McNamara’s band – all 300 of them – have arrived in Galway from the four corners of the world to celebrate a link that dates back to 1834.
McNamaras from nine different countries, including the USA, have gathered to celebrate their connection to Michael NcNamara, born in the townland of Ganty near Craughwell in 1834.
Marco Grandi and his children Elena and Senan travelled 2,700 kilometres by road from Budapest to join the McNamara celebrations.
His grandmother Phil McNamara grew up in Ganty while his mother, Deirdre, married an Italian, Dino Grandi.
“The trip was slow, but we weren’t going to miss such a historic event,” Grandi told the Irish Independent.
Chief marshall for the McNamaras is 88-year-old Bridie Uniacke. The mother of 13 children, grandmother of 36 and great-grandmother of eight still lives close to Ganty.
“It’s lovely to have them all here, especially the younger ones, because they’re the new life of the family,” she said.
A giant family tree is also on display at the reunion headquarters in the Lough Rea Hotel and already contains the names of 460 family members.
Reunion organizer, Tom McNamara (79), originally from Craughwell but living in New Zealand for over 50 years, revealed: “We had always talked about doing something like a family reunion but now that I am retired I could finally go about doing it.
“It has taken best part of two years to organize, but it’s great to see so many people here.”
A huge farewell party will bring the McNamara re-union to a close on Sunday night.
Where does the term “the luck of the Irish” come from?