There was a buzz in the place from once the first of the Kearney visitors descended on Lackagh on Friday evening for the first ever Kearney family reunion in Lackagh.
Frank Kearney, who had compiled a comprehensive family tree, had taken the gamble on organising a family reunion that cover all descendents of Patrick Kearney and Mary Cullinane or at least the descendents of Patrick Kearney and Mary Bridget Commins who married about 1815 and whose families there was contact with.
The event turned out to be a monster with early indications showing that over 100 people would attend and that figure grew to 300 before the weekend was out.
Many had travelled to Ireland for the first time and relations came from New Zealand, Canada, Chile and from many parts of the US and Great Britain to be in Lackagh for the weekend. Relations in Ireland travelled from Donegal to Waterford, Cork to Louth to join in what was a unique occasion for Irish relations.
There was an early start to Saturday morning with the concelebration of Mass at the Church of Our Lady of Knock, Lackagh of which the original walls of St. Patrick’s Church were incorporated, a church which was built by Rev. Thomas Kearney when he was parish priest of Lackagh in 1839.
Afterwards all assembled at Lackagh Museum for a quick cuppa and then a tour of the cemetery and old homesteads commenced with the display of two old signs from the premises of Flynns of Lackagh that showed that Thomas Kearney who started the business received a licence to sell liquor in 1842.
The gathering then assembled at Turloughmore Social Centre which was also on the site of land once owned by several generations of Kearney’s for a mammoth barbeque and Frank Kearney presented a power point presentation of the Kearney family tree.
A massive 3,132 names of descendents of Patrick Kearney and Mary Cullinane adorned the walls of Turloughmore Social Centre that showed ten generations and five hundred and thirty five different surnames that are now descendents of Kearney’s of Lackagh.
The event was attended by Mayor of Co. Galway Cllr Thomas Welby who said that this was just a wonderful occasion for a family.
Pat Kearney led a group of 22 people in the United States who had travelled to the reunion and had organized the original reunion in Butte, Montana in 2007 that led to this wonderful occasion.
In recognition and thanks of the wonderful effort and hospitality given to all who travelled from many parts of the United States, Tara O’Gara presented Frank and Anne Kearney with a beautiful Crystal Bowl.
Bernadette Cahalane presented Pat Kearney with a copy which was written on old slate and produced by Olde Ireland in Westside Enterprise Centre, Galway f the Irish National Anthem “Amhran na bhFiann” which was written by Peadar Kearney.
Tomas O Cadhain of Olde Ireland in Westside Enterprise Centre, Galway also presented the Kearney family reunion with a similar copy of the Irish National Anthem “Amhran na bhFiann” which was raffled with proceeds going to Croi.
On Sunday family members gathered at the Claregalway Hotel for lunch before the families scattered in various directions fulfilled after a wonderful weekend of togetherness.