Monday, June 17, 2024

O’Mahony clan members from all over Ireland to gather in mid Cork

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The gathering, which will take place from June 21 to June 23, is open to everyone with “O’Mahony DNA”.

Pat O’Mahony, a member of the O’Mahony Society Council from Iniscarra, said that anybody with O’Mahony blood has a rich heritage “as it is well documented that the O’Mahonys are direct descendants of the great Brian Boru”.

Though he now lives in Kildare, Pat said that his family have resided in Iniscarra for some 200 years and that some of his relatives still occupy the original family home in Dripsey.

He told The Corkman that since it was established, the Society has carried out some fascinating research into the O’Mahony clan’s history.

“The O’Mahonys established themselves most notably in West Cork, where they established a string of significant castles. These castles, several of which are still reasonably well preserved, were not just defensive structures but also symbols of the clan’s power, wealth, and strategic maritime interests,” Pat explained.

“They played crucial roles in protecting trade routes, controlling local territories, and asserting dominance over rival clans. The castles’ locations, often on prominent coastal or elevated sites, such as on Dunmanus Bay, Dunlough Bay, Rosbrin Bay and the Leamcon headland near Schull, reflect the importance of maritime prowess to the O’Mahony clan.”

This year’s O’Mahony gathering will commence with a meet and greet session in the bar at Coolcower House, while the next day there will be an outing to Skibbereen Heritage Centre, where those who go will learn about the Great Famine and its impact on the area.

The final day of the gathering will see the Clan Rally take place at Gougane Barra, where St Finbarr is believed to have founded a monastery in the sixth century and where Fr Denis O’Mahony found refuge and celebrated Mass in defiance of the Penal Laws, which could warrant summary execution.

Participants in the Clan Rally will also be informed and entertained by local historian, Seán Ó Súilleabháin, who will guide those present around the ancient Oratory and its grounds, where Fr O’Mahony’s grave is situated.

This year, the annual O’Mahony clan celebrations commence with a virtual event at 8pm on Sunday, June 9, with Margaret Murphy of the Skibbereen Heritage Centre presenting a talk entitled ‘Settlement patterns of the O’Mahony Clan from the early 1800s’.

Anyone interested in learning more about the O’Mahony Gathering events can visit: https://www.omahonysociety.com/news-and-events

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