Tullamore is a town in County Offaly
County Offaly
County Offaly is a county in Ireland. It is part of the Midlands Region and is also located in the province of Leinster. It is named after the ancient Kingdom of Uí Failghe and was formerly known as King's County until the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922. Offaly County Council is...

, in the midlands of Ireland
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

. It is Offaly's county town
County town
A county town is a county's administrative centre in the United Kingdom or Ireland. County towns are usually the location of administrative or judicial functions, or established over time as the de facto main town of a county. The concept of a county town eventually became detached from its...

 and the centre of the district.
Tullamore is an important commercial and industrial centre in the region. Major international employers in the town include 'Tyco Healthcare' and 'Boston Scientific'. In 2004, Tullamore Retail Park was formed. It includes outlets such as a Tesco Extra supermarket, DID electrical, Argos Extra, Burger King, Heatons (including sports world),Woodies DIY and Petmania.

The town is home to the Midland Area offices of the Health Service Executive
Health Service Executive
The Health Service Executive is responsible for the provision of healthcare providing health and personal social services for everyone living in Ireland, with public funds. The Executive was established by the Health Act, 2004 and came into official operation on January 1, 2005...

 and its Midland Regional Hospital, which together employ over 1,000 people. A new hospital is currently under a phased opening process. Midland Regional Hospital is a 215 bed HSE hospital and provides inpatient services and also provides to patients in an outpatient or day case basis. Specialties covered include Accident and Emergency, Anaesthetics, Cardiology, General Medicine, General Surgery, Gynaecology, Intensive Care, Obstetrics, Paediatric Anaesthetics, Paediatrics, Pain Relief, Pathology

Tullamore was designated a 'gateway' town in late 2003 by the Irish Government
Irish Government
The Government of Ireland is the cabinet that exercises executive authority in Ireland.-Members of the Government:Membership of the Government is regulated fundamentally by the Constitution of Ireland. The Government is headed by a prime minister called the Taoiseach...

, making it eligible for increased infrastructural investment. The town and its community received a bronze medal in the Government's National Tidy Towns Competition in 2004 and also played host to the 'World Sheep Dog Trials' in 2005 which attracted international interest in the region. The Tullamore Show is held near the town every year.

The town's most famous export is Tullamore Dew
Tullamore Dew
Tullamore Dew is a blended Irish whiskey. It was originally a pot still whiskey, first distilled in 1829 in the small town of Tullamore, County Offaly, Ireland. The name derives from the initials of an early manager of the concern, Mr. Daniel E. Williams: D.E.W. Tullamore Dew is the second...

- an Irish whiskey
Irish whiskey
Irish whiskey is whiskey made in Ireland.Key regulations defining Irish whiskey and its production are established by the Irish Whiskey Act of 1980, and are relatively simple...

 previously distilled by Tullamore Distillery - that can be traced back to 1829. The distillery closed in the 1950s but its traces are still visible in the town. Tullamore Dew is now produced by Irish Distillers
Irish Distillers
Irish Distillers is a subsidiary of the French drinks conglomerate Pernod-Ricard S.A.. It was acquired in 1988 in a friendly takeover.-History:...

 in Midleton
Midleton, historically Middleton , is a town in south-eastern County Cork, Ireland. It lies some 22 km east of Cork City on the Owenacurra River and the N25 road, which connects Cork to the port of Rosslare...

, County Cork
County Cork
County Cork is a county in Ireland. It is located in the South-West Region and is also part of the province of Munster. It is named after the city of Cork . Cork County Council is the local authority for the county...

, and marketed by Cantrell & Cochrane.


Tullamore was part of the first English
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

Plantation (settlement or colony)
Plantation was an early method of colonization in which settlers were "planted" abroad in order to establish a permanent or semi-permanent colonial base. Such plantations were also frequently intended to promote Western culture and Christianity among nearby indigenous peoples, as can be seen in the...

 of Offaly in the 1570s. In 1785 the town was seriously damaged when the crash of a hot air balloon
Hot air balloon
The hot air balloon is the oldest successful human-carrying flight technology. It is in a class of aircraft known as balloon aircraft. On November 21, 1783, in Paris, France, the first untethered manned flight was made by Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and François Laurent d'Arlandes in a hot air...

 resulted in a fire that burned down as many as 130 homes, giving the town the distinction of being the location of the world's first known aviation disaster.

To this day, the town shield depicts a phoenix
Phoenix (mythology)
The phoenix or phenix is a mythical sacred firebird that can be found in the mythologies of the Arabian, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Chinese, Indian and Phoenicians....

 rising from the ashes.

