Held annually every year since 1986, the Clan Gathering takes place in the O'Driscoll Heartland, Baltimore, West County Cork, over the last full weekend of June. The Schedule for the Gathering basically follows the same format each year:
Friday night starts with registration of all participating Clan members followed by an informative talk on some aspect of the O'Driscoll name, the Clan's history, or the history of the territory of the O'Driscolls. After the talk, there is the "official" opening of the Gathering with a welcome by the Chieftain and words of encouragemnt by the sponsors of the event. This is follwed by a wonderful reception where we all eat and drink our fill before returning to the town square where entertainment is provided and we get down to the serious part - talking, drinking and singing!
Planned events for Saturday usually include a trip to Oiléan Claire (Cape Clear Island) for a vigorous nature hike, buffet lunch, pub time, and, for those who wish to explore on their own, time to walk around the island and visit spots of interest such as the old lighthouse, the ruins of one of the O'Driscoll castles (or fortified houses), or the old church yard. We return to Baltimore at supper time and join in the activities going on in the town sqaure or pop into one of the pubs for a little quality time with friends and fellow Clan members.
Sunday mass is held on Sherkin Island and time is allotted for those who wish to visit one of the pubs here or, if we're lucky, arrangements may have been made to tour the old Friary located here, that is currently being renovated. On a really nice day, some may choose to wander to the other side to visit the lovely beach there or just to have a nice chat with some of the locals. Sunday evening things come to a close with more entertainment, music, chatting and singing. If it is a year when the Clan Chieftain is changing over, this takes place at this time. Then, sadly, we linger as long as we can before being forced to acknowledge it is over for another year.
Good weather or bad, once they've made the trip, many of the same people will return again and again. This is testament to the wonderful times we've all had and to our yearning to recapture it as often as possible.
So......all of you O'Driscolls and Driscolls out there .... start planning now to join us next time. We'll be waiting for you with our arms open and the sounds of caéd míle fáilte (a hundred thousand welcomes) on our lips!
Here are the write-ups for the last few Clan Gatherings. I hope they entice you to join us one of these Junes.
O'Driscoll Clan Gathering 2001
O'Driscoll Clan Gathering 2002
O'Driscoll Clan Gathering 2003