HUNDREDS OF O’NEILLS TO GATHER IN CO TYRONE

The coat of arms of the O'Neills of Tyrone.
The coat of arms of the O’Neills of Tyrone. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

‘The idea behind it is to pull in people with such an important name – Brendan McAnallen.

HUNDREDS of people with the surname O’Neill are to ddescend on their spiritual home in Co Tyrone for a gathering of famous clan later this month . Organisers say the International Gathering of the O’Neill Clans will attract people from as far away as America and Australia.

Theevent, arranged by the Tyrone based Association of O’Neill Clans, will focus on key sites associated with the ancient family name in the country. Partcipants will visit the ancient seat of the O’Neills in Benburb, Tullyhogue Fort, near Cookstown, where the clan installed their chieftains, and the Hill of O’Neills in Dungannon. Organiser Brendan McAnallen said the event would provide a unique opportunity for O’Neills to celebrate their Tyrone roots centuries after the collapse of the Gaelic system in Ulster. “This is the first time there has been an international gathering of this type in Tyrone. The idea behind it is to pull in people with such an important name as O’Neill,” he said.

It is important for people who share this name to know its sighificance, the Benburbn-based businessman said. “Unfortunately the average  O’Neill may not know their own history and some may not care either,” he said.”But there are a lot of people related to the O’Neills who take an interest in the family like the Quinns, the Hagans and the Donnellys. “We have people coming from England, Scotland, France, Spain and even Greece. They are also coming from Americia, Canada and Australia.” Mr McAnallen said the event had taken its inspiaration from the Gathering, the Irish government‘s drive to encourage people of Irish decent to return to the country during 2013. “We thought we should do something and this is our contribution,” he said. “We want to generate a bit of interest and bring the Irish diaspora back home.” Cookstown District Council will host the international vistors at Tullyhogue  on T’hursday of next week, during which a tour, talk and re-enactment will take place at the historic fort. A similar event, supported by the Ancient Clan O’Neill of Tyrone, will take place the following day. The International Gathering of the O’Neill Clans will run from May 23 to 25. For more information visit http://www.oneillclan.com.

With many thanks to : Connia Young, Irish News.

Author: seachranaidhe1

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