Welcome to www.oreillyreillyclan.com, the official website of the O'Reilly/Reilly clan. This website will be the central hub for O'Reilly/Reilly clan business such as the upcoming clan 'gathering' for The Gathering 2013. Please browse the website and get involved by commenting on articles and the upcoming O’Reilly/Reilly Clan Convention, sharing them on your social network and sending to friends and family, submitting a family tree or photo, joining in one of the discussions in our forum and registering to be part of the global clan database.

The Ancestry of the O'Reilly /Reilly clan and of others are recorded as deriving from Conn of the Hundred Battles (Conn Ced Chathach KI 123-157 AD), an early High King of Ireland, whose ancestors were High Kings of Ireland and from whom is sprung the Race of Conn that included most of the ancient families in the northern half of Ireland.

Many Irish Royal Families who ruled Kingdoms or Territories in Ireland during the Pre-Christian period were Chiefs or Lords of their Peoples in their Territory. One such cited Royal Family was that of Raghallach, the forebearer of the O'Reilly Clan that occupied the ancient Kingdom of Breiffne along with their blood cousins, the O’Rourkes (decendants of Ruarc). Aed Finn mac Fergna d.611 who was the fifth in descent from Dui Galach KC (King of Connaught) d.463 who was converted by St. Patrick was a common ancestor of the O’Reillys/Reillys, the O’Rourkes, the McGoverns/McGaurans, McKiernans and MacBradys.

The O'Reilly/Reilly clan were Celtic in origin and shared a common culture -in language, religion and art with many other european races.

Today, the term Celtic is generally used to describe the languages and respective cultures of the Six Celtic Nations:

· Ireland in which Irish Gaelic is spoken,

· Scotland in which Scottish Gaelic is spoken,

· Wales in which Welsh is spoken,

· Cornwall in which Cornish (one of the Brythonic languages) is in revival,

· the Isle of Man in which Manx (one of the Goidelic languages) is in revival and

· Brittany in which Breton is spoken.

The O'Reilly/Reilly ancestors had a strong oral tradition and historical events were recorded in rhyming verses. The oldest recorded rhyming poetry in the world is of Irish origin and was a transcription of a much older epic poem, leading some scholars to claim that the Irish invented rhyme.

The Story of Cavan by Elegant Gems, Cavan

Elegant Gems Presents “The Story of Cavan”
County Cavan has been inhabited for over 5,000 years has a rich and celebrated history. Missionaries converted County Cavan to Christianity in the 6th Century. St Feidhlim founded a church at Kilmore, while St Mogue set up an abbey at Drumlane.
In the Later Middle Ages (1200-1600), Cavan was a border area under the control of Irish chieftains. The Anglo-Normans had settled to the West and South as they tried to conquer Cavan but were driven back. They built a castle at Lough Oughter and a motte-and-bailey at Belturbet.
In 1579 County Cavan took on her present boundaries. In the early 17th century, Cavan was settled by planters from England and Scotland who laid the foundations for many towns and villages such as Belturbet, Killeshandra and Virginia. Cavan's history as a holiday destination dates from this time, when visitors from all over Ireland flocked to the mineral spas at Swanlinbar in West Cavan.
There are many heritage sites in County Cavan where visitors can experience the rich culture and heritage of County Cavan.

