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In 2004, an organization called the O’Neill Summer School was created by Mrs. Christine Doherty and others.  The school was most active in a small village in Ireland called Randalstown, and based its activities within the regal setting of Shane’s Castle, the ancestral grounds of the O’Neills of Clanaboy, and present home of Lord O’Neill and his family.

 

In the following years, the school would become a tremendous success.  Its goal was a five year program with one purpose–to provide an annual conference to study the richness and diversity of the O’Neill clan and its heritage. It was not intended to be a gathering of O’Neills, but rather to provide an opportunity for others to study the history of the O’Neill name and to visit the many historical sites associated with the O’Neill Clan and its achievements.

 

It became very apparent, however, to all involved that the school had began to generate interest from not only O’Neills from Ireland, but from O’Neills across the globe. It led to an informal international O’Neill network where O’Neills began not only to reconnect with each other, but to consider the future of the O’Neill Clans.

 

Using the model created by the O’Neill Summer School, others began to arrange similar meetings outside of Ireland in cities such as Chicago, Pittsburgh and Rome. One additional meeting was scheduled in Portugal on May 4th, 2007, at the ancestral home of Hugo O’Neill, the Chief of the Clanaboy O’Neills.

 

From this meeting, The Association of O’Neill Clans was born. It was created by O’Neills for O’Neills to provide historical education and the preservation of ancient O’Neill sites. It would also help to facilitate the needs of those communities in Ireland and abroad that had searched for a greater understanding of the cultural and historical uniqueness of our shared Gaelic identity.

 

The Association of O’Neill Clans would also bring O’Neills together as a true clan for the first time in generations, no matter their location in the world. The Association of O’Neill Clans is now looking forward to the next international gathering of the O'Neill clans and  conference in 2013.

 

Come join us in creating another chapter of our Clan
and we look forward to seeing you in
Tyrone, 22nd-26th May 2013 for the next International Gathering of the Clans.