Tuesday 20 February 2018

Clan O'Byrne gathering for a two-day reunion

THE Clan O'byrne will gather in the Woodenbridge Hotel in the Vale of Avoca for what promises to be the most important reunion of the Byrne families for some time.

Taking place on Friday October 4 and Saturday October 5, the two-day 'Gathering' event will feature DNA testing so guests can find out about their origins and a live re-enactment of a medieval battle.

The first Clan O'Byrne get together occurred in 1989 where Hughie O'Byrne was elected chieftain and featured up to 150 people from all over Wicklow and Ireland, as well as from the US and New Zealand.

Another Clan O'Byrne gathering took place in 1998 commemorating the 1798 rising and involving a visit to the newly opened Wicklow Gaol.

Now Emmett O'Byrne has taken over as Chieftain from Lar Byrne and October's 'Gathering' in the Woodenbridge marks the culmination of months of hard work.

Highlights include Val Byrne, Paul Burns and Nic Burns chairing a genealogy workshop. Paul and Nic set up the Byrne DNA research group back in 2004 and so far over 300 Byrne''s have been tested. It will be possible to take a test at the end of the workshop so bring along your family tree and you may find some distant cousin.

The 'living history group 'CLAÍOMH' will re-create a live and authentic image of medieval Ireland's past, which is sure to go down a treat with young and old alike. The re-creation will include battle scenes, duels and a very fine display of medieval armour. This offers a great photo opportunity for kids who go free.

The Friday evening will start with registration, the renewal of old friendships, a few drinks and some music in the Cow House. Clan Chief, Dr. Emmett O'Byrne, will start Saturday morning with a series of lectures relating to the Byrne families histories and their homeland Crioc Branach in Leinster.

Catherine Wright, senior archivist and genealogist with Wicklow County Council's Genealogical Service will speak on tracing your family roots in Wicklow. Dr. Margaret Murphy, senior lecturer in Irish History in Carlow College and NUI Maynooth, will speak on the manors of the frontier; raising, trading and other interactions in medieval Leinster.

Nic Burn will present a first ever illustrated talk on his upcoming book about the Coats of Arms and Armorials of the O'Byrne families dating back to 1600.

The night ends with a large banquet.

For further details contact or contact Maura at (087) 6438982.

Wicklow People

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