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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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Peadar Bracken Irish Freedom Fighter – Fergus O Bracken

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Peadar Bracken Irish Freedom Fighter – Fergus O Bracken

This book is an Offalyman’s Odyssey. Tullamore man, Peadar Bracken from a Stonemason in 1900, rose to the highest ranks in Offaly and Irish Republicanism 1914-1921. Initiated into the Irish Republican Brotherhood in 1904, Sinn Fein in 1905, and later in 1917 he was appointed to Irish Volunteers/IRA Army Executive as representative for Offaly.
In 1911, to earn a living, he emigrated to Australia. However, always faithful to his Nationalist leanings, he immediately returned to Ireland upon hearing of the formation of the Irish Volunteers, in Dublin late November 1913.

The author hopes this biography based on his father’s life and times will fill in the many gaps that exist in the history of the period 1914-1921. More importantly, the activities that took place in Offaly that are often ignored or forgotten. The fact that many Offaly men, women, and supporters risked their lives and some paid the extreme penalty, death.
For this we must pay tribute to their fortitude, bravery, and steadfastness when they risked all, to oppose the might of the British Empire in the cause of Irish Freedom.

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Peadar Bracken Irish Freedom Fighter – Fergus O Bracken

2016 is the centenary of the 1916 Easter Week Rising and not much is recorded, of the men and women from County Offaly, who played such an important part in this action.
During Easter Week 1916 and the War of Independence 1919-1921, Offaly was to the forefront.
I hope this Book sets the record straight.
This book is an Offalyman’s Odyssey. Tullamore man, Peadar Bracken from a Stonemason in 1900, rose to the highest ranks in Offaly and Irish Republicanism 1914-1921. Initiated into the Irish Republican Brotherhood in 1904, Sinn Fein in 1905, and later in 1917 he was appointed to Irish Volunteers/IRA Army Executive as representative for Offaly.
In 1911, to earn a living, he emigrated to Australia. However, always faithful to his Nationalist leanings, he immediately returned to Ireland upon hearing of the formation of the Irish Volunteers, in Dublin late November 1913.

The author hopes this biography based on his father’s life and times will fill in the many gaps that exist in the history of the period 1914-1921. More importantly, the activities that took place in Offaly that are often ignored or forgotten. The fact that many Offaly men, women, and supporters risked their lives and some paid the extreme penalty, death.
For this we must pay tribute to their fortitude, bravery, and steadfastness when they risked all, to oppose the might of the British Empire in the cause of Irish Freedom.

“WE PLEDGE OUR LIVES AND THE LIVES OF OUR COMRADES-IN-ARMS TO THE CAUSE OF ITS FREEDOM OF ITS WELFARE AND OF ITS EXALTATION AMONG THE NATIONS”
24TH. APRIL 1916

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