Irish clans

Irish clans

Irish clans are officially recognized groups of people who either share a surname or are descended from people who bore the surname. Finte na hÉireann or Clans of Ireland is the Republic of Ireland's co-ordinating body for all Irish Clans worldwide. The organisation was established in 1989 under the auspices of the Genealogical Office, Bord Fáilte and the leadership of Rory O’Connor, Chieftain of the O’Connor (Kerry) Clan. Clans of Ireland operates out of the following aims:

• To maintain a Register of Irish Clans and their Chiefs
• To promote worldwide interest in Irish origins, heritage and culture
• To represent Irish Clans
• To provide a information on Irish Clans
• To support the activities of Irish Clans
• To assist in the revival of Irish Clans

In order to achieve these aims Clans of Ireland is overseen by a Board of Directors and maintains contact with the leaders of Irish Clans. They also encourage networking and sharing of resources and good practice among Irish Clans.

Only those clans that are included on the Register of Irish Clans are recognised as having the status of an official Irish Clan.

Membership of Clans of Ireland is open to Irish Clans who meet the criteria set down by Clans of Ireland. Membership also includes Anglo-Irish families who were established in Ireland before the Great Famine. To date, more than 230 clans have registered. For a complete listing, visit the charity's website at [] .

There are several requirements for recognition as an official Irish clan:

* The surname must have a documented history in Ireland prior to the Irish Potato Famine.
* Membership must be open to any bearer of the surname (or descendant thereof) regardless of race, religion, or gender.
* Membership must include at least six adult bearers of the surname.

Note that each clan may be divided into septs to reflect the religious, geographic, historic, and cultural diversity within the surname group.

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