Successful McGrath Clan Gathering

McGrath Clan Association
Newsletter October 2019

Successful McGrath Gathering
The 2019 International McGrath Clan Gathering, hosted by the McGrath Clan Association/Cumman Clann Mhic Craith, took place in the beautiful coastal town of Dungarvan in Co. Waterford, in June. Members of the clan from around the world arrived for the event, many in Ireland for the first time.
The official opening was in the SGC Cinema and the attendance included Mayor of Waterford City & County, Cllr John Pratt and Dungarvan & West Waterford Chamber President Joe Roche. It was followed by a film premiere in the cinema on the life of the infamous Archbishop Miler Magrath.
The five-day festival of heritage, history and culture included heritage tours to various site associated with the McGrath Clan, including Lismore Castle, Sleady Castle, Abbeyside Abbey and the MacCraith tomb. It also included visits to Cobh, where many of the clan emigrated from in the 19th century, Youghal, Ardmore Round Tower and the Gaeltacht.
There was also a series of lecture sessions. Speakers included Dennis Wright, an authority on the Dal Cais DNA, Luke McInerney, an expert on medieval studies, William Fraher who gave a talk on McGrath Castle Abbeyside, Kevin McCarthy who spoke on the ‘Battle of Affane’, Caroline Smiddy on the MacCraith bardic School and Ann Marie Coughlan, Genealogist.
Needless to say, due to the location of the clan gathering, there was top class traditional Irish Music Sessions each night. The social side of the gathering included a BBQ at the Park Hotel, during which a 25th wedding anniversary marriage vows renewal took place.
One of the highlights of the gathering was the Clan Parade, led by Clan Chieftain Dan McGrath. The parade saw members of the clan walk behind their nations’ flags and the McGrath Clan Flag to Dungarvan Castle. It was an amazing sight to see over 200 people following the flags of the USA, Canada, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, England and Ireland. The Pipe Band who had led the parade, played the Irish National Anthem at the Castle gates.
During the gathering, there was also a visit to the very impressive Waterford County Museum and the WW1 Memorial Wall.
One of the more solemn moments of the 5-day event was the laying of the wreath at the Famine Memorial located just outside of the town.
The planning for the gathering started three years previously and saw a specially designed flag travel around the world. Members of the clan hosted the flag in towns and cities, at festivals and in heritage centres everywhere from LA to Melbourne, Boston to Johannesburg.
The Liam McGrath Memorial Research Bursary, in memory of a clan member who undertook years of research and organized the first gathering 20 years ago, was presented by Conor O’Brien, Chieftain of the O’Brien Clan and direct descendant of Brian Boru, to Caroline Smiddy, who is also a clan member. In attendance for the presentation were Dr Joe Mannion, Chairman Clans of Ireland, fellow director Brendan Lynch, and Alice McGrath, widow of the late Liam McGrath.
The McGrath Clan are descendants of Brian Boru’s brother Echthighern.
On Sunday morning, the Clan Mass took place in Abbeyside Church, where the original church was built by the McGrath and O’Brien Clans in 1290.
The final event of the gathering was the McGrath Clan Gala Dinner in the Park Hotel. Dr Joe Mannion, Chairman Clans of Ireland addressed those in attendance and was part of the presentation party with Conor O’Brien, Chieftain of the O’Brien Clan and Dan McGrath, for the presentations of the Medal of Echthighern, the highest honour that the McGrath Clan can bestow on an individual. The 2017, 2018 and 2019 medals were presented to Dan Patrick McGrath(USA), John McGrath (SA & IRE) and Steven McGraw(USA).
The Clan Gala Dinner finished off with an awesome Traditional Irish music, song and dance show.
Dan McGrath, Clan Chieftain, finished the event by thanking everyone who travelled to the gathering and anyone who had contributed to its success and making it the biggest McGrath Clan Gathering in living memory on Irish soil.
Before the gathering finished, plans were already underway for the 7th International McGrath Clan Gathering in 2022.
WEB: http://www.mcgrathclan.org

EMAIL: info@mcgrathclan.orgMcG Diary Sept 2109

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McGrath Clan Gathering 2022 & Reunions updates

A Reunion is been planned for next year(one/two day in USA). We will have details by the end of August as to the location.
The flag for the 2022 International McGrath Clan Gathering will start it’s journey next March in California. It’s been decided to make it a tradition to start in California following the success of the flag’s journey for the 2019 gathering. The flag really helped share the news of our clan gathering. We will be looking for hosts later in the year.
There will be a 3 night event in Australia in October 2020 also. Details to follow.

Our International McGrath Clan Gatherings take place every three years in Ireland. The next gathering is in 2022.
One/two day Reunions are organized in various locations around the world. These help to promote our International Clan Gatherings in Ireland.

