Mountmellick is the third stop on the Free Market National Tour. Free Market will set up on O’Connell Square, Mountmellick with accompanying exhibition in O’Connell House on the square from September 5th to 7th. The Free Market pavilion will be the focus of three days of activities and fun in the town centre.

The programme of events will begin with a launch with Irish poet Pat Boran. The installation of the pavilion in the market square will be supplemented with drawings and design work on show in shops around the square.

Free Market Exhibition & Public Events

Location: O’Connell Square
Date: Thursday 5th – Saturday 7th of September
Public Launch Event: 6pm on Thursday 5th of September

In Mountmellick, we will be emphasising the importance of town citizens of all ages getting involved in decision making for their town, and the Free Market team are working with Mountmellick Community College on events and workshops with local teenagers.

Original content from the Free Market Venice Biennale Pavilion will be included in the exhibition – including architectural models, photographs, drawings and audio pieces. These describe both the historic and current conditions of small Irish market towns as well as there possible futures. Free Market News, which contains writings on rural towns from nearly 40 expert contributors, will be available to browse and take home.

You are invited to take part in a series of free events helping us to spark new conversations around the future of our towns. The Free Market team will be on hand to chat and learn about Mountmellick, as they continue to gather experiences, thoughts and dreams for towns on each stop of the National Tour journey.


Thursday 05.09
6-7pm ‘Free Market’ Launch at O’Connell Square - All welcome.
With introduction by the ‘Free Market’ Curators and opening comments and reading by Pat Boran. Poet, writer and broadcaster Pat Boran is one of the best-known of his generation of Irish poets, originally from Portlaoise, his poem ‘Immigrants open shops’ features in ‘Free Market News’.

Friday 06.09
10am–5pmFree Market exhibition on O’Connell Square & O’Connell House
10am-12pmMountmellick Community School Transition Year Workshop & Townie Scavenger Hunt
1-2pmVox Pop recordings – tell us about your town!
2pm-3pmCurators tour of the exhibition and pavilion
3pm-4pmWalking town centre tour:
Guided by: Anne Sands, Local Historian, & Catherine Casey, Heritage Officer Laois Co. Co. Town centre walk focusing on the architecture of O’Connell Square and rich heritage of religious buildings in Mountmellick

Saturday 07.09
All day‘Free Market’ exhibition on O’Connell Square & O’Connell House
All dayTownie Scavenger Hunt
11am-12pm‘Mountmellick Work’ Talk on the Square with samples of Mountmellick Lace , Hosted by award winning local embroider Ann O’Brien
12-1pmVox Pop recordings – tell us about your town!
2pm-4pmMountmellick Heritage Trail - 2 hour walk focusing on the industrial heritage of Mountmellick guided by Local Historian, Ger Lynch
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