A love of Tuam and a deep interest in local history led a group of Tuam people to come together in 1942 to preserve the town’s illustrious history and to foster and promote that knowledge of the town's illustrious past. The new society was open to “all those who are interested in its aims, namely the preservation and study of the antiquities of Tuam and district.”
The Old Tuam Society was formed after a talk on "The Old Churches of Tuam", given by Dr. Tom Costello in July 1942. The main objectives of the Society were set out as:
a) To preserve and study the antiquities of Tuam and the surrounding district.
b) To collect and preserve items of local and historical interest.
The Society, had at that time 75 active members; with an annual subscription of 6d. His Grace, Most Rev. Dr. Joseph Walsh, Archbishop of Tuam, one of the first members, kindly consented to act as Patron.
Under the direction of the Society, a survey of local antiquities was taken, a great many of which were found to be in a dilapidated condition, while the sites of others were virtually unknown. It was therefore decided, that when funds were available, the Society should place plaques, with informative inscriptions, at historic sites of importance.
On 6th June, 1943 (Feast day of Tuam’s patron saint, St. Jarlath), the first excursion of the Society occurred. A pilgrimage was organised, led by Archbishop Walsh, to the site of the ancient well of St. Jarlath, (Toberjarlath), the well having been closed for over a hundred years. A suitably inscribed slab was unveiled by His Grace, before a large gathering. At various places of local historic interest, en route, the inaugural President of the Society, Dr. T.B. Costello M.R.I.A. (“Doctor Tom”), gave a short talk.
Others projects undertaken by the fledgling society included having the graveyard at Temple Jarlath, cleaned up. As well as encouraging the local authority to repair the surrounding wall.
The Society is governed by a committee consisting of ~12 Members elected annually at the Annual General Meeting in January. All administrative positions in the Society are honorary and voluntary.
OTS Officers and Committee 2019
President: Anne Tierney
Secretary: Denny Hannon
Treasurer: Ruairí Ó hAodha
Ruairí Ó hAodha
Ruairí Ó hAodha
JOTS Editorial Committee
Ruairí Ó hAodha (Editor)