People from at least three continents will descend on north Cork next weekend to celebrate connections with their Irish family roots.
The O’Keeffe Clan Gathering in Kanturk is preparing to welcome namesakes from mainland Europe, the US, and Australia.
Clan chieftain Dan Joe O’Keeffe, who lives in Kerry, formally launches proceedings at 8pm on Friday at The Dromtarriffe Hall and the event will feature light entertainment by traditional group Buttons & Strings, who won All-Ireland medals in the Ennis Fleadh recently for their instrumental playing skills.
Several local schools will have history exhibitions on show, and one will feature ‘The 1937 Schools Manuscripts collection’ from the locality of Dromagh and Dromtarriffe.
Schoolchildren of the time had collected stories, songs, old sayings, proverbs, customs, and beliefs from their grandparents and parents which had been recorded by the Irish Folklore Commission.
Maurice O’Keeffe of IrishLifeandlore.com will give two presentations, one on Friday night and a second on Saturday. He has an extensive collection of audio recordings and books with first-hand accounts of past Irish life. He is also eager to collect new information and record diaspora experiences.
For those with an avid interest in ancestry, genealogist Catherine Culloty from Newmarket will provide free advice and tips on how to minimise the time and expense involved in finding information while carrying out family research.
Further information will be provided by Lorna Moloney, a member of the Association of Professional Genealogist and the UK Society of Genealogists.
Ms Moloney is the resident genealogist for Dromoland Castle in Co Clare. She will be giving a talk on Sunday afternoon on Albert E Casey’s great collection of the history of ‘O’Kief, Coshe Mang, Slieve Lougher and the Upper Blackwater in Ireland series’.
The organisers will be putting on two adventurous bus tours with two tour guides who boast a vast knowledge of O’Keeffes. Raymond O’Sullivan, historian and folklorist, will accompany visitors to areas in Newmarket linked to ‘The O’Keeffes chalices and houses’ while David O’Keeffe will take visitors to castles, battle sites, and strongholds.
Cullen Pipe Band will play a welcome in Millstreet Square at 7pm and there will be a banquet in the Wallis Arms Hotel, with music, song, and dance from Ceoltoiri Sliabh Luachra.
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