It's now April 2011 and in just over 450 days the Clan Gathering will begin again in Newmarket, County Cork, Ireland. What do the McAuliffes want from next years gathering? Will it be just another opportunity to travel to Ireland to enjoy its famed hospitality and scenic beauty, to then go home and put it aside for another four years? Or will this be the time to consider whether people want more from their clan? Between now and the start of the gathering there will be ideas put forward about the future of the clan and what it means to people. I hope that everyone visiting The MacAuliffe Site will take the opportunities provided to take part in discussion and have their say. The discussion forums on this site have been quiet for some months now but I expect them to get busier as we get closer to the 2012 gathering. There is no doubt that the four-yearly Gathering or Rally is an important event for those who are able to attend. We don't hear much from those who are not able to attend the Gathering in Ireland. Do they want nothing from their clan? Is there no other expectation than that there will be opportunity made for people to visit Ireland and meet with other McAuliffes every four years?
I don't believe that people have no interest in other things from a clan. Providing services, however, requires a clan organisation and unlike most other Irish clans we McAuliffes do not have a formal clan organisation. If it were not for the work of a dedicated band of people in County Cork who arrange and manage a clan gathering every four years we would have no clan events at all. Because we have no formal clan organisation we do not enjoy the services that other clans are able to offer such as newsletters, historical research, identification and protection of historic sites, genealogy assistance for members, etc. Perhaps I am wrong in believing that there are many McAuliffes out there who would like more services.
It may be that there are other ways of providing services than through a formal clan organisation. It could be argued that we haven't needed it for the Clan Gathering so why can't we provide other services in the same way? I'd like to hear people's thoughts about that. I'd like to hear more of people's thoughts about anything to do with the McAuliffes. Through the forums provided here you can make your thoughts known. Perhaps at the 2012 Gathering decisions can be made that reflect what people want. Right now there are more forums available for McAuliffes to have a say than have ever been provided before. As well as this blog there is a Discussion Forum and several Facebook groups. Let's start talking with each other.