Order of Merit Award for Chieftain Connie

The Council of Clans of Ireland has conferred the appointment as a Companion of the Clans of Ireland Order of Merit upon Mr. Conal Henry O’Farrell, Taoiseach of Farrell Clan. This award is the highest honour that can be bestowed by Irish Clans. It is an order of merit conferred on individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to Irish culture and heritage or who have brought honour to their Clan name.

Connie and Rose with family and friends at the award ceremony

Connie and Rose with family and friends at the award ceremony

On Saturday April 13th a delegation of family and Farrell Clan members travelled to Dublin to attend the Presentation of this award at the Cultural Summit and AGM of the Clans of Ireland. The award was presented by Dr Edward M. Walsh, the founding President of The University of Limerick, in the presence of Mr Gearóid O’Ceallaig, Cathaoirleach, Clans Ireland.

Connie and Rose with Gearóid O’Ceallaig, Cathaoirleach, Clans of Ireland

In their citation the Council stated:

Mr Conal Henry O’Farrell, a citizen of the Republic of Ireland, is a worthy recipient due to his passionate involvement in the preservation of Gaelic culture and in particular Farrell Clan. Under his leadership, actively supported by his spouse Rose, the Farrell Clan was officially reinstated in 1991.

Connie has been the Taoiseach since the clan reinstatement, a period of over 30 years during which Farrell Clan successfully grew both internationally and at home thanks to his tireless dedication. At the next clan gathering Connie, 90 years of age, will hand over the rod of office to his daughter Charlotte.

Connie was inaugurated as Chieftain at the first Farrell Clan Rally in 1993. Since that time Connie has been an outstanding leader to our Clan and has given generously of his time and efforts to develop and support not only our own Clan and its connections, but also to promote Irish culture and heritage. He has presided over 9 International Farrell Clan Rallies and has represented The Farrell Clan both at home and abroad with dignity and distinction.

Connie was the unanimous choice of all members for Chieftain when the Clan was re-established. The two principal reasons for this choice were the long-standing association of the O’Ferrall family with Camlisk House in Edgeworthstown, Co Longford and their warm, welcoming personalities and passionate interest in all things Farrell! It proved to be an inspired choice as over the following 30 years Connie and his wife Rose welcomed many Farrell visitors not only to Longford but also to their home, Camlisk House.

” Camlisk House”

In the Plantation of James 1, a grant was made in 1620 to Keadagh MacConnell O’Ferrall of the lands of Camliskmore and Camliksbeg – 113 acres (Irish Plantation measure) – at a crown rent of 2 ½ pence per acre. These lands were already in the possession of the O’Ferrall family from time immemorial. The O’Ferrall family have had direct and unbroken possession of some of the lands owned by their ancestors in the sixteenth century and earlier, spanning 20 generations. The Farrells of Camlisk are mentioned by JP Farrell in his history of County Longford. The Farrell Clan DNA project has established links between the Camlisk O’ Ferralls and the many Farrell families in the midland counties.

 The O'Ferralls of Camlisk

The O’Ferralls of Camlisk

Connie and his wife Rose have presided over nine International Farrell Clan Rallies. They have always taken an active part in the organisation and implementation of the Rally program. Every year in between our official Rallies we have a stream of visitors who come to visit Longford, the ancestral home of the Farrells. Connie and Rose welcome our visitors not only to Longford, but also to their home in Camlisk.  The visitors come as strangers but immediately feel like family. Much of this is due to the wonderful example of welcome and hospitality that Connie and Rose have set for us. Welcome and hospitality are the hallmark and legacy that they have stamped on The Farrell Clan.

There are Farrells worldwide and Connie has represented The Farrell Clan with distinction both in Ireland and abroad. The O’Farrill family of Mexico are descendants of Joachim O’Farrell born in Longford in 1809. He emigrated to Spain and then to the Caribbean region, settling in Puebla. A large delegation came from Mexico came to the first International Farrell Clan Rally in 1993.

In August 1995 Connie led a group of Farrells on a visit to Puebla in Mexico. Undoubtedly, the highlight of the visit was when Connie laid the foundation stone, brought all the way from Camlisk, of a castle to be modelled on the ancient O’Farrell stronghold.  This has created a permanent, distinctive link to the heritage and culture of Ireland in Mexico City.

At the heart of every Clan Rally is the hard work and commitment of The Farrell Clan Committee. At the heart of the Farrell Clan Committee are our Chieftain Connie and his wife Rose. Connie and Rose have led us in good times and bad, in happy times and sad with dignity and kindness and care.

The motto of the Clan is Prodesse non Nocere …. To do good, not evil. Under the guidance and example of Connie and Rose we have expanded this to incorporate working together to achieve our goals of doing good with dignity and kindness and care.

Connie and Rose have given sterling service to our Clan; without their dedication we may not have survived for so long. At the young age of 90, Connie still turns out to committee meetings on dark winter evenings and still contributes enthusiastically to our plans for our next Rally in 2026.

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