News

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

A very happy St. Patrick’s day to all our clan members and home and overseas.

Derek Byrne

President

Finte O’Broin

 

New Year’s Message 2021

Dear members and friends,

As we move towards 2021 we look towards celebrating 9 years of the establishment of Finte O’Broin in July.

It has been an eventful nine years which has seen membership grow to over 400 families world wide and the establishment of our sister organisation the Napoleon Society of Ireland which hosted the international congress in Dublin in 2016 and which will host the international congress again in Cork in 2022 marking the 10th anniversary of both organisations.

Of course, we were very sad to lose our Patron Charles Artaud Byrne who died at the age of 96 last March. However, we move into our ninth year with a new and dynamic Executive team and welcome Dustan Byrne from Canada and my cousin David Byrne from Dublin. We will be announcing a new Patron in July and new recipients of the Clan Medal of Merit on St. Patrick’s Day.

All in all, it promises to be an exciting time ahead for Finte O’Broin as we move beyond the restrictions of Covid 19 and back to normality.

On behalf of all at Finte O’Broin, may I wish you all a happy and healthy New Year and all we hope that you remain safe and well in 2021.

Certavi et Vici,

Derek Byrne – O’Byrnes of Downes, Guardian of the Name

Nollaig Shona – Wishing all our Clan members in Ireland and around the world a very happy Christmas

On behalf of everyone at Finte O’Broin, I would like to wish all Clan members and their families a very happy Christmas and a healthy and happy 2021.

It has been a sad year for many with the loss of loved ones due to Covid 19 and we especially remember the loss of our former Patron Lt. Col. Charles Artaud Byrne who died at the age of 96 in March.

As we look towards 2021, let us hope that the Covid 19 vaccines help to bring the world back to a sense of normality, a world where we can be close to and hug our loved ones once again.

With all good wishes,

Derek Byrne

President Finte O’Broin

 

A message from Myles Byrne, son of Lt. Col. Charles Artaud Byrne

In 2013, as part of the Irish Gathering of the Clans, my Irish-American father, Dutch in-laws, and myself attended a ceremony at the Ballinacor Estate, near Rathdrum, in County Wicklow, Ireland.

The ceremony involved a re-enactment of the capture and beheading of Feagh MacHugh O’Byrne on Sunday, 8 May 1597, by forces under the command of Sir William Russell. A plaque commemorating the event was mounted at the site, and local musicians played historic songs, such as Follow me up to Carlow.

My father, who was 89 years old at the time, was honored as a descendent of Feagh MacHugh. This was of tremendous importance to him, and to me, since my Da raised me on the history of the O’Byrnes of Ireland, and indeed we had visited Glendalough, Glenmalure, Crony Byrne, and other sites, decades before.

My father died peacefully on March 20th this year. Although 96 years old, he had no dementia, retained his Irish wit and spirit, and avoided the coronavirus. He was buried in the Arlington National Cemetery, in recognition of decorated service to his country, on July 23rd.

Now that my father has passed, I have this to say to all Byrnes:

My parents named me after Myles Byrne (1780-1862), the Wexford Rebel, an Irish Rebel and member of the United Irishmen.

Myles fought for the freedom of the Irish, then for the freedom of Europe, as a Commandant (Major) in Napolean’s imperial army. I have visited his grave in the Montmarte cemetery in Paris, the only Celtic cross headstone there.

The quest of the Irish people for freedom and equality led some of our ancestors to fight for Napolean, then to emigrate to America and elsewhere. If we study the Irish, Dutch, American, and French revolutions all together, the boundaries between them start to dissolve (Thomas Paine was an honorary member of the United Irishmen), and we see see that they were all expressions of the same movement of the human spirit towards universal liberty and equality.

I now live in Finland with my wife, a Dutch cancer scientist. The Finns faced tyranny from not one but two empires, the Swedish and the Russian. They too split against and decimated themselves, in the 1918 civil war through which they finally won independence. Today, the Finnish language, not Swedish or Russian, is spoken across the land.

When we toured the Republic of Ireland in 2013, the Gaeltacht signs were a reminder that the work of securing liberty and self-determination was far from over.

But today, because of the Irish history with which my father raised me, I know in my bones that the current derangement of the world marks the full return of the struggle that united the Irish against tyranny. My father always said this struggle is in the hearts of all peoples, Russian, Arabic, and Chinese, as well as Irish, French, and Dutch.

Like our ancestors, he saw joining this struggle as his duty and his heart’s desire. He is buried in the American national cemetery, but that heart is buried with our forebears in Glendalough.

The struggle of the United Irishmen against tyranny is now lighting up the planet. As bad as things seem, it is all leading to the same destination: equality and liberty for all the peoples of the world. The harp of Equality is new strung, and shall now be heard around the world.

Annual Royal Canal Walk raises thousands for Irish Children’s Arthritis Newtork

Despite current challenges the annual Royal Canal Walk took place earlier today, Sunday the 16th of August to raise funds in aid of the Irish Children’s Arthritis Network. This annual event has raised over 40 thousand euro for a variety of charitable causes since its inception in 2012.

Organised by Edward Byrne and his cousin David Byrne of the O’Byrnes of Downes, the event highlights the role that clan societies can and should play in modern Ireland.

The walk is also the ideal platform for the Clan O’Byrne annual gathering and helps to maintain important connections between clan members.

Anyone wishing to find out more about the Irish Children’s Arthritis Network can go to www.icanireland.ie

Well done to all who took part and raised awareness and much needed funds for this important charity.

