Newsletter February 2017






Happy New Year 2017




19-21 MAY 2017

At the Armada Hotel, Spanish Point, Co Clare

Letter from your Editor

Hello All

First of all I must apologise for the delay in writing this, your Winter Newsletter.  Normally, you would have received this well before Christmas, however, what with computer problems, Christmas etc. etc. the moment passed as they say, but here we are now – better late than never.

We heard that Count Walter wasn’t too well before Christmas.  However, we are hoping that he has now stabilised.  I will keep you posted if we have any further updates, but we wish him well and his good health for 2017.

Plans are well in hand for the Gathering next year and it looks as if we are going to have a bumper attendance again with many of you already making your bookings.  There are now only 8 rooms left out of the quota the hotel have allocated us, so if you have put off making your booking it would be a good idea to do it soon.  The cost of the hotel accommodation for the weekend is €169 pp sharing. The cost of a single room is €219.  Additional nights can be booked at a cost of €50 pp a night. The cost includes breakfast each morning and an evening dinner on the Friday night.  To take advantage of the deal offered to the Clan please email and mark for the attention of Sarah Hogan and don’t forget to mention “Kelly Clan weekend”.  Please note that the deal is not available on their website. 

I had the great privilege during the summer of meeting our President, Michael D Higgins.  I was acting as a volunteer helper at the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Ennis which he opened and I have put a couple of pics of the event in the newsletter – you may see another couple of familiar faces!

We have had some technical problems with our website and unfortunately at the moment it is not possible to make any bookings through the website.  Instead, I would ask that you contact Bernie Kelly on or alternatively please write to Bernie at:

Aisling, Tyrone, Kilcolgan, Co Galway with your booking requests for the Gathering. There is a booking form on the last page of this newsletter.

Also you can “pm” [private message] either Joe Kelly or myself through the Facebook page Kelly Clan Association Muintir Uí Cheallaigh.  We won’t let technology beat us!!!!

Mary K  Contact details: 


Friday 19 May


2pm onwards Registration and Payment of Subscriptions Rear of main reception
4pm-5pm Informal get together and exchange of information/family history stories etc. Meeting Room No 193
5.00pm Talk by Tonii Kelly on “her journey” Meeting Room No 193
5.30pm Talk by Raymond Kelly on his family genealogy Meeting Room No 193
7pm for 7.30pm Dinner in Hotel dining room followed by traditional music in Johnny Burke’s Bar Pearl Dining Room
Saturday 20 May
8am Mass celebrated by Rt Rev Celsus Kelly Small Meeting Room off Ocean Bar
9.30am “Failte Ui Cheallaigh” by Uachtarán, Muintir Ui Cheallaigh [Mary Kelly] Meeting Room No 193
9.45am-11am Presentation by Paddy Waldron on Kilrush Kellys and others Meeting Room No 193
Tea/Coffee Break
11.15am Presentation by Aidan Kelly of update of Kelly surname DNA programme Meeting Room No 193
11.50am Assemble for Bus Tour [lunch provided at Burren Visitor Centre] Meet outside hotel
Approx 5pm Return to hotel
7.30pm for 8pm Pre dinner drinks in Johnny Burke’s bar at hotel followed by Gala Dinner Pearl Dining Room
Sunday 21 May
10.00am Mass in Our Lady Star of the Sea Church, Quilty celebrated by Rt Rev Celsus Kelly Quilty – direction sheet available at registration
12 noon General Assembly with address by An tUachtharán Meeting Room No 193
1.30pm for 2pm Lunch



Aidan Kelly sent this note to the DF21+ Kellys amongst us (note the DF21+ does not include the Ui-Maine Kellys or the wily L226 O’Brien Kellys or the VIKING Kellys of Clare) HOWEVER there are a few DF21+ in the Kelly Clan and it now appears that some of them descend from Rathlin Man.

“Dear Kelly BIG Y testers who are DF21+ here is some breaking news.


You may have heard about the ancient DNA results that were published by Trinity College recently that included so called Rathlin man (paper attached).


Subsequently I enquired with the researchers (Daniel Bradley at Trinity College) and he kindly arranged for the DNA files to be sent to me.  I then shared them with the BIG Y group of analysts and today they posted the results on the YTREE that show that Rathlin 1’s DNA is DF21+ and Z30233, see the YTREE site for details.  Look between Clan Colla and Ely Carroll or search the page for Rathlin to see where that line is placed.  Then look at the block under Z30233 – all of those people are of the same as Rathlin 1. There are 50 people in that block including you three Kellys.


See the position of Rathlin 1 under DF21+ and Z30233+, all of those 50 people share a DNA Lineage with Rathlin Man. CoNgRaTuLaTiOnS!


It is possible there was more than one wave of colonisation but on the surface it means that your y-DNA paternal line descends from the same line as Rathlin 1 and therefore your paternal line may have been in the area (Rathlin Island, Irish Sea etc) ever since then – that is more than 4200 years ago.


Will send more information when available.


Aidan Kelly (Fremantle, Australia) : co-coordinator of the Kelly DNA study.”