The Grand Canal
Grand Canal of Ireland
The Grand Canal is the southernmost of a pair of canals that connect Dublin, in the east of Ireland, with the River Shannon in the west,via Tullamore and a number of other villages and towns, the two canals nearly encircling Dublin's inner city. Its sister canal on the Northside of Dublin is the...

 linked Tullamore to Dublin in 1798. During the Napoleonic Wars, a clash between troops of the King's German Legion
King's German Legion
The King's German Legion was a British Army unit of expatriate German personnel, 1803–16. The Legion achieved the distinction of being the only German force to fight without interruption against the French during the Napoleonic Wars....

 and a regiment of British Light Infantry who were both stationed in the town, became known as the battle of Tullamore. Tullamore became county town
County town
A county town is a county's administrative centre in the United Kingdom or Ireland. County towns are usually the location of administrative or judicial functions, or established over time as the de facto main town of a county. The concept of a county town eventually became detached from its...

 of County Offaly
County Offaly
County Offaly is a county in Ireland. It is part of the Midlands Region and is also located in the province of Leinster. It is named after the ancient Kingdom of Uí Failghe and was formerly known as King's County until the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922. Offaly County Council is...

 in 1835, replacing Daingean
Daingean , formerly Philipstown, is a small town in east County Offaly, Ireland. It is situated midway between the towns of Tullamore and Edenderry on the R402 regional road. The town or townland of Daingean has a population of 777 while the District Electoral Division has a total population of...



The Tullamore Phoenix Festival is an annual celebration of extreme, arts, culture and heritage was first held in August 2000. Thursday 17th to Sunday 20 July 2008. The festival celebrates Tullamore's resurrection from the ashes following a hot air balloon accident in which part of the town centre was destroyed by a wayward balloon on May 10, 1785 - it is recognised as the world's first aviation disaster. The festival holds many events including - Hot Air Balloons, Sky Diving, Live Outdoor Concerts, Street Entertainment, Fire Parade, Fireworks and much more.

The Queen of the Land Festival takes place in Tullamore each year on the third weekend in November. Primarily a personality contest it seeks to find the best examples of a modern Irish woman. It is organised by Offaly Macra Na Feirme. Each year about 25 girls between the age of 17 and 35 compete to be crowned Queen of the Land. The festival provides a host of entertainment throughout the town over the weekend, primarily at night.

An annual Livestock show takes place in August every year. It has grown considerably over the past number of years and is now the largest one day show in the country. It was cancelled in 07 and 08 due to heavy rain, though it did run again in 2009 .

The national Fleadh Ceoil was held in Tullamore for the very first time in August 2007. It returned in 2008, and returned for a third time from 21-23 Aug 2009.

Places of interest

The Tullamore Dew Heritage Centre on the banks of the Grand Canal focuses on the distilling, canal and urban history of the town. Audio visual and self guided tours are available daily.

Charleville Estate is located on the edge of the town. One of Ireland’s most splendid Gothic buildings, Charleville Castle, stands in this parkland setting which contains the King Oak, one of the biggest and oldest oak trees in the country. The castle is said to be haunted and was featured on series 1 of Living TV's Most Haunted. The oak woodland is botanically an important survivor of primeval stock. The park was the location of the annual Tullamore Agricultural Show. However following the cancellation of the show for two consecutive years due to heavy rainfall the event was moved to a new location with improved drainage in the Blueball area, south of the town.

Tullamore is an ideal base for discovering the Slieve Bloom Mountains
Slieve Bloom Mountains
Situated close to the geographical centre of Ireland The Slieve Bloom Mountains rise from the central plain of Ireland to a height of 527 metres. While not very high, they are extensive by local standards...

 to the south of the county. The 'Slieve Bloom' mountains have many beautiful walking and cycling trails as well as excellent picnic areas with some panoramic views of the surrounding lowlands.

Just south of Tullamore are the unique 'Lough Boora' parklands. The boglands are a landscape for a wide range of flora and fauna. The magnificent wetlands and wildlife wilderness of Lough Boora now host some of the most innovative land and environmental sculpture
Environmental sculpture
The term environmental sculpture is variously defined. A development of the art of the 20th century, environmental sculpture usually creates or alters the environment for the viewer, as opposed to presenting itself figurally or monumentally before the viewer...

s in Ireland. The artists, inspired by the rich natural and industrial legacy of the boglands, have created a series of large-scale sculptures that are now part of the Parklands permanent collection.

