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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

Heart and Soul – Stephen Callaghan and Caimin O Brien

20.00

Heart and Soul – Stephen Callaghan and Caimin O Brien

In what was once the heart of medieval Birr, located off Castle Street along a quiet lane way behind railings and high stone walls, are the ruins of its medieval parish church dedicated to St. Brendan, patron saint of the town, which today stands in a disused graveyard.

St. Brendan’s is the final resting place for the deceased parishioners of Birr,  both Roman Catholic and Protestant. As Birr has grown and expanded throughout the centuries, the carved stone records of its dead generations have remained and endured the test of time. St. Brendan’s burial ground offers us a physical link between the town of the living and the realm of its past. The stone records of this sacred place reveal the forgotten folk art as expressed through the carvings of these marvelous stone-cutters.

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Description

Heart and Soul – Stephen Callaghan and Caimin O Brien

In what was once the heart of medieval Birr, located off Castle Street along a quiet
lane way behind railings and high stone walls, are the ruins of its medieval parish church
dedicated to St. Brendan, patron saint of the town, which today stands in a disused
graveyard. St. Brendan’s is the final resting place for the deceased parishioners of Birr,
both Roman Catholic and Protestant. As Birr has grown and expanded throughout
the centuries, the carved stone records of its dead generations have remained and
endured the test of time. St. Brendan’s burial ground offers us a physical link between
the town of the living and the realm of its past. The stone records of this sacred place
reveal the forgotten folk art as expressed through the carvings of these marvelous
stone-cutters.

The occasion of the 2016 bicentenary of St. Brendan’s Church of Ireland parish
church on Oxmantown Mall, combined with the need to record the memorials in
the old St. Brendan’s churchyard, along with keen researchers/authors, has brought
about this publication. Field work for the project was carried out during April 2015.
The inscription, position and dimensions of each memorial were carefully recorded.
It is important to remember while reading the inscriptions in this book that they have
been recorded exactly as is, including any errors and mistakes on the memorials.
Where possible the individuals interred have been researched, and inscriptions cross
referenced with the Church of Ireland parish records and other primary and secondary
sources, such as newspaper articles, to produce short biographies. Some entries are
longer than others, with British Army officers and soldiers providing most material as
surviving service records provide a paper trail.

Finally it is hoped that the reader will enjoy this book and through its photographs
admire the artistry in the craftsman who carved these memorials, and perhaps spare
a moment’s thought for the deceased of this town whose memory is forever recorded
on the stone records of St. Brendan’s Graveyard.

Additional information

Hard Or Paper Back

Author

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