Roots: Clan Gatherings
By Adam Farley, Editorial Assistant
February / March 2013
Clans are getting together this year. The following Clan Gatherings are an easy way to experience The Gathering while rooting yourself in a shared clan history. Plus, it’s a great excuse to skip over to Ireland and connect with people around the world who share your name, your mother’s name, or even your mother’s father’s grandmother’s name.
To find a comprehensive listing of the 2013 Irish clan gatherings, visit thegatheringireland.com/view-gatherings. Many are still being planned based on input and interest generated, so if you are at all intrigued, be sure to let the clan organizers know through the site. If you don’t see your clan here or on the website, it’s not too late to plan your own.
The first of the major clan gatherings is the International Gathering of the O’Neill Clans, promising walking tours of Armagh, a visit to the Hill of the O’Neill in Dungannon, and a final day in Dublin. Partnering with Brack Tours to ease the cost of traveling internationally, this is an exclusive opportunity for O’Neills to head abroad for a long weekend. Dungannon, Co. Tyrone; Armagh; Dublin.
May 30-June 4
The Power Clan Gathering and the Power Clan Battles converge in Co. Waterford. Be part of the worldwide Power DNA project or join in the Power clan’s reenactment of the battle to take Waterford City. With guided tours of the Power clan strongholds including the Power clan’s ancestral home Dunhill Castle. Once again it seems, out of that house will all the Powers of Ireland descend. Dunhill Castle, Dunhill, Co. Waterford.
June 21-22; July 20
The Home of the First McGraths is explored twice in 2013. IslandMcGrath House in Co. Clare, built from the stone of McGrath Castle, is the ancestral home of the McGraths and was their primary stronghold for over 500 years. Tours will show the importance of the clan in the history of ancient Ireland. Lunch will be provided. IslandMcGrath House, Clarecastle, Co. Clare.
June 28-July 2
Abbey Tours hosts the Fitzgerald Clan Gathering on an eight-day exclusive coach tour titled “Chronicles of the Fitzgerald Clan,” detailing Ireland’s Fitzgerald history. Also included are three genealogy workshops and personal help for those who want to do more research on their own. Begins in Dublin, ends at Desmond Fitzgerald Castle, Adare, Co. Limerick. A shorter Fitzgerald Gathering tour is also available.
The O’Sullivan Glengarriff Gathering promises to be a spectacle. As O’Sullivan is the third most common Irish name, the crowd itself might be worth the trip. Glengarriff, Co. Cork.
You might even see Pierce at the Brosnan Clan Gathering in Castleisland. Taking place during the East Kerry Roots Festival, the Brosnan clan is set to reclaim its ancient influence over the Brosna area (from which we get Brosnan) with walks, talks, and organized workshops. Castleisland, Co. Kerry.
The International Ryan Gathering 2013 seeks to bring together all 428 variations of the “Ryan” name from across the world, and explore the reasons for these divergences through a heritage project. With gallery exhibitions, comedy and music shows, walking tours of the Rock of Cashel and Holycross Abbey, and a designated “fun day,” the Ryan gathering may have the most diverse schedule of the year. The Source Arts Center, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.
A guided coach tour through O’Donnell territory in County Donegal, the O’Donnell Clan Gathering 2013 lets you see all of the northernmost county in the country. Includes a talk titled, “The O’Donnell Family from 1607 to the Present.” Begins at the Central Hotel, Donegal, Co. Donegal.
All variants of the name are welcome at the MacCormaic Clan Gathering. With over 170,000 of you out there, this event might have been cause for kings to worry in other times. As the oldest documented clan name, dating back over 2,000 years, it’s no wonder the MacCormaic diaspora is so large. Dublin Street, Kildare, Co. Kildare.
Elect and inaugurate your new Clan Chieftain at the Reilly/O’Reilly International Clan Gathering. One of the most unique experiences you’ll have as an O’Reilly clan member, you won’t want to miss this opportunity to participate in the ancient tradition of your ancestors. Talks and tours also included. Cavan, Co. Cavan.
If you’d like to see your clan gathering listed in Irish America, comment below.