Visitors welcomed to the rally with the news that the previous event had been among the most successful of the Irish Homecoming Festival, and that a Certificate of Appreciation had been awarded to the Clan. It is now housed in the new O'Dubhda Archive.
As is now usual, trips were organised to display the heritage of the clan, and these proved again to be very popular. The visit to Culkin's Emigration Museum was perhaps the most poignant, as this was the very building where the emigrant ancestors of some of the visitors would have bought their shipping ticket. A trip to the Famine Museum brought home one of the chief reasons for the emigration of so many from the area, while the visit to Foxford Woollen Mills gave a flavour of life over a century ago.
More ancient sites were also included. The Ceide Fields (pictured here) was a must for some who had been before, and allowed others to travel back 5,000 years for the first time
Roscommon was on the list and the burial place of Daithi, the 5th century High King from whom the O'Dubhda are descended is there. This was followed by a visit to Yeats country and the recently restord Park's Castle.
The Clan Association Meeting agreed that, in the absence of a number of members of the Clan Council, the meeting should be of an informal nature. Condolences were offered to Thersa Heery on the death of her husband, Bill, before any business was conducted. It as agreed:
A List of Members be published for the information of members.
The next Rally should be at Enniscrone, on 11 to 14 September 1997.
At the next meeting, an Honorary Chieftain and Tanaiste should be elected.
Voting rights were to be ratifeid and an election procedure put in place.
Nominations would require a seconder and the acceptance of the nominee, and if there was more than one candidate, an election would be held.
The duly elected Chieftain to be inaugurated with due honour and ceremony, according to the Brehon tradition, and that he/she should use the title "O'Dubhda, Taoiseach of Tireragh" and the surname "O'Dubhda" as official signature on relevant Clan Association documentation.
Special thanks were recorded to Paddy Tuffy, Sheelagh Rafter and Pamela Cawley, of the local committee, for their efforts in assisting the Clan Association.
There was an exhibition of the material collected for the O'Dubhda Archive, which included articles from newspapers and books, letters and anecdotes from many parts of the world. Members were encouraged ot keep sending any references to O'Dubhdas that they find. Conor MacHale's "O'Dubhda Country-Tour Guide to Tireragh" was launched and will be invaluable for anyone wishing to visit local sites on their own. The Irish Heritage Research Centre is able to deal with e-mail requests for information about genealogical research, and can reply quickly, and with photocopies of relevant documents. This provides an easily accessible facility that is very cost-effective. (contactHERITAGE@iol.ie )
Conor gave a talk of the Dowds of Dublin, which could have been sub-titled "Ennicrone to the White House." He explained that a civil war among the O'Dubhda in the 15th century led to one of the clan moving to Drogheda and founding a family there. His descendants became influential in te Dublin area and were merchants trading as far as Chester in England, and perhaps even to London. It was from London that Henry Dowd emigrated to America in 1639 and Mamie Doud, widow of President Dwight D Eisenhower, and her son, John Doud Eisenhower, are descended from this family.
The Rally concluded with a banquet at Beleek Castle, Co. Mayo. (Pictured right) This castle houses a fine collection of medieval armour and equipment, as well as artefacts from the galleons that sunk off the coast during the Spanish Armada. A fine meal was followed by a musical entertainment that brought the Rally to a fitting conclusion.