Title of Seneschal resurrected by Finte OBroin

The title of Seneschal in medieval times was given to an officer having full charge of domestic arrangements, ceremonies and the administration of justice in a noble or royal household.

In 1566, my maternal Great x 12 Grandfather, the Rt. Hon. Francis Agard was appointed Seneschal of the OByrnes and the OTooles. Agard had a deep respect for the Irish Chiefs but unfortunately this was not shared by his son-in-law Sir Henry Harrington who inherited the title and position after Agard’s death in 1577.

Because of this unique history I have decided to replace the title of “President” of Finte OBroin with “Seneschal” of Finte OBroin and in doing so hope to preserve this element of my ancestry that provides a unique link to the history of Clan OBryne from both sides of my family.

In recent years, I have lobbied the Office of the Chief Herald to encourage people who are actively involved in maintaining their clan history to adopt the designation “Guardian” rather than “Chief” of the name which I think is more appropriate in a modern Ireland and does away with the nuisance of people claiming bogus titles. As a direct descendant of the last Chief of the OByrnes of Downes, I have used this designation myself to indicate that I am the person who my family have made responsible for the maintenance and promotion of our family history.

However, perhaps Seneschal would also be a suitable designation to use by those who are responsible, like me, for the administration and organisation of clan events?

As active clan societies, I believe we should maintain our history, traditions and customs. History is a living breathing thing, something we learn from and carry with us in the present and into the future.

Therefore, I am proud to announce that I will be using the designation, Seneschal of Clan OByrne from here on in relation to my work for Finte OBroin and it will be used by those who follow me as administrators and keepers of our great clan history.

Certavi et Vici,

Derek Byrne

Finte O’Broin Patron, Charles Byrne dies aged 96

Charles Artaud Byrne

(1923 – 2020)

It is with a heavy heart that we announce the death of our Patron Charles Artaud Byrne who passed away of natural causes on the 20th of March in Rhode Island, New York.

Charles was a direct descendant of Feagh Mac Hugh O’Byrne and had been Patron of Finte O’Broin since it was established in 2011.

Charles had spent many happy times in Ireland, most recently in 2013 during the Great Gathering when he and his son Myles attended the Clan Byrne event at Ballinacor, a re-enactment of the capture of Feagh Mac Hugh O’Byrne on the very site where it happened in 1585. Charles unveiled a plaque to commemorate the event and presented his son Myles with the Merit Medal of the Raven.

It was an honour to know Charles, he was a kind, intelligent, funny and gentle man and he will be sadly missed by me and my family.

For those of you who didn’t know him, we will leave his biography on our “Executive Committee” page for the time being.

In the mean time we remember Charles with these words by W. Shakespeare;

“But if the while I think on thee dear friend, all losses are restored and sorrows end”.

Rest in Peace cousin Charles,

Derek x

 

President of Finte O’Broin – Derek Byrne in bid for Irish Senate

I would like to call on all members of Finte O’Broin to support me in my bid for Seanad Eireann (Irish Senate).

I am running on the Dublin University (Trinity College Dublin) panel and only TCD graduates can vote for me.

Please ask anyone you know who is a graduate to give me their number 1 vote.

My list of priority issues can be found on my website at www.derekbyrne.ie/manifesto/

Thank you for your support.

Certavi et Vici

Derek

Lord Mayor of Dublin Welcomes the Byrne Clan

The Clan Byrne of Cloncurry and Kilcock and their friends were welcomed to the Mansion House in Dublin by Lord Mayor, Paul McAuliffe on Saturday the 19th of October in recognition of raising over 40,000 euro for MS Ireland on the annual Royal Canal Charity Walk.

Congratulations to my brother Edward Byrne and Cousin David Byrne and everyone who has taken part in this even since it began in 2013.

A big thank you to the Lord Mayor who gave us a personal tour of the Mansion House in Dublin and made it a very special day indeed.

President of Finte O’Broin, Derek Byrne with the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Paul McAuliffe

Group photo – Clan Byrne of Cloncurry and Kilcock and Friends

With my brother Edward sitting at the dinning table where the first Dail was formed

Finte O’Broin – membership reaches the 350 mark!

As President of Finte O’Broin, I am delighted to announce that on the 11th of September we registered our 350th member!

Seamus O’Byrne from Kells in County Meath with an interest in Medieval History was the 350th person to become a member of Finte O’Broin since we officially launched in July 2012.

With members covering all four corners of the globe, Finte O’Broin is one of the most thriving clan societies in Ireland.

Our Clan Gathering in 2013 at Ballinacor in Rathdrum was a huge success and was attended by the Clan O’Byrne best claim hereditary Chief, Lt. Col. Charles Artaud Byrne, the direct descendant of Feagh Mac Hugh O’Byrne. A re-enactment of the capture of Feagh thrilled all who came and a commemorative plaque was erected on the site where Feagh Mac Hugh O’Byrne was captured by the English in 1598.

Since then, Finte O’Broin has contributed to a number of history related events such as the Dublin History Festival, the annual Robert Emmet Memorial on the 20th of September and the 14th International Napoleon Society Conference in 2016 to name but a few.

Our charitable work has raised over 40,000 euro for MS Ireland since 2012 and will be celebrated with an invitation to the Mansion House by the current Lord Mayor of Dublin in October.

We continue to work on our mission is to celebrate and and honour the rich history of Clan O’Byrne and to make our clan society relevant in a modern Ireland.

Thank you to all 350 of our members for being part of this project and for ensuring that the legacy of our great name survives.

Certavi et Vici,

Derek Byrne, O’Byrne of Downes, Guardian of the Name.

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