Mannion Clan on Galway history trail

Dr Joe Mannion in front of the large turnout for the original Mannion gathering at Menlough Community Centre.

Abbeyknockmoy is braced for an influx of Mannions this weekend as the Galway village plays host to two Clan gatherings in conjunction with National Heritage Week.

Not only will these events be of great interest to those who bear the Mannion surname or carry the Ó Mainnín genes through a female line, but will also appeal to anyone with a curiosity about the history, archaeology and cultural heritage of East Galway in general.

Of particular interest will be the launch of an interpretive Guide to The Mannion Clan Historical Trail this Friday night in the Abbey Inn at 9pm.

The Guide to the Trail features a Clan chronology spanning 2,600 years, a summary history of Clann Uí Mhainnín, together with location maps, photographs and documentary evidence relating to the principal medieval and early modern Mannion Clan places.

Speakers at the launch will include Clan historian Dr Joe Mannion, who will give a brief overview of the history of the Mannion Clan; Galway County Council Heritage Officer Marie Mannion, who will highlight the importance of preserving and promoting our rich cultural and archaeological heritage in the context of this very worthwhile project; and RTÉ’s Teresa Mannion, who will officially launch The Mannion Clan Historical Trail and Guide.

This will be followed by a guided tour to the principal Mannion Clan sites this Saturday, departing from Mannion’s Bar car park, Abbeyknockmoy at 2pm.

Led by Joe Mannion, this will take in Killaclogher, Clooncurreen and Menlough Castle sites, as well as the Ráth Mór inauguration site, and the tomb of the last recorded Ó Mainnín chieftain in Kilconnell Abbey.

The Ráth Mór site in Mullaghmore West was the location for the drafting and signing of a Brehon law deed in May 1584 for the Ó Mainnín Clan, and in commemoration of this historic event, a translation of the original Irish-language agreement will be symbolically read to the Mannions and their friends gathered once again on the ancient ceremonial hilltop after an interval of four hundred and thirty-one years.

The day’s activities will end at approximately 5pm in the impressive ruins of Kilconnell Abbey, where the last known Chief of the Name of the Mannion Clan – John son of Malachy – was buried in a tomb dated 1648.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune.