Article

Killeshin Church: A Portal in Time

  The River Pushoge, a tributary of the great Barrow rises on the North Eastern fringe of the Slievemargy Plateau. As we follow her decent into the Glen of Killeshin, the grey old ruins of a former monastic settlement brace her southern banks. These ruins date to a period in Ireland before the Norman Conquest in 1169 but reflect a period in Ireland when European Culture was beginning to take root in society and reflect

Ballaun Stone at Ballybuggy said to have the imprint of Brigids head. A cure for headaches!!!
Article

St. Brigid in Co. Laois

St. Brigid of Kildare is regarded as Ireland’s second Saint, who is associated with fertility, healing and water. She was said to have performed many miracles including turning water into beer! Her patronage extends to dairy workers, blacksmiths, midwives and travellers. Brigid is said to have been born into a noble family at Faughart, Dundalk in 451 A.D, approximately 20 years after the arrival of St. Patrick to Ireland. Her story in Ireland is legendary

1837 Map Of Laois
Article

“A Tale of Two Counties”- Durrow Co. Laois

The name Durrow suggests an ancient wood or forest of Oak (Darú) which once encompassed this area in Co. Laois. A settlement sprung up here in the Early Medieval Period (400-1169 A.D) associated with an early church site attributed to St. Fintan Maeldubh (7th Century). This monastery is believed to have stood on the grounds of the present Protestant Church in the town until its ruins were knocked in 1731 (Carrigan 1905, vol. 2). There

Dysartgallen Church and Graveyard
Article

Dysartgallen Church and the Ford of the Cross

Dysartgallan Church (LA030-011001-) is set in the picturesque landscape of the Owenbeg River valley in south County Laois, approximately 3km northeast of Ballinakill village. The site is located within the townland of Aghnacross, civil parish of Dysartgallan or Ballinakill. The Church is located within 50 meters of the Owenbeg River and it would appear that a fording point existed where the current road bridge transverses this tributary of the Nore, hence the Irish name for

Article

A Little History on the Old Fort Portlaoise

The Old Fort located within the centre of Portlaoise, from which the modern town has developed from was built by a new wave of English Settlers in 1547/48. It was one of two such forts built in counties Laois and Offaly, with the latter constructed at a pre-existing settlement at Daingean. A similair fort was also built at Leighlin Bridge on the Barrow in Co. Carlow. These forts were designed to hold a considerable garrison

Article

A Late Medieval Baptismal Font at Coolbanagher, Co. Laois

This exquisite Late Medieval baptismal font is housed in St. John’s Church of Ireland at Coolbanagher Co. Laois. The font predates the church by approximately 400 or more years. According to Roe (1947) the font had formed part of Lord Portarlington’s garden ornamentation at Emo Court before it was acquired by the rector of this church (Rev. Dudley Fletcher) in the 1930’s. Prior to this the general consensus is that the font belonged to the

Folklore

Aengus the Culdee a 9th Century Laois Saint

Aengus the Culdee or Aengus Céilí Dé (Aengus the servant of God), March 11th marks his death. Aengus lived, studied and died right here in Co. Laois. Aengus was quiet a remarkable figure within the Early Christian Church in Ireland. He was born sometime in the mid-8th century A.D the son of Oengobhan, a King from the Dalriada, an area which included lands in Ulster and Western Scotland. The Culdees were reputed to be a

Article

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