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Offaly History (short for Offaly Historical & Archaeological) was first formed in 1938 and re-established in 1969 and is located at Bury Quay, Tullamore, Co. Offaly since 1993(next to the new Tullamore D.E.W Visitor Centre).

We are about collecting and sharing memories. We do this in an organised way though exhibitions, supporting the publication of local interest books, our website Offalyhistory.com , Facebook, open evenings, our library and offices at Bury Quay.

Our Mission
To promote Offaly History including community and family history

What we do:

  • Promote all aspects of history in Co. Offaly.
  • Genealogy service for counties Laois and Offaly.
  • Co. Offaly photographic records for study and sale in addition to a limited number of publications on Laois and Irish general historical interest.
  • Purchase and sale of Offaly interest books though the Society’s book store and website.
  • Publication of books under the Society’s publishing arm Esker Press.
  • The Society subscribes to almost all the premier historical journals in Ireland.

Our Society covers a diverse range of Offaly Heritage:

  • Architectural heritage, historic monuments such as monastic and castle buildings.
  • Industrial and urban development of towns and villages.
  • Archaeological objects and artifacts.
  • Flora, fauna and bogs, wildlife habitats, geology and Natural History.
  • Landscapes, heritage gardens and parks, farming and inland waterways.
  • Local literary, social, economic, military, political, scientific and sports history.

Offaly History is a non-profit community group with a growing membership of some 150 individuals.

The Society focuses on enhancing educational opportunities, understanding and knowledge of the county heritage while fostering an inclusive approach and civic pride in local identity. We promote these objectives through:

  • The holding of monthly lectures, occasional seminars, exhibitions and film screenings.
    Organising tours during the summer months to places of shared historical interest.
  • The publication of an annual journal Offaly Heritage – to date nine issues.
  • We play a unique role collecting and digitising original primary source materials especially photographs and oral history recordings
  • Offaly History is  the centre for  Family History research in Counties Laois and Offaly.
  • The Society is linked to the renowned Irish Family Foundation website and Roots Ireland where some 900,000 records of Offaly/Laois interest can be accessed on a pay-per-view basis worldwide. Currently these websites have an estimated 20 million records of all Ireland interest.
  • A burgeoning library of books, CD-ROMs, videos, DVDs, oral and folklore recordings, manuscripts, newspapers and journals, maps, photographs and various artifacts.
  • OHAS Collections
  • OHAS Centre Facilities

The financial activities of the Society are operated under the aegis of Offaly Heritage Centre Limited, a charitable company whose directors also serve on the Society’s elected committee. None of the Society’s directors receive remuneration or any kind. All the company’s assets are held in trust to promote the voluntary activities of the Society. Our facilities are largely free to the public or run purely on a costs-recovery basis.

Acting as a policy advisory body –  Offaly History endeavors to ensure all government departments, local authorities, tourism agencies and key opinion formers prioritise heritage matters.

Meet the current committee:

Our Committee represents a broad range of backgrounds and interests. All share a common interest in collecting and promoting the heritage of the county and making it available to the wider community.

2017 Committee

  • Helen Bracken (President)
  • Pat Wynne (Vice President and Joint Treasurer)
  • Niall Sweeney (Vice President)
  • Michael Byrne (Secretary)
  • Lisa Shortall (Deputy Secretary)
  • Dorothee Bibby (Record Secretary)
  • Charlie Finlay (Joint Treasurer)
  • Darrell Hooper
  • Brian Pey
  • Fred Geoghegan
  • Noel Guerin
  • Henry Edgill
  • Peter Burke
  • Angella Kelly
  • Rory Masterson
  • Shaun Wrafter
  • Ronnie Matthews
  • Oliver Dunne
  • Ciara Molloy
  • Stephen Callaghan (Heritage Items)

If you would like to help with the work of the Society by coming on a sub-committee or in some other way please email us or let an existing member know.

+353-5793-21421 info@offalyhistory.com Open 9am-4.30pm Mon-Fri

Our online bookshop is still accepting orders. Please allow for delays in shipping due to the current restrictions.

