Sixth Annual O’Leary Clan Gathering. September 2001.




This was the sixth consecutive year that we have held the O’Leary Clan Gathering at Creedon’s Hotel in Inchigeelagh. As on previous years, there was a good crowd of O’Learys here from all over the World, meeting each other for a bit of craic and to make new friends.


As usual we had a theme. And like everyone else this year, the theme was the 400th anniversary of the Battle of Kinsale. This event, which had such a profound effect on Irish History, and spelt the death knell of the Gaelic culture and systems, took place close to us here in County Cork, and involved most of our ancestors one way or another.


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, although we missed our resident pianist, John Bennett, who was unable to attend. This gave us 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 Creedon’s to hear a talk describing the lead up to the battle, and the general atmosphere in the Country in the period 1595 to 1601. This was given by that well known local historian, Michael Galvin. Michael then went on to tell us about the disastrous battle itself, and the subsequent events following the surrender of the Spanish Army. All of this was in preparation for the afternoon’s tour of the battlefield.

This was preceded by the Group Photograph taken by Catherine Ketch, when she could manage to get this unruly mob to stand still for 30 seconds.


Our bus then arrived and we set off to the area just North of Kinsale where the Battle took place. Michael then continued his story by pointing out the actual sites of the various parts of the action, thus giving us a much more vivid impression than mere words could convey. It is a sad story, but one we should all know about and understand. It is too late for us to turn back the pages of History, but we should appreciate what happened and why. And we should learn from History. Perhaps if our Lords and Masters did just that, mistakes would be fewer.


The weather was beautiful that afternoon, and following our tour of the battle site we all spent a couple of hours looking round the lovely old town of Kinsale, and then had a scenic return tour including seeing the reconstructed old MacCarthy Reagh Castle in Kilbrittain.

Because of the larger numbers this year, the Annual Dinner was held once more in the Function Room. We were treated to our usual splendid dinner provided by the staff of Creedon’s Hotel, and then followed an evening of entertainment provided by Ger Wolfe in his inimitable style. He was, as usual, well supported by many of our members who feel they should have gone on the stage instead of taking up brain surgery or whatever. This was generally believed to have been the best Dinner of all. But they say that every year of course.


We were short of an O’Leary priest this year, so we attended Fr.Kieran Twomey’s Parish Mass at 11.30 in the Chapel.


We then held our customary Annual Meeting at which we discussed the recent first Clan Gathering in England which had been very successful.


We also discussed the retirement of our administrator, Peter O’Leary, and went on to elect his successor, Tony Kenny from Killarney. We wish him many successful years in his new responsibility.


Following lunch 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 would meet again in September 2002.