On 11th September, the O'Dubhda Clan again answered the call and gathered at Enniscrone for the fourth rally. They came from Australia, the USA, Ireland, Scotland and New Zealand, and the ages ranged from 5 week-old Kirrell O'Dowd for Co. Kildare, to 80+ year-old Sean O'Dubhda from Kerry: Sean was attending his fourth rally! A party of O'Dowds from California that was visiting Ireland heard about the rally and promptly headed for Enniscrone, where they were warmly welcomed and given an introduction to the area.
As has become customary, trips were arranged to visit sites associated with the history of the O'Dubhda clan.
Right: Enniscrone Castle.
At the meeting of the Clan Association in the Atlantic Hotel, it was unanimously agreed to elect Thomas J Dowds , from Scotland, to be Taoiseach, and Dr Richard F Dowd, from New Jersey, to the Tanaiste. Tom's roots lie in Kilglass and Easky, near Enniscrone, while Richard is descended from a family that left Ireland during the Great Famine in the middle of the 19th century.. Both are to be formally inaugurated at the next clan rally, the date for which was agreed as 1st to 3rd September 2000.
The members heard a delegation from Bonniconlon, led by Liam Gillard, which asked for support towards their project to erect a memorial to the O'Dowda family, in particular to Colonel Baron James Vippler O'Dowda, who gave his life in the 1798 Rising. It was agreed that the Association would give consideration to the proposal. Subsequently, significant donations were made by the Taoiseach-elect and Clann Ui Dubhda Teo to the fund-raising committee.
The week-end finished with a banquet at Beleek Castle, Ballina, where two young Australians, Tammie Smith and Andrew O'Dowd, announced their engagement. A presentation was made to the couple by the Taoisach-elect.
(Update - The news from Queensland is that the couple are now married and have started a family - the clan continues to grow!)
Photographs of 1997 Rally