The original name of Leix was Magh Reada, The plain of the King.This county was the famous hunting ground of the famous militia commanded by Fionn Mac Cumhaill.
Conor Mac Neasa gave this county to Lughaidh Laoighse as a reward for his bravery in battle. He is supposed to have lived for years at the Rock of Dunamase. Lughaidh gave his name to the county.
The Abbey from which the town of Abbeyleix took its name was founded in the year 1183 a.d. for the Cistercian monks by Gregory O'Moore, Lord of Leix. It was a branch of the Abbey of Baltinglass. In 1551 the