Ancient Celtic Laois was divided into seven separate tribal terrorities.
Slieve Margy, meaning the "Barony of the Small Kingdom" was
one of these. It was controlled by the Ui Bairrche tribe until the mid
16th century. After this period the English Crown imposed their authority
on the area. To ensure greater protection for the area King Philip &
Queen Mary decreed the Plantations of both Laois & Offaly. This
was the first attempt by the Crown to increase their control in Ireland
with the use of Plantation Settlements.
The Slieve Margy is situated in the south eastern corner
of Co. Laois, in the heart of Ireland. In ancient times Co. Laois was
divided into seven tribal areas under the control of the MacEvoys, O'Deevys,
O'Dorans, O'Dowlings, O'Kellys, O'Lalors and the most important of all
the O'Mores. In 1556 Laois was constituted as Queens County, in honour
of Queen Mary who had sanctioned the Plantations of Laois.
Today Co. Laois covers and area of some 664 sq. miles with a population
of over 52,000. Laois is an inland county surrounded by counties Carlow,
Kildare, Kilkenny, Offaly & Tipperary