Cumann Seanchais Ard Mhacha, the Armagh Diocesan Historical Society, was founded at a meeting of clergy and laity representatives of all parts of the Archdiocese of Armagh on 17 May 1953. Tomás Ó Fiaich was a central figure as he edited the first issue of the journal Seanchas Ard Mhacha which appeared in 1954 and remained editor until 1977 when he became Archbishop of Armagh.
Under the original constitution of the Society it is ‘to promote the advancement of education of the public by the study of history, both ecclesiastical and secular, of the Archdiocese of Armagh’. In order to do this the Society publishes an annual historical journal, holds monthly lectures in the Cardinal Ó Fiaich Library & Archive in Armagh between September and June, cooperates with other local historical societies and organises regular trips to local and international sites of interest.
The Society has, from its beginnings, happily enjoyed the patronage of both Archbishops of Armagh and is open to anyone to become amember on paying an annual subscription. This entitles members to receive a copy of the journal and free admission to the lectures.
The Committee of the Society is elected at its AGM, normally held in May, and the current officers, appointed by the Committee are as follows:
- President: Fr John Bradley, Dungannon
- Chairperson: Monsignor Réamonn Ó Muirí, Ard Mhacha
- Secretary: Dr Charlie Dillon, Blackwatertown
- Registrar: Ms Aileen Oates, Armagh
- Treasurer: Dr Neil McGleenon, Markethill
- Publications Officer: Mr Damian Woods, Dungannon
- Editor: Dr Eoin Magennis, Warrenpoint