Colleen O’Kelly comes of age!,

Colleen is the daughter of Count Robert and the Countess Tina.  Tina very kindly has sent us a lovely story of Colleen’s 21st birthday

Colleen O’Kelly from Naas celebrated a major milestone on September 18th. Surrounded by family, friends and Staff and friends from KARE local services she partied the night away for her 21st birthday. Born with a very rare condition known as Joubert Syndrome, doctors told parents, Bob and Tina that Colleen’s condition was so serious that the trauma of delivery and birth would probably see their second child being stillborn. When she proved them wrong, they said her life would be short lived and very limited! Colleen has proved them wrong on all levels. A true fighter she has battled more than most. She is blind, has only baby babble for words, she can’t walk other than with assistance for short distances and has severe scoliosis and is awaiting major surgery for that, in addition to all of this Colleen had both her kidneys removed in 2008 and was on dialysis for almost 3 years when she finally received an anonymous kidney transplant. Prior to transplant Colleen spent months every year in Crumlin hospital with extremely high blood pressure and infections but the transplant has completely transformed her life. She has a completely magnetic personality and is full of mischief and has a passion for music and cake! A regular gig goer she loves music from Sharon Shannon to Taylor Swift and everything in between, her favourite pastime is Karaoke. So yet again proving doctors wrong there is nothing limited about Colleen’s life, she has a real zest for life and without having many words she can get her message across and entertain herself and all those around her lucky enough to share her life! “We feel so blessed to have her and our lives have been enhanced by her and she has made us better people” said mum Tina, she added “We have been so lucky with the people she has brought into our lives, her service providers KARE have played a major role in helping us bring her on so much from St. Anne’s School in The Curragh to KARE local Services here in Naas now, The Share A Dream Foundation too, they have all played a huge part in our happiness and of course our ever supporting families and friends” Her party was a very special night, it was attended by almost 100 guests who were all delighted to share her night, there was live music provided by friends of the family and there was also Karaoke, Colleen requested Cake and Karaoke! She had an absolute ball at the party, she enjoyed singing and the cake and the 21 kisses and she partied the night away!


Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann

By Mary Kelly

I was accepted as a volunteer at the Fleadh held in Ennis during the summer.  I was so looking forward to this fantastic event.  It was a great “coup” for Ennis, attracting many thousand visitors into the town from all around the world and the standard of the music and all the other cultural activities was “sky high”. I was asked if I would be a street ambassador.  This involved “roaming” round the streets assisting people, helping them with directions, any problems, questions about the programme, where the different venues were located etc etc.  This was right up my street as I love to be in the thick of things.  It was terrific fun and although tiring I found it so rewarding and such a lot of fun. The visitors were marvellous, everybody enjoying themselves to the utmost and the atmosphere was really buzzing.  I bumped into Seán Kelly, MEP with his wife, who were full of praise for the whole event.  .  Pictured with Sean and his wife are Anne Buckley, a fellow volunteer and Gabriella Hanrahan who was one of our team leaders.  Gabriella is the sister of Ciaran Hanrahan of Stockton’s Wing who were headlining one of the weekend shows. So you can see I was in good company. Can you believe that out of all the 1,500 volunteers there, I met our very own Mary McGrath and we managed to enjoy a cup of tea together during one of our breaks!




As we are having some problems with our website we are asking that you our members communicate with us through our Facebook Page, Kelly Clan Association Muintir Uí Cheallaigh, until such time as we are up and running again with the website.

Please check out the page and “like and share” it.  It is important that we get our name known in the bigger world.  We have already attracted some new members through our page so please keep up the good work.

The Facebook page is:

Kelly Clan Association

Muintir Uí Cheallaigh


John “Cappawhite” Kelly

Good news on the health and progress of John.  He has spent Christmas at home with his family and has booked his place at the Gathering.  We are delighted and so looking forward to seeing him and his wife, Mary and family.  Please continue to offer your prayers for his continuing progress.

Inaugural Kelly Clan Gathering

While we are on the subject of John, as many of you know he was instrumental in putting together the very first Kelly Clan Gathering in Tipperary some twenty odd years ago.  Here is an extract from the Irish Independent publicising that gathering.

“Kelly Clan Gathering”

“The Tipperary Clan office is organising a special weekend in September [19th-20th] for the Kelly Clan. The coming together of Kellys to this special event will be the first such gathering since the “flight of the Wild Geese” which occurred when the Irish lost the Battles of the Boyne, Athlone and Aughrim in Kelly country where many a Kelly fell and finally Limerick in 1691.

The massive emigration which followed led to the breakup of the Clan or chieftain system.  The surname Kelly or O’Kelly is the second most common in Ireland today and their number is estimated at 50,000 with many thousands more scattered throughout the world.

The Tipperary organisers of this year’s gathering hope to emulate Chieftain William O’Kelly’s gathering at Christmas of 1351 where the “welcome of all welcomes” took place – “Failte Ui Cheallaigh”.”

Dominick Kelly

Dominick Kelly was born 16/09/1883 in Clonina House, Cree, Co Clare, son of Thomas Kelly and Bridget Davoran.

He married young and soon afterwards joined the British Army. He fought in the First World War and afterwards went to Canada and joined the Canadian Army. 

He then lived in the USA but c.1925 he just disappeared. His mother exhausted all avenues available at the time seeking any information on him but to no avail.

When he did not return his wife moved to Australia. They had a son, who grew up and in due course got married and had a family and there are many descendants, many in Co Clare. More on this story later.  

Thanks to Joe Kelly for this lovely snippet



A number of illustrious Kellys have graced the papers of Irish European and world history, from the Kellys of ancient times who held undisputed sway over the Hy-Many country of Galway and Roscommon to Tadge [sic] O’Kelly who fought at Brian Boru’s side at the Battle of Clontarf, to Captain John Kelly, ancestor of the O’Kellys of Belgium and in more recent years, to Sean T O’Kelly, President of Ireland.  At the present day pride of place among the Kellys is held by Sean Kelly of Carrick-on-Suir, one of the most famous sportsmen this country has produced. Over a career that spans twenty years he has been the world’s number one cyclist for six years, he won the Paris to Nice Classic seven times in a row, he won the tour of Spain; he twice won the tour of Switzerland and won three successive Nissan Classic titles in Ireland. 


To book tickets for the gathering, please print out the last page of the Newsletter No 66 and follow the instructions thereon, otherwise send me an e-mail at the address below.

(e mail:

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