County Laois is in the eastern province of Leinster, formerly spelled Laoighis and Leix.
The county is landlocked and does not border any other counties with a sea coast. Agriculture dominates 70 % of the land area of the county.
The Slieve Bloom mountains, which are partially covered by coniferous forest.. The M7 road runs through County Laois connecting Dublin and Limerick and acts as a trunk route for the N8 road which connects Cork to Dublin.
The N8 joins the M7 just south of Portlaoise. Bus Eireann provides regular intercity bus services in the county. The Dublin to Limerick service runs every hour through towns and villages on the R445 while the Dublin to Cork inter city bus service runs every two hours through towns in the county.
Iarnrod Eireann train services between Heuston station Dublin and Cork/Limerick travel through Laois with railway stations at Portlaoise , Portarlington and Ballybrophy Visitors to the county can see a stone circle they left behind at Monamonry.
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In 1659, a group of Quakers settled in Mountmellick and a group of Huguenots were given safe haven in Portarlington in 1666 after their service to William of Orange in the Williamite war in Ireland.
The Great Famine of 1845-49 devastated the county.
The county’s workhouses could not cope with the number of destitute people seeking shelter. Hon. William Russell Grace (1832–1904), mayor of New York 1880-1885 was born in Laois.
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