Medal of Echthighern

The is the highest honor that the McGrath Clan can bestow on an individual. All but two of the people recognized are proud members of our clan.
The two non-clan members have during their lifetimes done a massive amount of research into our clan, namely Fr Paddy Ryan and John Cunningham.
It’s very important that we honor individuals for their work and not afraid to nominate people who deserve such awards.
The latest recipients were present at the 2019 McGrath Clan Gathering Gala Dinner and the presentation party included Dr. Joe Mannion, Chairman Clans of Ireland, Conor O’Brien, Chieftain O’Brien Clan & direct descendant of Brian Boru, and Dan McGrath, Chieftain of our McGrath Clan.

John McGrath who organized the first official Clan Gathering in Ireland 20 years ago was recognized at this year’s gathering, our 6th gathering. The second person behind that first gathering, the late Liam McGrath was also recognized by way of a Memorial Research Bursary.
We are delighted to announce that we will be offering another research bursary in Liam’s memory for our 7th McGrath Clan Gathering in 2022.

#mcgrathgathering2022
www.mcgrathclan.org

 

Dungarvan set for McGrath Clan Gathering 2019

Dungarvan is set to host the 2019 International McGrath Clan Gathering this week. This five day Global Festival of Heritage, History, and Culture has attracted visitors from around the world to the Co Waterford town. Members of this great Irish Clan are coming from the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, France, UK, and Ireland.

It all starts on Wednesday 26th and continues to Sunday night June 30th.

A full program of activities has been planned for the festival. They include lectures, two heritage tours which includes visits to places of McGrath interest, BBQ, visit to the Gaeltacht, Traditional Irish Music sessions, wreath laying at Famine Memorial, Clan Parade, Film Premiere and the McGrath Clan Gala Dinner.

Event organizer Dan McGrath is very positive about what is on offer to visitors in West Waterford, he said that “many people live in cities and rarely are close to the sea so Dungarvan’s location just blows them away, they get to see some beautiful scenery. Dungarvan is a coastal town with top quality award winning restaurants and bars, visitors fall in love with the place. It’s also an area with a rich McGrath heritage which is so vitally important to the event.”

This is the 6th gathering of the McGrath Clan. The previous gathering was also hosted by Dungarvan and West Waterford in 2016. A very active promotional campaign which included an Olympic torch style journey around the world, saw the flag for the 2019 McGrath Clan gathering visit towns and cities, festivals, heritage centres, and famous sites. It started at the Ventura St Patrick’s Day Parade in California, and included the Golden Gate Bridge, Washington for July 4th, the Home Coming Festival in Tilting, Newfoundland, Parliament Building in Canberra, Elvis’ birthplace, Celtic Festival in Texas, Soweto in SA, and many more great locations. It was pictured with Congressmen, US Senators and Irish Government ministers.

Speaking about the event, Dan McGrath, Chairman of the McGrath Clan Association and Clan Chieftain said that he was “trilled to see the event back in Dungarvan and West Waterford. The area has proved to be the perfect location to host this global festival. It has a proven track record when it comes to big events. There is great excitement as members of the clan start to arrive in the town ahead of the gathering. It’s truly an international festival with visitors attending from around the world. All we hope is that they go home with great memories of the region, make life-long friendships and positively promote the McGrath Clan Gathering and the area.”

Guests at the festival will include Conor O’Brien, direct descendant of Brian Boru. The McGraths are descended from Brian Boru’s brother Etchtighern. Dr Joe Mannion, Chairman Clans of Ireland, will be taking time out of his busy schedule to attend the gathering.

The McGrath Clan Gala Dinner takes place in the Park Hotel, Dungarvan, on Sunday night, June 30th. During the course of the evening, the presentation of the Medal of Etchtighern, the highest honour that the clan can bestow on an individual, will take place. It will be presented to three members of the clan, Dan McGrath, California, John McGrath, SA & Ireland, and Steven McGraw, Virginia.
The McGrath Clan Association/McGrath Clan (Thomond) acknowledge annually the contribution of Clan members to society. This comes in many guises, some play an important leadership role, more give up of their time to carry out research, others do voluntary work and help those in need. You also have individuals who have performed at the highest level in their chosen field. Some have carved out a career in the arts world. We are fortunate to have so many talented individuals in our clan. It also acknowledges members of the public who have made a significant contribution to the clan.

A great line up of speakers from both Ireland and overseas will give talks during the three lecture sessions. The first and second sessions are been held in the SGC Cinema on Friday and the third in the Park Hotel on the Sunday afternoon.

The Liam McGrath Research Bursary will be presented during the gathering to Caroline Smiddy, who is a clan member. The Bursary is in memory of a clan member, the late Liam McGrath, who lived his later years in Dunmore East, having spent much of his life in the US, and carried out years of research and generously shared it with our clan members. The subject of the research was the famed Mac Craith Bardic School.

Due to the fact that inaugural Tune Fest is in Dungarvan next weekend also, visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy some excellent traditional Irish music at various venues around the town.

The Park Hotel, Dungarvan, is the head-quarters for the event. There is a limited number of tickets available for the Gala Dinner on Sunday 30th and can be purchased from the hotel.

http://www.mcgrathclan.org for more details.

Time Table Dungarvan 2019

International McGrath Clan Gathering – Dungarvan

Wednesday, June 26th-Sunday 30th

Wednesday 26th
Check in from 2.00pm-6.00pm at Park Hotel
Official Opening @ 6.30pm
Film Premier in SGC Cinema @7pm
Traditional Irish Music Session @9.00pm ……..Minnies Bar

Thursday 27th
Heritage Tour 1:
Bus Departs Park Hotel at 10.00am, returns @ 6pm (approx.)
BBQ @ 7pm
Traditional Irish Music Session @9pm – The Local Bar

Friday 28th
Lectures 1 & 2 – Session 1 @10.30am-12.30pm
Lectures 3 & 4 – Session 2 @ 1.30pm-3.30pm
Visit to Dungarvan Castle & Waterford County Museum
Clan Parade & Photo 5pm

Presentation of Flag Host Certificates & Book Launch @8.30pm followed by

Traditional Irish Music Session in Minnies Bar

Saturday 29th
Heritage Tour 2:
Bus Departs at 10.30am, return @ 5.30pm/6pm (approx.)

Saturday Evening
Music in local pubs

Sunday 30th
Clan Mass @ 12 noon
Lecture Session 3 @ 2.00pm to 4pm approx

McGrath Clan Gala Dinner @7.00pm

Chieftain’s Tour 2019

There are ten places left on the ‘Chieftain Tour’ which departs from the Park Hotel, Dungarvan, on Monday, July 1st. This tour will take in some of Ireland’s most beautiful and iconic scenery and a number of key McGrath heritage sites.
Chieftain’s Tour 2019 Highlights

Day 1 – Monday July 1st:
The Vee
Rock of Cashel *
Holy Cross Abbey
Killaloe Cathedral *
Day 2 Tuesday July 2nd:
Clare Abbey *
Island McGrath *
Bunratty Castle
Dysert O’Dea *
Cliffs of Moher
The Burren
Lahinch
Ennis Friary *
Day 3 – Wednesday July 3rd:
Killarney & the National Park
Boat Tour on Lough Laine, biggest of the Lakes of Killarney
(subject to suitable weather)
Day 4 Thursday July 4th:
Dingle
Dingle Peninsula
O’Connor’s Pass
Annascaul Inn (Tom Crean – Antarctic Explorer)
Day 5 – Friday July 5th:
Blarney Castle
Cork City

* indicates a place of McGrath heritage.
There may be some changes but we expect it to go as close to plan as possible.
The cost of the tour is only €720. This includes the 5-day coach trip, accommodation, breakfast and dinner each night. It also includes admission to Blarney Castle, boat trip on Lakes of Killarney, admission to Cliffs of Moher, Rock of Cashel, Dysert O’Dea and Ennis Friary.

All you need to do is pay a €200 deposit now and the balance on arrival in Dungarvan.

https://frahermedia.com/McGrathC…/…/chieftains-tour-deposit/

Global Gathering of McGrath Clan in Dungarvan

It just over 4 months to International McGrath Clan Gathering in Dungarvan, Co Waterford. This five day festival of McGrath heritage, history and culture has attracted members of the clan from around the world. The gathering starts on Wednesday, June 26th and continues to Sunday, June 30th, culminating in the McGrath Gala Dinner in the Park Hotel. It features two heritage tours, three lecture sessions, BBQ, great Traditional Irish Music, Gala Dinner and film premiere. Due to the popularity of the host town, early booking is advised.

The organizing committee wish to announce the addition of Dennis Wright to our line up of speakers for June’s McGrath Clan Gatherig in Dungarvan. .

Dennis Wright will be speaking on the subject ‘McGrath and Dál gCais Origins’. This will be of particular interest to anyone interest in DNA.

Dennis was born in New Zealand and his interest in Genealogy began over 40 years ago following up family stories which led him back on his maternal side to Robert the Bruce, Scottish, English and ultimately European Royalty. He even found a line going back to Brian Boru.
On his paternal side, however, he has battled against an early 19th-century brick wall in New Zealand for some 40 years. In 2005, it was suggested that DNA testing may help him breakthrough and indeed it did. But to his surprise, he found his paternal ancestry was Irish, not English as his name would suggest.
Dennis administers the FTDNA R-L226 Project and has maintained a DNA website for this Irish cluster. He authored a paper in the Spring 2009 edition Journal of Genetic Genealogy, entitled “A Set of Distinctive Markers Defines a Y-STR Signature for Gaelic Dalcassian Families”.
Dennis is a past member of the Australian Institute of Genealogical Studies, New Zealand Society of Genealogists and Hampshire Genealogical Society. He is the ISOGG Australian Regional Coordinator.
He has a huge interest in the Dal Cais DNA and is regarded as one of the foremost authorities on the subject. Due to the McGrath Clan being of Dal Cais origin, it’s very appropriate that Dennis is speaking at the Clan Gathering.