Showcasing Laois History and Heritage
An Initiative of Laois Library Service


The removal of the British Army was perhaps the most profound transformation following the establishment of the Irish Free State. Today we are accustomed to thinking of the role of the British Army in Ireland in terms of repression. Doubtless this was, at times, the case, and certainly the case in the years of the...
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The pivotal urban public space in the revolution in Laois was the Market Square, Portlaoise. This was the centre piece for a range of demonstrations and rallies —with the focal point often the sadly no longer present Town Hall. We’ll look at a couple of these mobilisations here.
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In this article, and the next couple of articles, we’ll look at how public space and public buildings were used in the revolution or transformed in the revolution and at the role of these places in the story of how Maryborough became Portlaoise.
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The Orange Pole in Mountmellick became the Loyalist testament to the suppression of the Nationalist Insurgents in 1798. It was located upon the Market House which was once situated in the centre of the Market Square, which we now know as O’Connell Square.
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Funck77, Capard House, CC BY-SA 4.0
The Pigotts came to Laois as part of the Plantation of Queen’s County in the 1550s. John Pigott was an English captain who accompanied Thomas Radcliffe, Earl of Sussex, into Queen’s County circa 1558. He came from Salop and was connected to the ancient Pigott family established at Chetwynd Edgmont. For his service John Pigott...
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The building which we now know as the Masonic Hall on Church Street was built in 1765 and functioned originally as the first Methodist chapel in the town of Mountmellick. When the Methodist Body moved in 1882 to the Gideon Ousley Memorial Chapel on Market Street (now Parnell Street), the Freemasons of Lodge No.660 took...
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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.