Friday, 26 August 2016

What a Great Gathering!

Well the dust is beginning to settle on what was a fabulous weekend of talks and some great tours and research days the following week.

We arrived early on Friday to set up the hall and people meandered in, chatted, put up their pedigree charts, browsed the stands and posters, and generally mingled and socialised. Several people made major breakthroughs in their family tree research during the course of the 6 days. 

The Pedigree Charts always attracted a large crowd during the coffee breaks

We had a great turnout for the opening lecture from Danny Grace and it was a privilege to have so many members of Dermot F. Gleeson's family with us. The wine and cheese afterwards from Peter Ward's local pantry was delicious and really made the evening special.

The Opening Night crowd

The Saturday Lectures covered a wide range of topics and there were some great discussions following them. All the talks were excellent and I was particularly moved by two of the talks in particular - Noelle Dowling's talk on Fr Francis Gleeson and his commitment to the Munster Fusiliers; and the presentation by Sean Delaney and Kevin Gleeson on Harry Gleeson, the man wrongfully hanged for murder in 1941. There were times when I had to compose myself before speaking.

The Justice for Harry Gleeson Group with the Gleeson Clan Gathering Committee members

But well done all round to the speakers at this year's event and the huge amount of work they put into their presentations. You will be pleased to hear that these were successfully recorded and will be uploaded to the Gleeson Clan Gathering YouTube Channel over the course of the next several weeks.

There was also a great interest in DNA testing and 32 people altogether had their DNA tested (including 9 men who tested their Y-DNA). These results should be available in the next 6-10 weeks. And a big thank you goes out to FamilyTreeDNA, the Gathering's biggest sponsor.

DNA testing at the back of the hall

The tours on Sunday, Monday & Tuesday were well attended and everyone had a great time. A big thank you to all our tour guides who really made the local history come alive. 

Sunday's tour of Kilmore graveyard with John Kennedy, Pat Sheehan & Denis Gleeson
There will be a Photo Album prepared in the next several weeks which will document each day of the Gathering, where we went and what we did. It will make a nice memento and keepsake.

Thank you to everyone who helped make the Gathering such a special event.

Maurice Gleeson
August 2016


Dolla Church & Cemetery tour with John Kennedy, Pat Sheehan & Denis Gleeson

Holycross Abbey tour with John Bourke

Rock of Cashel tour

Franciscan Abbey, Nenagh with Caimin O'Brien









3 comments:

  1. Since the clan gathering was about relationships that were not necessarily genealogical, I will share this story. Friday evening featured a program dedicated to Justice Dermot F. Gleeson. The presentation had not registered with me until I arrived and I wished I had taken the time to go through some papers at my home in Omaha, Nebraska before heading to Ireland. In August 1962 Justice Gleeson hosted my brother and me, recent graduates of St. Louis University in Missouri, to lunch at Lihinch. Afterwards his wife and daughter accompanied Owen and me on a walk on the Cliffs of Moher. Justice Gleeson commented on Yeats, Joyce, and Shaw and did not think much of any of them, although he thought O’Casey wrote some good plays and he praised O’Faolain’s King of Beggars. To my brother and me, he seemed to know everyone in Ireland! That was August 1962. Now fast forward to August 2016! I met Justice Gleeson’s family members at the conference and we closed the circle of time. What a happenstance! I plan to dig through my papers in the near future to find Justice Gleeson’s letters from 1962 and to put with my photos of the conference. Sue Stein

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  2. Well what a fabulous week. On behalf of all the attendees I wish to extend a big thank you to the committee for putting on such a tremendous event. The lectures and discussions were illuminating, informative and interesting in equal measures. The visits were well targetted and introduced us to interesting places with relevance to us. The entertainment was tremendous - couldn't that young girl dance at the traditional music evening. I had stimulating, great company throughout.
    I was privileged to help a few people with their research and received fantastic leads with my own.
    NOW IT COULD ONLY HAPPEN IN IRELAND.
    For those who missed the story of the incident at my overnight accommodation on the first night and wondered why Nora O'Meara kept laughing every time she looked at me ;-
    I was so engrossed in the presentations that I left a little late to get to my accommodation on the first evening. I arrived with minutes to spare before the 10.00Pm limit, found the place in darkness. I looked around and there were the 2 rounded bushes at the side of the property, in the online picture of the place. I rang the doorbell, no answer and then from around the corner the next door neighbour said "Can I help? The dog heard you and was upset". "I'm staying here for a couple of nights I think, but there are no numbers on the houses and 10.00pm is the deadline" I said. "That would be right she takes people" he said. He pushed the door and it was open, he went inside and returned a moment later. He looked at the door and found the keys in the outer lock "Sure she's gone to bed and left the keys in the door for you" he said. "Follow me I know which room is the single". So i did. He opened the door to the single room. I looked up the hallway and the bedroom door at the end was open with gentle snoring coming from within. "Sure she's taken a sleeping tablet" he said "Is this room alright". "Its fine" said I and off he went into the kitchen and gave me a key to the house. He directed me to a bar in town for a couple beers before bed and said he'd maybe see me down there. I unpacked and went to the Temple Bar. Over the next half hour I got to thinking strange no-one meets you and this played on my mind. Beers drunk I returned to the house and let myself in - there on the coffee table was a Visitors Book which put my mind at rest. Olympics and I was asleep. Went to the loo in the night - there were the dulcet snoring tones - clearly dead to the world I thought. Back to the room slept and awoke the next morning at 7.00am to get to Nenagh. went to bathroom washed, shaved made a cup of tea - Still no-one only the bedroom door at the end of the hallway was now closed. This is weird I thought and disconcerted I repacked my suitcase and left a note " Hi. Sorry I was a little late last evening but the bed was great and I had a comfortable sleep. My phone no. is XX so call me to confirm that tonight is ok too" I wrote. Off I went to Nenagh.
    At the Gathering I sat through the Saturday mornings presentations and at Break time around 11am I went to reception and asked Nora what I needed to dial for the guest house number that I had. I went into the area behind the desk and phoned. it was answere by a man and I was thrown a little - Thonly thing I could think to say was "Did I stay at your house last night?" At this Nora just collapsed on the desk in fits of laughter and it took her some time to recover as I was continuing the discussion that highlighted I had stayed at some random persons house the night before and not at where I thought I was!!!!!!!!!!!
    It all got sorted and the rest of it was plain sailing but If Nora caught mygaze she just burst out laughing every time we met after that.

    A great Gathering and a weird adventure - A bit like the film DELIVERANCE where the American tourists never see the Cajun Indians stalking them until late in the film. How did I sleep easy that night.

    Gerry Gleeson

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  3. Does anybody know PJ Gleeson, Tommy Gleeson and Chris Gleeson who left Tipperary in the late 60's early 70's and headed to England, Tommy I hear ended up in Coventry.

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