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Pop-up Exhibition ‘Handmade with Care’

‘Handmade with Care’ The idea for our pop-up exhibition ‘Handmade with care’ came from our research of some of the women who made an impact on the heritage town of Abbeyleix. Women like Lady Selina Elizabeth Vesey, the wife of the first viscount of Abbeyleix, established a lace...
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Aengus the Culdee, a saint and church reformer 8th Century

Today March 11th marks the death of Aengus the Culdee or Aengus Céilí Dé (Aengus the servant of God), who 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...
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A Monument to Countess Aline at Emo

Here we have a monument or effigy of Countess Aline Portarlington dedicated to her and unveiled in May 1875 by her dearly beloved husband the 3rd Earl of Portarlington; Henry John Reuben Dawson-Damer. Countess Aline was born on the 29th of July 1823 the 3rd child of Charles...
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Building the Big House

We have recently been lucky enough to come into possession of a fantastic document setting out the specification for the complete refurbishment of Donore House, Co Laois. The document dates to 1891 and gives a fascinating insight into how this type of large country house was...
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100 Years On

Like every other county in Ireland, Laois has always kept Gaelic sports close to her heart but through the years since the GAA was founded in 1884 the county has not been blessed with success. Indeed in the 131 years since the organisation of the GAA Laois have reached senior...
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Francis Bacon: Home, Estrangement and Identity

Bacon’s infant consciousness was forged for the most part in an Ireland ravaged by the fratricidal conflict of civil war, and Bacon’s later mature art could itself be argued to be a fratricidal war: Bacon the person observing the horrors of a wracked Ireland (as well as the...
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Abbeyleix – Why Build New Town

By 1770 Thomas Vesey, 1st Viscount de Vesci had finally managed to resolve the legal issues that dogged the estate since his grandfather had inherited it almost 80 years previously. With these issues behind him he could finally start to build an estate in his image, reflecting...
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