John McGrath – ‘Medal of Echthighern’ 2018 Recipient
An Irish man living in South Africa, John McGrath is the 2018 recipient of the ‘Medal of Echthighern’, the highest honour which the McGrath Clan can bestow on an individual. The award was renamed last year, the ‘Medal of Etchtighern’, which was the name of the brother of Brian Boru, from whom the McGrath Clan descended. The McGrath Clan get their name from Echthighern’s grandson Craith( Mac Craith is the Irish/Gaelige for McGrath).
Since 2013, the Clan McGrath of Thomond, the original McGrath Clan, have recognized several individuals for their contribution and enhancement of the McGrath name. All have brought great credit to the McGrath name. John will receive the award at next year’s McGrath Clan Gala Dinner in Dungarvan.
From Knockanore, Co Waterford, John is a former international rower who wore the green vest of Ireland with distinction. He went onto create a career in martial arts and is a strongman world record holder.
During his sporting career, he took up coaching and is now one of the top fitness coaches in the business. He is attributed with the giving South African World Champion Luvo Manyonga, the talented long jumper a second chance, which saw him claim silver in Rio and gold at the world championships.
He is also a highly respected motivational speaker and has a TV slot in South Africa.
However, John will be best remembered in the annals of the McGrath Clan for his work in organizing clan gatherings at the turn of the century. His drive and enthusiasm saw the clan gathering becoming a reality. Clan McGrath Chieftain Dan McGrath, who took up the mantle of organizing Clan Gatherings from John, said that, “we will be eternally grateful for his vision and unselfish dedication to our clan”.
The International McGrath Clan Association/McGrath Clan (Thomond) wish to acknowledge 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.
Dan Patrick McGrath, California, USA, was the 2017 recipient of the ‘Medal of Echthighern’.