Sunday, July 17, 2005


Sunday Scrutiny-Laois

Of all my daily features, 'Sunday Scrutiny' is the one that I seem to overlook the most. Originally, I had intended to use it to focus on individuals and while I have done so, it's become tiresome. Therefore, I've decided to use my Sunday Scrutiny feature to write about the 32 counties that encompass this island and I can't think of a better county to start with than the county we Dubs vanquished today in the Leinster final - Laois!

Laois is a small county in the midlands of Ireland, located in Leinster, and the only one in Ireland not bordered by another county with a coastline.

Created in 1556 by Mary I of England as Queen's County, Laois received its present Irish language name following the War of Independence. Portlaoise (previously Maryborough) is the county town.

Laois was the subject of two Plantations by English settlers. The first occurred in 1556, when the Earl of Sussex dispossessed the O'Moore clan from the area and attempted to replace them with English settlers. However, this only led to a long drawn out guerilla war in the county and left a small English community clustere around garrisons. There was a more successful plantation in the county in 17th century, which expanded the exisitng English settlement with more landowners and tenants from England. Finally, the county became home to a community of French Huguenots in the 1690s, who were settled in Ireland after their service to William of Orange in the Williamite war in Ireland.

According to the most recent census, Laois has a population of 58,774. The county crest of Laois can be viewed here.

So there you have it. Some information on the county of Laois.


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