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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

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Offaly History Store
Offaly History Blog

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Event Calendar

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Family History

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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

  • Johnny Gorman the tailor of Ferbane. The Story of a Fenian. By Tomas O Cleirigh M.A. and Offaly History

    Some died by the glenside, some died ‘mid the stranger, The wise men have told us their cause was a failure; But they stood by old Ireland an’ never feared danger, Glory O! glory O to the Bold Fenian Men” Peadar O’ Cearnaigh Ferbane is a little place of about three hundred inhabitants. They often … Continue reading Johnny Gorman the tailor of Ferbane. The Story of a Fenian. By Tomas O Cleirigh M.A. and Offaly History

  • Going in on the Altar or an altar boy`s apprenticeship in West Offaly in the 1950s. By Pádraig Turley

    This episode in my life dates from the early 1950s. I was about nine year old at the time. I lived with my mother, grand-parents and uncle on a farm in the townland of Clerhane, near the village of Shannonbridge. My father worked in Dublin. Our house was what was then called a rambling house, … Continue reading Going in on the Altar or an altar boy`s apprenticeship in West Offaly in the 1950s. By Pádraig Turley

  • Stories and traditions from the historic ruins in Ballinagar. Specially Contributed by John Malone

    ‘At Ballinagar a large and handsome R.C. chapel was in the course of erection in the ancient English style of architecture’. Samuel Lewis in 1837 remarks that ‘at Ballinagar a large and handsome R.C. chapel was in the course of erection in the ancient English style of architecture’. This church replaced an earlier thatched building … Continue reading Stories and traditions from the historic ruins in Ballinagar. Specially Contributed by John Malone

  • ROBERT BALL, ASTRONOMER AND TEACHER AT BIRR 1865-1867, DESCRIBES HIS TIME AT BIRR CASTLE. Presented by Michael Byrne

    Surviving diaries and accounts of activities in Offaly (King’s County) in the nineteenth century are uncommon and because of this all need to be catalogued and evaluated. Diaries of travel writers, correspondence and memoirs can all throw light on activities of that time. One such source recently acquired by the Offaly Historical and Archaeological Society … Continue reading ROBERT BALL, ASTRONOMER AND TEACHER AT BIRR 1865-1867, DESCRIBES HIS TIME AT BIRR CASTLE. Presented by Michael Byrne

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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