Video of Tullamore, County Offaly, Republic of Ireland
Tullamore (Irish: Tulach Mhór, meaning "great mound") is a town in County Offaly,
in the midlands of Ireland. It is Offaly's county town and the centre of the county.
Tullamore was designated a 'gateway' town in late 2003 by the Irish Government, making
it eligible for increased infrastructural investment. The town was bestowed a bronze
medal in the government's National Tidy Towns Competition in 2004.
Tullamore was part of the first English plantation of Offaly in the 1570s. In 1785
the town was seriously damaged when the crash of a hot air balloon 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 rising from the ashes. The event is
yearly commemorated by the Phoenix festival which celebrates Tullamore's resurrection
from the ashes following the 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
The Grand Canal linked Tullamore to Dublin in 1798. During the Napoleonic Wars, a
clash between troops of the King's German Legion 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 of County Offaly in 1835, replacing Daingean.
The town's most famous export is Tullamore Dew - an Irish whiskey formerly distilled
by Tullamore Distillery - that can be traced back to 1829. The distillery shut in
the 1950s but its traces are still visible in the town. Tullamore Dew is now produced
by William Grant & Sons in Midleton, County Cork, but the owners have announced plan
to invest in a new pot still whiskey and malt whiskey distillery, bringing whiskey
production back to the town.
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 holds many events including - Hot Air Balloons, Sky Diving, Live Outdoor
Concerts, Street Entertainment, Fire Parade, Fireworks and much more.
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.