Historic photos of Offaly in times gone by

A busy day at the Pig Fair in Edenderry, a street scene, Tullamore, a group picnic at Clonmacnoise and a military camp in Birr are just some of the photographs of Offaly digitised and freely available online from the National Library of Ireland (NLI).

ABOVE: A Cattle Fair in Edenderry, photographed by Robert French between 1865-1914. Reproduced courtesy of the National Library of Ireland.

As part of a new initiative entitled ‘Around the Island’, the Library is inviting Offaly people, and everyone with an interest in the county, to explore these images and others from home. ‘Around the Island’ encourages people across the island of Ireland to connect and reconnect with their counties and their history by accessing local photographs that are readily available through the Library’s rich and varied online collections.

See more details on the collection and watch a video HERE

Here's a sample of some of the Offaly photographs available.

Ines Donoghue and child at their home in Banagher, October 14 1959. Reproduced courtesy of the National Library of Ireland.
Old Bridge, Birr, c. 1901-1914. The bridge dates back to the 17th century. Reproduced courtesy of the National Library of Ireland.
A military camp with serried lines of bell tents inside/outside a military base in Birr, c. 1865-1908. Reproduced courtesy of the National Library of Ireland.
Ireland had the world's largest telescope from 1845 until 1917. Built on the grounds of Birr Castle, the telescope was known as the 'Rosses' or 'Leviathan'. It was 58 feet long and was suspended between two 15m walls. Photo taken around 1885. Reproduced courtesy of the National Library of Ireland.
A busy day at the Pig Fair in Edenderry, c. 1910. Reproduced courtesy of the National Library of Ireland.
CIÉ truck loading material into a train wagon at Tullamore, 14 October 1959. Reproduced courtesy of the National Library of Ireland.
Birr Castle, located in the town of Birr. There has been a castle on the site since 1170. Photograph taken sometime between 1865-1914. Reproduced courtesy of the National Library of Ireland.
A group picnic at Clonmacnoise, photo taken between 1880-1900. Reproduced courtesy of the National Library of Ireland.
A Cattle Fair in Edenderry, photographed by Robert French between 1865-1914. Reproduced courtesy of the National Library of Ireland.
Street scene, Tullamore, May 18 1961.Reproduced courtesy of the National Library of Ireland.
Presentation Schools, Birr, photo taken between 1865-1914 by Robert French. Reproduced courtesy of the National Library of Ireland.
Mrs McGuirk and her father in Birr, April 27 1961. Reproduced courtesy of the National Library of Ireland.
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