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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 [email protected] Open 9am-4.30pm Mon-Fri

Rathrobin and the two Irelands: the photographs of Middleton Biddulph 1900–1920 Michael Byrne

24.99

Available now for pre order.  Publication release date 24th November 2021

In stock

Description

The photographs in the Magan Collection, now called the Biddulph Collection, were taken by Lt Col. Middleton Westenra Biddulph (1849–1926) who lived at Rathrobin near Mountbolus, County Offaly. Biddulph was proud of his family history and when he retired from the army in the mid-1890s he returned to Ireland and rebuilt the old house at Rathrobin in great style. The Biddulph photographs are not just another set of pictures of Edwardian and pre-WW1 life in Ireland. Biddulph had an empathy with his farm workers and their families and sought their advancement. Many local families were photographed together with their farming activities.

Biddulph’s story, and that of his associates and friends, illustrated by a selection of over 300 pictures, will help to provide a more nuanced understanding of Ireland in the revolutionary period of 1900–23. His wonderful house at Rathrobin that he had so carefully ‘restored’, and all his farm improvements, were lost in the Civil War in 1923. The financial compensation he received was of little value to him in his last five years of life in London. When he died in 1926 the tomb that he prepared in Killoughy graveyard remained empty. The photographs by Middleton Biddulph were taken at a crucial time in Ireland’s history. Their publication now could not come at a better time.

Front cover: Mrs Lizzie Bracken, Johnnie Bracken, Catherine, Mary, John and Peter, Rathrobin, 22 August 1904.

Back cover: Rathrobin House, 12 April 1904.

The photographer, Middleton Biddulph, posing under ‘under his own vine’, September 1902.

Supported by the Decade of Commemorations Unit in the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

Additional information

Weight 2 kg
Dimensions 28 × 24 cm
Hard Or Paper Back

Pages

Place of Publication

Price

€24.99

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