Showcasing Laois History and Heritage
An Initiative of Laois Library Service

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Articles
Estate papers are an intriguing mix of the myriad documents generated by a family and their staff in the management of their estate, often over several generations. The contents typically comprise rentals, deeds, letters, staff records, maps and wills. Within this mix of trivia, a document can occasionally be found that illustrates some aspect of...
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In recent years the National Library of Ireland took possession of a scrapbook containing documents and newspaper clippings concerning a career in the late-nineteenth century colonial administration of British West Africa. The scrapbook belonged to a man born in Mountrath in November 1842 named John Joseph Crooks. Crooks first landed in what was then known...
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On Friday November 9 1973 in the murky darkness of a winter morning stretched out along the road from Dublin to Portlaoise prison was a military operation the likes of which had not been seen since the civil war 50 years before.
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On Sunday the 5th of October 1873 Maryborough (now Portlaoise) hosted a rally spoken at by controversy provoking Thomas Mooney. Mooney wrote in the U.S.-based Irish World newspaper. It was then the largest selling publication catering to an Irish-American audience and would become known for its support for the ‘skirmishing’ wing of the Fenian movement.
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On the 6th of March 1923 a party of Free State soldiers were lured out of Tralee to their deaths in a booby trap explosion near the village of Knocknagoshel. The vicious retribution their comrades went on to visit upon the enemy guerrillas is well-known to this day. This article tells something of the story...
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There is a somewhat curious monument in the court square in Stradbally. Erected ‘In memory of a brave father and two worthy sons’ its curiosity lies in the fact that it commemorates two pro-Treaty victims of the political violence of the 1920s, something which is comparatively rare, and in that it does not mention the...
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Some veterans of the Great War came home to war — they put their Royal Irish Constabulary uniforms back on, or they were shot as informers by the Irish Republican Army, or they joined the I.R.A. and provided a much needed leaven of military experience. This article tells the story of some of these men...
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John Henry Edge (1841‒1916) was the grandson of John Edge who was a manager of the Newtown colliery for the Grand Canal Company. John Henry spent part of his childhood in Clonbrock House, on the very southern edge of Laois, and part in Wicklow. He became a novelist late in life and published two novels...
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In the middle of July 1921 along with the news of the Truce came the news of the last deaths and the last imprisonments.
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Between 1937 and 1939 the Irish Folklore Commission collected folklore in primary schools across the Irish Free State. In looking back to the past they were more looking back to the time of the Penal Laws or the Famine, but here and there the more recent revolutionary period could creep in, especially under the rubric...
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About Us

Laois Local Studies was established to collect, preserve and make available for reference, material relating to the history and heritage of County Laois.