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We have recently received a statement from the "Clan MacCarthy Association" in Belfast, Ireland, in an undated letter signed by "Mark Madden", who is a stranger to us. This "Association" has recently been organized apparently by Conor MacCarthy, who has assumed the title of The MacCarthy Mór. At their request, we are reprinting the entire statement below.
Several points need to be understood at the beginning. On March 27, 2000, we published on our website a series of questions addressed to Conor MacCarthy pertaining to the pedigree of Terence MacCarthy, the former MacCarthy Mór, and his family, including his brother, Conor MacCarthy. As far as we can tell, the statement from the "Association" printed below is not officially authorized by Conor MacCarthy.
This statement is critical of the leadership of the Clan MacCarthy Society of North America for not endorsing the claim of Conor MacCarthy who has assumed the title of The MacCarthy Mór. We do not intend to answer the criticism in detail but simply point out that we understand that Conor MacCarthy is disappointed that we have not endorsed his claim to the ancient title of The MacCarthy Mór. Further, we do not intend to endorse any one's claim to that title without satisfying our evaluation of that claim.
We have been forced to examine the claims and counter claims regarding the pedigree of the family of Terence MacCarthy because of the actions of the Irish Genealogical Office who at one time, recognized his pedigree and afforded him "courtesy recognition" and then recently contradicted that action by invalidating that recognition by virtue of a determination that the pedigree evidence was insufficient. We do not have much confidence in the IGO as a result, and they were incorrect either in the early action of recognition or in the later case of reversing that recognition, and perhaps at both times.
Terence MacCarthy's family pedigree has been challenged by scurrilous reports, by simply vindictive reports, and by reports we understand to come from responsible parties. There is no doubt that serious questions have been raised about the reliability of the pedigree.
Because of the serious challenges to the pedigree, simple statements will not satisfy our desire to resolve this issue. We have examined the answers given below and are not satisfied. Each reader can draw his or her own conclusions. We can not resolve this issue with the limited evidence we have. We would be happy to employ an independent qualified genealogist to examine all the evidence if we could gain access to the complete record. At present, the IGO will not release any of the file information in their possession before April, 1998, as a result of the Irish Freedom of Information Act. However, we have been informed that they would release all the data concerning Terence MacCarthy if Terence would provide the IGO with a release. At the same time, we have been told that Terence MacCarthy has had his lawyers challenge any release of information concerning him.
We do not intend to attempt any further resolution of this difficult matter until we possess all the information in the files of the IGO and in Terence MacCarthy's own family files so that the complete evidence is available for an independent evaluation. At one time, Terence MacCarthy promised to publish all his correspondence with the IGO and we would wish he would do so now.
Although the pedigree of the Terence MacCarthy family has been questioned, there is no question that Terence MacCarthy while "The MacCarthy Mór" over two decades earned our support and appreciation for the contribution he made to the renewal of interest in Gaelic History, and the history of Munster, and in fact, the history and contribution of the MacCarthy Family. His many publications still occupy a special place in the libraries of many of us.
The statement printed below indicates that although Conor MacCarthy has asked for our endorsement, he or they (the Association) do not believe we have any authority in the choice of the title holder. We think that any claimant would want to be assured of our support, and would find it difficult to proceed with legitimacy without it.
Lawrence J. McCarthy
The Clan MacCarthy Society
A Statement from the Clan MacCarthy Association
I am writing, in my capacity as Secretary of the Clan MacCarthy Association, to apprise clan members of the view we are taking in relation to the succession of Conor Michael MacCarthy to the title MacCarthy Mór. Having examined the evolution of the "MacCarthy Mór title dispute' on the pages of the Clan MacCarthy North America website, during the course of this last year, we have become convinced that the Society's attempts to reach a determination are both inadequate and potentially misleading.
Interested parties will be aware that the MacCarthy Mór formally notified the Clan Society North America of his succession to the title by letter of February 24th 1999. Also published with his letter of claim was a commentary attached by the American Clan leadership, which purported to provide the membership of their Society with an 'update' on the 'title dispute'. In addition to some inaccurate statements regarding potential claimants and a number of misleading opinions concerning the nature of the MacCarthy Mór's claim, this 'update' posed a number of questions upon which the 'recognition' of the MacCarthy Mór, by the leadership of the Clan Society North America, was to hinge.
