Laois County

Irish Gaelic: Contae Laoise      

Motto: I bpairt leis an bpobal (Irish): "In partnership with the community"

Part of the Midlands Region, Laois is located in the province of Leinster, formerly known as Queen’s County.  The modern county takes its name from Loígis, a medieval kingdom, of which the modern county forms only a part.  In the 11th century its dynastic rulers adopted the surname Ua/Ó Mórdha O'Mordha, (O')More, or (O')Moore, the leading sept at the coming of the Normans.  Fitzpatrick ruled the three southwestern baronies of Laois as King of Ossory at that time. The seven septs of Laois included O'Moore (O'More), O'Kelly, O'Devoy, O'Doran, O'Lalor, O'Dowling and McEvoy. 

The seven tribes (settlers) of Laois were Cosby, Barrington, Hartpole, Bowen, Ruish, Hetherington, and Hovenden (or Ovington).  The early 14th century saw a Gaelic revival as the chieftains of Loígis forced the Normans to withdraw.  The Dempseys seized Lea Castle, while Dunamase came into the ownership of the O’Mores.  It was shired in 1556 by Queen Mary.  Laois was planted twice; first in 1556 when Thomas Radclyffe, 3rd Earl of Sussex dispossessed the O’More clan, and then more successfully in the 17th Century.  However O’More raids and attacks continued to hamper settlers.  Quakers and Hugeunots also arrived at this time.  Laois received its present Irish language name following the Irish War of Independence.  Portlaoise (previously Maryborough) is the county town.  The Laois County tartan exists as an unofficial design from House of Edgar in 1996, and also from Viking Technology in 2005; now owned by USA Kilts Inc. USA.  

Choose from one of the Laois County tartans listed below: