Order of Merit

His Excellency Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland.


Mr. Patrick Guinness KCEG KLJ
Dr. Máire Ní Chearbhaill PhD
Dr. Emmett O'Byrne
Ms. Maura O'Gara O'Riordan

Dr.Michael Egan


The Order of Clans of Ireland is the highest honour that can be bestowed by Irish Clans. It is an order of merit conferred on individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to Irish culture and heritage or who have brought conspicuous honour to their Clan name.


There are no limitations on the number of people who can be admitted to the Order of Clans of Ireland. However, no more than four individuals can receive the award each year. Nominations are submitted to Order's Council and the names of those who are successfully chosen are announced on the 17th March (St. Patrick's Day) each year. A conferring ceremony is held in Dublin where those being honoured receive their insignia. Members are appointed as Companions of the Order of Clans of Ireland or in Irish Compánach Fhinte na hÉireann and may use the post-nominal letters CIOM.

Nominations are made through Clans who have maintained their registration with Clans of Ireland for three consecutive years or more, up to the date of nomination, and also by the Board.

2014 - the following individuals are appointed as Companions of the Clans of Ireland Order of Merit(announced as of 17th March 2014, (St Patricks Day) Ireland ) 

  • Rev. Fr. J. Anthony Gaughan, CIOM
  • Lt. Col. Lyn David McMullen, CIOM 

List of People who have received the Order of Clans of Ireland in the past



  • Liam Crowley CIOM, co-ordinator of Crowley Castle restoration project.
  • Riobard Ó Dwyer CIOM, seven times All Ireland triple jump champion and Munster Senior Accordion Champion.
  • Proinsias MagFhionnghaille CIOM, author, and founded of Síol organisation to promote education about traditional Irish clothing and weapons.
  • Dr. James O'Higgins Norman CIOM MStJ KLJ, author and academic at Dublin City University.
  • Peter James O’Neill CIOM, Chairman of the Michael Coleman Heritage Centre in Gurteen and member of Moygara Castle Preservation Project.
  • Tim O’Neill CIOM, historian, author and calligrapher, designed Plantation of Ulster Commemorative Stamp.
  • Margaret Curtin CIOM, genealogist and Clan organiser in Australia.


  • Nuala Cassidy CIOM, genealogist responsible for identifying former United States President Bill Clinton's Irish roots.
  • Vincent O'Donnell CIOM, historian, O'Donnell Clan Association secretary, activist and musician.
  • Byron Egan (USA) JD CIOM, Vice Chair American M&A Committee American Bar Council, Chair of Texas Business Law Association.
  • Michael D. Higgins CIOM, President of Ireland.
  • James Mulvihill (USA) CIOM, former Research Chemist and Director of Research
  • John Gargan (Thailand) CIOM, author and retired professor of finance, former National Chairman of the Reform Party (USA).
  • Dr. Nollaig Ó Muraíle RIA CIOM, author and academic at NUIG who transcribed and translated MacFhirbhisigh’s Great Book of Irish Genealogies.


  • Dr. Mary McAleese CIOM, President of Ireland 1997-2011.
  • Ambassador Brian Ó Ceallaigh CIOM, retired Irish Diplomat .
  • Monsignor Pádraig Ó Fionnachta CIOM, retired professor of Irish, Maynooth College.
  • An tUasail Cathaoir Ó Tighearnaigh CIOM, Ceannaire Cumann na gClann Uí Thighearnaigh.