O’Molloys expected in force for clan gathering

DETAILS have been announced of the third O’Molloy Clan gathering which will take place on August 12 and 13.

DETAILS have been announced of the third O’Molloy Clan gathering which will take place on August 12 and 13.

The O’Molloy Association has a full weekend of events planned with something for everyone. You do not have to hold the Molloy name to participate.

One of the highlights of the weekend will be when the present Chieftain of the O’Molloy Clan, Frances Molloy Berry, hands the mantle to a new Chieftain in Charleville Castle on Saturday night, August 13, at the Medieval Feast.

Also on the Saturday there will be a Guided Tour of ‘O’Molloy Country’ with lunch at Enroute restaurant included.

Membership of the O’Molloy Association is open to anyone with family links or interest in the O’Molloy clan or its ancient territory of Firceall. The O’Molloy clan ruled Firceall from the 5th to the 17th centuries.

Firceall itself is comprised of the ancient baronies of Ballycowan, Ballyboy and Eglish, and extends from Durrow north of Tullamore to Eglish on the edge of Birr in an area which is some 25 miles in length by 5 miles in width.

Firceall means ‘Men of the Churches’, due to the great number of ancient churches in the area such as Durrow, Drumcullen, Killyon, Kilcormac, Lynally and Rathlihen.

Surrounded by strong warlike septs such as the O’Carroll’s of Ely, the MacCoughlan’s of Delvin Eathra and the O’Connor’s of Offaly, the O’Molloy territory was the scene of regular conflict over the centuries with neighbour and Crown forces alike.

The ruins of a number of important castles are found here, such as Broughal, Eglish, Ballindown, Dowras, Le Porte near Whigsborough, Kiltubrid, Rathmackilduffe (Rath), Ballyboy, Derrydolny, Rathline, Rathrobin, Garbally, Cully, Killooly and Pallas.

The O’Molloy Clan Association was formed in November 2004 with a view to promoting the O’Molloy name and the territory of Firceall. It is hoped to achieve this through holding Clan Rallies and by developing connections in Ireland and worldwide which will gather, conserve and share relevant historical and geneaological information.

The clan are constantly updating their collection of old and new family photos of O’Molloy descendants and family locations. Please email any O’Molloy photos to the organisers and who will add them to the new look gallery and website.

On Friday, August 12 the main event takes place in the Offaly Historical & Archaeological Centre including an historical lecture on the O’Molloy Name, Castles and Strongholds by Camin O’Brien. The guided tour stars at 9am on Saturday, August 13 from the Tullamore Court Hotel Car Park with the Medieval Feast taking place that night in Charleville Castle with Special Guest Baritone John Molloy. Tickets for this are priced at €20.

Tickets for the main events should be purchased in advance by telephone at 086 3857376 or 0579343300 or 087 7817526 or 086 3424463. You may also visit the website at www.omolloy.com