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Opening Hours

Monday to Friday 9:30am to 4:00pm

Heritage Section
Offaly County Council
Áras an Chontae
Charleville Road
Co. Offaly

Phone: 057 9346839
Fax: 057 9346868
Email: heritage@offalycoco.ie

Would you like a reminder of Offaly Heritage News & Events?

If so, register with the Offaly heritage office for email reminders. You can also get regular updates from Offaly Heritage on facebook.

Offaly Annual Heritage Seminar Saturday 7th November 2015

Download the Offaly Heritage Seminar 2015 Brochure. Over 100 people attended the tours and talks at this year's annual Offaly Heritage Seminar. For the first time there was a choice of three morning trips, one to the new walking /cycle way at Mount Lucas Windfarm to see the landscape setting of the 28 turbines, a second to the burial grounds of St Brendan’s church  in Birr and St Rynagh’s church in Banagher to discuss techniques for recording memorials on headstones with three practitioners Stephen Callaghan, James Scully and Eoghan Broderick.  The third option was a visit to the County Archives in Tullamore Central Library with archivist Lisa Shortall who has been working on specific aspects of the archive over the past year. 

After lunch in the Tullamore Dew Visitor Centre there was an afternoon of four presentations in the Offaly History Centre. There has been an exciting collaboration between the Offaly Arts and Heritage departments under the Percent for Arts Scheme and Arts Officer Sinead O’Reilly outlined the progression of public art in Offaly from statues such as the Earl of Rosse in John’s Place, Birr to the recent Joe Casslin work at Acres’ Hall in Tullamore followed by an insight into the three Secrets of Offaly projects for 2015 working with Kinnitty, Clonbullogue and Clara. Lisa Shortall’s talk discussed the range of material in the Belmont Mill archive, donated in 2003 by Tom Dolan.  It documents a fascinating time in Belmont’s history and shows the hub of activity the mill and canal were then.

Maurice O’Keeffe of Irish Life and Lore presented 5 recordings he carried out with the community in Turraun this summer.  This was a programme, part funded by the Heritage Council under their Community Grants, to record the memories of those involved in the early peat harvesting at Turraun and in particular the huge influx of workers who came from all over the country to work there.  The community aspect to the project was introduced by Caitriona Devery. The final paper by John Feehan related very closely to these interviews and the site visit to Mount Lucas,   A drama in 3 acts: the past, present and future of the bogs of Offaly. This reviewed the harvesting of the peat, gave us an insight into the biodiversity emerging and challenged us all to consider the afteruse of the cutaway peatlands.

Offaly Heritage Week 2015

Heritage Week was from Saturday 22nd August to Sunday 30th August in 2015. Download the Offaly Heritage Week 2015 brochure here. This year the theme wass industrial heritage. For more details and events throughout the country see www.heritageweek.ie. Thank you to all who hosted events and to those who participated!

Offaly Naturalists' Field Club Programme 2015

Dowload a copy of the 2015 Offaly Naturalists' Field Club Programme.

The Landscape of Clonmacnoise by John Feehan - launched December 2014 in Shannonbridge.

This publication is 130+ pages, A3, full colour and in John's unique style it details the evolution of the landscape of the Parish of Clonmacnoise. It is published by Offaly County Council and retails at €45.00. It is available in Midland Books High Street, Robbins Tanyard Lane and Offaly History on Bury Quay all in Tullamore, in the Gala Shop in Shannonbridge, Clonmacnoise Shop and at the visitor centre and Celtic Roots shop in Ballinahown.

