July 2021 - Winner of the Chiefs and Clans Essay Competition Announced

Dr. Katharine Simms, Chair of the Chiefs and Clans Essay Competition, has announced that the winner of the Prize for 2021 is Declan Keenan of Baltinglass, County Wicklow. The Competition is jointly sponsored by Clans of Ireland and the Standing Council of Irish Chiefs and Chieftains.

Dr Simms, retired senior Lecturer in Medieval History at Trinity College Dublin, expressed her delight at the combination of original research and intelligent analysis used in the winning essay, An Inauguration of a MacWilliam Íochtair at Rausakeera (Mayo) during the Nine Years War. Tommy Graham, editor of History Ireland has also endorsed the winning essay, commenting that it is intended that it will be published in the Nov/Dec '21 issue of History Ireland. The magazine, by coincidence, is due to have an article on the wreck of the Armada along the Irish coast, which is mentioned within the essay, in the preceding issue, which is mentioned here.

Declan will be presented with his prize of €500 and the Ó Ceallaigh Dal gCais Perpetual Cup in November at the launch of the publication of the collected publishable essays entered into the Competition during the past three years. Previous essays written by Declan have been published in the first and second volumes of anthologies of previous essays , ‘Gaelic Ireland (c. 600 – c. 1700): politics, culture and landscapes’ and ‘Politics, kinship and culture in Gaelic Ireland, c. 1100 - c. 1690’. In preparation for his Master’s degree, Declan researched the tower-houses of Connacht and the Burke lords who built them. His essay will appeal to those with an interest, not just in the history of Connacht, but will also appeal to those interested in the detail of life in Gaelic Ireland.