10 km west of Tullamore is the village of Rahan
Rahan, County Offaly
Rahan is a parish/village, associated with Mochuda , which is located on the banks of the river Clodagh approximately 5 miles from Tullamore, in County Offaly, Ireland.St...

. The remains of a what was once a large monastery settlement founded by St.Carthage or Mochuda in the 6th century, can be seen in the village.

Within 5 minutes' drive is the Celtic cross
Celtic cross
A Celtic cross is a symbol that combines a cross with a ring surrounding the intersection. In the Celtic Christian world it was combined with the Christian cross and this design was often used for high crosses – a free-standing cross made of stone and often richly decorated...

 of Durrow. In the middle of the 6th century a monastery was founded here by St Colomba. The monastery is famous for an illuminated manuscript, written here in the 7th century, known as the Book of Durrow
Book of Durrow
The Book of Durrow is a 7th-century illuminated manuscript gospel book in the Insular style. It was probably created between 650 and 700, in Northumbria in Northern England, where Lindisfarne or Durham would be the likely candidates, or on the island of Iona in the Scottish Inner Hebrides...


There are four metal sculptures located on the N52 Tullamore bypass funded under the percentage for arts scheme where 1% of the budget is allocated to roadside art. Sculptor Maurice Harron
Maurice Harron
Maurice Harron is a sculptor, born in 1946 in Derry, Northern Ireland, where he grew up. He studied sculpture at the Ulster College of Art and Design in Belfast....

  created the figures presenting symbols of learning and sanctity. From the north the 1st figure holds up a chalice
A chalice is a goblet or footed cup intended to hold a drink. This can also refer to;* Holy Chalice, the vessel which Jesus used at the Last Supper to serve the wine* Chalice , a type of smoking pipe...

, the 2nd a book
A book is a set or collection of written, printed, illustrated, or blank sheets, made of hot lava, paper, parchment, or other materials, usually fastened together to hinge at one side. A single sheet within a book is called a leaf or leaflet, and each side of a leaf is called a page...

, the 3rd a crosier
A crosier is the stylized staff of office carried by high-ranking Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, and some Lutheran and Pentecostal prelates...

 and the 4th shows the release of a flock of birds representing souls. The figures are located on esker
An esker is a long winding ridge of stratified sand and gravel, examples of which occur in glaciated and formerly glaciated regions of Europe and North America...

 ridges that the new roadway cuts through.


From 1975 until 24 March 2008 Tullamore was the home of RTÉ Radio 1
RTÉ Radio 1
RTÉ Radio 1 is the principal radio channel of Irish public-service broadcaster Raidió Teilifís Éireann and is the direct descendant of Dublin radio station 2RN, which began broadcasting on a regular basis on 1 January 1926...

's principal medium-wave transmitter
Tullamore transmitter
The Tullamore transmitter was an AM radio transmission mast located near Tullamore, Ireland. Built in 1975 to replace the Athlone transmitter, it always carried RTÉ Radio 1 on 567 kHz, at 500kW...

, broadcasting the AM version of Radio 1 on 567 kHz, at a power of 500 kW. Before this, the main transmission centre had been sited near Athlone. Tullamore is also home to the headquarters
Headquarters denotes the location where most, if not all, of the important functions of an organization are coordinated. In the United States, the corporate headquarters represents the entity at the center or the top of a corporation taking full responsibility managing all business activities...

 of Midlands 103
Midlands 103
Midlands 103 is an Irish local radio station broadcasting to Laois, Offaly and Westmeath.The station's headquarters is in Tullamore, and it also has studios in Athlone, Mullingar, and Portlaoise.- Presenters :*Aidan Barry...

. It hosts a number of local newspapers including The Tullamore Tribune and The Offaly Topic.


The population of Tullamore (and its environs) has risen by 28.8% from 1996 to 2006 from 10,029 to 12,927.


Tullamore railway station
Tullamore railway station
Tullamore railway station serves the town of Tullamore in County Offaly, Ireland.The station first opened in Tullamore on 2 October 1854.- Awards :*2004 - 2nd Prize - Intercity Stations Category*2003 - 2nd Prize - Intercity Stations Category...

, first opened on 2 October 1854, is served by trains on the Dublin-Galway and Dublin-Westport/Ballina inter-city routes.
  • Transport 21
    Transport 21
    Transport 21 is an Irish infrastructure plan, announced in November 2005. It aims to greatly expand Ireland's transport network. A cost estimate of €34 billion was attached to the plan at the time....