The Franciscan Friary in Cavan, better known locally as St.Mary’s Abbey was founded in the 1300’s by Giolla Iosa Rua O’Reilly, the king of Breifne but nothing remains of the medieval foundation apart from the old bell tower.
The 1593 Map of Cavan shows the Franciscan Friary Church and the bell tower. It showed the church with an east west orientation and with an external tower. The tower is approximately 40 feet high with open rounded arches in east and west walls, one large window facing east on the first floor and windows with rounded tops on the top storey.
The friary and lands attached to it remained under the ownership of the Franciscans for nearly three hundred years until the introduction of the reformation when the monks were expelled.
The Friary was burned on many occasions, in 1429 and 1468 by the English, in 1452 by a monk using a candle and in 1575 by one of the O’Reillys.
As Cavan town was burned several times, the last time in 1690, the old bell tower attached to the Friary is possibly the oldest building remaining.
Tradition states that Owen Roe O’Neill who died on November 6th 1649 at Lough Oughter Castle was buried in the Franciscan Friary but his grave was not marked.
In the early 1590’s when the church passed out of the ownership of the Franciscans it was used as a court and then later rebuilt by the Church of Ireland and used as a parish church until the present church was opened in 1815 with the last service being held on Christmas Day 1815.
The Friary became a ruin in the early 1820’s and the stones used to built houses on Bridge Street. Milling in the Lifeforce Mill that is situated along the Kinnypottle River can be traced back to the 14th century when there was a flour mill on the site as part of the Franciscian Friary. The current mill, which was formerly known as Greene’s Mill was erected in 1846 and throughout 100 years of almost daily use it served as a focal point in the life of Cavan town before it closed in the 1950’s. The mill was fully restored in the 1990’s and all the original machinery, including what is believed to be the only McAdam Water Turbine has been restored and returned to use.

O'Reilly Reilly Clan Committee and Officers for 2013

Chairman     Vincent O'Reilly                         oreillyreillyclan@gmail.com
Committee   Bronagh O'Reilly, Kingscourt.   bronaoreilly@hotmail.com
                     Aiden O'Reilly, Ballyjamesduff.
                     Joe O'Reilly TD, Bailieborough. joe.oreilly@oireachtas.ie
                     Paddy O'Reilly UDC, Cavan.       paddyoreillyudc@hotmail.com
                     JJ O'Reilly, Cavan                       did822@hotmail.com
                     Marie O'Reilly Killashandra.       morlahard@gmail.com
                     Kevin O'Reilly, Cootehill.           kevinoreilly101@gmail.com
                     Dermot O'Reilly, Virginia           doreilly@glanbia.ie
                     Martin O'Reilly, Ballyconnell.
New York    Connie O'Reilly                           coreilly@nilesnyc.com
Clan Director of Music Dáire O'Reilly            daireoreilly@gmail.com.
Clan Event Manager     Sorcha O'Reilly          oreilly.s@me.com.   
Clan Genealogist Carmel O'Reilly-O'Callaghan    ocallaghan.carmel@gmail.com
Clan Artist           Carmel O'Reilly-O'Callaghan    ocallaghan.carmel@gmail.com
Clan Jewellers     Peter & James Scallion, Elegant Gems Jewellers, Cavan peterandrewscanlon@gmail.com
Clan Accountant JA Fitzsimons, Bailieborough


O'Reilly/Reilly Clan Convention and Gathering

Please note that the Editor of the Anglo Celt has expressed his sincere apology that due to a technical problem, there was no coverage of the O'ReillyReilly Clan events during the 20th to the 25th August 2013 and that he was very sorry that these important and historical events in the life of the people of Cavan had been omitted. He said that he was hopeful that the following week's Anglo Celt will include an interview with the new Chief of Clann O'Raghallaigh and other articles.

