Col Fitzmaurice Commemoration Society
The Portlaoise Plane - built and flown in Portlaoise in 1912, by the Aldritts Brothers with carpenter John Conroy and mechanic William Rogers, is reputed to be the first plane to fly in what later became the Irish Republic.
The plane has been returned to Ireland from a private collection in the UK, and restored, and will be on public display in Portlaoise for National Heritage Week (in line with COVID-19 public health guidelines).
The event will also feature the performance of part of a new suite of music composed by Martin Tourish and the Music Generation Laois Trad Orchestra - called "The Impossible Dream" the music commemorates the achievements of Col James Fitzmaurice on the first east west transatlantic flight. We now from his memoirs that Fitz worked on the plane at Aldritts as a young boy and was present for the first flight - indeed it inspired him in his career as an aviator.
The music was commissioned with the support of Creative Laois as part of the Creative Ireland Programme (2017-2022) in partnership with Laois County Council.
Please contact the event organisers (details below) for the latest information regarding COVID-19 safety measures and to register for this event
- Saturday, 21st August, 6.00 pm
- The restored Portlaoise Plane will be on public display in a special homecoming event in Fitzmaurice Place, Portlaoise on Saturday, 21st August. Due to COVID-19 restrictions booking will be required - please email for details.