057 866 5661 ppn@laoiscoco.ie

Encourage and enable public participation

Contribute to the future vision of Laois

Developing capacity in local groups

Facilitate better decision making

Identify issues of collective concern

Make a better Laois for all

Laois PPN

Laois PPN was established in 2015 and over 400 organisations have registered with the PPN so far. These organisations were asked to choose the theme that they think most accurately reflects their main interests. These themed groupings are known as Electoral Colleges and there are three of them, Community & Voluntary Organisations, Social Inclusion Organisations & Environmental Organisations.

Organisations were also asked to choose the Municipal District in which they are active or in which they are based. There are 3 Municipal Districts in County Laois: Portlaoise, Borris-in-Ossary/Mountmellick, Graiguecullen/Portarlington (as shown on the map above).

What does the PPN do?

The PPN facilitates the sharing of information on funding opportunities, public consultations and policy development in Laois County and it also acts as a focal point for groups with similar interests to connect with one another and share information and expertise. It also allows groups to nominate and elect PPN representatives to the Committees of Council.

In 2015 elections took place and have resulted in PPN reps being elected to Committees of Laois County Council. More information on these committees can be found here and the names of the PPN reps can be found here. The elections also resulted in the formation of a 12-member PPN Secretariat which acts as a steering group for overseeing the activities of the PPN and acts as the administrative and communication mechanism for the PPN. The names of the secretariat are listed across.


Borris In Ossory/Mountmellick Area Secretariat

Mick Dowling

Borris In Ossory/Mountmellick Community & Voluntary Secretariat

P.J. Campbell

Borris In Ossory/Mountmellick Environment Secretariat


Borris In Ossory/Mountmellick Social Inclusion Secretariat

Paddy Buggy

Graiguecullen/Portarlington Area Secretariat

Michael J Cobbe

Graiguecullen/Portarlington Community & Voluntary Secretariat

Judy Ryan

Graiguecullen/Portarlington Environment Secretariat

Aidan Mullally

Graiguecullen/Portarlington Social Inclusion Secretariat

Donal O’Shea

Portlaoise Area Secretariat

Brian Maher

Portlaoise Community & Voluntary Secretariat

Robbie Quinn

Portlaoise Environment Secretariat

Eugene O’Brien

Portlaoise Social Inclusion Secretariat


PPN News

‘Be Winter Ready’

The Department of Rural and Community Development (DRCD) is taking the lead this year in producing the ‘Be Winter Ready’ leaflet. The focus this year will be on ‘Community Supports’ and  DRCD would welcome input from community groups and other stakeholders. The leaflet is intended to provide helpful information about how to prepare for the winter in terms of community supports available (or that should be available) to the public during times of particularly severe weather.  We hope to publish the leaflet in autumn 2018.

Extreme weather conditions are a challenge for communities and, as the recent example of Storm Emma has shown, combatting the effects of extreme weather calls for a community effort. While a whole of Government approach is coordinated through the work of the Office of Emergency Planning, solutions are implemented at a community level. We would like to tap into this experience and speak to community groups about the lessons learned over the last year. Particularly of interest is how information is communicated in an emergency situation: from the Office of Emergency Planning to the public and from the public to the Office of Emergency Planning.

The Department would like the next ‘Be Winter Ready’ leaflet to be informative, practical and concise. We would also like the leaflet to reflect our unique mission – to promote rural and community development and to support vibrant, inclusive and sustainable communities throughout Ireland. We believe that the work of our Department provides clear benefits to communities throughout the year. Supports like the Senior Alert Scheme provide peace of mind while our libraries are vital community hubs where people can access information and meet friends and neighbours.

In this way, while considering in general terms what information should be contained in the leaflet, we are also interested in your thoughts on which elements of the Department’s work are particularly relevant to supporting communities during spells of severe weather. Potential issues to be considered may include:

  • Access to food
  • Access to medical supplies/ treatment
  • Dangerous road conditions
  • Emergency services
  • Flooding
  • High wind speeds
  • Home heating
  • Loss of critical utilities (e.g. water shortage, electricity failure)
  • Low temperatures
  • Snow and ice

Those wishing to make submissions should consider the attached ‘Be Winter Ready’ leaflet, and outline how they feel the leaflet may be improved. The Department welcomes submissions in any format and does not wish to impose a template for responses. However, we would request that submissions are kept as brief as possible owing to the limited space available on the leaflet.

