National Clan Gatherings

Galway 2002

The national Clan Gathering was held in Carna, County Galway over the last weekend in July. The festive weekend commenced with an informal Ice Breaker on Friday night in the Carna Bay Hotel, which enabled arriving guests to relax after their journeys and settle down in convivial company.

The assembly convened on Saturday morning in the National School in Inverin for the A.G.M. The usual formalities such as addresses and reports from the salient officers were kept as short as possible to leave plenty of time for an open forum discussion on matters of interest. An informative heritage exhibition formed a backdrop to the A.G.M.

The A.G.M. closed with a formal launch of our latest publication. This is a bound transcription of all of the tithe records relating to Flannerys / Flannellys. The records pertain to the period 1824 - 1838, just prior to the mass exodus prompted by the Great Famine in Ireland. In the absence of surviving Irish national census returns for the period, these records are a vital census substitute to aid researchers trace their roots. The publication has been produced specifically for donation to libraries and local heritage centres as our gift to posterity, and is not intended for sale to the general public.

After lunch, the assembly returned for a genealogical presentation on three topics : the origin of the Flannellys of Coolcarny; the background to the transportation of James Flannery to Australia; and the incident which led to the knighthood of Sir James Flannery. The presentation was followed by an excursion to Mweenish Island, whose link bridge and school were built by Fr. Thomas Flannery PP in the late 19th century.

The evening banquet was staged in the Carna Bay Hotel and dove-tailed with a traditional music session that lasted into the wee hours.

The Clan Mass was celebrated in Irish on Sunday morning by our Clan Chaplain, An t-Athair Micheál Ó Flannabhra S.P., who is the parish priest of Inverin. We are grateful to the custodians of Clonfert Museum for allowing us to use the Peter Flannery Chalice (1715) for the occasion. The group photo was taken after mass by our prize-winning Clan Photographer, Pádraig Ó Flannabhra.

Pub lunch was followed by an excursion to Flannery Bridge (1887, 1954, 2000) in Kilkieran and more photos. The festive weekend finally concluded with supper and farewell drinks in the Carna Bay Hotel.

[Clan Gathering, Galway 2002; photo courtesy of Pádraig Ó Flannabhra]

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