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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 [email protected] Open 9am-4.30pm Mon-Fri

family history
Offaly History Store
Offaly History Blog

Shop

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

family history

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.
12,500 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

  • The Public Role of Personal Commemoration. Remarks on the Decade of Centenaries, the Great Flu and the scourge of TB. By Sylvia Turner

    On January 7th this year, we raised a glass to commemorate what would have been my mother’s 100th birthday. Born in Kilcoursey Lodge,  Clara, she had always said that she was born on a special day, being the day, the Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed in the Dáil. Her explanation to me as a child was … Continue reading The Public Role of Personal Commemoration. Remarks on the Decade of Centenaries, the Great Flu and the scourge of TB. By Sylvia Turner

  • Mountbolus, Ireland: the funeral mass and final resting place for Ashling Murphy, 18 January 2022. Specially contributed

    The whole of Ireland will be watching Mountbolus today for perhaps the first time in its history. None would want the attention it will receive as the family of Ashling Murphy, her friends and representatives of state, gather for her final mass in the lovely church dominating the village of Mountbolus. The family who have … Continue reading Mountbolus, Ireland: the funeral mass and final resting place for Ashling Murphy, 18 January 2022. Specially contributed

  • The Fair of Frankford (Kilcormac): old times in the barony of Ballyboy. By Paddy Heaney

    We are publishing this essay of thirty-five years ago to honour all the people of the barony of Killoughy who have kept the Irish musical tradition vibrant and have a great love of their local history. It is also to mark the passing of Ashling Murphy and in support of her family and all her … Continue reading The Fair of Frankford (Kilcormac): old times in the barony of Ballyboy. By Paddy Heaney

  • Offaly and the Treaty Debate: widespread acceptance. Specially contributed

    Early 1922 saw just two local organs of public opinion in Offaly – the Midland Tribune and the King’s County Chronicle. The Tribune was owned by the long-term nationalist Mrs Fanning, widow of the late Dr Fanning and herself active in regard to Sinn Féin policy on amalgamation of the workhouses. Her editor was James … Continue reading Offaly and the Treaty Debate: widespread acceptance. Specially contributed

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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