March 2021
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MARCH 2021

Happy St Patrick's Day members and friends,

Read on for details of a jam-packed lecture schedule for the rest of the year and many thanks to our Fixtures Secretary, Ciarán McCabe for organising a stellar line up of speakers and subjects. We remain closed at Bury Quay and Offaly Archives for the time being but work continues on all our projects for 2021.

Sincere sympathy to the family and friends of David Hutton Bury. An appreciation was published by us in the Tullamore Tribune and on social media.

Our sympathy to Kieran and Sheila Keenaghan and the family and friends of their son Barry Keenaghan who died recently as a result of a car accident. Kieran is a keen supporter of Offaly History and we are very sorry for his great loss.

Our sympathy also to our committee member Angela Kelly on the death of her mother.
Renew your membership for 2021
Friends it is vital that you renew your membership. Like all charities this is a difficult time for us with income down and no rental income in prospect for 2021. Renewing is only a click away and you can pay via credit card and join or renew on line.

And also a general thank you to all those who have renewed so far with a reminder to others to renew if anyone wishes to check whether they still need to renew they can contact us on and we will be happy to confirm.   €30.00 for yearly subscription

We welcome the following new members and acknowledge membership renewals as follows: M. Shanahan, R. Derivan, E. Harrington, E. Perry, K. Mann, M. Bartkowski, K. Flanagan, S McCann, S. Draper, F. Murray, T Connolly, L. Price, R. Kelly, D. Welsh, A. Goodbody, T. Meehan

All lectures will be delivered online via Zoom.
Fixtures Secretary, Ciarán McCabe



22 March 2021, Monday, 7.30p.m. 

Dr Diarmuid T. Wheeler (NUI Galway)

‘“We adore chaos because we love to produce order”: English colonialism and the Leix-Offaly Plantation’


19 April, Monday, 7.30p.m.

Dr Eamon Darcy (Maynooth University)

‘The 1641 Rebellion, the Confederate Wars, and the Cromwellian conquest – a perspective from King’s County’


17 May, Monday, 7.30 p.m.

Kevin O’Dwyer and Griffin Murray

‘St Manchan’s Shrine, Boher’

14-22 August
Heritage Week (event details tbc)

30 August, Monday
Dr Daithí Ó Corráin (DCU) ‘The dead of the Irish Revolution, 1916–21’ (title tbc)


20 September, Monday, 7.30 p.m.

Dr Judith Hill

‘Catherine Maria Bury and the design of Charleville Castle, Co Offaly 1800-1812’

1 November, Monday:
Laura Price ‘Shannonbridge, valuation records and family history’ (title tbc)

22 November, Monday
Dr Emma Lyons (UCD)
‘Morristown Lattin, County Kildare, 1630–1800: The estate and its tenants’ (title tbc)

6 December, Monday
Professor Maria Luddy (Warwick University)
‘“Making men pay”: The financial support of illegitimate children in Ireland 1800–1975’.

Women of Offaly
Sheila O'Gorman wants to gather like-minded people to collaborate on a publication of Women of Offaly similar to the book - Daughters of Dún Iascaigh, a light on the history of Cahir women:

Did any women live in Tullamore in times past? In the 1900s? In the 18002? At any time in the past?

Where have their stories gone?  Does anyone remember a story of our foremothers? How did they cope in the Famine? Did any Tullamore woman join Cumann na MBan?  Or the Ladies Land League? How did they cook? What was washing day like for them? Do they appear in any of our local legends?

If you are interested in researching, telling a story, or in any way discovering  - uncovering their stories - 'Herstory' as it is sometimes termed - why not get in touch.

Lets unearth - and celebrate - the women of our town!

If anyone feels they can contribute to or be part of this project please send your details to 

Sheila O'Gorman

New books for sale

We are operating an online shop and will deliver within 5k free of charge.
We have reduced postal charges within the ROI to just €3.95 up to 10 kg. We have 150 local books to choose from.

The 1641 Depositions, Laois and Offaly(vol. 6 in the IMC series). Aidan Clarke, principal editor, 580 pp, hardback, €50. Inc. postage in ROI €53.95. Available from, pay by credit card or PayPal.

