Best Irish FactsFacts on Ireland and the Irish


Laois is one of the twenty-six counties in the Republic of Ireland.

It is in the province of Leinster.

It has an area of approximately 664 sq miles.

It has a population of approximately 70,000 people.

It is the twenty-third largest county in Ireland.

The county was shired in 1556 by Queen Mary and was known as Queen’s County up until 1922.

In 1922 it became known by its Irish name of Laois after Lugaid Laígne or Laeighsneach who drove out invaders from Munster in the 3rd century and was granted land there.

The county town of Laois is Portlaoise.

Portlaoise was formerly known as Maryborough.

Maryborough was named after Queen Mary.

Laois is the only county in Ireland that does not touch a county that touches the sea.

Portarlington in Co. Laois originated as a Huguenot town.

The Huguenots were given land there after their service to William of Orange.

Mountmellick in Co. Laois originated as a Quaker town.

Abbeyleix in Co. Laois was an estate village built by Lord de Vesci in the 18th century.

Cecil Day-Lewis, British Poet Laureate from 1968 to 1972 was born in Ballintubber, Co. Laois.

Laois is bordered by five counties.

These are Carlow, Kildare, Kilkenny, Offaly, and Tipperary.

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