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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

Westmeath: History and Society: Interdisciplinary essays on the history of an Irish county – (ed.) Seamus O’Brien


Only 1 left in stock


This is the twenty-ninth volume in the acclaimed county History and Society series.

Contents:  1. The Physical Endowment of County Westmeath, Robert Meehan. 2. Prehistoric Barrows in Westmeath, David McGuinness. 3. Gaelic political assemblies and power-display in borderlands of Westmeath Lordships, Elizabeth Fitzpatrick. 4. Crossing the Brosna at Mullingar: the early topography of the town and district, Paul Gosling. 5. The Anglo-Norman Conquest and Settlement, Rory Masterson. 6. St. Féichín of Fore and his monastery, Rory Masterson. 7. Survey of the Holy Wells in Moycashel Barony, Caimin O’Brien. 8. Westmeath Bardic Poetry, Cathal Ó Háinle. 9. Besiegers without guns: Athlone 1641-43, Pádraig Lenihan. 10. The 1641 Rebellion in County Westmeath, John Cunningham. 11. A county in transition: cartographic evidence for landscape and social change in early modern Westmeath, Arnold Horner. 12. War and society in Westmeath, 1689-91, Harman Murtagh. 13. The Irish Language in Westmeath c.1600-1900, Aengus Ó Fionnagáin. 14. Westmeath: literary ‘stories so far’, Mary Shine Thompson. 15. Local Government in County Westmeath (1542-2019), Matthew Potter. 16. Class and Conflict in Pre-Famine Westmeath, John Kenny. 17. Gigginstown and Crown Lands in Westmeath in the early 1800s, Timothy P. O’Neill. 18. Famine in the county town – Mullingar 1845-49, Seamus O’Brien. 19. Assisted Emigration from Clonmellon Parish to South Australia in 1847, Eugene Sheridan. 20. Between happiness and distress: Erskine Nicol’s paintings of rural life in Westmeath in the 1860s, Amelie Dochy-Jacquard. 21. The Corn and Flour Mills of County Westmeath, Seamus Mimnagh. 22. Church of Ireland parish and people in Westmeath, 1897-1996, Lesley Whiteside. 23. ‘A disgrace to a civilised country’; making sense of Westmeath at Westminster, 1871, Michael Kenny. 24. Religion and politics: the Parnellite split in Westmeath, Michael Nolan. 25. The decline of the aristocratic estates of County Westmeath, 1879-1923, Eugene Dunne. 26. Post-Famine Athlone, Gearoid O’Brien. 27. The Gaelic Athletic Association in Westmeath 1884-1905, Tom Hunt. 28. The Midland Volunteers Force and the Irish Volunteers: towards reconciling history and historiography, John Burke. 29. Barrack and community in a time of revolution: the East Yorkshire Regiment in Westmeath, 1919-21, Paul Hughes. 30. Westmeath Elections 1918-1970, Adrian Kavanagh and Caoilfhionn D’Arcy. 31. Modern Mullingar: 1923-1993, Ruth Illingworth. 32. Some aspects of vernacular culture and oral history in Co. Westmeath: Jim Delaney and his work with Patsy Johnson, Bairbre Ní Fhloinn. 33. From Cregganbaun, Co. Mayo to Kiltoom, Co. Westmeath: a case-study of a Land Commission group migration scheme, Mary Burke and John Burke. 34. Westmeath Elections 1970-2020, William Durkan. 35. Westmeath’s Archives, Gretta Connell.

Additional information

Weight 2.1 kg
Dimensions 24.5 × 16.1 × 5.2 cm
Hard Or Paper Back


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