News and Events

Offaly Annual Heritage Seminar - Friday 17th & Saturday 18th November 2017

Each year the Heritage Office hosts a seminar to provide an update on heritage projects in Offaly during the year. This is a free event but please do book with .  This year there is a most varied programme with the book launch for 'Flights of Fancy; Follies, Families and Demesnes in Offaly' by Rachel McKenna, architect with Offaly County Council hosted by Birr Castle on the Friday night. On the Saturday there are tours of Carrigeen Farmhouse or the follies of Birr Demesne followed by an afternoon of presentations in Birr Theatre and Arts Centre. These will include a presentation by Dr Claudia Kinmonth 'Carrigeen thatched farmhouse, the context, contents and conservation of a sleeping beauty', Brian Caffrey of BirdWatch Ireland on the county swift survey and Mary Ward's Amazing World of Wonder curated by Caroline Conway and Tina Claffey. Download the 2017 Annual Offaly Heritage Seminar Brochure.

Offaly Heritage Week Saturday 19th August - Sunday 27th August 2017

Download the full programme for Offaly Heritage Week 2017 Many thanks to all those who hosted and attended events during the week.

Offaly County Council –  Offaly Heritage Plan Key Actions for 2017 – 2021

This is the fourth Heritage Plan for county Offaly.  This plan has been adopted at the March 2017 meeting of Offaly County Council.

Eight Action Areas for 2017 -2021 

  1. Offaly County Council Heritage related projects such as 1916/2016 Centenary Commemorations and the follow on programme Creative Ireland; management of key county sites such as Durrow and Clonmacnoise, public realm plans and ongoing projects as they arise.
  2. Partnering with local communities and societies working on heritage projects, ranging from the Tidy Towns network to Historical Societies.
  3. Heritage and Tourism – making sites accessible and improving signage and information including inputs to
  4. Developing a County Archive Service in partnership with Offaly History, the Library Service and private owners. 
  5. Medieval churches/Monastic Site conservation of the structures, management plans and access (these sites are predominantly in Offaly County Council ownership) 
  6. Publications – commissioning of and assisting with publications, specifically Offaly Castles and demesne landscapes which are currently in preparation. 
  7. Biodiversity - promotion of the National Pollinator Plan, submitting records to the National Biodiversity Data Centre and control of invasive species with particular focus on Japanese and Himalayan knotweed and Himalayan Balsam.  
  8. Access to heritage - coordinating and management of events such as Heritage Week, Offaly Naturalists’ Field Club, Annual Offaly Heritage Seminar and awareness of Offaly’s heritage through all appropriate means.

 Role of the Offaly Heritage Forum - The forum is made up of Council, community, NGO and state agency representatives that meet quarterly. Members have given huge commitment to the forum and in delivering heritage projects. The forum has had a key role in providing members with an opportunity to discuss what their group or agency are working on, their restraints and opportunities and it has done much to assist with interagency working relations. This forum is brought together and co-ordinated by the Heritage Office. Joint community/agency projects have proven to be an efficient and cost effective way to work. 

Creative Ireland  - culture and creativity in Offaly

Creative Ireland is the Government's Legacy Programme for Ireland 2016 - a multi annual initiative from 2017-22 which places creativity at the centre of public policy. The aim is to bring an enhanced level of coordination, focus and leadership to existing policies and initiatives across all sectors.  In May the Offaly Culture and Creativity Plan 2017 plan was launched. The Offaly Culture and Creativity Plan for 2018-22 will be prepared in the second half of the year. The time for submissions is now closed (6th Oct 2017)  and a draft plan is being prepared for Council.