On July 25th 1999 the Clan Society North America leadership reproduced a thirteen page letter from the MacCarthy Mór. This letter was not intended to be an answer to the Clan Society North America's queries but simply an initial first response, illustrating that the commentary attached to his letter of claim was not only seriously deficient but inaccurate and factually flawed in a number of important respects. The MacCarthy Mór drew attention to the fact that a number of the assertions contained in the commentary were untrue, and that at least one of the questions posed made absolutely no sense, fusing three of his ancestors (John, James & Daniel) into one. It was expected that the Clan Society North America leadership would amend their commentary in accordance with the facts and make some effort to resolve their own confused query.
To date the Clan Society North America leadership have neither corrected their commentary nor amended their question. In fact the MacCarthy Mór has received no correspondence, of any description, from the Clan Society North America leadership, throughout the entire duration of this year. According to reports appearing on their own website the leadership are attempting to select a 'new Chief of the Name'. Setting aside the fact that no powers exist which allow them such a right, I would respectfully submit that their efforts to reach a determination are seriously compromised by their refusal to clarify their own queries.
A previous statement from the MacCarthy Mór, reproduced on the Clan Society North America website (July 25th), reported that the leadership of the Clan Society America had not notified him of either the publication of his letter of claim or their own poorly researched commentary. The MacCarthy Mór has stated in relation to this:
"I should like to observe that I would have preferred to have been informed by the leadership of the Clan Society directly and in writing of the publication of this letter and the attached and unsolicited commentary. As it happens, I had to stumble on them whilst browsing the internet".
It is a sad fact that nothing has changed in this regard, the MacCarthy Mór's correspondence continue to go unanswered and his statements continue to be published (after long delays) without notification. Many weeks ago, in my capacity as Secretary of the Clan MacCarthy Association, I wrote to the Clan MacCarthy Society North America, enclosing a small number of the "Stag Trippant", official journal of Clan MacCarthy, to date, I myself have received not so much even as an acknowledgement.
This apparent lack of courtesy from the leadership of the Clan Society North America seems at odds with the indecent haste with which they facilitate the appearance of Mr Sean Murphy's reports, making them available via a Clan MacCarthy website link. Whilst the statements of the MacCarthy Mór go unpublished for weeks on end those of Mr Murphy appear within a suspiciously short period of time, and are made available through the Clan Society's links section. It may be that there is a reasonable explanation for this perceived difference, however it certainly creates the impression that the 'neutrality' of the North American Clan Society is more imagined than real. The Clan MacCarthy Association notes that, whilst the statments of the MacCarthy Mór are published with a prejudicial disclaimer, namely:
"We are publishing this letter without endorsement or support by us"
No such statement appears in connection with the speculations of Mr Sean Murphy. Even given that Mr Murphy's 'reports' are not directly reproduced on the Clan Society website but are linked to it, it should still be a simple matter to add the same sort of qualification to Mr Murphy's opinions. Particularly in light of recent reports which place a serious question mark over some of Mr Murphy's sources. As it stands the Clan MacCarthy North America website link to the protagonist Mr Murphy's, seems very like free advertising.
We would also like to draw attention to the fact that the Clan MacCarthy North America website advertises for sale books from a Mr Wooten. This gentleman continues to sell books penned by the former MacCarthy Mór, despite guarantees to the contrary given almost one year ago. The former MacCarthy Mór does not receive payment for the sale of these books, nor does Mr Wooten seem willing to provide a profit/loss account for the sale of the same. It is apparently his position that he alone is to benefit from resulting sales of these books; despite the fact that no contract exists to this effect.
The entire print runs of these books were paid for, in advance, by susbscription, every book sold over and above this should therefore constitute a profit, however small. The leadership of the Clan Society is well aware of these facts for the President of the Clan Society North America was directly informed of the same on December 06th 1999
On the MacCarthy Mór sub section of the Clan MacCarthy North America website the leadership of the Clan informs us that:
"The following is an effort to provide a complete, accurate and neutral history of events surrounding the dispute over the title MacCarthy Mór"
Given that the Clan Society North America seems happy to promote the commercial interests of Mr Sean Murphy and Mr Wooten, without any reservations as to the morality of such actions, it is difficult for many here in Ireland to see how they can continue to insist on their neutrality. We also note that the Clan Society North America attach the following foreboding message to all statements supplied by the MacCarthy Mór:
"A commentary will be added by the Clan Society shortly".