Cover of the Landscape of Clonmacnoise

Annual Offaly Heritage Seminar November 15th 2014

This seminar is held annually to give people interested in Offaly's heritage an opportunity to meet and to provide information on current Offaly Heritage projects. In 2014 we visited the new Lough Boora Discovery Park and then participants had the choice of a revamped Science Centre tour in Birr or a tour of Birr Castle. In the afternoon subjects ranged from the Banagher Swords finds by Andy Halpin and Carol Smith of the National Museum of Ireland, to the de Renzi papers by Lisa Shortall, burial ground survey by Stephen Callaghan and architecture research by Andrew Tierney culminating by an aerial tour of the Boora Bogs by Tom Egan of Bord na Mona. It was great to have members of the Shannonside SubAqua Club joining us for the Banagher Swords paper as they are responsible for the finds and contacting the National Museum promptly. Download the 2014 Offaly Annual Heritage Seminar brochure. If you would like to attend the seminar in 2015 do register with heritage@offalycoco.ie or follow us on facebook.

Offaly Historical Society Programme for 2015, in Bury Quay, Tullamore. All talks start at 8.00pm 

Monday 19 January Paula Lalor on "Queen Victoria's visits to Ireland, 1849,1853, 1861, a view from the Country House".

Monday 16 February James Lyttleton on the The Jacobean Plantations in seventeenth-century Offaly: an archaeology of a changing world which looks at the impact of the plantations on a number of Gaelic Lordships in west and south Offaly, and how buildings like tower houses, fortified houses and churches can provide insights into the life-ways of the natives and planters who lived through these tumultuous times. The lecture will be based on Dr Lyttleton’s book published in 2013 and will be given a formal Offaly launch. This lecture will be held in Banagher to promote the subject and the history of West Offaly.

Monday 23 March James Scully "The Grand Canal in Offaly 1794 - 1804." 2014-15 is the bicentenary of the connection from the Liffey with the Shannon. The talk will be based on contemporary sources, primary and secondary but mostly on the Grand Canal Minute Books. 

Monday 20 April Professor David Dickson of TCD on: 'The rise and rise of Dublin 1600-2000: A Midlands perspective' 

14-19 April, Society Trip to Germany limited to 25 places more details shortly and at a special price. Please see enclosed information pack. Please book early. Priority given to members and their partners. Details of the trip can be emailed to you and are on our website.

Sunday 7 June Visit to Crinkill Military Cemetery, Birr with Stephen Callaghan

Edenderry Historical Society 2014 Lecture Series

Please note all lectures will take place in the Edenderry Parish Centre (behind St Mary's RC Church) at 8pm. All welcome. Admission €2.

13 Feb: 'Where did they all go? Emigration from Ireland in the 19th Century' - This seminar will be hosted by Edenderry Historical Society and will  include the following short presentations:  Dr Ciarán Reilly, The Irish in South Africa: A miscellany; Dr Regina Donlon  - 'We are all well and fat': the Tuke Irish in Minnesota, 1880-1930; Damian Sheils, In Search of Irish Emigrants in the American Civil War; Fidelma Byrne,  Fleeing famine:  assisted-emigration from Earl Fitzwilliam's estate in County Wicklow& Jarlath McNamara,  Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore,  Irish Famine Refugee, Superstar of  American Music,  but today unknown !”. Venue- Edenderry Town Hall (7-10pm), all welcome. Admission €10.

20 Feb - AGM of the Society followed by a short talk by Liam Kenny, 'The Admiral from Carbury: connections with the Empress of Russia'

20 March- Michael Kelly, 'The Royal Irish Constabulary : janissary force or guardians of the people'

24 April - Seamus Cullen, Easter week in Co Kildare: the participation of a quiet county in the 1916 rising

22 May- Bernadette Gilligan, 'On the old bog road': The life and times of Teresa Brayton

28 Aug - John Noonan, Recording oral history [*Heritage Week Event*]

25 Sept- Declan O'Connor, It’s a long way to Tipperary: the song, the story, the spinoffs

23 Oct: Larry Breen, The life and times of pugilist Dan Donnelly

27 Nov- Jacqueline Crowley, The Encumbered Estates Court of the 1850s

Birr Historical Society - Meetings in the Resource Centre behind Costcutter Supermarket, Townsend Street, at 8.15pm

see www.birrhistsoc.com

Slieve Bloom Walks

For a full programme of walks in the Slieve Blooms see www.slievebloom.ie