Sunday, 8 February 2009

In a post left on the McAuliffe Message Board this week Sheila McAuliffe' had this to say:-

clan gathering 2008 -- Sheila McAuliffe, 22:48:56 02/06/09 Fri
Hi all you McAuliffe's out there HAPPY NEW YEAR. Would love to again catch up again with all my friends and relatives at the next clan gathering. Had a great time at the 2008 gathering , the committee had done such a splendid job well done only to have it topped off by some disgruntled old man at the end trying to cause an argument about the role of the clan chieftain. Whoever you are I hope you drop dead . Anyway I can't wait to see you all again less that person. Keep safe , stay well until we meet again.

The Message Board most often carries questions and information from people doing family history research.  None of the posts that preceded Sheila's were about the rally or anything connected with it, so Sheila was not responding to a previous post. What, therefore, inspired such venom? It is, after all, more than six months since the rally and the meeting that Sheila seems to be so incensed about? 

For those who may not know, there was a meeting near the end of the 2008 rally. The meeting was a scheduled part of the rally programme, called to discuss the future of the clan.  It was included in the programme because there were indications that some people favoured establishment of a formal clan organisation.  Some dissatisfaction had also been expressed about the committee decision that there would not be an election of chieftain and instead the chieftain elected at the 2004 rally was asked to continue in the role. That role is a purely nominal one, however, and carries no powers beyond the rally. As far as I'm aware no one is claiming otherwise, so it does not present a problem.

At the meeting there was some lively debate about the pros and cons of a formal versus informal clan structure. The outcome of the meeting was that a committee was planned for the purpose of looking at options for the future of the clann.

Back to Sheila's message - I believe I am the 'disgruntled old man' who is the target of her invective. At the meeting I spoke in favour of a formal structure for the clan. There WAS a question about the role of the chieftain but it was not asked by me. If someone else had been her target I would have deleted Sheila's post. Unless Sheila has some special influence with the Almighty I'm not too worried about her wish that I drop dead. I'm just intrigued that she should still be holding such venom about a meeting that took place more than six months ago. 


alice said...

Hi, I was at the 2008 rally too, and I too had a great time and think that Frances and the committee did splendid job.
I would like to say the following to Sheila;

I observed Bob, the man you complain of so rudely, throughout the rally. I saw him going from table to table, speaking to everyone at each event. He is the man who created and runs the Mcauliffe website.
I saw him taking photos of everyone, and interfacing with all of the Mcauliffe who were present at the rally, in a friendly and personable way.
When he spoke to me, and those at my table he spoke with knowledge about the clan and was very helpful.
I was impressed with the speed with which he had all those photos available to us on his website.
At the discussion you speak of, there was, as I recall, much uncertainty as to whether the current situation should be maintained.
There was even a moment when someone asked that an election be held there and then. Bob, this man you say you wish would 'drop dead', argued against this.
In my view he was not creating trouble at all. The committee then asked him to head a discussion group. like a steering committee, to get a feeling of just what the Mcauliffe does want for the future.
I thought all this was very positive.
I am confused as to who the 'town folk' were, that you spoke to, as very few of them were Mcauliffe.
As for wondering what the local Mcauliffe ie Frances and the committee want, is not the question a little pointless. The 'clan', the people who are decendants of those who lived under the last living hereditary chief, are scattered worldwide, and it is a global opinion which is relevant in todays world, not only local.
This in no way detracts from the strong gratitude we should all feel to those locals for their efforts on our bahalf.

I worry a little, about your insistance on the local Mcauliffe as if it is more 'real'. I would take issue with anyone suggesting that I am less a Mcauliffe because my ancestors had no choice but to leave, during the famine.
Thanks Sheila, for the opportunity to air my views.

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