance to specific conditions is expanding rapidly. Ford GT’s Track mode, also offered in the award-winning Ford Focus RS and to feature next year for the first time in the all-new Fiesta ST, helps enthusiasts maximise racing performance. As new Ford GTs continue to roll into owner driveways, other Ford customers can expect to find a little bit of the supercar in their future vehicles as well.
ISSUE 5 JUNE 2017
SEAT GROWS BY ŠKODA OCTAVIA SCOUT 4X4 16% IN APRIL
• Spacious Octavia Scout available in Ireland from €35,495 • Scout is a practical all-rounder for on or off road trips Octavia Scout available with 0% APR finance The new ŠKODA Octavia Scout 4X4 prices and specifications have been revealed for ŠKODA’s off-road Octavia derivative. Based on the Octavia Combi estate version the first Octavia Scout was launched in 2004. From €35,495, ŠKODA’s Octavia off roader has very few direct competitors in this class. The Octavia Scout sports a completely new front section with an even wider grille. The new front light arrangement gives the Octavia Scout a new and more aggressive styling. The lower part of the front bumper is fitted with new silver coloured underbody protection. Protective side moldings also provide additional protection. The Scout is fitted with 18 inch alloy wheels as standard for increased style and also benefits from increased 30mm increased ground clearance. All wheel drive provides the Scout with a critical increase in traction and safety. The central component of the system is a hydraulic multi plate clutch with electronic control. Positioned in front of the rear axle the clutch unit constantly monitors and calculates the sufficient torque to be delivered to the rear wheels. In addition the front and rear axles are equipped with XDS+ electronic differential lock to deliver safer cornering. Scout 4x4 models are excellent for towing with loads of up to 2,000kg permitted. The 2.0 TDI 150bhp 4x4, fitted with a six speed manual transmission, is expected to make up the volume of sales with the 2.0 TDI, 184bhp, 6-speed DSG version also featuring. Compared to the previous Octavia, the Scout has an increased rear wheel track of 30mm.
This provides improved road holding and cornering ability. The interior has also been refreshed with new seating upholsteries and instrument cluster. In standard form the Octavia Scout will be powered by the familiar 2.0 TDI, 150bhp Diesel unit mated to a 6-speed manual transmission. For more power and driving comfort a 2.0 TDI, 184bhbp is available with a 6-speed DSG automatic transmission. The Scout also enjoys upgraded infotainment systems. The Columbus is the best system available in the ŠKODA range and boasts a 9.2” colour touch screen. Compared to the previous Octavia the biggest advancements are in the area of connectivity. The Octavia Scout models come as standard with Infotainment online allowing the driver to access news, weather and parking data. Care connect is available as an option for the first time in the Octavia and provides emergency call function and remote access to your vehicle via the drivers smart phone. Through the drivers smartphone they can view their vehicle on a map and also activate the vehicles honk and flash function in order to locate the car in a busy car park for example. Speaking at the launch of the Octavia Scout in Vienna, Cathal Kealey, PR Manager, ŠKODA Ireland, said: “We are delighted to be introducing the next generation of Octavia Scout models on the back of the outgoing Octavia coming in as the fourth bestselling car in Ireland for the first three months of this year. The Scout 4x4 has an excellent reputation for its ruggedness and durability and has even been used by emergency response services in the North West. The Octavia Scout is highly affordable with 0% PCP Finance available until June 10th 2017.”
