Oral History Recordings

Series 1 - 2006 - Laois Offaly

In 2006 Laois and Offaly County Councils, with support from the Heritage Council, commissioned Maurice O'Keeffe of Irish Life and Lore to carry out a series of recordings on the theme of traditional crafts.

Series 2 - 2007 - Offaly

Offaly County Council commissioned a second series in 2007 from Irish Life and Lore on industries in Offaly focusing on Tullamore Dew, Irish Mist, Salts in Tullamore and Goodbody's in Clara.

Series 3 - 2008 - Offaly

In 2008 the Offaly Historical and Archaeological Society in Bury Quay, Tullamore commissioned a third series.

The 2012 Interviews

Offaly County Council commissioned a number of interviews under the Engage with Architecture project, featuring Billy Kelly, blacksmith from Tullamore, the Earl and Countess of Rosse discussing their life in Birr Castle, the Molloy family on their family home in the thatch at Killurin, Alan Lindley, lock keeper at 30th lock in Rahan and Mrs Kennedy of Quigley's shop in Banagher.

In the autumn further interviews were undertaken mainly focusing on blacksmithing. Paddy Heaney, Paddy Lowry, Seamus Claffey and Robert Wilson all shared their blacksmithing memories and Thomas Nallen discussed his role in the Banagher Maltings. These interviews were supported with funding from the Heritage Council.

2022 Kilcormac Interviews

In 2022 Kilcormac Development Association worked with Irish Life and Lore to record a number of their members who were associated with Bord na Mona during their lives. This project was supported by the Creative Ireland programme in Offaly. 

Where can you access the Oral Histories?

The Offaly Historical and Archaeological Society has a full set of the three years of recordings and the Offaly County Library has the series from 2006, 2007 and 2012 available to borrow and the recordings will shortly be coming online. The full set of recordings can be viewed on the Irish Life and Lore webpage under the Offaly collection.