International Mannion Clan Gathering 2017

Mannion gathering 2017

The fourth annual Gathering of the Mannion Clan took place on the weekend of Friday 18 and Saturday 19 August in the historic village of Menlough in East Galway. The event began with the formal unveiling on Friday evening of new welcome name stones on the approach roads to the village by Councillor Eileen Mannion, Cathaoirleach of Galway County Council.

Councillor Mannion’s officiating role was all the more significant given the fact that the medieval forerunner of the modern village was founded in late medieval times by her Ó Mainnín ancestors. This was where they erected their principal castle, which gave the village its Irish-language name Mionlach Uí Mhainnín, ‘the small lough of the Mannions’.

Members of the Mannion Clan from at home and overseas gathered for this historic occasion, as did many from the local community in the Menlough area, who have enthusiastically embraced the history and heritage of their picturesque rural village.

The unveiling ceremony was followed by the official opening of the 2017 International Mannion Clan Gathering in Thompson’s Lounge Bar by Galway County Heritage Officer, Marie Mannion. Marie highlighted the importance of the occasion in the annals of the Mannion Clan, and also in the broader context of promoting the rich history and cultural heritage of East Galway.

Afterwards, Clan historian Dr Joe Mannion gave a presentation on the early roots and royal ancestry of the Mannion Clan in ancient times, before genetic genealogist Martin Curley reported on the progress being made with the Mannion DNA Project, launched at the 2016 Gathering of the Clan in Abbeyknockmoy.

Music and refreshments followed the talks and the attendees mixed and mingled, renewing old acquaintances and making new ones, while sharing stories and recounting the intriguing history of their mutual Ó Mainnín forebears.

Many of the Clan assembled once again on Saturday afternoon in the car park of Mannion’s Bar in Abbeyknockmoy, for a guided tour of The Mannion Clan Historical Trail led by Dr Joe Mannion and archaeologist Dr Mags Mannion. After an introductory talk on the ancient Lughnasa assembly site of Knockroe, the remains of Killaclogher, Clooncurreen and Menlough castles in the parishes of Monivea, Moylough and Killoscobe were visited in turn.

During the course of the visit to the Mannion castle site at Clooncurreen, a newly erected information board, designed and sponsored by Skehana and District Heritage Group, was formally unveiled. The board features an artist’s impression of what the medieval tower house might have looked like when in use, together with some historical details relating to it and a brief history of the Mannion Clan.

Ramore inauguration and judicial assembly site in the townland of Mullaghmore West in Moylough parish was next on the itinerary. It was here that a Brehon law deed was drafted by a MacEgan lawyer in May 1584 for the Ó Mainnín Clan. In commemoration of this historic occasion, a translation of the original Irish-language agreement was read to members and friends of the Mannion Clan gathered on the ancient ceremonial mound, some four hundred and thirty-three years after the event. The sub-townland of Ballymannion, which with the modern townland of Cloonmweelaun was the focus of the Ó Mainnín deed, was then visited, as was our ancestral village of Menlough once again.

Saturday’s activities concluded in Kilconnell Abbey, where the last recorded Chief of the Name of the Mannion Clan – John son of Malachy – was buried in a tomb dated 1648, with two of his kinsmen from the Clan’s stronghold of Menlough. In this historically significant setting, the 2017 International Mannion Clan Gathering was brought to a close. The next Gathering of the Mannion Clan is scheduled for the weekend of Friday 17 and Saturday 18 August 2018. Why not join us for an unforgettable celebration of our unique family history and heritage . . . ?