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The Clann Today
Following the famine, many McAuliffes emigrated to other parts of the world. Even before that the clan, leaderless and landless, had ceased to exist as an entity. That is still the case today, although some initiatives have been taken to bring the clan together.
In recent years efforts have been made to bring the McAuliffes around the world back into contact with each other by organising a clan gathering, or Rally, at Newmarket in County Cork. The town of Newmarket is in what was once Clanawley, the land of the MacAuliffes. The Clan Rally has been held four-yearly and the latest was held in July 2008. The next Rally is scheduled for July 2012.

The Rally Committee has done a tremendous job in organising the gatherings of the clan. They have been so successful in promoting the rally that many people have assumed that a clan association exists and have enquired about membership. However, there is no formal clan organisation at present, the work of the Rally Committee being confined to organising the four-yearly gatherings.

There have been indications that some McAuliffes would like to be part of a more structured clan organisation and there was some discussion of that at the Rally in July 2008. A result of that discussion was that a steering committee will be convened to look at options for the clan. Terms of reference for the committee have not yet been set but it is expected that it will look at the pros and cons of having a formal organisation for the clan and matters which might lead from that such as what sort of organisation might be recommended, if any. Other matters such as whether there should be a clan chieftain are also likely to be considered. The meeting will be convened by the wemaster, Bob McAuliffe of New Zealand.

Private efforts by McAuliffe family members around the world to establish links with each other are increasing and many are engaged in tracing family connections. Modern computer technology  is helping this.  Rapid exchange of information is possible by e-mail and message boards on the internet, as well as the plethora of web sites providing information on such topics as ship passenger lists, army registers and numerous other records. It is the webmaster's hope that one day an online database can be built so that McAuliffes from all around the world can find their family connections and their links with the Clan.

And a glimpse at the future...

The ancient lands of the McAuliffes are no longer in clan ownership. No castles remain and even the ruins have disappeared. All visible signs of the clan have been erased from the land. The McAuliffes have been scattered to far places around the world, with the majority now living outside of Ireland. 

Thanks to the foresight and energy of the Rally Committee we have a four-yearly gathering of McAuliffes in Newmarket. Its continuation, however, depends on the ability and commitment of a few individuals. Will there be others to replace them when they are no longer able to carry on?  Will rising fuel costs mean the end of long-distance travel and thus the end of clan rallies?

What can the clan offer to those around the world who can not travel a long distance to Ireland? Should clan rallies be held only in Ireland? There are more McAuliffes in Australia than there are in Ireland. There are more in the United States than in Ireland. Why not hold some rallies in those places?  What is the purpose of a rally anyway? Is it primarily to bring McAuliffes together? Is it to gather at ancient sites?

What do people want from their clan? Do they want to meet with other McAuliffes? Learn the history of the clan? Stand where their ancestors stood? Trace their family history?

Currently there is no way of knowing what McAuliffes want from the clan. Providing services to members would require a formal clan structure, membership and subscriptions. One way of looking at what could be provided is to look at what other clans provide and how they do it.

The services provided by other Irish clans to their members include:
periodic gatherings for clan members;
information about clan history;
identification and interpretation of historic clan sites;
genealogy advisory services;
genealogical databases to help members trace family links;
newsletters to keep members informed about clan matters;

Not all clans provide all of the services listed above. A few do not seem to provide any, or very few. but most clans having a formal association offer some of them. The McAuliffes, unlike most other clans, do not have a formal clan association and are not currently able to offer most of the services on the above list.

Clans having a formal association for the most part recognise the international spread of their members by having worldwide membership and participation, including voting. Most have a yearly or two-yearly subscription for membership. Some generate additional funding through sale of clan merchandise. Some of the larger clans have chapters in different parts of the world.

Some clans have advantages over others when it comes to what they can offer to members. Not all clans have lost their ancestral lands; some still have habitable castles; some have an identifiable line of chieftains.

Some clans have undertaken restoration or enhancement projects for clan historical sites. Some whose chiefly lines were discontinued have identified the line through genealogical research and restored a chieftaincy under the tanaiste system. Others have elected chieftains and some have opted instead for a board consisting of a chairperson and committee with no role of chieftain.

A quick look at the websites for some of the Irish clans gives an indication of what services are offered to members, how the clans are structured and how they fund their services. That might be helpful for McAuliffes in looking at what they would like for themselves. Some examples are listed here - all of these held rallies in Ireland in 2008:
Cassidy Clan  
O Mahony Society  
O'Dea Clan Association  
Farrell Clan  
O'Nolan Clan  
O'Molloy Clan Association  
Tierney Clans Society  
If you have ideas about what you would like for the McAuliffes, please pass them on. 

Rally Project Manager: Frances
The MacAuliffe Site Administrator: Bob
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This page last updated 10 July 2009

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