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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

Annals of Clonmacnoise


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Based on BL Add. MS 4817, with some variants from TCD MS 673). Together with a remnant of ‘Annals of Leacán’, AD 1443-68 translated by Dubhaltach Mac Fhir Bhisigh, AD 1666.  Edited by Nollaig Ó Muraíle. Dublin: De Búrca, 2022. Quarto. pp. 679. Green buckram, titled in gilt on spine, covers blind-stamped.

The so-called Annals of Clonmacnoise – an inaccurate title bestowed in the 17th century by Sir James Ware – are a collection of Irish annals that purport to extend from the earliest times (Adam and Eve!) down to the year AD 1408. The text – an English translation completed in 1627 – is the work of Conall Mag Eochagáin, a Gaelic gentleman from Lismoyny, County Westmeath.

The early portion of the text (about one-sixth of the whole) is based on the medieval work of pseudo-prehistory called Lebar Gabála Érenn (the Book of the Taking of Ireland, the so-called ‘Book of Invasions’), while much of the remainder is closely related to other collections of Irish annals, especially those of Ulster, Loch Cé and Connacht. The Irish text from which Mag Eochagáin worked is now lost, as indeed is the original manuscript of his translation. The entire work survives in a number of manuscript-copies penned in the later 17th century, as well as in some later copies. The only edition produced to date, that by Fr Denis Murphy, SJ, was published 120 years ago and is a sadly inadequate production, being based on one of the less satisfactory manuscripts. Among its many shortcomings is the deletion/censorship by the editor of some passages he deemed ‘offensive’.

A new edition has long been called for, and this Nollaig Ó Muraíle has now undertaken. The edition is based on a manuscript which is deemed to be superior to the other surviving manuscripts, BL Additional MS 4817. This was written in 1661 by a native of Tralee, Domhnall Ó Súilleabháin. (Occasional words, and sometimes longer phrases, omitted by Ó Súilleabháin have been inserted from TCD MS 673 – the manuscript on which Murphy based his edition.)

In accordance with modern historical practice, the text of the annals (running to approximately 100,000 words) has been modernised, in terms of both orthography and punctuation – except in the case of proper names (both people and places). (Nothing is gained by preserving the very irregular early 17th-century spelling, erratic capitalisation, etc., which make Murphy’s edition so frustrating to use.) As is the norm with modern editions of Irish annals’ collections – such as those published over the past seven decades by the School of Celtic Studies, DIAS – the various entries are divided into numbered paragraphs under the appropriate year. (Admittedly, the rather erratic chronological arrangement of these annals rendered this difficult in a number of instances.) Where an entry has a parallel in one of the other annalistic collections, this is inserted after the appropriate paragraph. Also inserted after each paragraph are the correct Irish forms of the proper names aforementioned – so many of which are quite unrecognisable in their often quite bizarre anglicised forms. Those Irish forms – using the standard Classical Irish spelling – will also facilitate the provision of a ‘user friendly’ series of indices.

The publication of this new edition will be welcomed by scholars, who have all too often tended to ignore this intriguing text because of the difficulties of handling Murphy’s now obsolete work.

Additional information

Weight 2 kg
Dimensions 28.5 × 23 × 5.5 cm

Hard Or Paper Back


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