  • Rail Users Ireland
  • National Development Plan
    National Development Plan
    National Development Plan is the title given by the Irish Government to a scheme of organised large-scale expenditure on national infrastructure. The period covered by the seven year plan runs from 2000 to 2006. A second National Development Plan is currently in progress and is due to run until...

In association with the County Westmeath
County Westmeath
-Economy:Westmeath has a strong agricultural economy. Initially, development occurred around the major market centres of Mullingar, Moate, and Kinnegad. Athlone developed due to its military significance, and its strategic location on the main Dublin–Galway route across the River Shannon. Mullingar...

 urban centres, Athlone and Mullingar
Mullingar is the county town of County Westmeath in Ireland. The Counties of Meath and Westmeath Act of 1542, proclaimed Westmeath a county, separating it from Meath. Mullingar became the administrative centre for County Westmeath...

, Tullamore forms part of what is known as the Midlands Gateway
Midlands Gateway
-Midlands Gateway or Lake-Counties Gateway:Centered between the major Irish airports, of Dublin, Shannon, and Knock, with ever improving ground infrastructure, the Irish government and local authorities plan to alleviate urban problems, by decentralising to growing gateways such as the Midlands...


The Tullamore bypass
Bypass (road)
A bypass is a road or highway that avoids or "bypasses" a built-up area, town, or village, to let through traffic flow without interference from local traffic, to reduce congestion in the built-up area, and to improve road safety....

 is a new 14 km (8.7 mi) single carriageway upgrade to the N52 national secondary road
National secondary road
A national secondary road is a category of road in Ireland. These roads form an important part of the national route network, but are secondary to the main arterial routes which are classified as national primary roads. National secondary roads are designated with route numbers higher than those...

. The route leaves the previous N52 approximately 6 km (3.7 mi) southwest of Tullamore town, intersecting with the N80 road, crossing over the Grand Canal
Grand Canal of Ireland
The Grand Canal is the southernmost of a pair of canals that connect Dublin, in the east of Ireland, with the River Shannon in the west,via Tullamore and a number of other villages and towns, the two canals nearly encircling Dublin's inner city. Its sister canal on the Northside of Dublin is the...

, before rejoining the N52 again 3 km (1.9 mi) north of the town. A spur has been constructed from the northern section of the route to the Tullamore Western Relief Road R443
R443 road
The R443 road is a regional road in Ireland, which forms the northern and western part of an Orbital route around the town of Tullamore. The southern and eastern part is formed by the N52 Tullamore bypass. The R443 commences at a roundabout junction with the N52/N80...

  resulting in the creation of an almost-full orbital route around Tullamore. The N80 now terminates at its junction with the N52. The scheme began construction in April 2008, and it was officially opened in late 2009 by an Taoiseach, Brian Cowen.


Notable current and former residents of Tullamore include:
  • Gerald Gardner
    Gerald Gardner (mathematician)
    Gerald Henry Frazier Gardner was an American mathematician, geophysicist and social activist whose statistical analysis led to the banning of classified advertising segregated by gender in a 1973 ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States in the case Pittsburgh Press Co. v. Pittsburgh...

     (1922–2009), geophysicist
    Geophysics is the physics of the Earth and its environment in space; also the study of the Earth using quantitative physical methods. The term geophysics sometimes refers only to the geological applications: Earth's shape; its gravitational and magnetic fields; its internal structure and...

     and social activist whose statistical analysis led to the banning of classified advertising
    Classified advertising
    Classified advertising is a form of advertising which is particularly common in newspapers, online and other periodicals which may be sold or distributed free of charge...

     segregated by gender in a 1973 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court
    Supreme Court of the United States
    The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

  • Brian Cowen
    Brian Cowen
    Brian Cowen is a former Irish politician who served as Taoiseach of Ireland from 7 May 2008 to 9 March 2011. He was head of a coalition government led by Fianna Fáil which until 23 January 2011 had the support of the Green Party and independent TDs.Cowen was also leader of Fianna Fáil from 7 May...

    , Former local TD and Irish Taoiseach (2008-2011)

See also

  • List of towns and villages in Ireland
  • Market Houses in Ireland
    Market Houses in the Republic of Ireland
    Market houses are a notable feature of many Irish towns with varying styles of architecture, size and ornamentation making for a most interesting feature of the streetscape. Originally there were three, four or even five bays on the ground floor which were an open arcade. An upper floor was...

External links

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