NAME tags could well prove to be the undoing of the Lenihan family gathering which takes place in Mountcollins early next month.
With 11 branches of the family still living in the wider locality, it will be a case of which Lenihan are you. There are the Sean Tommy Micks, the Jack Daveys, the Jim Daveys, the Daithín Daveys and on it goes. Thankfully for Lenihans of future generations, a book has been compiled, tracing the various branches of the family since Séan Lenihan first set foot in Caherlevoy back in the 1700s.
“I am the seventh generation down from him,” says Norma Healy, who is originally from Caherlevoy but now lives in Dromtrasna, Abbeyfeale. Norma took on the job of compiling the book as part of the preparations for the Lenihan Gathering in Mountcollins on the weekend of July 4-6.
“I have been charting it for years,” she says of her family tree. “I love local history.”
It was the Hartnett Gathering in Abbeyfeale, during The Gathering 2013, which sparked the idea for the Lenihan get-together and a small group of ten people, meeting regularly over the winter, has pulled it together.
For the book itself, Norma continues, different branches of the family have contributed. But she stresses, it is not all names and dates. “There are lots of little stories about people,” she says. There are also photographs in the 236-page, bound copies of the book.
Among these is a reproduction of a painting, by Lil Lenihan, of Guilla House, the house near Freemount where the first Lenihans from Roscommon settled and from which the original Séan Lenihan travelled out to Caherlevoy.
Already, thanks to Facebook, orders are flowing in for the Lenihan family book, which is 236 pages long with “We are printing 500 copies,” Norma explains.
For the weekend itself, they are also expecting family members to come from the US, Britain and Germany. And a full weekend of activities has been laid on, with Mountcollins at the centre. A tour of the sites associated with the family will take place, including a visit to the Caherlevoy house, where Batt Leahy now lives and a visit to Guilla House in Freemount.
A special Mass has been organised, there will be a barbecue and also a number of music sessions. And the weekend will also include a lecture by local historian Eamon O’Líatháin, and of course, the launch of the book by a well-known personality, whose name is currently being kept under wraps, in Tommy Mick’s bar in Mountcollins.