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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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May 2018

Helen Bracken – The Heritage of Durrow

May 28 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Offaly History Centre, Bury Quay
Tullamore,Ireland
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Helen Bracken - The Heritage of Durrow : progress to date and what is to come. An illustrated presentation in the days before the annual pattern of 9 June.

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June 2018

Members Outing: Dublin

June 30 @ 8:00 am - 10:00 pm
Dublin (tour) Dublin,Ireland

Members Outing: Dublin From Tullamore railway station, and then by shared taxis, Dublin outing: Marsh's Library, National Print Museum, Little Museum of Dublin, the new headquarters of the Irish Georgian Society.

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July 2018

Tour -The Historic Sites of Kilcormac and Ballyboy

July 8 @ 3:00 pm - 11:00 pm

The Historic Sites of Kilcormac and Ballyboy. To meet in the grounds of the Catholic church at 3pm (ample parking). The Historic Sites of Kilcormac and Ballyboy to include the Catholic church, the parochial grounds, the Mercy Convent, Born na…

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August 2018

Tour (Tullamore) Railway, Salts Factory, Kilcruttin Cemetery

August 19 @ 2:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Heritage Week tour.   Railway (Charlie Finlay), Salts (Pat Doheny and Paddy Cleary), Kilcruttin Cemetery (MB). Meet at Town Park car park at 2.30pm

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Tour – Durrow Monastic Site

August 25 @ 2:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Offaly History Centre, Bury Quay
Tullamore,Ireland

Tour of the Monastic Site at Durrow and the Catholic Church and cemetery. Helen Bracken will meet callers to the old church from that time for a talk and tour of the site including the church, cemetery, High Cross and…

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Tour – Sites of old industries of Tullamore from malting, distilling to silk and glass.

August 26 @ 2:30 pm - 8:00 pm

26 August, Sunday, Heritage Week tour of Sites of old industries of Tullamore from malting, distilling to silk and glass. Michael Byrne and Maurice Egan,  2 30 p.m. from O’Connor Square. This will include the old distillery, the brewery of P.…

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Lisa Shortall – Raw Materials of History

August 27 @ 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Offaly History Centre, Bury Quay
Tullamore,Ireland
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Lisa Shortall – Raw Materials of History An illustrated lecture on Offaly archival collections with special reference to Offaly industries and services.

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September 2018

Film Screening – Ladies of Science, Mary Rosse and Mary Ward

September 24 @ 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Offaly History Centre, Bury Quay
Tullamore,Ireland
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Film screening, Ladies of Science, Mary Rosse and Mary Ward and exhibition of archival holdings of Offaly History re Mary Ward.

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October 2018

Dr Joachim Fischer – German visitors to Ireland the Irish Midlands from 1750.

October 22 @ 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Offaly History Centre, Bury Quay
Tullamore,Ireland
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Dr Joachim Fischer on German visitors to Ireland the Irish Midlands from 1750. Dr Joachim Fischer is Senior Lecturer in German and Joint Director of the Centre for Irish-German Studies at the University of Limerick.

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November 2018

Michael Byrne – The old industries of Tullamore

November 26 @ 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Offaly History Centre, Bury Quay
Tullamore,Ireland
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26 November, Monday, 8 p.m. Michael Byrne on The old industries of Tullamore, an illustrated lecture.

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December 2018

Ciarán Reilly – The history of Capard House in Slieve Bloom

December 13 @ 8:00 pm - 11:30 pm
Offaly History Centre, Bury Quay
Tullamore,Ireland
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Christmas Meeting with an illustrated talk by Ciarán Reilly on The history of Capard House in Slieve Bloom.  Followed by Christmas refreshments.

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