Offaly History Become a Member of Offaly History Mountbolus, Watercolour, Fergal MacCabe Salts Factory Machinery Tullamore 1940s Town Hall, Edenderry St Bridgets RC Cross, Clara 2017 The Mills - Clara D.E. Williams House,Tullamore, Watercolour, Fergal MacCabe Dog Show, Tanyard Tullamore circa 1948 Durrow RC Church - Durrow Tea Lane, Tullamore 1948 Offaly Senior Football Champions Birr Castle Tullamore from the Canal Harbour circa 2000 Statue of 3rd Earl, John's Mall - Birr St Columcille's Pipe Band - Tullamore 1911 Rhode First Communion circa 1910 Main St. Daingean Castle St. Birr circa 1910 Main St. Banagher Kinnitty Square circa 1900s Moran's Foodmarket, Shannonbridge Offaly Hurling Team, Tullamore Bridge Street - Tullamore
family history
Offaly History Store
Offaly History Blog

Shop

We have a large selection of books on Offaly and the surrounding areas

Event Calendar

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Family History

Have you got ancestors from Offaly or Laois?
Let us find them for you

Blog

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Newsletter Subscription

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Our monthly newsletter keeps you up to date with events and news with the Society

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Membership

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View our entire online Library. 12,000 entries and growing!
before and after offaly
offaly archives
research offaly

Library

View our entire online Library.
12,000 entries and growing!

Before and After Offaly

Depicts various places around Offaly via archive images and newly created contemporary images.

Archives

The archives contain material from the county’s landed estates, solicitors’ firms, industries and private individuals

Research Offaly

A great resource for researching Offaly.
There are numerous articles, PDFs and our own Journal content

Offaly History Blog

  • FORGOTTEN SOULS IN BANAGHER, OFFALY. NEW BOOK ON SAINT RYNAGH’S OLD GRAVEYARD, BANAGHER by James Scully

             An attractive new book on the history and memorials of Saint Rynagh’s Old Graveyard in Banagher has just been published. The book has 192 pages, almost 400 photographs and historical images plus a collection of essays and short articles on eminent souls buried there and on aspects of the site’s ecclesiastical history. The book … Continue reading FORGOTTEN SOULS IN BANAGHER, OFFALY. NEW BOOK ON SAINT RYNAGH’S OLD GRAVEYARD, BANAGHER by James Scully

  • A new source for the hisory of education in Ireland: Offaly History Sources Series, 12. Schooling in Ireland: a clustered history 1695-1912.

    Schooling in Ireland: a clustered history 1695-1912. by John Stocks Powell. Published by Offaly History (2020) , 364 pp in softback and limited run of 50 only for sale in hard covers €28. Offaly History Centre, Whelehans in Portarlington and Midland Books, Tullamore. The cluster is Portarlington, and now appears in book form, published by … Continue reading A new source for the hisory of education in Ireland: Offaly History Sources Series, 12. Schooling in Ireland: a clustered history 1695-1912.

  • The Vikings in Offaly. By John Dolan

    Our traditional view of the Vikings in Ireland was established by our early primary and secondary schooling. We were aware that the Vikings commenced raiding in 795 AD by their raid on Rathlin Island. Eventually they settled in a few areas around our coastline. However, most of the country was within reach of Viking raiding … Continue reading The Vikings in Offaly. By John Dolan

  • Tullamore Gas Company: the missing archives. By Michael Byrne Sources for Offaly History no. 11

    So here we are talking about sources that have been lost. We have a new Offaly Archives since March 2020 and we are working to fill it, but yet we have to regret what has been lost. There are many such collections in Offaly – grand jury records (some) mostly pre-1820 are missing, county infirmary … Continue reading Tullamore Gas Company: the missing archives. By Michael Byrne Sources for Offaly History no. 11

touring offaly
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Tullamore Town Historical Tour App

Almost 40 years ago, A Walk through Tullamore by Michael Byrne was published with a map of the town and a numbered commentary on the history of the streets and buildings. This was updated some years ago with Exploring Tullamore, a short printed guide along the same lines and richly illustrated by Fergal MacCabe. Now with thanks to the Rotary Club and Tullamore Credit Union, the walking guide enters the 21st century in the form of a downloadable app for smartphones and tablets.


Visit us on your mobile device to get the app.

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