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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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November 2017

The Dáil Éireann Courts of County Offaly, 1920 -1922 – Steven Egan

November 20, 2017 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Offaly History Centre, Bury Quay
Tullamore, Ireland
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The Dáil Éireann Courts of County Offaly, 1920 -1922 - Steven Egan Nov 20th, Offaly History, Bury Quay, Tullamore Members €2 Non members €5 Steven Egan is currently a first year PhD candidate at Queen’s University Belfast. Egan received his…

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December 2017

Social life in Tullamore since the 1950s, political intrigue and the music scene in Ireland – Jackie Finlay

December 1, 2017 @ 8:30 pm - 10:30 pm
Offaly History Centre, Bury Quay
Tullamore, Ireland
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OFFALY HISTORICAL AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY has pleasure in inviting you to a reception at 8.30 p.m. on Friday 1 December 2017 at Offaly History Centre, Bury Quay,Tullamore (beside Tullamore DEW Visitor Centre) To mark the launch of Memories are made…

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Flights of Fancy, Offaly Follies and their Demesnes – Rachel McKenna

December 7, 2017 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Offaly History Centre, Bury Quay
Tullamore, Ireland
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Dec. 7th, 8PM, Offaly History, Bury Quay, Tullamore Members €2 non members €5 At the Tullamore launch of Flights of Fancy: Follies, Families and Demesnes in Offaly, the author, Rachel McKenna (Architect, Offaly County Council), will discuss the premise of…

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January 2018

Suzanne Behan -The 50 Francis Street Photographer – a social history of Dublin in the 1950s and 60s through the work of photographer John Walsh

January 29 @ 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Offaly History Centre, Bury Quay
Tullamore, Ireland
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29th January 2018 @ 8PM. The 50 Francis Street Photographer - a social history of Dublin in the 1950s and 60s through the work of photographer John Walsh.  From the 1950s to the 1990s, John Walsh ran his photography business out of…

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February 2018

Matthew Stout on Early Medieval Ireland

February 22 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Offaly History Centre, Bury Quay
Tullamore, Ireland
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A lecture by Matthew Stout on Early Medieval Ireland and a Tullamore, Offaly launch of his new book. Refreshments post launch. A chance to get a signed copy and a discounted price. Thursday 22 Feb. 2018 at 8 p.m. at…

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Cancelled -The Minnits of Anabeg – Film Screening

February 26
Offaly History Centre, Bury Quay
Tullamore, Ireland

We are sorry to announce that tonight's event has been cancelled due to circumstances beyond our control.  We apologise for any inconvenience. Cancelled Event -The Minnits of Anabeg which is also based on a true story, featuring Patrick Bergin. In…

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March 2018

Dr George Cunningham on Round Towers

March 26 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Offaly History Centre, Bury Quay
Tullamore, Ireland
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Dr George Cunningham on Round Towers with particular reference to Offaly and the Midlands. Monday 26 March 2018 at 8 p.m. at Offaly History Centre, Bury Quay, Tullamore. The evening will commence with the conferring of Honorary Life Membership on…

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April 2018

Bernie Moran on River Systems – Super-highways of Early Christian Ireland.

April 23 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Offaly History Centre, Bury Quay
Tullamore, Ireland
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Bernie Moran on River Systems - Super-highways of Early Christian Ireland.

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May 2018

Helen Bracken – The Heritage of Durrow – DEFERRED UNTIL HERITAGE WEEK

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

August 19 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

19 August, Sunday, Heritage Week tour of Sites of old industries of Tullamore from malting, distilling to silk and glass. Michael Byrne and David Egan,  2 00 p.m. from O’Connor Square. This will include the old distillery, the brewery of P.…

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Tour – Durrow Monastic Site

August 25 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

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 (Tullamore) Railway, Salts Factory, Kilcruttin Cemetery

August 26 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Heritage Week tour.   Railway (Charlie Finlay), Salts (Pat Doheny and Paddy Cleary), Kilcruttin Cemetery (MB). Meet at Town Park car park at 2pm

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Book Launch – Four Offaly Saints

August 27 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Offaly History Centre, Bury Quay
Tullamore, Ireland
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Book launch: Four Offaly Saints by Pádraig Ó Riain  Followed by a presentation on these Offaly saints by Professor Ó Riain, Professor Emeritus of Early and Medieval Irish at University College Cork. Professor Ó Riain was with us about six…

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September 2018

Launch of Offaly Heritage 10

September 24 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Offaly History Centre, Bury Quay
Tullamore, Ireland
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Launch of the society’s tenth journal since 2003, Offaly Heritage 10 and presentation on the contents by some of the contributors.  

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October 2018

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

October 22 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Offaly History Centre, Bury Quay
Tullamore, Ireland
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This lecture has been postponed until Spring 2019. Apologies for any inconvenience.   Dr Joachim Fischer on German visitors to Ireland and the Irish Midlands from 1750. Dr Joachim Fischer is Senior Lecturer in German and Joint Director of the Centre…

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Ciara Molloy – The Islandmagee Witches

October 29 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Offaly History Centre, Bury Quay
Tullamore, Ireland
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Join us for a Hallowe'en themed lecture by Ciara Molloy on the the Islandmagee witch trial which took place in 1710–1711.

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November 2018

Launch of Offaly and the Great War

November 11 @ 2:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Tullamore Central Library, O'Connor Square
Tullamore, Ireland
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December 2018

Ciarán Reilly – The history of Capard House in Slieve Bloom

December 13 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 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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