Setting aside the fact that no commentary is ever actually added, it would seem obvious that no informed commentary could possibly be made whilst the MacCarthy Mór himself is so studiously ignored.
The Clan MacCarthy Society North America's refusal to engage in dialogue with the MacCarthy Mór, clarify their own questions or answer correspondence, even with regard to their own queries, must place a serious question mark over their delared aim of providing a 'neutral' history of events surrounding the 'title dispute'. It is also likely that the ordinary members of the clan will be misled as to the MacCarthy Mór's willingness to answer the charges leveled at his family, by this lack of activity. If the impression is formed that their queries are incapable of being answered, this must be placed squarely at the door of the American Clan leaders. The comparative silence of the MacCarthy Mór is a measure only of the Clan Society North America's inertia and not his.
Eventually the lack of courtesy shown by the leadership of the Clan Society North America and their comparative lack of inactivity mus eventually lead the MacCarthy Mór to conclude that they are not neutral, but masquerading behind a public mask, at variance with their actions. These actions are in stark contrast to the Irish Clan MacCarthy Society, who have freely corresponded with the MacCarthy Mór and even invited him to attend the ceremonies surrounding the formal repatriation of Kanturk Castle. One should not be misled into underestimating the admiration and respect in Ireland for the former MacCarthy Mór, Dr Terence MacCarthy, nor the level of support enjoyed by his successor.
Needless to say the MacCarthy Mór does not, as a rule, reply to correspondence that he does not receive, nor will he continue to send statements to an organisation the leadership of which apparently lack the common decency to reply. In future therefore, all statements from the MacCarthy Mór will be supplied only to the Clan MacCarthy Society Ireland and the Clan MacCarthy Association
Having examined the Clan MacCarthy Society's several questions in detail, and having presented them to the Clan Association for consideration and discussion I find it incomprehensible that they are in any way considered a bar to the current incumbents enjoyment of the title. Below I have set out the position of the Clan MacCarthy Associaton in relation to these questions, in order to avoid the subsequent charge that no response has been made to them.
Terence McCarthy applied to the IGO for courtesy recognition as the MacCarthy Mór in 1985 based solely on his claimed relationship to Samuel Trant McCarthy, and his acceptance of Samuel's assuming the title of MacCarthy Mór. How can he criticize the IGO for reviewing his claim on the basis of his new assertion that his claim resulted from a family meeting in France in 1905, and his subsequent criticism and denial of Samuel Trant McCarthy's right to the title?
Dr Terence's MacCarthy's criticisms of Samuel Trant McCarthy's right to the title rest on the fact that legally, morally and genealogically speaking, Samuel had no such claim. As an absolute fact, Samuel Trant MacCarthy was not the MacCarthy Mór, regardless of which law system we measure him against. It has been demonstrated time and time again that Samuel Trant McCarthy was not MacCarthy Mór by primogeniture, the alien law system he employed to justify his absurd claim. He was not MacCarthy Mór by Brehon law, the old Gaelic system, and only valid method for determining the succession of Gaelic Chiefs as a fact of law.
It is also a fact that the pedigree presented by Samuel Trant McCarthy contained serious omissions and the inclusion of data not otherwise attested. The Clan MacCarthy Association unreservedly accepts that Samuel Trant MacCarthy did have a descent from the Royal House of MacCarthy Mór, though it notes that emperical evidence is lacking. The question however is not whether he had a descent from the Kings of Desmond but whether he was in any sense MacCarthy Mór. The brother of Jean MacCarthy, Chairman of the Clan Society Ireland, also has a descent from the Kings of Desmond, he does not however claim to be MacCarthy Mór on that basis, despite the fact that his claim would be every bit as valid as Mr Barry Trant McCarthy's.
The Clan Association is more than willing to provide a long and detailed list of questions surrounding the 'claim' of Mr Barry Trant McCarthy, to begin with we would invite him to publicly inform the Association what he considers the basis of his 'claim'.
