Banagher lies in the local council area of Offaly County Council.Local authorities have responsibility for such matters as planning, local roads, sanitation, and libraries.

The town lies in the Barony of Garrycastle (Garraí an Chaisleáin) and was in the poor law union of Birr.

Divided by the road to Birr from Eyrecourt, its eastern part lies in the townland of Curraghavarna and Portavrolla and its western part in the townland of Banagher or Kylebeg.

It is located off the N52 some 5 miles from Tullamore.

Largely undisturbed, the site is an early medieval monastic complex of ecclesiastical and secular monuments, visible and sub-surface.

The extant monuments at the site include a large ecclesiastical enclosure, five Early Christian grave slabs, a fine mid-ninth century high cross, a fragment of a cross shaft, a complete cross-head (housed in the National Museum of Ireland) and cross base, a holy well and other extensive archaeological features.

Hugh de Lacy, Lord of Meath built a motte for the Abbey in 1180, and he was killed at the Abbey in 1186 by an Irishman.

The Government has bought Durrow Abbey and its accompanying 6th century monastic site in Co Offaly at a cost of €3.175 million.

The purchase of the sixth century site, founded by St Columcille, and part of the historic Durrow Abbey estate, is designed to protect the Abbey and heritage elements from proposed commercial development on the lands. The Minister of State at the Office of Public Works, Mr Tom Parlon, described the acquisition as "a true asset in the State's property portfolio".

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