SLIABH BLOOM REGIONChairman: Carlo Griffin
Secretary: John Hopkins
We have to go back to Anglo Norman times to find the first mention of the old Irish area of Ui Failghe. This midland county stretches from the Slieve Bloom mountains to the river Shannon. In 1556, a scheme called the Plantation of King's County (Ui Failghe) and Queen's County (old Irish area of Laoighis/Loígis and Ui Failghe) named these areas after King Philip and Queen Mary respectively. Philipstown (Daingean) was the county town of King's County and Maryborough (Portlaoise) the county town of Queen's County.
During this Plantation, the lands were confiscated from the native Irish in Ui Failghe by the English at the time of the re-naming to Kings county. It remained with that name until Ireland's independence was established in 1921, when the county was renamed Co. Offaly. Many of the older generation continued to use the term "King's County" and this could still be heard in parts of Offaly right up until the 1970's.
Most of County Offaly is flat terrain with large areas covered by bog-land. A relatively recent highlight in this county, (1970's) was Darby's goal, depriving Kerry of five in a row in Gaelic football.
Laois is a small county, but it home to most of the Slieve Bloom Mountain range. The magnificent Slieve Bloom Mountains boast an almost unlimited amount of opportunity on the "activities" front, including walking, cycling, auto touring, heritage tours, equestrian trails and Irish music/dancing festivals. An older name to these hills is the Sliabh Bladhma, but this name has all but been lost over time. Whether you love an action packed holiday, or simply just love the outdoors, the Sliabh Bloom mountains has it covered.