Clans of Ireland
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|Founder||Rory O'Connor Kerry|
|Headquarters||Chapter House, Christchurch Cathedral, Dublin|
|Dr. Joseph Mannion|
Clans of Ireland (Irish: Finte na hÉireann) is an independent organisation established in 1989 with the purpose of creating and maintaining a Register of Irish Clans. The Patron of Clans of Ireland is Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland.
The growing influence of the Gaelic League at the turn of the twentieth century rekindled an interest in Gaelic culture and prompted a cultural revival and interest in Irish Clans. In the 1940s Edward MacLysaght, the Chief Herald of Ireland, drew up a list of Irish clans (see MacLysaght, Irish Families) and began to publish a number of works on the history and background of Irish families. Irish "clans" were organised in the latter half of the twentieth century under the umbrella body, Clans of Ireland, or Finte na hÉireann.
In 1989 Rory O'Connor set out to bring about a revival in the organisation of the Irish Clans. It was his intention that there would be a branch of each Irish clan organised in every county in Ireland and in every continent around the world. To this end, he wrote to newspapers, cultural organisations and individuals across Ireland encouraging people to begin to organise themselves in clan associations. On 6 November 1989 a press conference was held in Dublin to announce the opening of the office of Clans of Ireland which was to be initially located at the Genealogical Office in Dublin. The purpose of Clans of Ireland was to support and co-ordinate the activities of the various clan organisations in Ireland and around the world and to create and maintain a Register of Clans.
Today, the board of directors of Clans of Ireland meets several times each year at the Chapter House in Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin. In 2010, the 21st anniversary of its foundation, Clans of Ireland instituted the Order of Clans of Ireland, an order of merit established to honour individuals who contributed to Irish culture and heritage or who have brought honour to their Clan. In 2012 Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland became Patron of Clans of Ireland. In 2015 President Higgins hosted the Ceannairí and Taoisigh (Chiefs) of the Clans of Ireland at his official residence, Áras an Uachtaráin.