Laois – Festival of Flight

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A new festival has been launched in Portlaoise, Co. Laois, to celebrate the rich history of aviation and exploration in the county and in Ireland. The Festival of Flight will run until Sunday 10 April, with music events, arts and science workshops, history talks and films. 

Laois – Festival of Flight

As part of the festival, schools and families will be offered the chance to participate in a range of workshops exploring all aspects of flight. From the science of superheroes to the biology of flight in the natural world to flights of fancy with imagination and creativity. 

Come and see Ireland’s oldest aircraft the 100-year-old The Portlaoise Plane, built in Portlaoise which was one of the first planes to fly in Ireland. It will be on public display during the weekend,  

There will be a ceremony to mark the 94th anniversary of the first east west transatlantic flight. It will include a parade from the Irish Air Corps and a fly past of historic and modern aircraft on Sunday at 12.30pm. 

Watch what will be happening at the Festival of Flight in Portlaoise

Laois Looked To The Sky

Sean Murray, Chair of Laois Heritage Society said “this is a great way the celebrate our shared heritage with a focus on the history of flight. Laois County, has had a proud and profound impact in days gone by.

Perhaps as a landlocked County we have looked to the sky and this festival will help to put Laois back on the radar going forward. The society will organise historic talks which will exhibit aspects of our contribution to aviation history.”

Aircraft Technical Forum

The festival will also feature a networking meeting of senior aircraft technical professionals in the field of aircraft leasing at Bloom HQ in Mountrath, drawing together the history of aviation in Ireland with its bright future.

Musical Tribute to Aviator James Fitzmaurice

One of the main events of the weekend will be a live performance of The Impossible Dream. This suite of music is composed by Martin Tourish and the young musicians of the Music Generation Laois Trad Orchestra to celebrate the life and achievements of the Portlaoise Aviator James Fitzmaurice.

Further details are available here.


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Joan Scales
Joan Scales
Award-winning journalist, Joan has been writing about travel and tourism for many years principally for The Irish Times and lately for travel2ireland. Joan has appeared many times on television and radio talking about the business of travel and all its component strands. She is also a public speaker and has appeared at many international conventions and conferences.

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