The name Emo is probably derived from the Irish word "Iomdnaidh," meaning a bed or couch, and is probably connected with some now forgotten saint.

The stone beds on which saints slept are objects of veneration by the countryfolk. The castle of Emo once stood in a clump of trees close to the house on the south-west side, but no trace remains of its once massive walls. Tradition states that in ancient times a monastery existed at Emo, but whether that is true or not, we don't know.

A significant piece of county Laois' rich historical tapestry has been woven in the village of Emo, which is synonymous with the famous 18th century architect James Gandon. Two wonderful examples of his work are located here: Coolbanagher Church and, perhaps more significantly, Emo Court. Emo Court is a considerable tourist attraction in county Laois as visitors come from far and wide to admire it's architectural splendour and to relax in the majestic grounds surrounding this historic mansion.


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