Dr Terence MacCarthy's claim to the title was based upon his descent, as confirmed by the Chief Heralds Gerard Slevin and Donal Begley and his succession and ratification in this title by the derbhfine of his House. Since his pedigree has not been disproved questions concerning the 1905 'Pacte' are not even relevant. Further it is untrue to suggest that Dr MacCarthy, in mentioning the 'Pacte' has somehow compromised his own claim or that this has somehow led to a review of his 'courtesy recognition' by the IGO. Were this the case Dr MacCarthy would never have been recognised in the first place, since references to the 'Pacte' exist which predate the registration of his claim.
The book "Historical Essays on the Kingdom of Munster" published in 1994 points out that the direct succession of the Niadh Nask was preserved by the investiture of the MacCarthy Mór's grandfather into the Order by Duke Pol. This book was written prior to 1991 and published in 1994, some four years before the IGO review. Why was the MacCarthy Mór's claim not reviewed at that time?
The fact of the matter is that the current problems are a product of the IGO's continued and fanatical insistence that Samuel Trant is to be the standard of legitimacy, against which all subsequent claimants are to be judged. If the IGO insists on this principle as a condition of their 'recognition', if they are to demand that succession in the title must stem from this man, then they themselves have produced the distortion. The previous MacCarthy Mór did not even wish to apply for such recognition but was persuaded by persons at the IGO. He was assured that if the conditions of the IGO were met no counter claim would be permitted. Needless to say this verbal contract, given before witnesses has been cast aside.
Furthermore the current MacCarthy Mór has said of this issue:
"The second "irreconcilable" difficulty is the assertion that Terence has previously conceded that Samuel Trant-McCarthy had been MacCarthy Mór and that our grandfather had succeeded him. Can it really have taken a two and a half-year investigation to "reveal" this? I could have settled it in ten minutes. "Generally speaking, and in semi-official circles, Samuel Trant's adoption of the title was admitted" (The MacCarthys of Munster, Introduction, p.iii). The same book candidly states "theoretically, between 1921, when Samuel Trant assumed the title by deed poll, and his death in 1927, there were two MacCarthy Mórs, an awkward but not unprecedented situation" (The MacCarthys of Munster, p.526)."
What is the evidence for the family meeting in 1905, which resulted in the claim that Terence's grandfather was presented with the title of MacCarthy Mór?
Circumstantial evidence does indeed survive which supports such a claim, most notably the fact that Samuel Trant McCarthy actually alludes to it in the 'MacCarthys of Munster' and that the Dukes de Clancarthy ceased to claim the title MacCarthy Mór after that date. Additionally heirlooms of the family, among them The Genealogie, a unique manuscript, were, at that time, given into the custody of the current incumbents grandfather. Attempts to debunk these valuable heirlooms have failed miserably. Interested parties are referred to the 'Murphy reports' appearing on the Clan Association website that deals with this particular 'question'. Before leaving this topic altogether we would point out that the 'Pacte' is a red herring. The pedigree of the current incumbent cannot be disproved, as such his claim is superior to the now extinct Dukes de Clancarthy in any case. With or without a 'Pacte' the current incumbent holds the strongest claim.
Can Terence, or his brother Conor, demonstrate that Pol, 7th Duke de Clancarthy-Blarney, who was supposed to be a participant in the 1905 family meeting, is not himself a fake, as asserted by several sources?
To begin with we note that the question does not makes clear in what way Pol might be regarded as a 'fake', nor does it name the 'several sources' said to support this. Aside from Mr Sean Murphy and a small number of cranks inhabiting the less savoury internet newsgroups we can find only one source for such an allegation, Terence Grey, late of the IGO.
Terence Grey questioned the validity of Justin MacCarthy's will (1693) which named a relative, Florence, as his heir and duke of Clancarthy-Blarney. Grey proceeded to cast doubt on a certificate of recognition issued by Sir William Bethem, Ulster King of Arms, 1820-1853, recognising Florence's descendents as Dukes of Clancarthy-Blarney. Presumably had Florence not been permitted a reversionary interest in the ducal title no such document could have been issued by an official of the Crown. Factually these two documents support Pol's claims, though the MacCarthy Mór's critics cite them as evidence to the contrary! If we examine the various reasons why some will not accept these documents as genuine we soon see some very nebulous excuses surfacing.
