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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

Articles

The Plantation of Leix and Offaly - Dunlop 1891
lusmagh_compressed The Lusmagh Herb
Caesar Otway and the Patron Day at Clonmacnoise
Soils of County Offaly
Ballinagar-Dunne Papers-August-1945.pdf
Roger North Shooting 1850 by Fr. J Moorhead
Early History of Tullamore - Dr Moran PP
Tullamore Golf Club Handbook September 1926
Philipstown (The Carboniferous Volcanoes) W.D.Haigh 1914
Rathlihen Graveyard Lives of The Irish Saints
Tullamore Salts Construction Midland Tribune 29th October 1938
Two Tombstones of the Kings German Legion at Tullamore
Preview of the Rosse Papers
Tullamore Town Council Celebrate 154 Years

Irish Settlement Newsletter

Irish Settlement Newsletter 2017-18
Irish Settlement Newsletter 2016-17
Irish Settlement Newsletter 2015-16
Irish Settlement Newsletter 2014-15

Latest Offaly History Blog Content

  • The famous suit of ‘ Tullamore Tweed’: a story from the Land War of the 1880s by Maurice Egan

    Tullamore gaol and a cartoon from St Stephen’s of November 1887 The remarkable story of Land Leaguer, Henry Egan and his inspired visits to Tullamore Gaol. (November 1887-May 1888) The brothers Henry and Patrick Egan were well known in the Midlands as proprietors of the acclaimed merchant firm P. & H. Egan’s Tullamore. Both brothers … Continue reading The famous suit of […]

  • ‘Fit as fiddles and as hard as nails'[Howard Bury of Charleville and Belvedere] by Jane Maxwell

    At the beginning of the centenary commemorations for the War, at the Theatre of Memory Symposium at the Abbey Theatre in 2014, President Higgins spoke of the commemorative activities in terms of myth-making and ethical remembering. He remarked that ‘for years the First World War has stood as a blank space in memory for many … Continue reading ‘Fit as fiddles and as hard as […]

  • Poverty in pre-Famine Offaly (King’s County) By Ciarán McCabe

      In the decades before the Great Famine of the late-1840s numerous parliamentary inquiries were held into the condition of the poorer classes in Ireland. Political and social elites wished to understand the nature of Ireland’s seemingly endemic poverty in the hope of improving the social, economic and moral condition of the peasantry, as well … Continue reading Poverty in […]

  • Frank Quirke: the boy who was abandoned to drown on Charleville Lake near Tullamore at Christmas 1901. Retold now by Cosney Molloy

    I was glad to get out of Dublin before Christmas and get down to see my friends in Tullamore, Killoughy and Banagher for a pre-Christmas visit and bask in the mildest winter for many years. Dublin is mad at this time of year and what with one restaurant telling us about steaks at €120 I … Continue reading Frank Quirke: the boy who was abandoned to drown on Charleville Lake near […]

  • My childhood memory of a Christmas in west Offaly over sixty years ago by Padraig Turley

      As Patrick Kavanagh might have put it, I was ten Christmasses of age and living in a place called Clerhane, a townland some two miles south of Clonmacnoise. We were farmers, and there were five of us residing on the farm, my maternal grandparents, my uncle Joe, my mother and I. My father for … Continue reading My childhood memory of a Christmas in west Offaly over sixty years ago by […]

Offaly History Blog – Over 70 articles to choose from

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Offaly History Store
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