December 2016 - Chairman's Christmas Message

A Cháirde,

It has been another wonderful year for Clans of Ireland.

We had two major events in 2016, the Annual Conference and the Commemoration of the Battle of Athenry in 1316. The Annual Conference held in April was the best attended annual conference to date. It was held at the Saint Stephen’s Green Hibernian Club in Dublin. The 2017 Conference is also scheduled to be held there on the weekend of the 8th of April. At this year’s conference three most deserving people were awarded the Clans of Ireland Order of Merit:

Ms Margot Coogan CIOM former Chieftain of the Ó Leathlobhair ( Lawlor Clan) of County Laois who is considered by her clan members to be central to the ongoing success of this vibrant organisation. Margot is a regular and popular attendee at Clans of Ireland conferences.

Mr Eamon De Búrca CIOM who is instrumental to the foundation of one of our newest member clans, the De Búrca (Burke Clan). Eamon is also renowned as a collector of manuscripts and antiquarian Irish books, some of which he, in collaboration with Gaelic scholars, publishes as modern editions, giving access to many significant works, to so many of us, who would otherwise be denied such access.

Professor Gregory Egan CIOM of the Mac Aodhagáin Uí Maine (Egan of Hy Many)  was awarded the highest accolade of Clans of Ireland, in his absence, for his tireless work over many years in organising a branch of the Egan Clan in Australia.


The second event,  ‘The Gathering of the Clans', took place on the 1st of October in Athenry, County Galway. We were honoured to have Dr. Nollaig Ó Muraíle lecture the capacity assembly on ‘The Gaelic Nobility who fell in the Battle of Athenry 1316’.   Central to the event was the commemoration of the seven-hundreth anniversary of one of the most decisive battles in Irish history; fought between the Gaelic Irish and Anglo-Normans. Kieran O Conor addressed the gathering on the pivotal role which his ancestor Feidhlim O Conor played as leader of the Gaelic Irish. Other speakers included Shane O Dea, Michael Egan and Dan McGrath.

The Gathering on October 1st at Athenry also included an Extraordinary General Meeting in order to introduce constitutional changes to the Memo and Articles of Association in accordance, with the Companies Act 2014, all of which were unanimously ratified.

The presentation of the Irish Chiefs and Clans Essay Prize, took place on the 19th of  October at the historic Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin. Simon Egan of Castlegregory, County Kerry, a post-graduate student and tutor at UCC was awarded the prize by David The Ó Morchoe, representing The Irish Council of Chiefs and Chieftains and Dr. Michael Egan, Chieftain of the Egan Clan, representing Clans of Ireland. His essay, ‘An Irish Context to a Scottish Disaster, James IV, the O’Donnells of Tyrconnell and the road to Flodden’, was published in the most recent edition of History Ireland. The object of this annual competition is to  promote research and awareness of Gaelic Ireland. It is open to all, with the exception of history lecturers at third level institutions. The Chair of the adjudication panel is Dr. Katharine Simms of T.C.D.

Our thoughts at Christmas turn to those who we have lost from our community during the past year. There were a number of high profile clan members such as The O Donovan and Professor Reverend Pádraig Ó Fiannachta, but there were also many others, whose passing we mourn. Our sympathy goes out to their families and friends.

With Best Wishes for Christmas & the New Year
Beste Wünsche für ein frohes Weihnachtsfest und ein friedliches Neues Jahr
Avec tous mes meilleurs voeux pour Joyeux Noel et bon début d'Année 2017

Le gach dea-ghui i gcomhair na Nollag agus na h-Athbhliana

Gearóid Ó Ceallaigh