The Life of Reilly, O’Reilly/Reilly Clan Gathering Festival 2013 
The aim was to re-inact the taste of The Life of Reilly of the 15th century in the traditional format of Feis Breiffne that involved a week of Assembly and Failte  to all and for all, a Breiffne Party Day for all, an O'Raghallaigh Business Day open to all and a Banquet and host of other formalities, celebrations and events.
The festival was designed for Everyone in the Ancient Kingdom of Breiffne and for friends and visitors from all clans and from all areas. We expected many family and friends living abroad will make the long journey to be with us and take part in our celebrations.                                                                          
On this occasion, the Festival would include a Clan Convention for the Election of the new Clan Chieftain for East Breiffne and the O'Reilly Clan in accordance with 15th century tradition. This would take place in the Farnham Arms Hotel on 21st  August. The Inauguration of this Chieftain would take place at the Life of Reilly Banquet in the Kilmore Hotel on August 22nd  
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    We thank the Management and Staff of Cavan Co. Council for their interest and work associated  with the heritage and culture of East Breiffne -now Co. Cavan and the Life of Reilly festival. We look forward to a festival that meets the expectations of everyone but most especially of those who travel long distances to be with us for this Life of Reilly, O'Reilly/Reilly Clan Gathering and Convention 2013 in association with The Gathering Ireland 2013.
At the Welcome evening, Connie O'Reilly, candidate from New York and Barony of Clanmahon, John O'Hare, Cavan Co. Council,    and Aidan O'Reilly, Candidate from the Baroney of Castlerahan
Monday August 19th Failte and Welcome Evening in The Council Chambers Cavan at 6:00pm
This event was organised and sponsored by Cavan County Council and we thank them for the use of the Council Chambers and their welcome.
It was very well attended including the Chairman of Cavan County Council and the Mayor of Cavan town. The Life of Reilly Festival got of to a lively start when the Chairman Councillor Val Smith welcomed everyone to Cavan Town, spoke about the history of the O'Reilly's and how they played a leading role in the civic life of the County over the years. He introduced Jack Keyes, County Manager who gave the Opening Address. The Co. Manager said that it was a very special evening and acknowledged the work of the O'ReillyReilly Clan Committee. He spoke  about the Convention and the forty other events including Art, Music and Drama taking place during the festival.  He said that Cavan has a new sense of confidence and the Life of Reilly and 'This is Cavan' symbolise confidence and fun. 
The Chairman of the O'ReillyReilly Clan Committee then delivered a comprehensive, informative and interesting talk on Ancient Breiffne as it evolved from the earliest times , how the hilly land of Breiffne was formed and peopled, how it was the Mecca of Ireland during pre-Christian times and the influence of this unique place on the heritage and culture of the people of Cavan. He suggested that Cavan was open to a tourism initiative incorporating  the beauty of the rolling hills and the lake district of Cavan, the planned towns and the historical sites and perhaps calling it the 'Ring of Breiffne'. 
He also outlined how the phrase 'The Life of Reilly' dates from the 14th and 15th centuries and originated during the Golden Age of Cavan when the O'Reillys were heavily involved in Trade and minted their own coinage to facilitate this trade -the only native Irish Clan to do so.
He also said that the talk on the history of the O'Reillys was on in Crover |House, Mountnugent on the following evening. 
Other events then followed in Cavan town including the Button Accordion tribute Concert to Donegal’s Dermot Byrne in the Marquee.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
Tuesday August 20th 2013:
The Life of Reilly Festival Party and Times-Past Gala –a must for everyone
Again this event was open to everyone including all Clans and Visitors and designed for all the people of the area and all visitors to take part in traditional Life of Reilly Party in Breiffne (now Co Cavan)
After a superb welcome the previous evening, The O'Reilly Reilly Clan gathering got into full swing at Crover House, Mountnugent with an infusion of Punch based on the Uisce Bheata of the O'Raghallaigh in pre Norman times. The attendees relaxed and mingled during the substantial traditional barbeque until the story-tellers Ronan Matthews, Jack Lynch and Patsy filled the hall with humour and laughter while reiterating some dubious stories of our countrymen.
The more serious but informative part of the evening followed with the Talk by  Vincent O'Reilly, Chairman of the O'Reilly Reilly Clan Committee where he outlined the development of the Irish Clans associated with the rich history of the O'Reilly/Reilly Clan and their Ancestry and tracing the O'Reilly Clan back to the High Kings of Ireland and further back.  The audience were hushed and it was not surprising to see such a large attendance for this hour long talk and the number asking for the information to be put on disc for distribution was substantial. 
Next on this Party night was the Life of Reilly Cabaret, non stop music, song, dance, humour and more and superbly led by the great Kathy Durkin. The Cabaret started with Daire O'Reilly's Gambling man, Gigolo and a little bit of Swing followed by comedy by Frank Forde, Songs by Tony Kenny,  Dance by the Dublin City Dancers, Paddy Cole's magnificent Sax and Clarinet playing,
 The cabaret finished with a great crescendo of music that involved everyone and was only allowed finish for the audience to view the massive and superb fireworks display over Lough Sheelin. What a night.
Comment included Brilliant, Just Superb, The Best Party Night I was ever at, The Best week of my Life, Cannot be Surpassed and so on.
Our sincerest thanks to Connie O'Reilly and his staff at Crover House, Mountnugent for hosting this  superb event for the O'ReillyReilly Clan Gathering and to all who participated especially Kathy Durkin for organising the Cabaret

