Author Archives: McGrath Clan (official)

About McGrath Clan (official)

Official site of the McGrath Clan

Liam McGrath Memorial Research Bursary

The McGrath Clan Association are delighted to announce the Liam McGrath Memorial Research Bursary in honour of a man who carried out a huge amount of research into our clan and generously shared his findings with us. The research subject will be on the Mac Craith Bardic School which was located just outside Cahir in Co Tipperary and will be presented to clan members at the McGrath Clan Gathering next June in Dungarvan.
Clan member Caroline Smiddy is the recipient of the inaugural bursary.

Chieftain’s Christmas Message

Fellow members of the McGrath Clan

It’s that time of year when we look back on the previous 12 months and look forward to a New Year. It’s a time of goodwill and a season where we share precious time with our family and friends. Across the many years and miles that separate us, our common Irish heritage brings us closer together.

As we reflect back, I would like to praise and thank each and everyone who helped promote our clan in any way. The flag for the 2019 McGrath Clan Gathering has been in North America, New Zealand, and Australia this year and is currently in South Africa. Each of the hosts has to be commended for their help.

Looking forward, we have an important event in 2019 and I, as Chieftain of the Clan McGrath (Thomond) and Chairman of the McGrath Clan Association/Cumman Clann Mhic Craith, hope to welcome many of you to the International McGrath Clan Gathering in the beautiful coastal town of Dungarvan on Ireland’s south-east coast. It will truly be a special event for all the McGrath Clan.

We also need to remember those who are no longer with us. They may be gone but they are not forgotten and are still very much in our thoughts.

I want to wish each and every one of you, wherever you may be, a very happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Nollaig Shona agus Athbhliain faoi Mhaise Duit.

Kind Regards,

Dan McGrath

Ceann Finnte/Chieftain
Clan McGrath(Thomond)

Chairman McGrath Clan Association

Director Clans of Ireland

‘Medal of Echthighern’ 2018 Recipient

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’.


Registration Open for 2019 Official McGrath Clan Gathering

We are delighted to announce that REGISTRATION is now open for next year’s International McGrath Clan Gathering. The event is been hosted by the McGrath Clan Association/ Cumman Clann Mhic Craith.

We welcome all members of our great clan, their extended families and friends to Dungarvan for the event.

There will be two heritage day trips by coach, three lecture sessions with seven speakers, great traditional music every night, a visit to the Gaeltacht(Irish speaking area), visit to Lismore Castle, Cobh Heritage Centre, BBQ, Film Premier, Civic Welcome and the McGrath Clan Gala Dinner, plus some special guests.

In previous years, we have organized great festivals of McGrath Heritage, Culture and History, next year’s gathering will be the biggest gathering of our clan on Irish soil in several hundred years. Our mission is to give our visitors an unique Irish experience as the celebrate their McGrath heritage.

Don’t miss your chance to be part of this great event in a very beautiful part of Ireland. Dungarvan is located on Ireland’s South East coast and is an extremely popular destination.

To register, go to:

The fee includes admission to all the lectures,  the two coach tours, admission to Cobh Heritage Centre, Lismore Castle, the BBQ, Trad Sessions, the Film Premier in the SCG Cinema and the McGrath Clan Gala Dinner.

A number of people have already registered, if you have, disregard this message.

We would advise early booking of accommodation if you haven’t done booked already. If you are having problems securing accommodation, please send us an email.

If you have Children/Youths coming with you, please email to avail of the special rate.

Please share this email with other members of the clan who may be interested.

Visitors to previous gatherings will remember Martina McGrath, who has been on the organising committee since day one. Last weekend she suffered a serious equestrian accident but I’m happy to inform you, that she is recovering and hopes to be out of hospital inside three weeks.


Time table is as follows:


International McGrath Clan Gathering


Wednesday June 26th-Sunday 30th


Wednesday 26th

Check in from 2.30pm-6.00 (approx.) in the Park Hotel.

Official Opening

Film Premier @7pm in the SGC Cinema

Traditional Irish Music Session @9.00pm  ……..  Minnies Bar


Thursday 27th

Heritage Tour 1: Bus Departs Park Hotel at 10.30am, returns @ 6pm (approx.)

BBQ   @ 7pm

Traditional Irish Music Session @9pm   The Local Bar


Friday 28th

Lectures 1 & 2 – Session 1

Lectures 3 & 4 – Session 2

Presentation of Flag Host Certificates @8pm followed by

Traditional Irish Music Session in Minnies Bar.


Saturday 29th

Heritage Tour 2: Bus Departs at 10.30am, return @ 6pm (approx.)

