Galway is calling its tribes back home – if your name is Athy, Blake, Bodkin, Browne, D’Arcy, Deane, Ffont, Ffrenche, Joyce, Kirwan, Lynch, Martin, Morris or Skerritts you’re invited to the party.

The City of the Tribes has started planning for a massive medieval bash in 2013 when families worldwide with one of the 14 Tribe surnames will be afforded a hundred thousand welcomes.

The big bash is part of the ‘Gathering’ initiative for 2013 announced by Ireland’s Tourism Minister Leo Varadkar at the recent economic forum in Dublin Castle.

The week long Galway festival will celebrate the Irish ancestry of all those with one of the 14 Tribe surnames.


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The city’s landmark Eyre Square will act as the centrepiece of the celebrations when it is to be transformed into a medieval village.

Plaques dedicated to each of the 14 Tribes will be unveiled across the west of Ireland’s biggest city.
Galway city councillor Niall McNelis is enthused by the project. He said: “It’s a great way to celebrate the Norman part of our history and it won’t cost a fortune to do it, which is the best part.”

Organizers plan to use social media to promote the event.

“We will utilize every means possible to contact the massive numbers around the world who can trace their ancestry back to the tribes of Galway,” added McNelis.