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National Ploughing Championships, County Offaly

For Americans, this event feels like a very large county fair or 4H show. Mostly related to farming but they have activities for the whole family. My mom and I went at the suggestion of a relative we had never met who was a farmer and saw things we had never seen before! The things […]

The Round House and Walking the Grand Canal: Tullamore, Co Offaly

The Round House at Boland’s Lock is one of the grandest lock keepers homes on the canal. When architect Michael Hayes submitted his bill to the Grand Canal directors in 1800, they refused to pay the bill due to its “extraordinary and unnecessary” extras… all details that make it even more interesting today. The Grand […]

Visiting Clonmacnoise: Clonmacnoise, Co Offally

If you think of High Crosses and Round Towers when you picture Ireland, a visit to Clonmacnoise in County Offaly should probably be part of your itinerary. Once a center of learning, religion and trade, Clonmacnoise sat at the junction of Ireland’s north/south and east/west trade routes. Founded by Saint Ciarán in the 6th century, you’ll find […]

Art, History and Room to Roam at Lough Boora Parklands: Leabeg, Co Offaly

This low lying bog area was once a major peat mining operation. But once the peat was cutaway, the land wasn’t left fallow. Instead a group formed and created an inviting parkland for everyone to enjoy. Lough Boora Parklands in County Offaly offer plenty of outdoor activities from cycling (bikes are available for rent) to […]

Scientific Ireland at Birr Castle: Birr, Co. Offaly

It’s not often that you find a mix of everything that makes Ireland magical in one spot, but that is exactly what you find at Birr Castle Demense. Historic castle- with aristocratic family still in residence. Check. Scenic parklands.  Check. Magnificent gardens.  Check. World changing scientific discoveries. What?  Not what you think of when you imagine Ireland? […]

Killeigh Holy Well and Rag Tree: Killeigh, Co Offaly

Among the “seven blessed wells of Killeigh, this dry stone wall channels water from a natural spring. Water from this well is said to heal eye ailments. An nearby abbey was founded St Senchell the Elder whose feast day is celebrated on March 26th. There is also an active rag tree on the site. The […]

The Good Samaritan Bog Sculpture: Belmont, Co Offaly

The tiny village of Belmont features a sculpture at its crossroads called The Good Samaritan. It is made from pieces of 1,000 year old bog oak recovered from a Midlands bog and commemorates the town’s placement on the pilgrimage route between Clonmacnoise and Tisaran. Celtic Roots Studio: Bog Oak Sculpture

The Pietà that Was Buried in the Bog: Kilcormac, Co Offaly

At first glance, the Pietà in the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Kilcormac looks like an ordinary religious statue, but this one has a back story. The 16th century sculpture was carved from a single piece of oak and placed in a church about a mile from Kilcormac. When word arrived […]

Barack Obama’s Ancestral Home: Moneygall, Co Offaly

Several sites connected to the Barack Obama’s Kearney relative’s remain near Moneygall. The site of the Kearney home is located on the main street in town and a plaque commemorating Obama appears nearby. Official Site: Irish Fireside: The Story of Barack Obama’s Roots Honoring Your Ancestors: President Barack Obama’s Roots Podcast: Discovering Your Irish […]

Barack Obama Ancestral Cemetery: Cullenwaine, Co Offaly

Several sites connected to the Barack Obama’s Kearney relative’s remain near Moneygall. It is believed the Kearney’s would have been buried in Cullenwaine Cemetery, but no visible headstones remain. Archaeological research could uncover stones buried beneath the surface. This 1800s School House on the main street in Moneygall likely served as a school for the […]

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