SEAT sales are making steady progress. Between January and April, SEAT delivered 158,700 vehicles worldwide, which is 14.5% more than the same period in 2016 (138,600). The calendar effect in the main markets, with fewer working days, did not slow down the results for the month of April and the company’s deliveries rose by 16.0% compared to the same month in 2016, reaching a total of 41,400 vehicles (2016: 35,700) According to SEAT Vice-President for Marketing and Sales Wayne Griffiths, “SEAT’s April sales are fully in line with the sharp increase of the first quarter of the year.The Ateca is pushing up our worldwide sales, and at the same time, the Leon facelift is bringing in a considerable volume of both individual and corporate customers, such as the recent delivery in Turkey of the largest fleet sale in our history. Sales of the end of the current generation Ibiza are also making positive progress”. Meanwhile, SEAT Ireland is also reporting very strong figures with overall sales up 14% year to date with market share increasing from 1.9% to 2.5%. Niall Phillips, Brand Director at SEAT Ireland commented, “We are thrilled to continue our tremendous start to the year and I want to congratulate everyone on our team here at SEAT Ireland and our outstanding dealer network for all their hard work. More importantly, I also want to thank our customers for their continued support and loyalty. 2017 is a very exciting year as we introduce the all new SEAT Ibiza to Ireland next month and look forward to welcoming the all new SEAT Arona SUV later this year.” Spain, the United Kingdom and Germany, SEAT’s three largest markets, are making a major contribution to the evolution of the brand’s sales. In the first four months of the year, Spain remains the company’s main market with sales of 33,800 vehicles (+22.9%), followed by Germany (29,700; +10.0%) and the United Kingdom (20,800; +23.7%). France, one of SEAT’s strategic markets, is also performing very well, reaching 8,800 vehicles, or 20.2% more. Austria (6,300; +29.0%) and Switzerland (3,400; +69.6%) are maintaining their strong upward trend, and in both countries SEAT is among the top 10 brands sold. SEAT ended the first four months of the year with all-time record sales in the United Kingdom, Mexico, Turkey, Austria, Switzerland and Israel. SEAT began the presales of the new Ibiza in April, and it will be available in showrooms in June. From Monday 1 May until 18 May, 800 journalists from 30 countries will test drive the new Ibiza and find out everything about the new model at the international presentation being held in Barcelona. From a financial standpoint, the growth in sales has increased turnover sharply by 20.2%, reaching a record figure of 2,487 million euros in first quarter of the year. In addition, after closing 2016 with the highest operating profit in its history, SEAT’s operating profit reached 56 million euros in the first three months of 2017, 4.1% more than the same period last year.
VOLKSWAGEN RELEASES DETAILS OF ‘172’ OFFERS
Volkswagen Ireland has announced details of its 172 campaign ‘Make the future your present’ which includes technology upgrades across the range, 0% APR* PCP Finance on many models, Deposit Contributions of up to €2,000 and free Volkswagen Connect. For the 172 Campaign, Volkswagen wants to ensure that customers can avail of the very latest technology the brand has to offer. With that in mind, the Technology Upgrades group some of the most desirable technology features together for a special bundled price. These Technology Upgrades, when financed with 0% APR PCP Finance, are extremely affordable and allow customers to experience the future of driving, today. Highlights of the New Golf Highline model include Discover Media SatNav, Light Assist, a Rearview Camera and a Winter Pack (with a value of €1,711) are available for just €599. The New Golf Highline is also available with 0% APR PCP Finance allowing a monthly repayment of just €249 per month. The Tiguan Comfortline benefits not only from a €1,000 Deposit Contribution, but there is also 0% PCP Finance available for orders placed before June 30th with a €299 monthly repayment on the 115bhp TDI. For the Tiguan Comfortline, the Technology Upgrade includes a Panoramic Sunroof, the Mirror Package, Discover Media SatNav and a Rear View Camera, which priced individually cost €3,073 but are bundled for just €999. The upgraded Passat range gets a €1,000 Deposit Contribution and now includes the Easy Open Package, High Beam Light Assist, Side Assist and Rear Traffic Alert with a combined value of €2,143, all for €499. The Polo Trendline model has been reduced in price by €1,000 (compared to its previous RRP) and now gets 15" Estrada alloy wheels, a Leather Multi-Function Steering Wheel, Front Fog Lights and App Connect, which would too cost €1,832 if these items are priced individually, but with the 172 offer, cost just €299.
