Mike To Gather Descendants Of The Cullotys Of Currovough For Clan Celebration

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Mike Culloty at what was known as ‘Culloty’s Corner’ on Rock Street.

PREPARATIONS for a gathering of the descendants of the Cullotys of Currovough North are well underway for a special day on Sunday September 23, when the local, national and international members of this Culloty family will converge on Ballyroe Heights Hotel for a celebration of their ancestors and family history.

The townlands of Currovough North, just a few miles north of Tralee town, are home to a branch of the Culloty family in Kerry that has survived and expanded over a verifiable period of almost 220 years, dating from 1799.

In that period of time the Culloty name and the Culloty genes have thrived both at home and abroad. Today the Culloty DNA exists proudly in Kerry, in Ireland, in England, in America, Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

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The journey of researching family history began in earnest for Mike Culloty — who had already started work on the project with T J Culloty of Currovough — when New Zealander Jenny Baldwin made contact in early November 2017.

Jenny is a great granddaughter of Catherine Culloty of Currovough, who immigrated to New Zealand in 1883, and has been researching and piecing together her family history for almost 40 years.

A search on Facebook for “Cullotys of Gurrane” resulted finally in contact between Jenny and Mike, who learned that Jenny had come to Ireland on her honeymoon in 1978, with her Welsh born husband Gwylym in search of a Culloty shop/pub at the corner of 104 Rock St and 1-3 Pembroke Street.

The bar at 104 Rock Street/1-3 Pembroke Street, an area known as ‘Culloty’s Corner’.

This location (currently Dairymaster) was always referred to as “Cullotys Corner” by  the local community of the early 20th century and older people remember it as such to this day.

It no longer existed in the Culloty name at the time of Jenny’s honeymoon, but it had been owned by Mike’s own grand uncle Jim, and this would prove the first of many in a series of coincidences and connections between the two.

Both Mike and Jenny were born in January 1955 and both were married in August 1978. When Jenny and Gwylym informed Mike of their plans to visit Ireland for their 40th wedding anniversary and to again come to Tralee, the seed for the idea of a Culloty Gathering was sown.

“It has been a fantastic journey and an amazing experience as we tried to piece together the family links throughout the generations to the present day”, said Mike.

“Jenny has brought an incredible amount of information together on this family’s past from everything available on public record. I was utterly amazed that someone in New Zealand knew far more about our ancestors than anyone here at home and equally amazed to learn so much about the lives of the people in our past from whom we are descended. It is truly remarkable”.

The fruit of the efforts to make the day a reality, made possible through the co-operation and support of all living relatives and families, will be seen by all in Ballyroe on Sunday September 23rd.

Pride of place will be taken by the display of Culloty Family Trees dating from 1799 to the present day, which will stretch 20 metres in length and 4 feet in width along one wall of the ballroom at Ballyroe Heights.

This display will be complimented by an exhibition of old family photographs collected specially for the event. Significant historical references to family members down through the years will also feature on the day.

Proceedings will commence from 2:00pm and the official opening will take place at 3:00pm. Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, with special responsibility for Tourism and Sport, Mr Brendan Griffin, TD, will officially welcome all participants to the Culloty Gathering.

“I feel it’s going to make a great day for all us and I am delighted to say that at the moment descendants from Canada, America, England, and New Zealand have already registered online. Of course our local Culloty descendants will be out in force. The Cullotys of Currovough, Gurrane, Ballybeggan, Ballyroe, Ballymacelligott, Oakpark, Listowel, Abbeydorney, Ballybroman, as well as the Cork, Limerick and Dublin connections and it will be of particular interest to the younger generations to actually find out who they are related to. This is something that was always important to the older people in my experience”, said Mike, “and now I understand why”.

Information on the Gathering will continue on www.michaelculloty.com and registration for the event for all Culloty family members is available through the website.

It is important to register in order to make final preparations regarding numbers attending and for arrangements with the hotel for food and catering. Closing date for registration is September 1st.

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