Wednesday August 21st:

During this Festival, following an International Search for the New Chieftain during which 10 excellent Candidates have come forward for this prestigious post, we will have The O’Reilly/Reilly Clan Convention to elect the Clan Chieftain in The Farnham Arms Hotel, Cavan from 8:00pm
Come and Help elect your own Chieftain in an evening of Entertainment, Talent, Drama, Excitement and Music. * Full complimentary programme with a selection of Co. Cavan’s Scor Champions, the Cavan Big Band and Guest

          **The first election of a Chieftain of the O’Reilly Reilly Clan in 410 years and the First
International election ever –Come and help us in this very traditional event for Co. Cavan - everyone welcome.
There was a great buzz around Cavan town and further afield all day as preparations for the Convention were underway. The hall was made ready and a special sound system was installed. The candidates conversed with the judges and with Damian O'Reilly as MC. The hall filled to capacity with visitors and supporters of the candidates and then the Crosserlough Set Dancers set the beat as they performed their All Ireland winning dance routines to huge applause. The first two candidates, without nerves, set the battle bar high to tumulteous applause from their supporters and were followed by a musical interlude by the 2nd Scór Champions of Cavan to help calm the nerves.
The next two candidates continued to extol the virtues of their homeland and their important work in the community when Connie introduced the international dimension of the O'Reilly Clan and the great importance of our people abroad and the necessity of keeping in touch with them and supporting their causes. Another musical interlude introduced the beautiful singing of the 3rd Scór Champions of Cavan as the audience tried to evaluate from the level of applause given to each as to who might be leading so far but there was little consensus as the supporters for each candidate were literally lifting the roof off. Hotel management were overheard saying 'this is incredible'.
Three more candidates then did battle, all equally determined to win and to win well. At this time it was noted that the art of really good interviewing is genetic as there was no reduction in intensity of the interview when Damien was confronted by his father Patrick or Paddy to his Dublin entourage. During the exchanges, Damien gasped 'Hold on, I am the interviewer here' and at another time he said twice 'Answer the question'.
Calm and near normal blood pressure was restored by the next entertainment interlude, the 4th Scór Champion of Cavan. who travelled from Wexford just in time to be with us. It was a recitation or narration carried out with such delicate performance that all, even the judges who were supposed to be busy at work, were held in a trance as they waited for the story to unfold with a combination of humourous phrases, pauses and bodily expressions. Superb but back to the main event, the final three candidates, one of which sang the gallant John Joe, obviously a rehearsal for an item for Breiffne park on the Friday evening, the next, the only lady in the race seductively convinced many that Clann O'Raghallaigh would best be served by a Lady Chieftain  and the final Candidate from Australia, led the audience in a chorus of Song.
A brief respite, a time for reflection, a time for decision followed as the voting proceeded and the voting papers were collected.   Who was going to win? would it be our candidate? There were now no neutrals in the hall, standing room only at the back and sides. The din was almost unbearable. But it was not yet over. First a second song by the lovely3rd Scór Champions of Cavan.
Then the revelation of the festival, the Cavan Big Band with 25 members under Daire O'Reilly gave a selection of swing from the Big Band era. They were only allowed 30 minutes but the hall called for more and more.  The O'Reillys like their music. It was a fitting end to the main part of the Convention, but the crowd were not going home -the result had to be known. It was slow in coming. Was the result close as was suggested by he number of supporters for each candidate? 
Then the letter with the result was handed to Damian but before it was announced, the Chairman of the O'ReillyReilly Clan Committee thanked all who participated especially all the Candidates who were all great and clearly each could have been a great Chief of the O'Reilly Clan. He also thanked his Committee and the Farnham Arms Hotel and others but singled Damian  as MC for giving the Convention such a wonderful atmosphere.
Then he read the result
'Following an International search for a suitable candidate for Chief of Clann O'Raghallaigh and following the ancient rules for the election of a Chief of Clann O'Raghallaigh as laid down in the Book of Kings, the candidate duly elected and verified by the O'Reilly Clan Committee is candidate No. 5 JJ O'Reilly.
During the rapturous applause from all quarters, our special guest on the night, Kathy Durkin emerged to sing the congratulatory 'Come Back JJ O'Reilly to Ballyjamesduff' and the nights festivities continued for some time.
Our congratulations to our new Chief, JJ The O'Raghallaigh 2013

