The Annual Gathering of the O'Leathlobhair Clan took place in Abbeyleix, Co. Laois over the week-end of July 21st, 22nd & 23rd, 2017. Laois is regarded as the home of the O'Leathlobhairs.
Events got underway on friday evening 21st July at 8 p.m. in the Abbeyleix Manor Hotel with the AGM, a large number attended to review the business of the Clan year. Chairperson Kevin Lalor-Fitzpatrick had a very warm welcome for all the members and for those attending their first Clan Rally, Kevin extended a very hearty cead mile failte.
The meeting opened with warm words of welcome and great praise for out going Clan Chieftain Maeve Lalor, a Carlow native from Ballon and now married and living in Delvin, Co Westmeath.
Secretary Annie Lalor read the minutes of 2016 AGM and all agreed they were a very true and accurate account. The various reports followed from Secretary Annie Lalor, Assist. Secretary Mary Mahony, Computer Secretary Mary Carmody, Social Media, Web and Facebook Operator Stuart Lawlor, Chairperson & PRO Kevin Lalor-Fitzpatrick, Treasurer Paddy Lalor, Reps. To the Clans of Ireland Aine Ni Cathassaigh and Clan Chieftain Maeve Lalor.
Election of Officers for 2017-2018: Chairperson/P.R.O - Kevin Lalor-Fitzpatrick - Vice Chairperson - Tom Lawlor; Minute Secretary - Annie Lalor; Correspondence Secretary - Mary Mahony; Computer Secretary - Mary Carmody; Web & Facebook Operator :- Stuart Lawlor; Treasurer - Paddy Lalor; Assistant Treasurer - Eamon Lalor; Clans of Ireland Delegates - Aine Ni Cathassaigh, Maeve Lalor, Margot Coogan and the New Clan Chieftain Fergal Lalor; Committee - P.J. Lalor, Bridget Lawlor, Michael Lalor and Margot Coogan.
Honorary Life Clan Members:- Annie Lalor , Camross. Paddy Lalor, Ballycarroll, Tom Lawlor, Abbeyleix, Mary Lalor, The Heath, David Lawlor, Killeigh, Ursula Lawlor, Killeigh, Michael Lalor , Camross, Josie Dunne, Abbeyleix, Kevin Lalor-Fitzpatrick , Raheen.
The next item on the agenda was an open floor discussion where all present got a chance to air their views on any matter, various ideas and suggestions were put forward for discussion and the new committee will discuss them over various upcoming meetings.
A review meeting will take place on Monday 14th Aug. at 8 p.m. in the Parish Centre, Portlaoise, this meeting will review the events during the O'Leathlobhair Clan Rally week-end for 2017.
Votes of Sympathy were extended to all Clan families who lost loved ones during the year. Nominations closed for those contesting the position of Clan Chieftain, the new leader to take over the role at the Clan Banquet on saturday night. Any other business included an update on the James Fintan Lalor Autumn School to be held on saturday 18th Nov. in Portlaoise.
Also, a committee has been set up for the preservation/restoration of Tenakill House, ancestral home to Honest Pat Lalor M.P. and his sons James Fintan Lalor, Richard Lalor M.P. and Peter Lalor of Eureka Stockade fame in Australia. An open day will take place at Tenakill on tuesday 22d Aug. from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., further information on both events to be outlined at a later date.
Following the A.G.M. light refresments were served and entertainment was provided by the Portlaoise Active Retirement Group with a comedy sketch “The Operation” written by Paddy Lalor who also performed along with Andy McQuillen, Pat Nealon and Finian Finlay. Trudy Nealon provided sound. This was followed with music on accordion and song by Joe Coogan, a great finish to the opening night.
Satruday morning saw the membes off on their historical tour arranged by Clan Chieftan Maeve Lalor taking in scenic parts of Carlow. As the sun shone brightly Maeve lead the clan in song with Follow Me Up to Carlow and Lovely Laois.
The first stop was to Pat and Margart Lalor's Ballykealey farm near Ballon, parents of Maeve where the group were greeted with a warm welcome on arrival with Pat playing the uileann pipes and Maeve's nephews and nieces and family members proudly holding up a cead mile failte banner applauding as Maeve led the way dressed in the clan robe and staff. The group were served beautiful home made scones with tea and coffee followed by viewing of vintage tractors, machinery and items from times past.
Two of Maeve's nephews were delighted to be able to introduce themselves on the day as James Fintan Lalor and Fintan Lalor, the latter being the proud owner of a Fergueson 20 grey vintage tractor presented to him by Pat Lalor of Ballykealy farm. Kevin Lalor-Fitzpatrick commended everyone involved. The next stop on tour was to Adelaide Memorial Church in Myshall with guide Bridget who outlined all the local history. A break for lunch was to O'Shea's in Borris, then the tour continued on to Graiguemanagh and Duiske Abbey where the history was given by Diarmuid O'Cathassaigh. The tour continued on to St. Mullins where the residents were preparing for Pattern Day being held the following day and the history of the locality was enthuastically given by Bridget.
Saturday night saw the members gather for the Clan Banquet and after the beautiful meal served by the Management & Staff of the Abbeyleix Manor Hotel, members danced and enjoyed the music of Solitaire. On view also were the many scrap books showing photos and details of events held during the years maintained by Mary Mahony which remind members and introduce new members and guests to all happenings.
A super night was had by all the the new Clan Chieftan was announded as Fergal Lalor, a native of Carlow now living in Suncroft, Co. Kildare with his wife and family. Clan Piper Pat Lalor had the honour of leading Fergal into the banquet hall to a standing ovation followed by outgoing Chieftan Maeve Lalor was was paid glowing tributes for her work and committment to the O'Leathlobahir Clan over the past year, Maeve responded favourably.
Fergal, in his address said that it was a proud moment for himself, his wife and three children to be bestowed this honour and also his very proud mother who was in attendance along with his sister and family members. Fergal also remembered his late father Seamus. His first job was to present Maeve with her Clan certificate as outgoing Chieftan.
Sunday 23rd July brought to a close the end of another super week-end for the O'Leathlobhair Clan members with a Ecumenical service conducted by Fr. Eddie Lalor with Organist Laura Kelly.
Readings were by Clan Chieftan Fergal Lalor, Prayers of the Faithful were read by Maeve Lalor, Declan Carroll, Aine Ni Cathassaigh, Eamon Lalor, Tom Lawlor & Kevin Lalor-Fitzpatrick. A special thanks to Fr. Ger Ahern P.P., Abbeyleix for the use of the church and to Nora Tobin, Sacristan. Good wishes were extended to Fr. Ahern in his new parish of Baltinglass, Co. Wicklow.
Members concluded the afternoon with a farewel lunch. It was a bitter sweet week-end for Clan Chairperson Kevin Lalor-Fitzpatrick as he remembered his late and very dear and wonderful mother Millie as it was twelve months to the day when she was called to her heavenly home and to all clan members and frieds and past Clan Chieftans who are no longer with us, may earth's green sod rest gently on their souls and may the light of H