THE LAOIS GAA CREST
The Laois GAA Crest incorporates the outline of the county boundary map and includes:
Rock of Dunamase - Seat of Power
Sedna Siothbac the Forty Fourth King of Ireland had thirteen sons. it is said that one son called Masq, built a fort on Dúnmaisq, which he named after himself. today this site is known as Dunamase.
About 112 a.d., the then High King of Ulster sent Laoiseach Caenmor (sometimes written Lannmore), to help the high King of Leinster repel the warriors of the high King of Munster who had invaded Leinster. Laoiseach Lannmore was son of Conall Cearnach, Chief of Ulster's Red Branch Knights. By strength of his valour and skill the expedition was successful and as a reward, an extensive territory was bestowed on him. From him it derived the subsequent denomination of Laoighis, usually anglicised - Leix.
Descendants of Laoiseach Lannmore dropped the Lann from their name and hence the name "O'Moore's of Laoise" presumably evolved. O'Moore's were the Kings of Leix and Dunamase became their seat of power until c1607. The castle was destroyed by Cromwells generals Hewson and Reynolds in c1652.
Saint Fergal of Aghaboe Abbey - Learning and Christianity
The motif depicts saint Fergal, known as saint Virgilius. Saint Fergal was one of the most celebrated scholars of his time and studied at the great Monastic school of Aghaboe, situated outside Ballacolla. The school was founded by St. Canice, who later went to Kilkenny and became its patron (St. Canice's Cathedral). It is believed that Aghaboe once had up to three thousand students, and it was here that saint Fergal declared the world was a sphere some 800 years before Gallileo.
Saint Fergal followed the example of Saint Columcille and Saint Columbanus and went to Europe as a missionary.
There he converted the people of Bavaria. He died in 788/9 as bishop of Salsberg. He was coronised by Pope Gregory iX in 1233.
Timahoe Round Tower - Architecture
Unique among the ecclesiastical sites of Laois, in that it is only one with a surviving round tower. It is regarded as the most elaborately decorated of all the Irish towers. This may not mean the tower was not built as a refuge, as was usual, but as a bell tower. Thought to be built about 1000a.d., it was later plundered by the Vikings in 1142. It was afterwards re-founded by the O'Moore's.
Gaelic Football and Hurls - Culture and Recreation
These portray the two codes of Gaelic Games. The positioning of both on the map of Laois, shows how hurling and football have become an integral part of the make up of county Laois.