Clan Gathering – Ireland 2011

The 8th International O’Dea Clan Gathering

The 8th International O’Dea Clan Gathering was held at the Old Ground Hotel, Ennis. Co. Clare on the weekend of July 8-11, 2011.

The Programme

Here is the programme for the Clan Gathering: 8th International O Dea Clan Gathering Programme 2011

Accommodation

Information about accommodation is available here: Accommodation List for the 2011 Clan Gathering

Report on the 8th International O’Dea Clan Gathering

The O Dea Clan comes from far and wide to celebrate their Irish roots.

Clan members came from all over the globe for the 8th International O’Dea Clan Gathering, in Ennis, on the weekend of July 8-11.

This is a triennial event, which began in 1990 and was organised by Noreen and James O’Dea of Clontarf. It attracted over 140 members – O’Deas, O’Days, Deas, Dees, and Days – from all over the world, including delegates from places as far away as China, New Zealand and Canada.  There were also a large number of delegates from the US and Australia.

Locally, clan members from Ennis, Kilfenora, Ennistymon, Shannon, Lissycasey and Cooraclare were all there.

Proceedings commenced on Friday, July 8 with a civic reception from Ennis Town Council, which was held in the reception hall at the council’s premises in the Butter Market. Ennis Lord Mayor Cllr. Michael Guilfoyle welcomed the O’Dea Clan to the town of Ennis and commented on the historic relationship the town had with the O’Deas. In reply, clan chairperson James O’Dea thanked the town council and the people of Ennis for their warm welcome and hospitality.

Following this, the clan adjourned to the Banner Room of The Old Ground Hotel to hear a lecture from Risteard Ui CróinIn, County Conservation Officer, who founded the Clan Association in 1989, after he had restored the O’Dea Castle at Dysert.

The theme of the lecture was The Origins of the O’Dea Family.  During the lecture, Mr. Ui Cróinín outlined how the O Deas like many other Gaelic families went to great lengths to catalogue their ancestors. Tracing the ancestry of the O’Deas from Fenius Fars, King of the Scythia from the earliest times right up to the modern times, Ui Cróinín kept his audience spell bound with the lore of their family history. The evening was rounded off with traditional musical provided by Seana Long and her cousin, Katie Connole, from Ballygannor, Kilfenora.

On Saturday morning, clan members visited their ancestral home of Dysert O’Dea Castle where they were given a guided tour of the castle, St. Tola’s church, round tower and high cross, as well as, the many other historic monuments of the Dysert area. The guides were Risteard Ui Cróinín and local historian, cartographer and publisher, Martin Breen. Manager of the Dysert O’Dea Castle, Breda Considine and her staff, hosted an Irish Coffee and smoked salmon reception. The occasion saw the inauguration of the new O’Dea Clan Chieftain.

On the steps of the castle, the clan chieftain, John B. O’Day of Wisconsin Rapids, handed over his chain of office to incoming clan chieftain, Bill Day of Avoca, Iowa, USA, who will remain in office until 2014. Bill Dea is a retired US Air Force pilot who flew the US President’s Air Force 2.  Currently, he is a pilot with Delta airlines. Over 30 members of Bill’s family were in Dysert to witness his inauguration.

On Saturday afternoon, a large group took up an invitation by local historic guide, Jane O’Brien, to view the historic sites of Ennis town.

At five o’clock, the clan descended on John O’Dea’s pub in O’Connell Street, where John and his family hosted a barbecue for over 130 clansmen and women.

On Saturday night, the clan was treated to an evening of entertainment and singing, at Bunratty Castle where, for a change, the O’Briens and MacNamaras were replaced by the O’Deas.

Sunday morning Mass at St Flannan’s was attended by a huge number of faiths, who were treated to a warm welcome by Fr Tom O’Dea, who is ministering in Ballynacally, after many years in Arizona.

After Mass, a large group of clan members went on a tour of Inisheer lead by Ennis native and clan treasurer, Shane O’Dea. Highlight of the trip was on the return journey when the ferry brought the clan members in underneath the famous Cliffs of Moher. Meanwhile, another group spent the Sunday afternoon touring the North Clare area, including the Burren and Cliffs of Moher, where Martin Breen acted as tour guide for the trip.

A farewell dinner was held in The Old Ground on Sunday night where Maureen Carey of Adelaide was elected as Clan Tainaiste.

On Monday morning, those members of the clan held their international clan meeting.  Overall, a very successful clan gathering.

Photos – Clan Gathering in Ireland in 2011

More Photos – Clan Gathering in Ireland in 2011

More photos are available on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/odeaclan/sets/72157651836461806/

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