Queries and completed written submissions should be directed on or before 5pm on Thursday, 28 June 2018 to:

Ben Richardson Community and Voluntary Supports and Programmes

Department of Rural and Community Development

Trinity Point, 10-11 Leinster Street South, Dublin 2, D02 EF85


Dublin City University Research Study & Questionnaire on Storm Emma.

The Department, together with the Office of Emergency Planning, is assisting Dublin City University with research on the experiences of citizens in the light Storm Emma with a view to assisting Government bodies plan for future weather events of this nature.

Accordingly, the Department requests that the attached link/questionnaire be distributed to PPN members for their awareness and with a request that they assist in this research by completing the questionnaire at http://bitly/2ry7TS3.


Powerful Communities Conference

Good Energies Alliance Ireland (GEAI) is delighted to invite you to the Powerful Communities Conference which will be held in the I.T. Sligo on the 15th of June 2018.

At this conference, we will launch our Powerful Communities project and bring you up to date with new renewable energy opportunities open to communities.  These will include new sources of heat and electricity, grants for communities to get together to plan their own energy futures and examples of what is going on around the country. The conference will also include an opportunity for communities to discuss their own way forward.

This year we welcome Paul Kenny from Tipperary Energy Agency to give us insights on opportunities and barriers to larger-scale community projects in Ireland.

Please register via Eventbrite beforehand as places are limited:




DRCD Community Enhancement Programme 2018

Community Enhancement Application Form 2018

Community Enhancement Application Guidelines 2018

Applications are invited by Laois Local Community Development Committee under the Dept of Rural and Community Development’s Community Enhancement Programme 2018.

The Programme will support projects that would improve the quality of life for residents in disadvantaged urban areas providing tangible supports.  The funding will relate to capital projects only and should demonstrate added value. Match-funding is not a requirement for approval.

Deadline for receipt of completed applications is Monday 30th July 2018 at 5.00pmLate applications will NOT be accepted.

An Application Form and Application Guidelines are now available from:
Laois LCDC, c/o Laois County Council, Community Development Section, Áras an Chontae, JFL Avenue, Portlaoise, Co Laois, Tel. 057 86 64060/4150 or email dce@laoiscoco.ie


Local Agenda 21 Grant

LA21 Application Form 2018 Eligible projects should support and complement national environmental policies such as those on Waste, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Air, Water, Sustainable Development, etc. A wide variety of projects and schemes have been supported under...

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Laois County Council’s Salting Routes

Laois County Council's Winter Maintenance Salting Routes available here 2017-2018-Salting-Routes-Co-Map-1 Please visit the Governments Be Winter Ready website on; www.winterready.ie for tips on how to prepare for the cold...

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What is the aim of Laois PPN?

A) To facilitate and enable the public and organisations to express a diverse range of views and interests within the local government system.

B) To facilitate the local authority in making better and more timely decisions through a structure that ensures public participation and representation on decision-making committees and bodies within local government.

Why should your group join?

  • Networking – Share information and learn from other community & voluntary groups in your area or sector.
  • Create a sense of solidarity and collative action across the county.
  • Elect representatives to policy making boards and committees.
  • Avail of free or low cost support and training in the county.

How can your group benefit?

  • Get information on funding, grants and initiatives which are of interest to your group/organisation and community
  • Be part of a new way for the local authority to consult with the general public on its plans/strategies and services, including: Local Areas plans, County Development Plans etc
  • Elect representatives to local authority policy-making committees and influence what happens at these committees
  • Networking: share information and ideas, learn from other groups / organisations in your area or sector
  • Use the PPN’s interactive web platform to link directly with other like-minded groups and organisations across the County
  • Register with a Special Interest Group and focus on areas that interest your group