Monthly Archives: October 2012

PoetsPortlaoise College, hosted heats of the Poetry Aloud competition, for the third time in three years, in October.

Poetry Aloud is the annual poetry speaking competition organized by the National Library of Ireland and Poetry Ireland. It is open to all post-primary school students in Ireland. Last year, the competition won an important international competition: the Clarissa Luard Award. Nobel Prize Winner, Seamus Heaney nominated Poetry Aloud for the award for the extraordinary way in which it celebrates the joy of speaking and listening to poetry.

Schools came from far and wide to compete including: St Mary’s CBS, Scoil Chriost Ri, Colaiste na Sceilge (Kerry) Killina Secondary School (Kildare). Portlaoise College provided one of the biggest teams and students competed in both Junior and Intermediate categories. They recited Yeats’, ‘An Irish Airman Foresees his Death’ and Wilfred Owen’s, ‘The Send Off’. The students then recited a poem of their own choosing.

The judges complimented the students on their efforts and the respect they showed both for poetry and for each other. They praised the excellent venue and thanked the school for its continuing support.


Pupils’ pride at letters from famed playwrightPupils’ pride at letters from famed playwright’ – Jerome Reilly;

Willy Russell’s Blood Brothers, the story of star-crossed twins separated at birth, remains one of the outstanding success stories of British musical theatre in the last few decades.

It helped make the Liverpool-born writer a household name and for youngsters especially the play has a powerful resonance.

 Russell originally wrote and presented Blood Brothers as a school play in 1982 in conjunction with Merseyside Young People’s Theatre.

When the first-year pupils of Portlaoise College studied the play last term, their teacher, Siobhan Holland, suggested the boys and girls write to Russell with their own views about Blood Brothers and with questions about the play.

The letters were sent to the playwright’s publisher by Ms Holland.

“We thought no more about it. I was expecting some kind of acknowledgement of receipt from the publishers and that was it,” she told the Sunday Independent.

Portlaoise College received a heavy postbag containing handwritten cards from Russell addressed to each of the boys and girls who had written to him.

“We really were not expecting that response, the children were delighted to receive about 20 individual handwritten cards,” she said.

Russell, who also penned Educating Rita and Shirley Valentine, left school with just one ‘O level’ in English and became a hairdresser for some years before he began writing. His first commercial success was John, Paul, George Ringo … and Bert.

The semi-autobiographical Educating Rita became a smash hit movie starring Michael Caine and Julie Walters with much of the filming completed in Trinity College.

Flash MobThe Flash Mob took place on the 11th of October 2012. This choreographed dance routine resulted in an anti-litter advertisement. The venue for the event was Laois Shopping Centre. Three different schools participated along with our school. They were C.B.S. Portlaoise, Scoil Chriost Rí, Portlaoise and Mountrath C.S. It was a long, hard day but a very rewarding one. All the students got an insight into the world of film making. It didn’t prove to be as easy as we thought. There was an enormous amount of preparation to be done and numerous re-takes until the final product was achieved. Cinema goers nationwide can enjoy this wonderful spectacle in all Oden Cinemas from Friday the 14th of December and it is also available on YouTube and the Laois County Council website.

Portlaoise College takes the people of Portlaoise ‘Around the world in 80 Minutes’


talent In just six weeks the students and teachers of Portlaoise College gathered together to make plans to produce a show. Many ideas were thrown into the mix including Annie, Grease and My Fair Lady. However, wanting to be unique and be fully involved, the Transition Year students and five teachers sat and wrote their own script. Ms. Alex, French teacher, put forward the idea of showcasing different countries, and so the title ‘Around the world in 80 minutes’ was born. Continue reading