Vincent O'Reilly, Chairman of the O'Reilly Clan committee presented a cheque for € 5,200 to Jimmy O'Donnell (3rd from Left) of the Palliative Care Fund for Cavan/Monaghan. Also in picture is Pete O'Reilly, one of the organisers and JJ The O'Raghallaigh 2013, Chief of Clann O'Raghallaigh.
Thursday August 22nd:
The Life of Reilly Charity Golf Classic in Co. Cavan Golf Club in aid of the Cavan Monaghan Palliative Care fund  –book directly with Co. Cavan Golf Club. Teams of 4 players. Many prizes including Prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd Best Teams, Best all Ladies Team and Best No-Handicappers Team 
This was a hugely successful event with 47 teams playing. Our thanks go to Pete and JJ O'Reilly for organising the event, the captain and Lady captain of Cavan Golf Club, the host of volunteers, the sponsors, the contributors and especially those who played. After all expenses were covered, Vincent O'Reilly, Chairman of the O'Reilly Clan Committee presented a cheque for € 5,200 to Jimmy O'Donnell of the Palliative Care Fund for Cavan/Monaghan.
The O'Reilly Clan Committee at the commencement of the Inauguration of the Chief elect of the O'Reilly Reilly clan. From left Vincent O'Reilly, Chairman, Claire O'Reilly O'Callaghan, Marie O'Reilly, Joe O'Reilly, JJ O'Reilly Chief-elect, Kevin O'Reilly and Brona O'Reilly. Paddy O'Reilly is missing from the picture.

