GROW Members Enjoy Trip to Emo Court House

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Two GROW groups from the Midlands Region – Mountmellick and Tullamore – enjoyed a joint-trip to Emo Court House in Co. Laois and its beautiful surroundings on Saturday, August 25th.

GROW member, Seamus “Sharky” Kelly, who is also a scout leader, led the group and encouraged everyone to reconnect with nature.

Emo Court House is a neo-classical mansion in Co. Laois that attracts visitors from all over the country and beyond. Designed by noted architect James Gandon, it features magnificent gardens and is located just outside Emo village.

Designed in 1790 for the Earls of Portarlington, Emo Court is a wonderful example of the neo-classical style. In 1994, it was given to the people of Ireland, with the Office of Public Works (OPW) now caring for the estate and preserving its stately elegance.

GROWers really enjoyed a relaxed day chatting and walking through the beautiful gardens and parklands.The walk included the formal lawns, woodlands and a lake.

After the walk, the group enjoyed a visit to the coffee shop for a cup of tea or coffee and sampled the local homemade cakes.

The visit coincided with Heritage Week, with local musicians playing in Emo House and the group enjoyed some traditional music before viewing a very impressive free photographic exhibition by Father Browne.

For over 20 years Father Browne’s photographs have been published and exhibited around the world and he is now recognised not only as the greatest Irish photographer of the first half of the 20th century but of global acclaim.

He enjoyed global fame in 1912 when his photographs of the Titanic’s journey to Cobh were published worldwide. He had travelled first class to Cobh, having been given a ticket by his uncle Robert Browne, Bishop of Cloyne.

It is hoped to repeat the visit to Emo House to view the house and gardens in the autumn and to also plan some walks in other locations every six weeks. Other groups are invited to get involved and join in reconnecting with nature and to reap the benefits nature has to offer.

Many thanks to Area Coordinator Michelle McCormick for this piece.