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.
The McGrath Clan Association are delighted to announce that one of
Ireland’s top speakers and a much sought-after lecturer, Luke McInerney
will be joining us in Dungarvan for the McGrath Clan Gathering in June.
Luke is an independent researcher with a particular focus on the late
medieval history of Gaelic Ireland. His ancillary interests include the
economic and social structure of medieval lordships in Ireland; the
medieval Gaelic church; and the role and function of the learned class
in Gaelic Ireland.
Many of his key publications can be found in the issues of the ‘North
Munster Antiquarian Journal’; ‘The Other Clare’; ‘Archivium Hibernicum’,
‘Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland ‘, ‘Seanchas
Ardmhacha’ and Studia Hibernica.
His book on the links between the Gaelic learned class and medieval
Irish church was published in 2014 by Four Courts Press (Dublin).
In addition to his focus on Irish medieval history, he has a general
interest in Eastern and Central European political history and
contemporary economics, and also the history of early modern empire.
Speaking about Luke’s book ‘Clerical and learned lineages of medieval
Co. Clare’, the highly respected Katharine Simms, Trinity College
Dublin, said that ‘Students of Irish church history, Gaelic cultural
history, Irish historical geography, family and local history are all
indebted to Luke McInerney for such a detailed and intensive examination
of the ecclesiastical and learned lineages of Co. Clare in the late
Middle Ages. Never before has the evidence for this county been brought
together in such a comprehensive and detailed manner, and employed to
answer such fundamental questions about medieval Irish church and
society. This will certainly remain an invaluable reference work for
many years to come.’
Photo(L-R) Conor The O’Brien, (who is also attending the gathering and
is the direct descendant of Brian Boru), Luke McInerney, Dan McGrath,
Director Clans of Ireland, Chairman Cumman Clann Mhic Craith & Clan
Chieftain, and Gearoid O’Ceallaigh, Director Clans of Ireland.
You may have heard of the Wild Atlantic Way. If you are planning on
staying an extra week after the gathering and see more of Ireland’s top
sites and beautiful scenery, why not join the ‘Chieftain’s Tour’ which
departs Dungarvan on the morning after the gathering and takes in such
well known sites as the Rock of Cashel, Holycross Abbey, Cliffs of
Moher, the Burren, Bunratty Castle, Blarney Castle, Killarney and a boat
trip on the Lakes of Killarney, O’Connor Pass, Dingle and Cork.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested. This tour has a
limited number of places and will be visiting a number of McGrath
heritage sites along the way.
Please email email@example.com to express your interest in joining this tour!
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.
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.
Chairman McGrath Clan Association
Director Clans of Ireland
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’.