Fifth Annual O’Leary Clan Gathering. September 2000






As in previous years, the Fifth O’Leary Clan Gathering was held in Inchigeelagh, Co. Cork, with it’s centre at Creedon’s Hotel. A few old and many new friends came from all over the world for the weekend of 15th. to 17th. September 2000, and a good time was had by all.

Like most events this year, our meeting was described as ‘of the Millennium’. There was some justification for this in that our theme was the City and surrounding area of Rosscarbery, the ancient home of many of our families but particularly of the O’Learys, and therefore a reminder of events of 1000 years ago

On the Friday evening there was a Reception and welcoming speeches from the Committee. This was followed by Refreshments and entertainment, with traditional music and airs and songs led by our resident pianist, John Bennett. As usual this evening gave all the attendees

a good opportunity to meet and get to know each other and exchange information on Family Trees and Genealogical matters.

On Saturday morning we assembled in Creedons to hear a talk given by Peter O’Leary describing the forthcoming trip to Rosscarbery. This outlined the History of the momentous transfer of the O’Leary Tribe from Rosscarbery to Uibh Laoghaire, and details of the various sites of interest which we were about to see.

Then followed our Group Photograph to remind posterity who was in attendance on this date.

We then mounted our bus and set off. The first stop was at a magnificent Ringfort in the Townland of Freahanes about two miles to the North of Rosscarbery. This is in excellent condition, though today filled with deciduous trees which give a canopy effect when you are inside the Fort. It’s diameter is 44 metres, it has a complete inner wall, a complete fosse, and sufficient of it’s outer wall to identify it as bivallate.

Our next visit was to Rathbarry where we saw the new monument, which has been set up to commemorate Daniel O’Leary of Chicago. The World Champion Walker of his day. We were given a good talk on Daniel’s history and the efforts of the local committee, which worked on this Project, to commemorate his fame.

We then bussed to Rosscarbery and had lunch, followed by a talk on the History of the City given by Cal Hyland who owns the local Bookshop. Next was a walk about the City guided by Michael Tobin of the Rosscarbery Historical Society. He showed us the remains of the Starfort walls, and also the Cathedral, which was built for the C. of I. in 1612 on the site of an earlier Catholic one. We then returned to Inchigeela.

The Annual Dinner was different this year. It was held on Saturday night in the new Dining Room of the Hotel and most Members approved of the cosier atmosphere and better acoustics.

We then enjoyed one of Creedon’s usual high class Dinners, a raffle for a bottle of whiskey, and some very high class entertainment provided by Ger Wolfe, Marion O’Leary and Tadhg Creed.

The further merrymaking seemed to go on until the small hours of Sunday, over which perhaps we should draw a decent veil.

Sunday morning started as usual by a tour of Inchigeelagh, on foot, led by Joe Creedon. This has become an annual event much looked forward to by young and not so young. The walk continued to Carrignacurra where we inspected the work which has been done on the Castle by Maxim Gormanov.

We had lunch and then our customary Annual Meeting at which many ideas were tossed around, and the only decisions made seemed to be to carry on next year as before. We ran out of time however and failed to discuss the proposed Website.

Then followed the usual final Mass and this was held out of doors in the old Church Of Ireland Churchyard as the weather was fine. We were delighted to have Fr. Barry O’Leary from Honduras (and originally of course from Dromcarra) as our celebrant.

Following Mass the meeting was concluded and all went on their various ways. The general conclusion seemed to be that this had been a very happy and successful Clan Gathering. It was agreed that we will meet again next September, 2001