It all started back in 2012 when Niamh Mooney said she would organise the event and her father, Bill Mooney, agreed to fund it. Niamh sent out an invitation to everyone she could think of. Soon replies came in and by August 2013 about 60 people had accepted. Many were from Ireland especially Co Limerick and Dublin but others were coming from Marseilles, Canada and New York.
Tony Mooney was contacted at the last minute through his website and promptly agreed to attend from England and to give a talk about the Mooneys from Grennan, Attanagh, Co Laois.
Bill, Tony and his wife Judith met for lunch on 16 August 2013 in the Doolin Hotel and then worked together to set up the displays of photos and family trees. They had fun getting the microphone set up which proved such a blessing during the evening. One family tree was 22 feet long and it took some experimenting to find the right spot for it. One of the staff eventually suggested we place it on the landing at the top of the stairs where everyone would see it as they arrived.
At 7 p.m. Niamh arrived after a full day at work and cast her expert eye over the arrangements which she was quite pleased with. The first people arrived soon after 8 o'clock and before long the room was abuzz with greetings and chatter. The most senior person present was Jack Mooney from Grennan who came with his wonderful wife, Bridie.
Bill asked everyone to be seated and made a short introductory talk about what was in store. Following Bill, John Griffin, a good family friend, spoke about William Mooney and St Ann's Rathkeale, Co Limerick.
Next came Tony Mooney who spoke for about 40 minutes about the Mooneys from Grennan, Attanagh. He brought along a stone from New York House which was the family home from about 1840 to 1920 and a brick from above the fireplace. He spoke from his notes but read a few passages from Dermot Dorgan's book, The Chapel District of Ballouskill, Attanagh. Dermot researched and wrote the book at the request of Ballyouskill History Committee in 1982 and which was eventually published in 1996. It should be known that Dermot is the current owner of the farm where New York House is situated and is also a cousin to all the Mooneys through his grandfather who married Judith Esther Mooney on 12 April 1904. The book is in exceptionally short supply but you may be lucky and find one.
After Tony's talk finger food was served and we all settled down to good company and much talk about the Mooney family history. We were treated all the while to beautiful Irish pub music by the Lowtone Trio. Later when the group had finished playing we were entertained to some poetry by Brian McPhilips, Limerick City, and Irish music by Luke McCarthy, Kinvarra, Co Galway and Seamus McPhilips from Fermanagh.
Throughout the evening Bill's official photographer Bernard Dilger took photos and video footage which was made into a DVD together with other family photos. Bill distributed the DVD in February 2014. A list of addressees can be seen on the Reunion 2013 pages.
The reunion broke up in the small hours of the morning with some people travelling home and others staying on for a day or two in one of Irelands greatest tourist attractions.
All day Saturday people were getting together to chat over breakfast, lunch and dinner and to take walks and go surfing. In the evening we all met in Fitzpatrick's Bar the only place in the world where you can obtain the famous Dooliner beer. There was good pub music all night and about 20 who attended the reunion had a most enjoyable time together. There were a few goodbyes to be made as the evening wore on and some more the next day as Bill departed home to Rathkeale and Jack and his wife Bridie left for Grennan. The remaining handful took a walk to the harbour and also watched the semi-final of the hurling championship between Limerick and Clare on television in O'Connors bar. The last to leave were Tony and his wife Judith who left on Monday morning to make their way to Rosslare Harbour.
Niamh and Bill are to be hugely congratulated for providing a truly magnificent Mooney Family Reunion.
After the DVD of the reunion was distributed Theresa Dalimata from America sent Bill some family photos which he has kindly allowed to be included here. Bill has also provided some family photos which are also included.