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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
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The Dáil Éireann Courts of County Offaly, 1920 -1922 – Steven Egan

November 20, 2017 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

The Dáil Éireann Courts of County Offaly, 1920 -1922 – Steven Egan
Nov 20th, Offaly History, Bury Quay, Tullamore
Members €2 Non members €5

Steven Egan is currently a first year PhD candidate at Queen’s University Belfast. Egan
received his B.A. in History and Politics fromUniversity Belfast in 2016 and
completed his M.A. in History at Queen’s in September 2017. During his undergraduate
studies, he won a scholarship place on the inaugural QUB-Vanderbilt University ‘Maymester’
class (2015) and was also awarded the coveted Julie-Ann Statham prize for academic
achievement (2016). His recent projects include the Dáil Éireann courts of County Offaly and
a history of the Credit Union Movement within Offaly, specifically examining the Kilcormac
Credit Union.

His PhD thesis, which is supervised by Marie Coleman and Margaret O’Callaghan, is entitled
‘The Partition of Ireland in the transnational perspective of the Commonwealth,’ and aims
to contribute to the fields of Commonwealth, diasporic and transnational history. More
broadly, Egan’s research interests broadly cover twentieth-century Irish history, especially
within an Offaly context. Egan remains keenly interested in contemporary British, Irish and
European politics, with a peculiar interest in International Relations. In 2017, Egan was
awarded a ‘highly commended’ distinction from the prestigious Undergraduate Awards in
Dublin for his political discussion of the importance of the bilateral Anti-Ballistic Missile
Treaty, 1972-2002.
Specifically on Offaly, his recent projects include the Dáil Éireann courts of County Offaly
and a history of the Credit Union Movement within Offaly, specifically examining the
Kilcormac Credit Union.

The Dáil Éireann Courts of County Offaly, 1920-22

As the War of Independence was fought militarily across the island of Ireland, another,
understated campaign was taking places in the local towns and parishes of Ireland. In the
battle for the hearts and minds of the Irish people, the Dáil courts are an underappreciated
aspect of Ireland’s revolutionary past, which is not yet fully appreciated within Irish
This talk on the Dáil courts of Offaly examines the nature of these courts, asking what were
they? Where did they come from? Why were they needed? Who used these courts? Using
the original court records, Bureau of Military History witness statements, R.I.C. records and
local press coverage, the history of the Offaly courts will be mapped out geographically,
offering new insights into Offaly’s experience of the revolutionary years.



November 20, 2017
8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
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Offaly History Centre
Bury Quay
Tullamore, Ireland
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