From 8:00pm The Life of Reilly, O’Reilly Reilly Clan Banquet  is open to everyone
including all clans and visitors  
in Hotel Kilmore, Cavan at 8:00pm  including * The Formal Inauguration of New Clan Chieftain for East Breiffne and the O'Reilly Reilly Clan *The Roll of Honour Tribute to Colonel John Riley of the Los Patrios Battalion of Mexico  
Special Guest His Excellency Carlos Garcia deAlba, Ambassador of Mexico.                               Music provided by O'Reilly's Quintet 
On Thursday night last in the Kilmore Hotel, the Chief of the Clann O’Raghallaigh and of the ancient Kingdom of Breiffne returned to Cavan in the splendid inauguration of JJ O’Reilly as the O’Raghallaigh. The inauguration, after a dramatic election the previous evening in the Farnham Arms Hotel, was filled with majestic pomp and traditional ceremony that held the overflowing audience in awe and admiration. Hotel manager Paul said that it was unbelievable, that he never saw the like of it before and that the guests were treated royally. Security was tight to ensure the safety of the guests from any attack from the neighbouring O’Rourkes, O’Connors, O’Donnells or from the Foreigners from the Pale.
Bronagh O’Reilly led the procession carrying the new Chain of Office and the remainder of the Committee flanked the new Chief onto the sacred place of inauguration. The impressive Book of Kings carried in by Kevin O’Reilly was placed in situ. Vincent O’Reilly was the chronicler or story teller and explained the traits needed in a Chief such as having a good legal standing, being not guilty of theft and being be a man of property.
Also he explained that according to Cormac Mac Airt, a high king of Ireland in the 3rd century, the testimonials a Chief needs in order to be elected over Clann O’Raghallaigh is the goodness of his shape and family, his experience, his wisdom, his prudence, his magnanimity, his eloquence, his bravery in  battle and the number of his friends.
Vincent as the chronicler, then came forward bearing the book called Book of Kings and containing a brief summary of the customs and laws of the Kingdom of East Breiffne. He outlined to the Chieftain elect and to the almost 300 assembled guests that God and the people reward the doing of good and the punishment that awaits the King or Chief and his descendants if he does not carry out his duties in accordance with the principles of justice and equity as laid down in this Book of Kings.
The period of drama then reached its climax when JJ placed his hand on the Book of Kings, the attending crowd gasped and some missed a heart beat when JJ hesitated but then committed himself to carry out his duties in accordance with the principles laid down in the Book of Kings. Maria O’Reilly supported by Joe O’Reilly unrobed the Chieftain elect and JJ then received his ceremonial Chieftain Jacket.

Fr. Kevin Donoghue, Administrator of the Diocese of Kilmore and representing Bishop O’Reilly, then completed the traditional ceremony of  placing the Chain of Office over the shoulders of the new Chief.
Uncontrolled joy followed as the chronicler declared him duly inaugurated as Chief over Clann O’Raghallaigh and over the Kingdom of East Breiffne. The crowd erupted with three long cheers for the new Chief JJ The O'Raghallaigh 2013. Maria O’Reilly, Joe O’Reilly, Paddy O’Reilly, Kevin O'Reilly, Carmel O'Reilly and Bronagh O'Reilly and all the candidates congratulated JJ the O’Raghallaigh 2013.
Thereafter after some words of wisdom from the new Chief, the magnanimous and noble candidates received  awards from Carmel, our Clan Artist and also from our Clan Jewellers, Elegant Gems of Cavan. 
JJ The O'Raghallaigh 2013 is congratulated by Peter O'Reilly, one of the Candidates after JJ's inauguration
 Vincent O’Reilly gave the Banquet speech on behalf of the O’Reilly Committee to the packed venue. (see Clan News)

Friday August 23rd
A General Meeting of the O’Reilly/Reilly Clan in the Courthouse Cavan from 3:00pm followed by
A Genealogy and Family Tree workshop in the Courthouse, Cavan from 3:30pm
A Tribute and unveiling memorial to an icon of Cavan Football - The Gallant John Joe O’Reilly in Breiffne Park, Cavan at 8:00pm with reception and presentation on John Joe and the great Cavan GAA teams of his era.
Again this is open to everyone including all Clans and visitors and especially all who have had a role or an interest in GAA. This will be the First formal recognision an icon of GAA football by a Co. Board.

Saturday August 24th:
Walking Tours of Cavan Town with Michael Swords starting at Elegant Gems on Mail Street.
Free tea or coffee on return. Again this is open to everyone.

 Sunday August 25th:
Family Day -Invite your family and relations to a social gathering in Co. Cavan and renew family ties and relationships with kin and country.

