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St. Fintan and his Monastery at Clonenagh

Along the main road between Mountrath and Portlaoise, the R445 pierces through the heart of what was once one of the most revered and influential monastic establishments of Ireland and indeed Europe during the Early Medieval period. The following attempts to address the influence that Clonenagh played from its humble origins in the mid-6th Century A.D, until its eventual decline with the arrival of the Anglo-Normans, up to the present day where it has continued

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Galesquarter Sheela-na-Gig

This Sheela-na-Gig is located on the south end of the east wall of the great Mac Gilla Padraig Castle at Cullahill Co. Laois. There are at least seven recorded Sheela’s from the county of which only three can be traced today. Sheela-na-Gigs are often found on old monastic buildings throughout the country as well as at some castle sites. In general the Sheela’s are carved in relief holding their genitalia, this theme is evident from

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Bowen Effigy Tomb, Ballyadams

The effigy tomb of Robert Bowen and his wife Alice Harpole which was erected in 1631 by their sons Oliver and Thomas. Robert Bowen was the son of John Bowen known as John Thomas Owen a Welsh settler who arrived in Laois during the plantation times in the Elizabethan Era. John obtained a lease on the former O’More stronghold at Ballyadams Castle for his services to the crown and died in 1569. He was regarded