O'Molloy Clan Association
The O’Molloy Clan Association was formed in 2004 with a view to promoting the O’Molloy name and the territory of Firceall, located in present day County Offaly in the centre of Ireland.
The O'Molloy Clan holds reunions every three years in Tullamore, County Offaly. Membership of the O’Molloy Association is open to anyone with family links or interest in the O’Molloy clan or its ancient territory of Firceall.
From ancient times Irish society was organised around traditional kinship groups. These “clans” traced their origins to larger pre-surname population groupings. Within these larger groupings there tended to be one clan who through war and politics became more powerful than others for a period of time and the leaders of some were accorded the status of royalty in Gaelic Ireland.
Under Brehon Law the leaders of Irish clans were appointed by their kinsmen as custodians of the clan and were responsible for maintaining and protecting the clan and its property. This clan system formed the basis of society in Ireland up to the 17th century.
Scholars sometimes disagree about whether it is better to use the terms "sept" or "clan" when referring to traditional Irish family groups. Brehon Law, the ancient legal system of Ireland clearly defined the clan system in pre-Norman Ireland, which collapsed after the Tudor Conquest. The Irish, when speaking of themselves, employed their term 'clan' which means "family" in Irish.Often, clans are thought of as based on blood kinship alone. Irish clans were composed of those who were related by blood but also by those who were adopted and fostered into the clan as well as those who joined the clan for strategic reasons such as safety or combining of lands and resources. However, all members of the clan bore the same surname.
The early 17th century was a watershed in Ireland. It marked the destruction of Ireland's ancient Gaelic aristocracy following the Tudor re-conquest and cleared the way for the Plantation of Ulster. In 1607 the senior Gaelic Chiefs of Ulster left Ireland to recruit support in Spain but they never reached their intended destination and instead remained exiled. After this so called “Flight of the Earls”, the English authorities in Dublin established real control over all of Ireland for the first time. They brought a centralised government to the entire island and successfully disarmed the native clans and their Chiefs.
However, despite the loss of their traditional lands and forced emigration, the spirit of the Irish clans remains. To this day Irish people in Ireland and around the world can tell you the name of the clan to which they belong. In the 1940s Chief Herald of Ireland, Edward MacLysaght , drew up a list of Irish Clans and the first modern Irish Clans were re-formed in the latter half of the twentieth century. Today, these clans are organised in Ireland and in every continent around the world.