O’Reilly Clan News:

Banquet speech by Vincent O'Reilly, Chairman of the O'Reilly Clan Committee
Ladies and Gentlemen and Honoured Guest, I express my appreciation to you all for coming tonight and especially to the many of you that attended our events earlier this week.
My special appreciation goes to many people especially our hard working Committee for their initiatives and guidance in bringing this Life of Reilly O’Reilly Reilly Clan Gathering Festival to what we have achieved this week.Tonight we are celebrating our Clan, our homeland –East Breiffne now Co. Cavan, all our friends in Co. Cavan and all our members and Diaspora spread throughout the world.
On a recent visit to the Mexican Embassy, I was speaking to the Government official responsible for looking after the Mexican Diaspora throughout the world and he informed me that Mexico has 36 million diaspora in the USA and is only surpassed by Ireland that has 40 million diaspora there. Our Clan is one of the most numerous clans in Ireland and many of these millions of diaspora in the USA are associated with the O’Reilly Clan and with Co. Cavan.  One of the aims of our O’Reilly Clan Committee is to provide a mechanism for reaching out to these, Our website www.oreillyreillyclan.com is there to assist in all these areas and to enable those interested in learning and sharing in the Genealogy, History and Evolution of the O’Reilly/Reilly Clan and Co. Cavan and to engage with the committee and with one another.
When our Committee decided to have a Clan Gathering as part of Gathering Ireland 2013, we made a short presentation on our clan and on plans for the gathering. The initial reaction was “You think a lot of yourselves, don’t you”. The reply was 'of course we do'. We are a very numerous clan spread throughout the world with our headquarters here in Cavan, we have a long and proud heritage dating back to the earliest times and as a Clan we have contributed to the development and prosperity of Co. Cavan down the ages.
Since then, we have been on an exciting journey to re-inact the Life of Reilly in a programme of events that would be inclusive, informative and laced with history, music, dance and with times past as our theme. We developed a website that has now over 2700 hits in a month.
We became a Gathering 'with opposition' and were surprised at the source of this opposition but since then, our work and summary talk on the development of the Ancient Kingdom of Breiffne and the impact on the life and times on the people of Breiffne has been very warmly received from many quarters. Also our summary talk on the ancestry and history of the O’Reilly clan and the history and development of many of the main clans has also received warm applause with many seeking to have both copied and published.
We have held a very successful and enjoyable Convention last night with 10 superb candidates and elected our Chief of Clann O’Raghallaigh and of East Breiffne. Tonight we have inaugurated him. We believe that a Clan not a living Clan unless it has a strong and vibrant Co-ordinating Committee with links in different parts of the world and an active Chief or Leader. Now we have that active Chief in JJ the O’Raghallaigh 2013 and we will work on the links.
The greatest honour that our Clan can confer on a living person is to elect him as our Chief or Taoiseach of Clann O’Raghallaigh. JJ The O’Raghallaigh Chief 2013 is the popular choice of the electorate at the Convention and he and our Committee will continue to promote the Clan and diaspora, our homeland now Co. Cavan and the talent of Cavan for the benefit of all. You will note that all our talent during this festival with the exception of a small number of artists included in the Cabaret, are all entertainers from Cavan and we are all very proud of them.
On this note our Committee thank all the entertainers and especially Kathy Durkin for their music, song, dance, story-telling and recitations and to Connie and the staff of Crover House for hosting our Life of Reilly Party and Times Past Gala which was a great success.
Our thanks to the Farnham Arms Hotel for their free accommodation for our Convention and the assistance and goodwill given to us for that event. They have also sponsored the cost of the excellent sound system that the Committee had installed for the night.
Our thanks also to our event manager Sorcha O’Reilly, our Director of Music Daire O’Reilly and our MC Damien O’Reilly, also to Paddy McDermott for his organisation and support with the Scor Champions of Cavan and all of whom gave their services to make this a success. Also tonight to the management and staff of the Kilmore and to the many many more not mentioned
Our Clan remembers that both Danes and Normans, the former especially, destroyed our manuscripts in the course of warlike operations and from Elizabeth's time downwards
—Ireland's darkest age—men came not only to govern us but to burn and destroy  our books and manuscripts, hang or hunt their owners, made it criminal to teach or learn the language and customs or indeed to teach or learn about our clan. Many risked liberty and life itself during that perilous age for the preservation of those precious monuments of the past. Few ancient nations have been more fruitful in original literary effort and few modern nations have shown more attachment to literary treasures than the Irish.
Tonight we have introduced the Book of Kings - Teagasc Riocht to be a repository of the history and ancestry of Clann O’Raghallaigh down the ages. This is in its infancy and is a project without sponsorship support that I have decided to take on myself. Our Chief and the Roll of Honour to Colonel John Reilly will be entered permanently for all time in this book and it should be substantially completed by early next Year.
I need not go on any further except to thank:
 our candidates once again, Pete and JJ for organising the Life OF Reilly Charity Golf Classic that has raised €5,200 for the Palliative care fund for this area, the County Manager for opening the Life of Reilly Festival and the use of the Council Chambers for the Welcome evening, Carmel our Clan artist and Genealogist for her genealogy workshop in the Town Hall, our special Guest Carlos Garcia de Alba and his party for attending and adding splendidly to the occasion. I hope you will all meet both him and our new Chief
and to our sponsors - Jimmy Scanlon and Elegant Gems for sponsoring the Chain of Office and many other O’Reilly Memorabilia items,
John A. Fitzsimons & Co. Bailieborough - our Clan Accountants for sponsoring our Banners
Paddy Swarbrigg of Mullingar and Cootehill and Kieran A. Rogers Joinery Ltd for sponsoring the Memorial to the Gallant John Joe O’Reilly.
Our committee pay special thanks to you all for coming and as the first step in now complete, we will see what course our Clan through the Committee and Chief, can play in future to promote Cavan and the Diaspora around the world where possible.
To all our visitors we wish you to return soon.
 Vincent O’Reilly Chairman of the O’Reilly Committee said that we have had a wonderful and very successful festival. People want to hear about their history, ancestry and heritage and are proud of their clan and homeland. If we could harness the Cavan Diaspora, then Cavan and the Diaspora would benefit greatly. The election of the new Chief was unique and very popular. The Cavan talent on show were superb and greatly enjoyed. The venues were packed on all nights and the quality of the entertainment was second to none. Damien O’Reilly smoothly put everybody at ease and interviewing his own father, Pat was a highlight among many at the Convention. He said that all the hard work was justly rewarded by the reaction of the crowds. A common reaction of many of our visitors was that it was the best holiday ever and many are looking to returning to Cavan in the future. What more can you ask for in a festival.
In 1990, the O’Reilly Clan Committee called a Clan rally in Cavan and as part of the gathering business, ‘Big’ Tom O’Reilly was chosen as Clan Taoiseach. ‘Big’ Tom was born Thomas P. O'Reilly on the 6th August 1915 at the Derries Upper, Killeshandra in the County of Cavan and was an Irish Gaelic footballer, politician and farmer from County Cavan. His father was ‘Big’ John O'Reilly who played as goalkeeper on the Cavan county team and his mother was Sarah Anne. From the early 1930s until the mid-‘40’s, ‘Big’ Tom was acclaimed as one of the country’s greatest midfielders and played for Cornafean and Cavan.  His brother John Joe O'Reilly was also a noted Cavan footballer.

Big Tom first played for Cornafean on the club's junior team at sixteen years old and he was at centrefield a year later on the senior team which defeated Bailieborough in the county final. He continued to star as a midfielder for Cornafean until he retired in 1948. He won a total of nine Cavan Senior Football Championship medals and captained Cornafean on seven of those occasions. However, he earned enduring national renown from his contribution to the Cavan county team. In 1932, he starred for the county minors and juniors and made his debut for the Cavan seniors a year later playing a key role at midfield when Cavan defeated Galway in the 1933 All-Ireland Football Final. He won a second All Ireland medal in 1935 and played on the losing Cavan teams in the 1937, 1943 and 1945 finals. He captained the county side from 1937 to 1945 and was still on the Cavan panel when they won the famous 1947 All-Ireland Football final in the Polo Grounds in New York. He was also a regular on the Ulster teams for the Railway Cup in the 1940s.