The third annual gathering of the Mannion Clan takes place in the village of Abbeyknockmoy, Co Galway, this weekend.
Members and descendants of the Mannion Clan from at home and overseas will assemble in great numbers in the east Galway village tomorrow and Saturday for their third annual clan gathering, which will be launched by Minister of State at the Office of Public Works, Seán Canney TD.
Held in conjunction with National Heritage Week, this year’s rally will feature the official launch of the Mannion DNA Project, which was recently established to assist descendants of the Ó Mainnín clan of Co Galway to discover genetic connections with others who share the same ancestry.
This family history project comprises two separate but complementary components – the ‘Mannion by DNA’ network on Facebook, initiated and administered by local genealogist Martin Curley of Mountbellew, and the ‘Mannion Surname Project’ at Family Tree DNA, established and administered by Jim Hollarn of San Diego, California. The Mannion by DNA initiative aims to connect people worldwide who carry Mannion DNA, regardless of the surname they bear, and link the Mannion diaspora to their relatives in Ireland and the ancestral homelands of their forebears.
The Mannion Surname Project will use the results of tests in Y-DNA, which is passed from father to son, to explore the deeper ancestry and ancient origins of the Ó Mainnín Clan.
The events of the forthcoming gathering are not just for Mannions but are free and open to all to attend.
Activities begin tomorrow at 9pm with registration, a meet and greet session and photo opportunities in The Abbey Inn, Abbeyknockmoy, and the official opening of the 2016 clan gathering by Sean Canney.
On Saturday Joe Mannion will lead a guided tour of the chief residential, ceremonial and burial sites that make up the Mannion Clan Historical Trail, and the day’s activities will end at 6pm in the ruins of Kilconnell Abbey where the last known chief of the Mannion Clan was buried in a tomb dated 1648 with two of his kinsmen from the Clan stronghold at Menlough, originally known as Mionlach Uí Mhainnín, ‘the small lough of the Mannions’.
The Mannion Clan Association says everyone with an interest in the history, heritage and culture of East Galway is welcome to join them for these National Heritage Week events.