Prepare for the O’Malley invasion

Galway architect Sarah Kelly, (in blue) the Chieftain of the O'Malley clan, pictured at Claregalway Castle for the launch of the O'Malley Rally next week.

Galway architect Sarah Kelly, (in blue) the Chieftain of the O'Malley clan, pictured at Claregalway Castle for the launch of the O'Malley Rally next week.

Get ready for an O’Malley invasion at the end of next week, because they are all coming to Galway for the annual O’Malley Rally. The O’Malley Clan is a worldwide association of people bearing the O’Malley name. Its aim is to foster connections between people of O’Malley heritage and promote an awareness of the history of this Gaelic Clan and later this month they are holding their 63rd annual rally family day in the grounds of Claregalway Castle while a host of other events take place across the city and county.

Each year since 1953, The Clan holds an annual gathering of O’Malleys, their extended families and friends, known as The O’Malley Rally. The 63rd Annual Rally will be held over the last weekend in June, 23rd – 25th in Galway City and County.

The Hon Martin O’Malley, 61st Governor of Maryland USA, whose family hail from Kilmilkin in the Maam Valley, will officially launch the 63rd Annual O’Malley Clan Rally on Friday June 23.

Highlight of the annual event is The O’Malley Family Day, Féile UíMháille, taking place this year in Claregalway Castle. The O’Malley DNA project co-ordinated by Dr Maurice Gleeson, a leading genetic genealogist will be launched at this family day. History buffs will enjoy a Guided Tour of the Castle, while tag archery, face painting, Granuaile treasure hunt will provide fun for the young at heart, all followed by a great BBQ, with lamb cooked on an open spit in the Castle Bawn. Other events during the weekend include a guided tour of Galway City Waterways led by historian Dr Jackie Uí Chionna, a bus tour of County Galway sites associated with Yeats and The Celtic Revival including the Castle at Thoor Ballylee. The Open Air annual Clan Mass in Claregalway Franciscan Friary will be a very special celebration with many O’Malley musicians taking part.

Guardian Chieftain Ellen O’Malley-Dunlop and Chieftain Sarah Kelly will welcome Gov Martin O’Malley, while rugby legend John Hayes, Cardinal Sean O’Malley, and politician Des O’Malley are invited. O’Malleys and families from throughout Ireland, USA, UK, Scotland, Australia, New-Zealand, Singapore will be attending this gathering in Galway.

Mary Robinson placed a lighted candle in the window of Arús an Uachtarain when she took up residence there as President of Ireland, as a symbol of the Irish welcome and beacon to people of Irish heritage the world over. Thus the word diaspora came into common usage. However, for many years prior, The O’Malley Clan had been connecting with and welcoming its own diaspora, which formally started in 1953 with the first O’Malley Clan Rally.

Each year since, O’Malleys from home and abroad have gathered together to celebrate the traditions of this great Gaelic Clan. In 2017 the Clan will once again gather, June 23-25, in Claregalway Castle, to rekindle the flames of friendships forged over many years.

Mary Robinson also brought the expression ‘Mná na hEireann’ into common usage, recognising the powerful women of Ireland, including of course Granuaile or Grace O’Malley the infamous Pirate Queen of Tudor times. She continues to be celebrated by the O’Malley Clan to this day. Granuaile was the Clan leader in her day, and is an inspiration to many women in modern times.

Chieftain Sarah Kelly, a Galway-based architect and grand-daughter of Dr Conor, one of the instigators of the Clan, invites all people of O’Malley Heritage to the 63rd Annual O’Malley Clan Rally. Bookings for The Family Day are available at www.omalleyclan.ie/events Places are limited so you are encouraged to book early. The Clan motto is ‘Terra Marique Potens’ meaning ‘Powerful on Land and Sea’, June 2017 promises to bring together a powerful gathering of O’Malleys, their families and friends.

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