independent

Sunday 31 August 2014

Sullivans as far as the eye can see

Kevin Hughes

Published 19/06/2013 | 05:36

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Chris O'Sullivan, Killarney, Pat O'Sullivan, Listowel and Dermot O'Sullivan, Killarney after signing in at the O'Sullivan Gathering World Record Attempt in Sneem on Saturday.

IT was a week to explore the rich ancestry of the O'Sullivans and their descendants but it was really all about the world record attempt.

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Sneem's ambitious record attempt on Saturday was certainly the highlight of the south Kerry village's 'O'Sullivan Gathering 2013', a week-long festival that included the 'Largest same name gathering - surname' official record attempt.

The record had been held by the Gallagher clan with 1,488 and while that figure unfortunately wasn't reached, organisers still managed to gather some 1,050 O'Sullivans into the picturesque village, a success in itself.

"We didn't make it but, who knows, we may do it again in the future," Jane O'Sullivan of the Sneem Events Office said afterwards.

The rain kept away on Saturday but returned with interest on Sunday, yet the weather didn't dampen the spirits of all who had gathered throughout the week. And they had travelled from far and wide, as Jane revealed.

"The genealogist spoke with so many people throughout the week, they came from Tasmania and Melbourne, from Arizona and New Mexico and from the UK and across Ireland," she stated.

Indeed, the record attempt included 800 O'Sullivans from Kerry, 121 from Cork, 13 from the US and four from the UK, as well as O'Sullivans from Australia and South Africa.

The gathering attracted all ages too, from a three-week-old O'Sullivan to 101-year-old 'Jackie The Farmer', while other guests included 1998 Rose of Tralee Luzveminda O'Sullivan Flannelly, as well as Kerry space hopeful Mags O'Sullivan.

The week included daily genealogy workshops and guided trips to the ancient O'Sullivan castles at Dunkerron near Sneem and across Kenmare Bay to the ruins of Dunboy Castle on the Beara Peninsula.

Kerryman

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