Evening off

Music TBC


Sunday 30th

Clan Mass @ 12 noon

Lecture Session 3 @ 2.00pm


McGrath Clan Gala Dinner @7.00pm


To be included in program:


Clan Parade

There will be  Genealogist available all weekend for advice

Clan Photo


This time table is subject to change.

News Letter

‘One Year to Go’ to the International McGrath Clan Gathering in Dungarvan & West Waterford; The countdown is on to the 2019 International McGrath Clan Gathering and Cllr Pat Nugent, Mayor of Waterford City & County Council is pictured with members of the McGrath Clan and Fionn, an Irish Wolfhound, which is the Mascot attached to Irish Army at Stephen’s Barrack’s, Kilkenny, at an event to promote next year’s festival of Heritage, History and Culture in Co Waterford. Pic:

Dungarvan 2019

Plans are at an advanced stage for the 2019 International McGrath Clan Gathering. Due to the big number planning on traveling to Dungarvan next year, registration will be opening shortly.

You are advised to book your accommodation early, if possible. A number of people have already booked their accommodation. We are updating our accommodation list and adding extra B&B’s and holiday homes, as we receive the information.

If you need any help or wish us to email the accommodation list to you, do not hesitate to send an email,

This will be the 6th McGrath Clan Gathering and our 3rd as an officially registered member of Clans of Ireland.

All members of the McGrath Clan are welcome, their extended families and friends to our 5 day celebration of our history, heritage and culture. The theme for our gathering is “Back to our Roots in the Emerald Isle” !

This is going to be the biggest gathering of the McGrath Clan in hundreds of years on Irish soil and we feel it’s appropriate that our original clan is hosting the event.

The town of Dungarvan and West Waterford are looking forward to hosting our gathering and giving a true Irish welcome next June.


Working is continuing on our and we hope to have it’s premier at next year’s gathering. Thanks to all the people who have come on board with offers of help. Filming will be in some of Ireland’s most beautiful countryside, including Tipperary, Clare, Waterford and Donegal. It will include the Rock of Cashel, Waterford, Ireland’s oldest city and the majestic Lismore Castle overlooking the Blackwater river.

While on a recent visit to Cashel, our film crew unearthed this very old photo of the Rock of Cashel.

Coat of Arms

A number pf people have been asking about our coat of arms and what each segment represents.

The crest shows the 3 lions of the O’Briens, showing we are descendants of the O’Briens, the Maltese Cross, showing that we were dedicated to the church, history and healing. Battle Axes, showing that we were often involved in battles and the Antelope, depicting that we came oversea from Europe.


Jack Weds

Congratulations to Irish rugby star Jack McGrath who got married recently. We wish Jack and his new wife Sinead many years of wedding bliss.


Clans of Ireland

Our Clan Chieftain, Dan McGrath, represented Clans of Ireland in his role of Chairman of the Clans of Ireland Historical Sites Committee, at the unveiling of a Historical Site Plaque at Dysert O’Dea Castle in Co Clare. The event coincided with the 10th O’Dea Clan Gathering and the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Dysert O’Dea.

Congratulations to the O’Dea Clan on a very successful Clan Gathering.

We would also like to congratulate Joe Mannion, the new Chairman of Clans of Ireland, and thank outgoing chairman Gearoid O Ceallaigh for his support during his three years in office.

The McGrath Clan of Thomond/International McGrath Clan Association are proud members of Clans of Ireland.

​Pix: Olivia McGrath.

2019 Flag Journey

The 2019 Flag continues it’s journey around the world. It’s currently in the southern hemisphere and has already visited New Zealand, with Cynthia Brook as it’ co-ordinator.

It’s first outing in New Zealand was to the 90th birthday celebrations of Valmai McGrath of Christchurch. Valmai is the beloved matriach of many out there, including her five children and many grandchildren and nieces and nephews. Her late husband Henry McGrath was the son of Henry McGrath late of Ballymacotter, Co Cork who with his sisters and one brother emigrated over the latter years of the 1800s to make a new life in New Zealand. Their parents were William and Johanna McGrath. William (d1886) lies in the old Churchtown South Cemetery Co Cork and Johanna (died 1915) (who came out in 1898 with her daughter Bessie and son-in-law John Kilmartin) lies here in the Omaka Cemetery, Marlborough NZ.

