KERRY senior football team captain, Eoin Brosnan launched the Brosnan Clan Gathering amid laughter and music, song and story at Herlihy's Bar in Farranfore on Friday night.
Brosnans gathered from all over Kerry and beyond to witness the launch of the East Kerry Roots Festival and Brosnan Clan Gathering at 'Maura's Rambling House' in the famous roadside hostelry Herlihy's Bar.
On the stroke of 10 o'clock 'fear a tí' Tony O'Brien called the house to order and proceedings began. Master of Ceremonies on the occasion was well known poet and Currow native, Tommy Frank O'Connor.
Tommy Frank set the event in context when he told the packed pub that before the Titanic, before the first transatlantic cable from Knightstown, Valentia in 1858, before Moore's melodious harp enchanted Tara's Halls - even before Jonathan Swift sent Gulliver off on his travels - Brosnans had already crossed the seas and oceans, in various circumstances.
"They made their homes in other lands. It is with the descendants of this family that all with Brosnan blood in their veins wish to reunite and exchange memories, songs and stories during the festival". He then recited "The Gathering Sonnet", which he had penned especially for the occasion. The final two lines of which were especially poignant,
'Young Brosnans Left Our Shores With Dreams And Plans - Those Saplings Now Great Oaks In Other Lands."
Tommy Frank then called upon Joan Holland, treasurer of East Kerry Reaching Out to say a few words. Joan explained that the East Kerry Roots Festival and Brosnan Clan Gathering is being organised by a voluntary organisation with charitable status. She continued by stating that the Brosnan family name had been selected for the clan gathering as it is one of the most prevalent surnames in East Kerry.
Joan then informed the assembled crowd that Brosnans were travelling from as far afield as: Australia, Canada, Dubai, Germany, New Zealand, Singapore, USA, and the UK to attend 'The Gathering' in Castleisland from July 25th to 28th.
The microphone was then handed over to Marie O'Sullivan, who joked that it must seem strange to all the assembled Brosnans to have an O'Connor, a Holland and O'Sullivan standing before them and speaking at the launch of the Brosnan Clan Gathering.
She justified her presence by stating that her great-grandmother was Mary Brosnan from Ballymacelligott and that she felt if Barack Obama 'could go back eight generations to trace his ancestry to Moneygall' then she could certainly 'go back three generations to become a Brosnan.'
When pressed about their Brosnan lineage Joan confessed that hers was 'a bit further back' whilst Tommy Frank admitted to being 'a second-generation Brosnan'.
With reference to the programme of events Marie stated that; "It is our objective to organise and deliver a series of events which best reflect the circumstances, lifestyle and pastimes of our ancestors," said Marie O'Sullivan.
She advised those in attendance that priority booking had been given to the 60 known visitors from abroad who have confirmed they are attending event. While availability is limited in the case of some events, she advised people to book immediately.
Marie suggested that for many, especially those travelling from abroad, the highlight of the event would be the Festival Banquet, as it would provide all with an opportunity to meet Irish Brosnans.
She concluded by stating that the festival programme could be accessed at www.eastkerryroots.com and that tickets for the banquet at €40 per head could be booked online or directly from Joan Holland, treasurer East Kerry Reaching Out, The Spa, Tralee. All cheques should be made payable to East Kerry Reaching Out.
Finally the scene had been set for the official launch and introduction of Eoin Brosnan, captain of the 2013 Kerry senior football team and co-patron with Denis Brosnan, former CEO of The Kerry Group.
Eoin spoke about what being a Brosnan meant to him and how honoured he felt to be selected as one of the patrons. He concluded by declaring the festival officially launched. Anyone with enquiries regarding the festival should consult the website www.eastkerryroots.com or Geraldine on 087 1813879.