After a scheme developed by the Gaelic Athletic Association in the 1970s to encourage the playing of hurling in non-traditional counties, Offaly was one of the first teams to benefit from such a scheme. As a result the county won six Leinster titles in the 1980s, as well as their first All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship in 1981 and 1985.
The county has since gone on to win three other All-Irelands. Perhaps Offaly's most famous win came in the All-Ireland Final of 1994 in what has come to be remembered as the "five minute final." Limerick looked set to win their first All-Ireland title since 1973 until Offaly staged one of the greatest comebacks of all time, scoring two goals and five points in the last five minutes. They defeated Limerick by 3-16 to 2-13. The Vocational Schools team has made it to 12 All-Ireland Vocational Schools Championship finals but have never won one.
Gaelic football is the weaker of the two sports played in Offaly. Perhaps the most famous moment in Gaelic football history came in the 1982 All-Ireland Final when Offaly played Kerry. The match was a repeat of the previous year's final, however, not only that but a win for Kerry would give them an unprecedented fifth All-Ireland Final victory in a row. Kerry were winning by two points with two minutes to go when Séamus Darby came on as a substitute and scored one of the most famous goals in Gaelic football of all time. Kerry fumbled the counterattack which allowed Offaly to win by one single point with a score of 1-15 to 0-17. The Offaly Vocational Schools Team have made it to 6 All Ireland finals but lost all 6 including the first final when they were beating by the Cork City team in 1961
Nine Offaly camogie clubs were organised in the 1930s and Offaly entered the Leinster championships of 1935 and 1936, but the game declined amid the Camogie Association disputes of the 1940s and had to be revived by Clare-born Mary O’Brien in 1973, and a county board re-formed in 1979. Offaly won their first major national titles in 2002 when they won the second division of the National Camogie League and in 2009 when they defeated Waterford in the All Ireland junior final. Drumcullen reached the final of the All Ireland club junior championship in 2003. Kinnity owon the Division 3 shield at Féile na nGael in 1997, Drumcullen won the Coiste Chontae an Chláir Shield in 1997.