The McGrath Clan flag arrives in Dunedin Otago New Zealand (pic below), welcomed by some of the decedent’s of Michael McGrath and Sarah Cosgrove, who arrived in Dunedin via Australia in about 1863.
In 1861 gold was discovered in Otago and this lead to an influx of population and trade.
The Dunedin Railway Station in the photo, is the monument to its golden days, along with the Otago University, which is New Zealand’s oldest , being set up in 1869.
Dunedin also boasts the steepest street in the world according  to the Guinness Book Of Records. Baldwin street.
Dunedin is the Celtic name for Edinburgh and the street names reflect this connection.

The flag arrived in Australia in June, with it’s first stop at Parliament Building in Canberra. John Collard, our Aus-NZ Ambassador is looking after it’s journey in Oz. This was a very successful event at both Parliament Building and later in the Irish Club with over 70 in attendance. Thanks to the Irish Embassy for their kind sponsorship which is very much appreciated. Thos ein attendance were treated to superb performance form the McGrath School of Irish Dancing.

Anyone interested in hosting it in Australia or South Africa, should drop an email to

Cumman Clann Mhic Craith

The McGrath Clan are proud of our Irish heritage, culture and history. We are proud to use our Irish language where possible. Many of our clan have questioned what ‘Cumman Clann Mhic Craith’ means. It translates McGrath Clan Association. The word ‘Cumman’ is the Gaelic (Irish) for Association. Mhic Craith is the spelling used in this context instead of MacCraith or Ni Craith when it’s used with a first name.

Amy McGrath

Amy McGrath, a retired Marine fighter pilot, pulled off an upset victory in a Democratic Primary House race in Kentucky.    McGrath emerged from a three-person race in Kentucky’s Sixth District, beating her main challenger, Lexington Mayor Jim Gray.

McGrath was born in Kentucky but only recently returned to the state, she spent the past couple of decades serving in the Marine Corps as a fighter pilot.

We look forward to further news on her attempt to win a seat in the US Congress in the fall.

Best of luck Amy !

 DNA Project

The McGrath DNA Project welcomes new members. We are currently undergoing rapid changes to the online project at family tree DNA.

To join our clan’s DNA Project, please email;

We are aware that many of our clan are very interested in DNA. As a result, a DNA Workshop will be part of next year’s International McGrath Clan Gathering in Dungarvan.


News of some sporting success by clan members

Curtis McGrath (Australia)

Well done to clan member Curtis McGrath on his success at the world cup in his para canoe. To find out more and read his amazing story, check out;

 Jack McGrath & Luke McGrath(Ireland)

Congratulations to Jack and Luke on winning the Champions Cup with their club Leinster Rugby. They beat Racing 92(France) in the final which was played in Spain. This is the top cup to win in European Rugby. Both are also key members of Ireland’s Grand Slam winning team.


​If you have knowledge of the success of a clan member in politics, sports, film, arts, music, receiving a major award, etc, please send an email to and allow us acknowledge their success.


If you have questions about Dungarvan 2019, please drop us an email;

Keep an eye on our Facebook page and Website for updates.

(If you wish to be removed from the Official McGrath Clan association Mailing list, please drop an email to


Dan McGrath


McGrath Clan (Thomond)

Chairman – International McGrath Clan Association

Board Member – Clans of Ireland

Thomond – Where the McGrath Clan originated 1000 years ago !

Accommodation Information

Information for anyone traveling to Dungarvan next year for our Clan Gathering.

Details of hotels, B&Bs, holiday homes that are available for next year event. There are some other places which we’ll add when we have full details. There are over 120 people with rooms booked already.

Anyone who has emailed us to book a room in the Park Hotel, does not need to contact us again at this stage.
Due the popularity of Dungarvan & West Waterford as a tourist destination, early booking is advised.
There is also the option of AirBnB which worked out very well for some families at the last clan gathering.
Hope this information will be of help to you. If you have any questions, just email:


Hotels, B&Bs, Holiday Homes

PARK HOTEL ( & Leisure Centre) ….FULL…
The Park Hotel is the base for the 2019 McGrath Clan Gathering. We have secured a rate of €335 per person for 5 nights and one evening meal/dinner. There is an extra charge of €125 for a single room. These rooms have to be booked through the McGrath Clan Association. Email:  PH pix
(The Hotel also has a number of holiday homes which can be booked for the clan gathering.)

The Tannery Town House

The Tannery Town House offers B&B and is a few hundred yards from Dungarvan town centre.
Tel: +353 (0)58 45420 or +353 (0)58 45814

Tudor House 
B&B (over a bar of that name)

Mary Street, Dungarvan, 
Co Waterford



Bayside Bed and Breakfast

Mrs. Sheila Norris,
Telephone: +353 (0)58 44318
Bayside Bed And BreakfastEmail:
Gold Coast Road,
Co. Waterford.

