National Clan Gatherings

Tipperary 2004

The national Clan Gathering was staged in the picturesque town of Nenagh, the northern capital of County Tipperary, over the August bank holiday weekend. We enjoyed the company of members from all four provinces of Ireland, as well as Scotland, England, Canada, U.S.A. and Australia.

We were privileged to receive a number of special items that added considerable lustre to the festivities, and would like to record our thanks to the following members.

Firstly, we would like to thank two grandsons of the late Sir James Fortescue Flannery: John Hartridge and David F.M. Lindsay, who provided a wealth of information for the heritage exhibition, as well as copies of precious historical documents. The assembly unanimously voted to bestow life membership on them both as a token of our gratitude.

Secondly, we would like to thank Marlin A. Read of Idaho City, who handcrafted the two coats of arms (1904 & 1991) in tooled leather and carved oak, and donated them to the Flannery Clan for our perpetual use. They are masterpieces, and we are proud to display them. The assembly unanimously elected Marlin our new Heraldic Craftsman (Fear Ceirde Araltais) as a token of our gratitude.

Thirdly, we would like to thank Marty Cassidy, our regional secretary for U.S.A. (West), for safely transporting the handcrafted artefacts from Idaho City to Nenagh. His epic voyage (approx. 1,200 miles by car and 5,500 miles by plane) lugging a heavy crate through high security makes Homer and Ulysses look like mere day-trippers! Thanks Marty!

Last but not least, we owe a very special vote of thanks to Bernard Flannery of Belfast, who generously donated a case of excellent red wine to the assembled members. The wine was specially made for the occasion, and came complete with commemorative labels. Thanks Bernard!

The formalities of the A.G.M. concluded with the launch of our latest publication (transcripts of all Flannerys / Flannellys recorded in Griffith’s Primary Valuation) and a brief presentation on the Y-DNA Project. As previously, the publication will be donated to all of the relevant county heritage centres where Flannerys / Flannellys lived.

After lunch we enjoyed a sunny excursion on Lough Derg. The lake is the heart of Flannery settlement in Munster, and is surrounded on all sides by Flannerys living in Counties Clare, Limerick and Tipperary. After the voyage on the lake, the feasting and celebrating lasted well into the night for many!

We are grateful to our Clan Chaplain, An t-Athair Micheál Ó Flannabhra S.P., who very kindly made the long trek from Connemara to celebrate the Clan Mass on Sunday morning. Thanks are also due to Fr. Cathal Geraghty, curator of Clonfert Museum, for generously lending us the Peter Flannery Chalice (1715) for a very special bi-lingual service.

We must note that the Sunday Mass was a special homecoming for the Canadian contingent of members, who have traced their roots back to David Flannery (b. circa 1812) of Monsea parish.

After Mass, we visited the thatched farmstead of Séamus Flannery who graciously extended a large measure of hospitality and gave us a guided tour of his centuries-old dwelling. Despite the ongoing repairs to the thatch, the traditional style of construction was a treat to behold.

Pádraig Ó Flannabhra captured us in a group photograph with his customary flair and we then repaired to "Luckybags" - run by Pat and Mary Flannery - for a splendid Sunday lunch.

Fortified by the feast, we concluded the weekend festivities with a walking tour of historic Nenagh under the expert guidance of local historian, Nancy Murphy. The tour included numerous items connected with the Nenagh Flannerys, and was thoroughly enjoyable in the bright sunshine and clean Tipperary air. We must do it again some time!

[Clan Gathering, Tipperary 2004; photo courtesy of Pádraig Ó Flannabhra]

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