Place:County Offaly, Republic of Ireland

NameCounty Offaly
Alt namesUíbh Fhailísource: (Irish)
Contae Uíbh Fhailísource: (Irish)
Offalysource: and Getty Vocabulary Program (English)
Co. Offaly
King'ssource: Family History Library Catalog
King's Countysource: Canby, Historic Places (1984) II, 682
Ua bhFailghesource: Canby, Historic Places (1984) II, 682
Uibh Fhailaísource: Encyclopædia Britannica (1988) VII, 881
Coordinates53.333°N 7.5°W
Located inRepublic of Ireland     (1922 - )
Also located inIreland     (1556 - 1922)
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

County Offaly is a county in Ireland. It is part of the Eastern and Midland Region and the province of Leinster. It is named after the ancient Kingdom of Uí Failghe. It was formerly known as King's County, in honour of Philip II of Spain. Offaly County Council is the local authority for the county. The county population was 77,961 at the 2016 census.[1]


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

One of the earliest known settlements in County Offaly is at Boora Bog which dates back to the Mesolithic era. Excavations here provide evidence of a temporary settlement as no structures were found at the site. Stone axes, arrow heads and blades were discovered which date to between 6,800 – 6,000 BCE.

The Dowris Hoard dating from the Late Bronze Age was found in a bog at Dowris, Whigsborough near Birr. It is the largest collection of Bronze Age objects ever found in Ireland.

After Christianisation, the monastic complex of Clonmacnoise was erected at the River Shannon near Shannonbridge. It is today a significant tourist destination.

The county itself was formed following the Tudor plantations of Laois and Offaly in an attempt by the English Crown to expand its sphere of influence in Ireland which had declined following the Norman Conquest of Ireland. Both Laois (Leix) and Offaly (Uí Failghe) were petty kingdoms in Gaelic Ireland located just outside the Pale (a region around Dublin and the mid east of Ireland that remained loyal to the English Crown following the Norman Conquest). The older kingdoms of Leix and Uí Failghe are not coterminous with the present day counties that were formed. The Kingdom of Uí Failghe, from which the name Offaly is derived, was ruled by the Ó Conchobhair Failghe (anglicised as: O'Conor Faly) whose territory extended from the east of the county into north Kildare. The Kingdom of Firceall ruled by the O'Molloy clan constituted much of the centre of the county. The Kingdom of Firceall was part of the Kingdom of Meath while Uí Failghe was part of the Kingdom of Leinster. Much of the south of the present day county (as well as northern County Tipperary) was ruled by Ó Cearbhaill of Éile (anglicised as: O'Carroll Ely). Ely formed part of the Kingdom of Munster. These petty kingdoms were swept aside by the Tudor plantations. In 1556, an Act of the Parliament of Ireland created "King's County", named after Philip, the then king of Ireland. This replaced the old Kingdoms with Baronies and the present day County System.

Despite the county's name being upheld as Offaly through the 2001 Local Government Act, no legislation was ever enacted after independence explicitly changing the name from King's County, the name formally established under the 1898 Local Government Act which continued to have legal effect. Legal transfers and assignments of land in the county still refer to it as "King's County".

For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article County Offaly. especially the section "Geography and political subdivisions" and its subsections "Towns and villages" and "Baronies"

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