Dungarvan and West Waterford is set to host the International McGrath Clan Gathering in June. This five-day global festival of McGrath heritage, history and culture has already attracted members of this great Irish clan, their extended families and friends, from around the world, to the area.
It will be the sixth official gathering of the McGrath Clan. The event will include heritage tours visiting sites of McGrath heritage, lectures, BBQ, traditional Irish music, a visit to the Gaeltacht, genealogist, parade, film premiere, visit to the Waterford County Museum and Dungarvan Castle, book launch and the McGrath Clan Gala Dinner.
The organising committee are looking forward to welcoming members of the clan to the town. It is also going to prove a significant financial boost to the area, with visitors staying in hotels, B&Bs and holiday homes. Surprisingly, the organisers received no funding for the event in the 2019 festival grants. Global events are hard to attract to rural towns but Dungarvan has proved itself to be a suitable location, thus the disappointment at the lack of funding.
Two people who organised the first gathering 20 years ago are set to be honoured at this year’s event. The late Liam McGrath is been remembered by a Research Bursary and John McGrath will receive the ‘Medal of Echthighern’, the highest honour that the clan can bestow.
The McGrath Clan Association have with the help of Sacha Bulfin, SB Design Dungarvan, created a new crest which includes the coat of arms and motto, in time for their event in Dungarvan.
Some of the speakers have already been announced and include Dennis Wright, who is travelling from Australia and is highly regarded in the field of DNA. Luke McInerney, who is an independent researcher with a particular focus on the late medieval history of Gaelic Ireland, is also set to speak at the event. His ancillary interests include the economic and social structure of medieval lordships in Ireland.
The flag for the 2019 McGrath Clan gathering has been around the world. It started its journey two years ago in California and it’s currently in France, having visited the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa. The flag has been flown at festivals, visited towns and cities, heritage centres and places of historical interest.It has brought our diaspora closer to Ireland, promoting Dungarvan and Co Waterford at the same time. Anyone who wants to register for the event are advised to go onto the website www.mcgrathclan.org as early as possible. They are also being advised to book their accommodation as soon as possible, due to Dungarvan’s popularity as a tourist destination.
The event starts on Wednesday June 26th and finishes with the McGrath Clan Gala Dinner on Sunday June 30th. Email info@mcgrathclan.org for more details.