O’Neill Clan celebrations heading to Coalisland

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A LOOK at O’Neill County of Tyrone will show that the Clonoe/Coalisland area of East Tyrone is the heartland of the O’Neill Clan.

The number of families are that many that they have to be identified by nicknames.

To ask the question, “Do you know John, Mick, Paddy or Owen?”, the reply would be, “Now who would that be?”

Variations of the O’Neill name include Mor, Tressas, Ruairi, Forgie or Swimmer.

And just for the record, others that are commonly used are: Fason, Buffer, Rooks, Chicken, Terries, Rebel, Wellpad, Tractor, Thresher Newcome, Mill, Baker Hardwall, Toal, Cub, Yankee, and Tip.

Other new or older ones which exist but which may not be used as often are: Heather, Rams, Biddys, Sting, Hillock, Corry, Slate, Greencloak, Blacksmiths, Tulog, Sawyer, Stubb, Ciuiljacks, Gladstone, Slag, Tightjacks, Sleeks, Oak, Captain, Duff, Lovely, Bap, Dunnies, Hatters, Cutchy, Sarsfield, and Go Through.

Which O’Neill are you?

If you’re not one of the above, most of which are from the Clonoe and Coalisland areas, you might know of others from the Loughshore, Dungannon, Moy or Cookstown areas, or, indeed, any other part of Tyrone.

If so, please let us know.

All are welcome to take part in any or all of the events being organised.

Join the journey. Come along; you will be most welcome.

Who? A clan gathering, the first in hundreds of years, of O’Neills from around the world.

Where? In Brackaville Owen Roes’ O’Neill’s GAA Club House.

Why? To celebrate the O’Neill name and heritage and to meet other O’Neill’s from far and near. One of the oldest recordable names in Europe, going back over 1,000 years.

What? Watch the press in coming weeks for further details.

When? Keep Friday 24 May 2013 free for this wonderful historic occasion.

This event is being run in conjunction with the international event organised by Dungannon and Cookstown Councils from May 22 to 26, and the Association of O’Neill Clans of Ireland, whose programme involves a visit to historic sites including Tullyhogue, Benburb and the Hill of the O’Neill Dungannon.

If you would like to help, be involved, or to put forward any ideas or suggestions, even in a small way, please contact Art O’Neill (028 8774 7085), Patricia McLernon (078 8781 3862), Damien ‘Mor’ O’Neill (078 8943 2690), Paddy Gervin (028 8774 8841), or Jackie O’Neill (075 2169 5959).

If you have any O’Neill relatives visiting Ireland this year, please let them know the dates of The Gathering as soon as possible.