The Annual O’Leathlobhair Clan rally week end took place from Friday, July 13th to Sunday, July 15th.
2019 will see the clan celebrate 25 years since its formation.
The 2018 Clan weekend got under way in the Abbeyleix Manor Hotel. Events kicked off with the business end of the weekend with the Clan A.G.M. which drew the largest attendance for some years.
Clan chairperson, Kevin Lalor-Fitzpatrick welcomed all present and a very special welcome was extended to all attending their first Clan celebrations.
Kevin wished all well, he hoped all would have a most enjoyable weekend and declared the 2018 AGM open.
Secretary Annie Lalor read the minutes from the 2017 AGM. Matters arising were all in order and covered on the night’s agenda.
Apologies were received from Ed and Mary Lalor from Cork, good wishes were extended to both and also from the out going Clan Chieftain Fergal Lalor from Kildare.
Correspondence for the annual gathering of members was updated. Good wishes and every success was extended to an event at the Rock of Dunamaise in August.
Secretary Annie Lalor gave a very detailed and accurate account, as always, of the Clans’ meetings and events since the last AGM. Assistant Secretary for correspondence Mary Mahony gave her report on the year. The Chairperson complimented both Annie and Mary for their efficiency and attention to detail.
Mary Carmody as the Clan’s social media secretary outlined in detail her report for the past year and was complimented also by the Chairperson.
The next report was by the Chairperson and P.R.O. Kevin Lalor-Fitzpatrick who thanked all his fellow officers and the clan committee for their hard work, commitment and dedication to the Clan over the years.
As P.R.O. Kevin thanked all the media outlets for advertising the Clan, and thanked the Management and Staff of the Abbeyleix Manor Hotel for all their help and assistance to the Clan.
Paddy Lalor as Treasurer gave a very detailed report on the clan's financial state and all present were in high praise for him. Stuart Lawlor, as Clan Web operator, gave a report on the Clan activities on Facebook and social media. He said that he had a great response to the page and interest is growing as more people from abroad express an interest in joining the clan with a view to attending the rally weekend in the near future, indeed some people had already attended.
Clans of Ireland representative, Aine Ni Cathassaigh from Dublin along with Clan Chieftain Fergal Lalor attended the annual Clans of Ireland rally in Dublin earlier in the year.
The O’Leathlobhair Clan are always signalled out for their wonderful yearly achievements and are hailed as one of Ireland’s most successful Clans as they gather yearly, other Clans hold events every few years only.
Officers elected for 2018/19 as follows: Chairperson and P.R.O. Kevin Lalor-Fitzpatrick, Vice Chairperson Tom Lawlor, Minute Secretary Annie Lalor, Assistant Secretary Mary Mahony, Corresspondence and Computer Operator Mary Carmody, Treasurer Paddy Lalor, Assistant Treasurer Eamon Lalor, Facebook and Web Operator Stuart Lawlor. Clans of Ireland Reps. The new Chieftain 2018/19, Aine Ni Cathassaigh and Margot Coogan. Committee members P.J. Lalor, Bridget Lawlor, Maeve Lalor, Dan Carmody and Pat Lalor.
Life Members of the O’Leathlobhair Clan: Mary Lalor, The Heath, Tom Lawlor, Abbeyleix, David and Ursula Lawlor, Killeigh, Josie Dunne, Shanahoe, Paddy Lalor, Ballycarroll, Michael Lalor, Camross, Annie Lalor, Camross and Kevin Lalor-Fitzpatrick, Raheen.
Following the election of officers an open floor discussion took place which gave everyone present a chance to speak and air their opinions, many suggestions were put forward for the committee to review and especially for the Clan’s 25th anniversary in 2019.
The review meeting of the 2018 Clan weekend takes place on Monday, July 30 at 8pm in the Parish Centre, Portlaoise.
The meeting continued, all involved in organising the Clan rally weekend were complimented on doing a marvellous job and should take a bow for their dedication and commitment.
Under any other business the James Fintan Lalor Autumn school was discussed and would be on a future agenda.
Dan Carmody secretary of the Lalor House Restoration Project stated that phase one was completed in October 2017. It is proposed to start work on phase two very soon. An open day will be held at Tenakill on Wednesday, August 22 during Heritage Week from 11am to 4pm.
The committee will host the launch of the “Sponsor a Slate Campaign” on the day also. One of the highlights of the year was the visit of His Excellency the Australian Ambassador, Richard Andrews on February 14.
Among the many visitors to Tenakill during the year, it was especially noted that Ethan Kelly, an 11-year old boy from Australia, called to visit Tenakill as he had completed a project in his school on Peter Lalor. Ethan called with his parents Leann and Chris Kelly and young brother Alex, who were accompanied by Leann’s parents Fintan and Mary Hinch from Mountmellick and were welcomed by Kevin and Mary Lalor-Fitzpatrick.
Ethan and his family were very proud to be at the home of Peter Lalor, both himself and his brother had their photo taken along side a large picture of Peter Lalor.
Votes of sympathy were extended to all clan families who lost a loved one during the year.
Nominations for Clan Chieftain which had to be in by close of business of the AGM were Mary Carmody, Margo Coogan and Patrick Lalor.
As there was no further business the meeting ended and all looked forward to a night of entertainment and refreshments. Music and song was by the ever popular Joe Coogan and a comedy sketch was provided by Portlaoise Active Retirement Group featuring Paddy Lalor, Andy McQuillan, Finian Finlay, Bernie Downey and John McAuliffe.
On Saturday the Clan tour was organised to Lullymore, It was a lovely sunny morning and the Clan members set out for the bog trip near Rathangan. Some members stepped back in time to cut the turf with the slain, a most enjoyable day was had by all.
The Clan Banquet and election of the New Clan Chieftain was held on Saturday night in the Abbeyleix Manor Hotel. Members and friends sat down to a beautiful meal.
Following the meal the nominees for the position of Clan Chieftain were introduced. Mary Carmody, nee Lalor from Portlaoise and Pat Lalor from Mooneenroe, Kilkenny introduced themselves to all present.
After votes were collected and counted and overseen by the outgoing Chieftain Fergal Lalor and Susan Mooney the Clan Piper Pat Lalor from Ballon in Carlow piped in the new O’Leathlobhair Clan Chieftain 2018/19 Mary Carmody to a standing ovation.
Outgoing Chieftain Fergal thanked all for their support and a marvellous year and wished the clan and the new Chieftain every success and a great year.
Mary responded and thanked all who had supported her and also her proposers for the position.
Runner up Pat Lalor said it was a very proud moment for Mary and her family and wished her well and offered his support for the year ahead. Pat vowed to return to battle in a future year.
Patrons danced the night away to the fabulous Solitaire who had recently launched their new CD album “Partners in Rhyme”.
A great night was had by all who attended. Diarmuid O’Cathassaigh provided entertainment also with song and played some tunes on his harmonica which is always enjoyed by everyone along with his rendition of the O’Leathlobhair Anthem.
The nights’ events were caught on camera by James Carroll.
On Sunday the members attended an Ecumenical Church Service in Killermogh Church, Ballacolla,
Canon Patrick Harvey welcomed the members of the O’Leathlobhair Clan. The newly elected Clan Chieftain Mary Carmody read the Gospel. After church service all attended a farewell lunch at the Manor Hotel.
All agreed, before departing for England and the four corners of Ireland that the weekend was another great success.