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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

Great War Memorials in the Church of Ireland churches of County Offaly – Stephen Callaghan.

Lost Lives: Men from Ferbane and Belmont who died in the Great War, 1914–18’ – P.J Dooley

Women’s right to vote, 1918: the campaign – Margaret Hogan

Lois, Countess of Rosse and the Birr Castle Prisoner of War Relief Scheme 1915–1916 – Lisa Shortall

Birr – ‘‘A constitutional island in a sea of Sinn Fein’: the account of Wilfrid Ewart of his walking from Cork to Belfast via Birr and Tullamore in 1921 – Micheal Byrne

Uncertain times: Some experiences of the Goodbody family in Clara 1919–1923Micheal Goodbody

Short biographies of revolutionary figures in Offaly -Various

Suffragettes in the Midlands and in Tullamore JailMargaret Hogan

Kevin O’Higgins, the Tullamore Realm Trial and the ideas of a Complex Revolutionary – Richard Egan

Jack Williams: Son of Tullamore, an Irish Artillery Officer in the First World War – Frank Fennell

The Bulfins of Derrinlough, Co Offaly – Anna White

Coolacrease – A Place With a Tragic History – Paddy Heaney

Some early car registration numbers – Ronnie Matthews

The Royal Irish Constabulary – Brendan Ryan

Edenderry and the First World War – Ciarán Joseph Reilly

Offaly and the Civil War executions – Philip McConway

From Ballyduff to Langemarck and places in between – Joe Deverell

Offaly 100 years ago: the year 1913 – Michael Byrne

Haunted memories: Rex Ingram, Francis Hitchcock and World War One – Ruth Barton

The scene in King’s County in 1914 – Michael Byrne

The declining fortunes, strength, and influence of the Home Rule movement in Offaly, 1910 to 1916 – Sean McEvoy

The by-elections in King’s County/Offaly in 1914 and 1918 – Michael Byrne

Prelude to rebellion: the 1916 ‘Tullamore affray’ in context – Paul Hughes

Eamonn Bulfin of Derrinlough – Brian Pey

1916 and the politics of the Midland Tribune and Tullamore and King’s County Independent – Michael Byrne

West Offaly and the 1916 Rising – Padraig Heavin

The GAA and Nationalism in Offaly 1884–1918 – Sean McEvoy

The Tullamore malt workers strike fiasco of 1916 and the malting industry in Tullamore – Michael Byrne

The gallant old legion’: Cumann na mBan in county Offaly, 1915–1922 – Ciara Molloy

Another Decade of Centenaries, 1913-1923’: The Biddulphs, the Great War and the decline of the big house in King’s County/Offaly – Michael Byrne

A retrospective military analysis of the 1916 rising – James P. Cullen

Sources for the study of the revolutionary period in King’s County/Offaly (1912–1923) – Lisa Shortall

‘A Mere Boy’ – Fergal MacCabe

Simply a Tullamore Man: A Stonemason or a British Gaol Bird, or an Offaly/Irish Rebel Leader? – Fergus O’Bracken

A Birr official in Dublin: Experiences of the fighting of Easter Week, 1916 – Michael Byrne

Henry Brenan, the King’s County Crown Solicitor, 1916- 1921 – Micheal Byrne

A tale of two Kerry men drinking after hours in Hayes’ Hotel, Tullamore in 1916 – Micheal Byrne

The making of ‘Faithful Rising – Miriam Smyth

The diary of Geraldine Fitzgerald, a Birr nurse working from Stephen’s Green during Easter Week 1916 – Michael Byrne

John Joly (1857–1933): An Offaly man based in Trinity College in 1916 and defending the Union – John Joly

Extracts from the Midland Tribune Easter Supplement 1966: the story of the Fourth Battalion and Joe Doolan; Banagher man Kieran Kenny in distillery battle; Seamus Kelly, Mucklagh veteran of Battle of Ashbourne.

Mucklagh’s Seamus (Jimmy) Kelly – Breda Condron

Lt. Joseph Wrafter – Breda Condron

Just another cog in the Revolution machine? An Examination of the Dáil Éireann Courts of county Offaly, 1920-1922 – Steven T.M. Egan

A Terrible Loss: 1919 – Maurice Egan and David F.M. Egan

People, Place and Power. The Grand Jury System in Ireland – Brian Gurrin with David Brown, Peter Crooks and Ciarán Wallace

Divergent political views – Maurice Egan and David F.M. Egan

From King’s County to Offaly: Dáil Éireann and Local Government during the years of the Irish Revolution -Mary Daly

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