Joining / Renewing Offaly History Membership for 2015

final offaly history sign copyWhy not join or renew your membership with us online! Or Gift Membership for the year to a person with an interest in Offaly! For more information check out our MEMBERSHIP AREA.



Bury Quay, Tullamore, Co. Offaly Telephone: 057-9321421

Opening hours 9 a.m-4.30 p.m Mon-Friday Office and Family History

Thursdays 7.30p.m – 10.30 p.m Library evening


To renew membership for 2015 please use this form

April 2015 Newsletter

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 Forthcoming Events

Thursday 7 May, Dr Philip McConway will speak on

ernie_iraErnie O’Malley’s relationship with Offaly as an IRA GHQ organiser, writer and historian.

Offaly History Centre, Tullamore 8pm.
Tea/coffee, contribution €5 non-members, €2 members.

An illustrated lecture on Ernie O’Malley’s relationship with Offaly as an IRA GHQ organiser, writer and historian will be given by Dr Philip McConway on 7 May at the Offaly History Centre. O’Malley was one of the best known and significant IRA leaders from the War for Independence and Civil War. The lecture will analyse O’Malley’s experiences in Offaly as a roving GHQ organiser in 1918. His acclaimed memoir “On Another Man’s Wound”, first published in 1936, is often praised for its literary quality and cerebral insights. Dr McConway has studied drafts of the memoir and will highlight extracts on Offaly omitted from the published version.

O’Malley was an indefatigable researcher of the Irish Revolution. He interviewed over 400 IRA veterans in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The handwritten interviews appear in his voluminous notebooks and papers deposited in the UCD Archives. This invaluable oral history resource remains understudied because of the perceived legibility problems. Few, except the most persevering historians, have undertaken a systematic study of O’Malley’s notebooks. Dr McConway will examine the Offaly related interviews especially those of Kilbeggan native Sean McGuinness (a former North Offaly Brigade IRA Commander and Sinn Fein TD for Laois-Offaly) and prominent Republican Thomas Keena from Ballycumber. The interviews contain candid insights and reveal the complexities of the IRA’s guerrilla war. The limitations and advantages of these sources, particularly on the Civil War, will be stressed.
Dr McConway will briefly explore the IRA in the North Tipperary region which had strong links to South Offaly. The IRA’s assassination of RIC District Inspector William Wilson from Ballycumber, and the IRA’s occupation and subsequent burning of Crinkle barracks in 1922, will be detailed. The Offaly Independent reported O’Malley’s death in 1957 was ‘…very deeply regretted in Tullamore, where he was well known…Mr O’Malley always kept in touch with Tullamore and was always pleased when he met his old friends and comrades of the early days.’ Anyone who has any stories or documentary sources on O’Malley from his time in Offaly is encouraged to share these on the night.
Dr McConway is currently editing a book on O’Malley’s interviews with IRA veterans from the North and Mid Tipperary Brigade areas. The volume will be published as part of the Mercier Press series ‘The Men Will Talk to Me.’ Last year he presented some of his research at the Ernie O’Malley Symposium on Modern Ireland and Revolution in Glucksman Ireland House, New York University.

Yarn Testing Machine - Offaly History

Machine For Testing Yarn @ Offaly History

Originally from Tullamore Yarns and now stored in Offaly History
Includes Optic, Machinery and Old Yarn Spool
Yarn Sample Reference Book
Contains Records from 1939 to its closure in 1982

Take a look at the gallery of this machine by clicking the image above or clicking here.
This machine was used to test the amount of twists in the yarn per inch at Tullamore Salts.
A more modern version of this machine can be seen by clicking here


Old Weighing Scales, Offaly History

March 2015 Newsletter

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Family History

Offaly Historical Society is the designated research centre for the counties of Offaly (formerly called King’s County) and Laois (formerly called Queen’s County). The Centre offers a full research service. All initial enquiries are answered promptly within 2 – 3 working days and you will be advised how much information is located within all the Church Records, Civil Records, census records, some graveyard records and all other sources that are available at our centre.  Our head research officer Margaret has sixteen years experience working in family history. She also has a wealth of local knowledge and is on hand to advise on the local area.

Enquirers can write to us with their request to Offaly History. Bury Quay, Tullamore, Co. Offaly Ireland or fill in an application form on our website here  or why don’t you email Margaret your family history request- The name of the family, the location, the dates or any information you know and she will search all records available and let you know how much information she may uncover on your ancestors. The fee for this initial assessment is €10.

She will advise if there is enough information uncovered to compile a family history report and put together in a book form, to include a map of the parish where your family came from, also photos of the area long ago.  if you require baptismal certificates, she will furnish you with the name of the Parish Priest.


Clann E-Newsletter Feature!!

Offaly History was featured on the current issue of Clann – The Newsletter of the Irish Family History Foundation.

You can view the current issue here or download the PDF from their website.

Offaly History Books for Sale Catalogue (PDF Format, Downloadable)