The 1641 Depositions are witness testimonies concerning the experiences of the 1641 Irish rebellion. Volume VI: Laois & Offaly. The papers of both these Tudor plantation counties contain important ancillary material that helps to illustrate the way in which the Commission for the Despoiled Subject went about its business and to reconstruct the early history of the collection itself. There was no evidence in either county of mass killings, but ill-treatment, flagrant disregard of terms of surrender and gratuitous murders are well-attested. This is an important work shedding much light on the local history of this period with the benefit of 260 witness statements from throughout the two midland counties.

This is the eleventh volume of essays produced by the Offaly Historical and Archaeological Society on the history of this Irish midlands county. Some of the county’s leading historians, writers and academics have contributed to this important and pioneering collection of essays. To mark the Decade of Centenaries, there are ten specially contributed essays and a number of short biographies of figures from the revolutionary period in Offaly.

The volume also contains information on the Offaly Historical and Archaeological Society, the county heritage office and reviews of recent books of Offaly interest.

456 pages including 32-page colour insert marking the completion of the construction of Offaly Archives and a gallery of events from 2018 and 2019.

Offaly history blog every week



OFFALY ARCHIVES- help us record the history of Coronavirus in Offaly
We are living in extraordinary times - a moment in history that will be remembered forever. Just as historians and scientists today have learnt from the contemporary accounts kept during the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, we can ensure that the experience of COVID-19 is documented for future researchers. 

How can I help?
Keep a diary, as simple or as detailed as you like, recording your everyday lived experience in Offaly during the pandemic. You can make it anonymous or personal. We will preserve it forever in Offaly Archives.

What will I write about?
No detail is too big or too small. How is the situation affecting you, your friends and family? What is the weather like? Do you have any observations on nature/wildlife? How are you spending each day? What are you eating/cooking? What can you buy or not buy in the shops? What do you miss doing? Are you able to continue with your work/hobbies? How has your schooling or university education been affected? 

Who can take part?
Anyone can take part from all walks of life and all ages, including children.

Your diary can be in electronic format (for example, a Word document) or hand-written on any type of paper. You can submit photographs of your street/area, or maybe an oral-history recording. 

How will I send it in?
When the time is right we will let you know through the newsletter, on our website and through social media how to submit your diaries to the archives. 

What will happen my diary in the Archives?
All diaries will be treated sensitively. Archives, such as a diary with personal information, are often closed from access for a long period of time. When this period of time elapses, a diary can become a valuable record with a wider significance. For future generations, it can become an important historical source.

Handy Links

  1. The easiest way to access all our content is through our main website
  2. Our Laois-Offaly family records are posted on Roots Ireland site and comprise over one million items.
  3. Our books about Offaly for sale are in the shop section of and the catalogue can be downloaded also.
  4. The Library catalogue is also there and serves as a useful local and family history bibliography. It currently runs to almost 12,000 titles and 20,000 books.
  5. We publish a local history article every week on Offaly History Blog and the site now has over 120 illustrated articles all to help you and for you to enjoy. We welcome contributions marked Editor, Offaly History Blog to be sent to
  6. We have uploaded guides to County Offaly including the towns of Tullamore, Birr and Banagher. See touring information in the Touring Offaly section of
  7. We publish Offaly Heritage with ten issues since 2003 containing over one hundred articles and over one million words of Offaly history.
  8. We have completed a new Offaly Archives at an overall cost of €750,000. We have a donate button on our website if you would like to assist us.
  9. Email us at

2021 Committee: Helen Bracken (President), Michael Byrne, Dorothee Bibby, Pat Wynne, Charlie Finlay, Noel Guerin, Henry Edgill, Peter Burke, Niall Sweeney, Angela Kelly, Rory Masterson, Shaun Wrafter, Oliver Dunne, Ciarán McCabe, Frank Brennan, Stephen Callaghan, Reneagh Bennett, Michael Scully. In addition the committee has agreed the co-option of Paddy Clarke, Tullamore and Jim Keating, Tullamore together with the renewed co-option of Stephen Callaghan, Reneagh Bennett, Michael Scully.

Renew your membership for 2021
Copyright © 2021 Offaly Historical & Archaeological Society, All rights reserved.

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Copyright © 2021 Offaly Historical & Archaeological Society, All rights reserved.

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Copyright © 2021 Offaly Historical & Archaeological Society, All rights reserved.

View our previous newsletters

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