In 1989 Wicklow County Council decided to formally bring together any Byrnes who might be interested in forming a group who would form the nucleus of a Byrne clan in the county. They organised a clan rally which was held in Arklow in 1989. There was considerable interest and it was very well attended. It had been decided to elect a chairperson to head up the new organisation. Hughie O'Byrne of Aughrim and Val Byrne of Wicklow ran for the position and on an open vote Hughie was elected Chieftain and Val was appointed Tanaiste. A committee was then formed and a programme was initiated to promote the objectives of the newly organised clan. It was felt that use of the word ' Clan ' would be inappropriate in modern day times so it was agreed to name the new organisation ' Clann O'Byrne ’ being the ‘families’ of O‘Byrnes. In 1990 a major Clan rally was organised to take place in Aughrim the most Byme inhabited village in Ireland. The rally was a complete success and was oversubscribed. Due to family commitments Hughie then decided to stand down and it was put to a vote to elect a new Chieftain and Val was elected unopposed and to be inaugurated at the next Rally. In 1992 a ' Homecoming Festival O'Byrne rally was held in Aughrim at which Val was confirmed as and inaugurated Chieftain. In 1998 a further Rally was held in Woodenbridge to commemorate The Fenian Rising of 1798. A wreath was laid at the monument to Billy Byrne in Wicklow Town and a visit to the newly renovated Wicklow Gaol, where Billy had been incarcerated and hanged, was the high point of the rally. During this period two books were published ‘An Leabhar Branach ' (The Book of the O’Byrnes) These included all aspects of O'Byrne histories and culture. Both of these are now out of print but articles from them are included in this website. Since then Clann O'Byrne have been active in research and have made a major contribution to the Information which is now available on the history , septs and families of Bymes worldwide. No less than six important published in recent years dealing specifically with Byrnes. These are listed elsewhere.
Byrne Clan USA
Pat Byrne of Niceville, Florida with Val Byrne 1992.
Folllowing the visit of Pat Byrne from Niceville, Florida, USA to the Clan O'Byrne Home Coming Festival in Aughrim in 1992 it was agreed with him to form a stand alone American branch of the O'Byrnes. It was agreed to call the US branch BYRNE CLAN USA so as to give it a distinct identity. Pat on his return with assistance and images from Clan O'Byrne sources put up a new website . Byrneclanusa.com . Due to pressure of work Pat retired and the organisation was continued on and around 2002 Bill Byrnes of Chicago was appointed USA Tanaiste. The website was then upgraded with the assistance of Bob Burns of Chicago and the name changed to www.byrneclan.org. Basically the site has retained all of the information it has aaccumulated over 20 years and is an invaluable resource to anyone interested particularly in the geneology of the Byrnes.
Meeting of Byrne Clan USA in Chicago
Clan O'Byrne within Clans of Ireland and DNA research.
Clan O'Byrne has been a member of The Clans of lreland since 1992. Val has served both as a director and Chairman of The Board. Over the years we have kept strong ties with other Leinster clans such as the Kavanaghs. O‘Tooles, Kinsellas and Nolans and have represented the Byrnes at at their various rallies and inaugurations. In the late 1990: we organised a loose grouping of these Leinster clans. called " Tuatha Laighin " ( the families of Leinster ). In the early 2000s with the aid of two Byrnes from the USA who were in Ireland researching their family roots, set up a DNA research group and today it is one of the biggest and most active clan DNA groups in Ireland. In 2004 Clan O'Byrne organised the first DNA seminar in Ireland, aimed mainly but not exclusively at Byrnes. The results of this are now contributing to an emerging study of Byrne ancestry going back to prehistoric. medieval and even modern times. The Byrne Clan has now become the nucleus of major research into our roots and origins and with modem technology and as a group has access to the largest database of Byrne history and genealogy through our dedicated researchers.We hope the years to come will reveal the years now past and help all who are interested in their roots.