Ireland, also known as the Republic of Ireland, is a sovereign state in Europe occupying about five-sixths of the island of Ireland. It is a unitary parliamentary republic with an elected president serving as head of state. The head of government—called the Taoiseach—is nominated by the lower house of parliament (Dáil Éireann). The capital is Dublin in the east of the island. The state shares its only land border with Northern Ireland, a part of the United Kingdom. It is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the Celtic Sea to the south, Saint George’s Channel to the south east, and the Irish Sea to the east.
County Laois is a county in Ireland. It is part of the Midlands Region and is also located in the province of Leinster. It was formerly known as Queen’s County. Laois County Council is the local authority for the county. The population of the county is 80,559 according to the 2011 census – 20% higher than it was in the 2006 census which is the highest percentage population growth in the country.