Great weekend at O’ Lethlobhair clan gathering

THE annual O’ Lethlobhair Clan rally weekend took place recently.

THE annual O’ Lethlobhair Clan rally weekend took place recently.

The clan’s base was at the Abbeyleix Manor Hotel. Events got underway at a sundrenched Abbeyleix with the clan’s AGM, the business side of things.

On Saturday morning at 10am all clan members and friends travelled to Kildare’s National Stud and Japanses Gardens. On Saturday night it was the annual clann banquet and the election of new clan chieftan. On Sunday the clan were at Kilermogh for the annual church service where the new clan chieftan is invited to do a reading.

This year’s clan rally had visitors from England and a first time member from Canada. Counties represented were Wicklow, Dublin, Wexford, Carlow and Laois. At the AGM all were welcomed by chairperson Kevin Lalor Fitzpatrick. The various reports came from Annie Lalor and Mary Mahoney as secretaries, Paddy Lalor as treasurer and Kevin gave his reports as PRO and chairperson. The last report was given by clan chieftan Margot Coogan as clans of Ireland rep.

Margot outlined a very busy year in her clan calander as chieftan with trips to a banquet in Bunratty Castle, various other trips locally to functions and a recent trip to Glasnevin for a wreath laying ceremony on the graves of James Fintan Lalor and Laois poet John Keegan.

The clan and friends also took in a historical grave tour and the Museum of Glasnevin. The highlight of Margot’s year was a trip to Australia where she walked in the footsteps of Tenakill hero and Eureka Stockade gold miner’s leader Peter Lalor. Officers were also elected at the AGM.

They include life members Annie Lalor from Camross, Paddy Lalor from Abbeyleix, Mary Lalor from The Heath, Ursula and David Lalor from The Heath. Chairperson is Kevin Lalor Fitzpatrick; vice chairperson is Tom Lawlor; secretary is Annie Lalor, assistant secretary is Mary Mahoney, treasurer is Paddy Lalor; and assistant treasurer and PRO is Margot Coogan.

Web operator is Stuart Lawlor; clans of Ireland reps are Margot Coogan and Eleanor Robinson. The committee includes Brigid Lawlor, Michael Lalor MCC, Eamon Lalor, PJ Lalor, Bernie Lalor and Jimmy Lalor Fitzpatrick.

The next meeting was fixed for Monday August 20 at 8pm in the Parish Centre in Portlaoise. After the election of officers an open floor discussion took place with the new committee taking all suggestions on board, which they will discuss in the new season. Votes of sympathy were extended to all clan families who suffered a bereavement and loss of a loved one during the year.

Michael Lalor also said that the James Fintan Lalor summer school ahould be coming on stream in 2013 and all are looking forward to that event. At the clan banquet after a beautiful meal, clan chieftan margot Coogan launched Australian man John Cherry’s book ‘The Lalors of Laois’. The book is available from 087 9614235 or contact any clan member.

Music on the night of the banquet was provided by Catherine and Images. The new chieftan was put forward unopposed. A native of Carlow, now living in Dublin, the new chieftan is Aine O’ Cathasaigh, a very popular lady. Her husband Diarmuid sings the clan anthem Maeilla Mar and Aine’s brother Eamon was clan chieftan two years ago.

It was a family affair as another brother Pat Lalor was this year’s clan piper and proved very popular with all present. The new clan chieftan’s first job was to present former chieftan Margot with her clan certificate. Aine said it was a great honour to be clan chieftan of such a historical family name and looked forward to a great year ahead.

She said she would dedicate her time as chieftan to her parents and family, as well as O’ Leathlobhairs everywhere. On Sunday the clan chieftan and members received a great welcome at Killermogh Church by the Rev Alick Purser and the congragation. A great weekend was had by all and next year’s dates for the clan rally are July 12 to July 14, 2013.