Farm Lodge Guest House (about 5/6 minutes drive from town centre)
Clonea Road, Dungarvan. Tel: 00353 58 42574

Crews Apartments, Dungarvan
International Phone: +353 58 23422
 Crew’s Restaurant and Accommodation, 
Church Street, Dungarvan,
 Co. Waterford, Ireland.

Gold Coast Hotel
+353 58 42249

Cairbre House   Holiday Home (from Sept 2018)

Cairbre House is  set in a beautiful Georgian residence within private grounds on the banks of the Colligan River.
+35358 42338.

Lawlors Hotel



Cliff House Hotel, Ardmore (about 20 mins from Dungarvan )

5 Star Hotel
+353 24 87800

Holiday Homes:

The Moat – on the Greenway

(Holiday Apartment just 3 miles from Dungarvan)
No 3 Clonea Castle Apartments,
Clonea Lower,
Dungarvan, Co Waterford

Ormonde, Grattan Square, Dungarvan.
Ormonde Cafe & Town House has room only accommodation and is in the center of the town. All rooms come with fully fitted kitchens and en-suite’s.
Tel:+358 058 41153

Browne’s Town House & Farm House
Brownes Townhouse – located in Dungarvan Town Centre
One ground floor double with wet room – mobility accessible.
Living room with open fire – Large Kitchen leading to large raised patio – enclosed garden
Second floor – two doubles and one King room – family bathroom
Third floor – King room with two singles and up to two further singles – ensuite.
Accommodation for a family group of up to 14 people in 5 bedrooms.
EUR 1,650 per week for the house .

Brownes Farmhouse – rural setting, sea views
Ground floor double bedroom with single with wet room – mobility accessible.
Large kitchen, living room with open fire and porch. Large garden and rear parking.
First floor – King room with en suite, King room sharing family bathroom with a triple single.
Two floating singles that can be put in either king
Accommodation for a family group of 12 people in 4 bedrooms.
EUR 1400 per week for the house
Contact Naoive Coggin  email



You should find a room from the list above. If you have any questions, just drop us an email;

Lá Fhéile Pádraig /St Patrick’s Day 2018

St Patrick’s Day is a very important day for Irish people at home in Ireland or overseas. We celebrate all that’s good about our common Irish heritage. It is a celebration of our culture, our songs and our language.
Members of the McGrath Clan have settled in many towns and cities around the world, playing a big part in the life of their communities. They have brought our Irish culture and traditions to their new homelands. Several generations later, this bond with Ireland still remains.
It’s a joy to see Irish dancing, singing and traditional music been performed at various locations and at events around the world.
St Patrick’s Day celebrations will see members of the McGrath Clan gather with family and friends to take part in parades, visit Irish centers and celebrate our Irishness. It’s important that we preserve and enjoy our Irish heritage.
I’d like to wish all the McGrath Clan members, their extended families and friends a very happy and enjoyable St Patrick’s Day.

“Like the warmth of the sun
and the light of the day,
may the luck of the Irish
shine bright on your way.”

Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig Oraibh (Have a wonderful St Patrick’s Day)

Dan McGrath

Chieftain McGrath Clan
Board Member Clans of Ireland
Chairman McGrath Clan Association

(Image of St Patrick is from Tononto, Canada, sent to us by Kenneth McGrath)29179011_10155138833757077_5496386175448907776_n

St Patrick's Day Image

Tom runs 225 miles in 6 days for charity

Just before Christmas when most were making plans for the festive season, Tom McGrath was running back to back marathons. The New York publican and a son of Fermanagh, is no stranger to running. An ultra-distance runner who in 1977 broke the Trans-Am record, running from New York to San Francisco in 53 days. Now 68, he decided to run a marathon a day from Boston to New York in order to raise money for the American Wheelchair Mission.
Titled ‘Miles 4 Miracles’, the run was sponsored by many Irish American organizations. The American Wheelchair Mission distribute wheelchairs to veterans’ hospitals, fire houses, ambulances and churches.
The run began in Boston and it took six days to complete the distance, finishing at Saint Patrick’s Old Cathedral in Lower Manhattan, a distance of 225 miles.
Speaking after the run, he said that he was “not sure I could have gone another day, but thank God I was able to make it.”
If Tom isn’t out running around Central Park or Manhattan, he can be found in the Black Sheep bar and restaurant, which he owns at 583 Third Ave. (between 38th & 39th Ave.).
Tom’s book “The Black Sheep” which gives a detailed account of his life and is available to buy on amazon.

Tom McGrath