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Nolan Clan: Gatherings

The first Gathering of the modern-day Nolan Clan was held in 1996 shortly after the creation of the Clan organization. For the first few years, Gatherings were held annually and, since 2000, they have been held every second year.

NEXT GATHERING - September-October 2019

The upcoming Nolan Clan Gathering is scheduled for the weekend of September 8th, 9th and 10th, 2017.
Click on the following link to view the Programme being finalized for the Gathering weekend.

Advice to Members planning to attend a Gathering

Given that planned activities for any clan gathering usually cover one, two or at most three days, clan members planning to attend a gathering are strongly advised to coordinate their attendance with a broader programme of activities for themselves and their party while in Ireland, including perhaps making visits to friends, conducting personal family research, sightseeing, visiting museums, historic theme parks, etc.

Click on the following link to view the Clan's Recommendations for visiting Ireland. You may also wish consult the travel links provided in the Travel to Ireland section of this website.

LAST GATHERING - September 18-19-20, 2015

The biannual Gathering of Nolan Clan members took place in county Carlow, Ireland, during the weekend of September 19th, 2015. With activities spread over three days, the main venue was the Seven Oaks Hotel in Carlow where members of the clan had the opportunity to renew bonds of kinship with the Nolan diaspora, sharing stories and experiences, eating and drinking together as new friendships were formed and old ones renewed.

At the Clan's General Meeting Chris Nolan of New York, the Clan's Tanaiste, was officially recognized as the new Clan Chief and Catherina O'Brien of Ballytarsna, Co. Carlow, replaced him as the new Tanaiste. Catherina who had been the Clan's Secretary was replaced by David Nowlan of Dublin. Pa Nolan retains his position as Clan treasurer and Roger Nowlan stays on as newsletter editor. By a unanimous vote Sean & Mai Nolan of Ardattin and Roger & Rosie Nowlan of Canada were made Honorary Life Members of the Nolan Clan. David and Orla Nowlan of Dublin proposed the launch of a project to collect for the clan archives information and stories related to the 1916 Easter Rising. The next Clan Reunion was also tentatively scheduled for the weekend of September 9th and 10th, 2017.

Sample Report of a Past Gathering - 2004

“In the aftermath of unusually strong winds and rain that caused flooding in many parts of Ireland, on the morning of October 29th, 2004, a hardy group of individuals assembled in the lobby of the main hotel in Glendalough, County Wicklow, for the Gathering of the Clan. Last-minute cancellations and bad driving conditions limited the number assembled to about 15. Nevertheless spirits remained high as those assembled greeted each other and exchanged family stories.

Introductions over, Judith, our Clan Chief, briefed us on the day’s events: a guided tour of the Glendalough monastic site, a bus tour of the local area with lunch in between and, in the evening, a gala dinner. Our tour guide was Chris Stacey of Footfalls Walking Holidays and, after having made him an honorary Nolan for the day, we promptly departed for our tour of the Glendalough monastic site that bordered the hotel grounds.

Glendalough Hotel as seen from the portal to monastic village founded by St. KevinChris explained that the site had been founded by St. Kevin, a religious hermit, who, in the 6th century, had attracted others to live with him in the wilderness of the Wicklow Mountains. Walking through the main archway of the site on old pathways and past the ruins of early churches one could not help but feel a sense of oneness with the past.

Last three Nolan Chiefs having lunch in the Wicklow hills at GlenmalureFollowing our walking tour we all piled into a small bus and ‘headed for the hills’ stopping at local sites of interest to stretch our legs, to admire the view and to take in a bit of history. Despite the lingering mist, the hills were magnificent and, in their relatively unchanging grandeur, helped to form a bond with our ancestors who probably traveled these same hills in some distant past. Stops included a visit to the Avoca woolen mill, oldest in Ireland and Britain, ..., the area of Glenmalur where Michael Dwyer, the 1798 rebel, hid out and where we also had lunch, and the spot along the Avon river Eamonn singing Thomas Moore's poemwhere the Irish poet Thomas Moore wrote his famous poem, entitled ‘The Meeting of the Waters’ which Eamonn Fitzsimons, Mary’s husband, interpreted for us in song.

In the evening, clan members assembled in a meeting room of the hotel for a General Meeting ...

a gourmet's delight -lamb chops with fresh red currantsHaving put our house in order, at least for now, we all sat down for a wonderful Gala Dinner in the hotel dining room.

Having wined and dined we retreated to a cozy lounge where I made a presentation on early Nolan emigration to Canada. The festivities over, Eamonn raised the Parting Glass and, as he sang "I will gently rise and I'll softly call, ‘Goodnight and joy be with you all!’" we knew that the time had come to part company for another day, another year.

Although we parted with sadness in our hearts we resolved to remain of ‘one heart’ united in our bonds of family and friendship.”

News Items


  • Next Gathering
    - September 2019
  • Next Newsletter
    - March 2019
  • New Nolan Book
  • First Nolan Book
    - still available!
  • Easter Rising
    - Anecdotes Project