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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 , 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

Merchants, Medics, and the Military Commerce and Architecture Maurice G. Egan


Available now for pre order only – Publication Release date – Mid December 2021

In stock


Published in December, ‘Merchants, Medics, and the Military Commerce and Architecture’ provides an exciting insight on the social history of Ireland from 1875 to 1925, as seen through the lives of influential Irish families.

Published by Offaly Historical and Archaeological Society’s Esker Press and authored by Maurice Egan this volume is available in hardback including never seen before exhibits, many of them in colour. It is a must for those with a local, national, and international interest in social history and social justice. This is an excellent read and retails at €24.99.

Between 1875 and 1925, a tumultuous period in Irish history, many provincial families made significant sacrifices in the areas of social justice, infrastructure development and community upliftment. Who were they? What ever became of them? What did they manage to achieve? Where did these family members move to? How did they help change the face of Irish social history?

Researching this fifty-year period and uncovering how certain Tullamore families helped change the course of local and in some cases international history, Maurice Egan has discovered the significant roles families played in social reform. The fascinating stories that have emerged shine a bright light on the enduring impact they made.

‘Maurice Egan’s accomplishment in Merchants, Medics and the Military is that he has identified an important strand of Irish social history that has heretofore been largely unexplored. The stories of the revolutionaries and the land reformers are well documented. The organisation of the urban working classes and the empowerment of the agricultural tenantry have had many narrators. But there has been little focus on the mercantile classes that were at the centre of commercial and social life in the regional towns that remain to this day at the centre of our society…… and he has done them a service in this volume, ensuring that they will have their place in the formation of the Ireland we now live in.’ Conor Brady, (An Irish journalist, novelist, and academic, he is a former editor of The Irish Times).

Maurice Egan was born in Tullamore and attended the Christian Brothers School. He is a retired beverage industry executive and is chairman of P & H Egan (Tullamore) Limited, the brand owner of Egan’s Irish Whiskey. He resides in Johannesburg and has a keen interest in social history from 1850 to 1925.

Additional information

Weight 1.5 kg

Hard Or Paper Back


Place of Publication



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