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Clan MacCarthy Society Letter in response to the IGO statement.

The Clan MacCarthy Society, Inc.
P.O. Box 69
Plains, Montana 59859

August 19, 1999

Irish Genealogical Office
2 Kildare Street
Dublin 2

Dear Sirs,

This letter is written in response to the statement sent me recently titled "Recognition of Mr. Terence McCarthy as MacCarthy Mór" which is unsigned and undated except for the general date of August 1999, and sent to me under cover of letter dated Aug. 11, 1999, under the name of Sylvia Lyman.

As the President of The Clan MacCarthy Society I would have rather addressed this letter to the author of this statement but it is unsigned.  Please indicate to me the person who drafted this statement.

The most striking thing about this new statement is the shift of emphasis now from the philosophical argument between the application by the IGO for "courtesy recognition" of Gaelic Chieftains of the English descent law of primogeniture and the Gaelic descent law of tanistry to that of contradictions and gaps in the material provided by The MacCarthy Mór to the IGO over time.  One wonders why the attack is changing emphasis.  Would you please send the Society a copy of the press statement originally issued at the time of the decision of the IGO to revoke the "courtesy recognition" of The MacCarthy Mór?

Would the IGO please confirm that a previous well-respected Chief Herald recognized The MacCarthy Mór as Chief of the Name of the MacCarthy Clan after a lengthy six year period?

Would the IGO please confirm that a "courtesy recognition" was provided to The MacCarthy Mór subject to a three year conditional period after which no challenge to his title would be allowed, similar to that afforded to other Gaelic Chieftains at the time they were recognized by the IGO?

Our concern is for the truth, however the fact fall, but we have a problem with a statement that provides conclusions without supplying the evidence.  The IGO simply states that The MacCarthy Mór has changed the basis of his assertion of the title from the time of the original application until 1998.  Please supply the Society with copies of the relevant documents that illustrate this contradiction.

The IGO has stated that the formal application for a confirmation of arms was incomplete and misleading in a number of important respects, and the Society would like to have a copy of the relevant documents which support this conclusion.

The IGO has stated that the submission in 1980 for registration of a pedigree differs from that which is contained in a 1979 application for a confirmation of arms.  Please provide the Society with a copy of the relevant documents which support this conclusion.

What we do know is that following the publication by The MacCarthy Mór of his book titled "Ulster's Office 1552-1800" in 1996, the IGO has carried out a "back alley" campaign to discredit him as a result of the criticism of the IGO in that publication.

In addition, it seems that Brendan O'Donoghue has a special relationship to the tabloid journalist John Burns of the Sunday Times which led to an article by Burns on June 20, 1999, which attacked The MacCarthy Mór and which predicted in advance the action by O'Donoghue which followed.  Another recent article quotes O'Donoghue extensively and includes more attacks on The MacCarthy Mór.  The reputation of Murdoch's Sunday Times for tabloid journalism is well deserved and well known, as is evidenced by the libel suits pending and already lost in the courts.  We would consider the allegations made by the IGO to have more credibility if the Sunday Times had not been made a voice of Brendan O'Donoghue in this matter.

Since the issue has now been resolved into a factual one, please consider very seriously the Society's request for the relevant documents supporting the conclusions by the IGO in the recent August statement.

Perhaps it is time for the IGO to get out of the business of "courtesy recognition" of Gaelic Chieftains given the inherent conflict between the ancient Gaelic descent law of tanistry and the current Irish law of primogeniture as suggested as long ago by The MacCarthy Mór as 1988.

Best regards,


Lawrence J. McCarthy


cc: Mary McAleese
President of Ireland
Phoenix Park
Dublin 8, Ireland

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