JUNE 2017 ISSUE 5
BELTING OUT FAVOURITE TUNES AT THE WHEEL IS GOOD FOR THE SOUL
• Dreary commutes are transformed by solo sing-a-longs that energise our mood • Music releases hormones that make us happy, breathing improves, and stress is reduced • We save secret playlists for driving alone when musical experience is especially intense • Powerful B&O PLAY Sound System for all-new Fiesta helps drivers get the most out of music • 675-watt technology was perfected using more than 5,000 tracks from Adele to Jay-Z Making your commute fly by with a no holds barred sing-along to your favourite songs could be a key part of your urban survival guide. Experts agree that there are a range of health benefits to staging impromptu karaoke sessions at the wheel – ones we only feel truly comfortable giving when there is no one else around, and the in-car sound system is providing the backing. The new B&O PLAY Sound System for all-new Fiesta is the most powerful for a car in its class. Engineers spent a year listening to more than 5,000 tracks to ensure the premium 675-watt technology sounded great whether enjoying Adele, Foo Fighters or Jay-Z – or chilling out to classical music – no matter how quietly or loudly you play it. “For many people listening to the music they love on the move is a fundamental part of every journey – it is the soundtrack to their own personal road movie” said Jan Schroll, supervisor Multi‑Media and Connectivity, Ford of Europe. “B&O PLAY
for all-new Fiesta will bring the best possible sound quality to our customers – whatever their taste in music.” Research from music streaming service Spotify reveals that it is during solo drives, in our own private space, that we cue up secret playlists, turn the music up and sing our hearts out. For many of us, there are playlists that we only dare turn to in the car, an especially intense place to listen to music where the sound is designed to perfectly fill the space we are occupying. “Singing loudly and free from inhibitions – really ‘letting go’ – means the mental release will be greater as more energy is put into it,” said Professor Stephen Clift, a leading authority on the health benefits of singing, based at the U.K.’s Canterbury Christ Church University. “Especially when we sing familiar songs loudly we experience a ‘feel-good factor’ arising from deeper, slower breathing, and increased muscular activity. We feel less stressed and more relaxed.” In testing, the team also listened to iconic live recordings to ensure the energy and emotion would be heard as if you were there – and even recorded their own tracks to ensure the entire spectrum of sound was covered. “We love using live recordings as they show how the sound system reproduces every emotion that’s carried through the music – as if you were there. When I get goose bumps, I know, I did it right,” said Stefan Varga, acoustic system engineer at HARMAN International.
0% Finance on Sportage and cee‘d
at Downey‘s Kia
Kia cee‘d Range FROM
Kia All-New Sportage Range FROM
Looking for a new 172 car? Then look no further than Downey‘s Kia. We have 0% finance on our new Sportage and on our cee’d models. Drop by for a test drive in these or any of the Kia range.
PICANTO 1.0 €14,000
ALL NEW RIO 1.4 €16,800
Dublin Road, Portlaoise 057 8664895
CARENS 7-SEAT 1.7TD €29,000
SORENTO 7-SEAT €40,000
Fuel consumption figures in l/100km for the cee’d 1.0 GDi GT Line, Rio and Sportage are: Urban 7 – 4.7, Extra Urban 5.2 – 3.4, Combined 5.9 - 3.9. The official CO2 emissions are 154 - 102g/ km. Warranty is 7 years/150,000km full warranty. Terms and conditions available in warranty and service handbook. †Excludes delivery & related charges. Models are shown for illustrative purposes only. Lending criteria and terms and conditions apply. Finance is provided by way of a hire purchase agreement. Finance example is based on a fixed rate APR of 0%. Rate quoted is correct as at 1st October 2016 and is subject to change. This offer is available on all new selected Kia cee’d and Sportage models. The credit provider is Bank of Ireland Finance which is a registered trading name of Bank of Ireland. *Purchasers who are given fleet discounts do not qualify for this offer. Contact us for further details.
ISSUE 5 JUNE 2017
UP TO €4,000 1 YEAR FREE TRADE-IN BOOST* INSURANCE* OR SCRAPPAGE 0% PCP FINANCE & UP TO €5,500* 2.9% PCP FINANCE* *SELECTED MODELS ONLY
172 ALL-NEW NISSAN MICRA MEET THE ACCOMPLICE
With an athletic new design, Intelligent Mobility features and bold personalisation options, the all-new Nissan Micra is out to shake things up. World firsts like Bose® Personal® Audio System combine with a high quality finish interior to make it a truly audacious presence. Agile, responsive and efficient, the perfect accomplice is always ready for action. Visit nissan.ie/new-micra to find out more.
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NEW FORD RANGER from
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Dublin Road Portlaoise – Tel 057 8622048 Open Mon-Fri 9am-6pm Sat 9am-3pm
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June Edition of Grand Central