The primary objection to the will's validity would appear to be that no documentary evidence is said to exist which supports the existence of the ducal title, excepting of course the will itself and the official certificate issued by an officer of the Crown, cited above. What then is the reason to doubt the will's validity? The critics repeatedly tell us that the patent of creation has never been located, which all in all is a pretty weak argument. The Jacobite peerage is undoubtedly fragmentary in nature, we are dealing with the ramshackle records of a court in exile, a court dispersed throughout a Europe in turmoil, not the official state records of a confident and stable court.
A second objection raised to the will's validity would seem to be that in bequeathing his title to someone who was a 'stranger in the blood' Justin would have been exceeding his powers. The critics of the will are quick to point out that such a procedure would have been irregular, though generally they fail to add that it would not have been impossible. The following titles were all granted allowing for a similar provision:
The Earldom of Roxburghe
The Lordship of Rutherford
The Dukedom of Queensberry
Despite the fact that most, if not all, are actually Scottish peerages they establish the principle that some titles were indeed created with a 'right of nomination'. There is no reason why Justin, being childless could not have obtained a special 'remainder' from James II, allowing him to devolve the title upon an adoptive heir. Of course it is equally possible to posit that Justin had exceeded his powers without this having any implications for the legitimacy of the will.
Mr Murphy's opinion that the will "contains anachronistic phrases such as 'endeavour by all means to reconquer what the English have taken from our family'", doesn't even merit a response, there is nothing remotely 'anachronistic' about the will.
The second document said to be in question is the certificate of recognition issued by Sir William Betham, Ulster King of Arms (1820-1853), to Florence MacCarthy, 6th Duke of Clancarthy-Blarney. Again no compelling evidence is offered to support the accusation of fakery other than the unsupported opinion of Terence Grey, writing in the 1940's. Until such times as evidence is actually produced to the contrary there is no reason to suppose that this certificate, issued under Sir William's own hand and seal, is anything other than genuine.
The reasons supplied to doubt the credentials of the late Duc de Clancarthy-Blarney are not persuasive, but are based almost entirely on the speculations of Terence Grey writing twenty years and more after Pol's death in 1927.
If one examines the facts, it becomes increasingly difficult to sustain the view that the Dukes of Clancarthy-Blarney were in any sense 'fake'. A brief look at the history of that family reveals that the King of Portugal invested Pol into the Royal Military Order of Christ, whilst his ancestor Florence, the second Duke, was recognised as such by no less a person than the King of France. Pol's family were both prominent in French history and well known in the European aristocratic circles. His great-great grandfather, Callaghan, had been an officer of the Irish brigade and a Knight of St. Louis (killed at the battle of Fontenoy 1745), whilst his grand father who was killed at the battle of Lerida had won the Legion of Honour.
More importantly the émigré MacCarthys accepted Pol. In 1906 Count Nicholas MacCarthy Reagh, whose ancestors had been admitted to the 'honours of the court' by King Louis XVI of France, adopted as his heir Florence Justin Charles de la Varde, the infant grandson of Pol, Duke de Clancarthy-Blarney. This would seem an unusual step had he considered Pol a 'fake' rather than a kinsman.
What then has Samuel Trant McCarthy, who is apparently to be regarded as an infallible source, to say on the matter? Interestingly he had no trouble in admitting the validity of Pol's claims. Referring to Justin MacCarthy's will he states:
"Considering that the information comes from what seems to be a reliable source, we see no reason to doubt the genuineness of the will" The MacCarthys of Munster p226.
There is no reason to suppose that Pol was a fake and much evidence that suggests he was not, furthermore since the family of the current MacCarthy Mór had greater claim to the title MacCarthy Mór in their own discussions on Pol's rights are incidental to the 'dispute'.
Terence's family claims that the only evidence of the relationship of their family to the County Kerry Srugrena MacCarthy family, is that of a wedding register in Terence's own handwriting which official registers do not support. Can Terence or Conor provide any other documents to support their claimed relationship?
The family of Dr Terence MacCarthy has never made any such claim and indeed they can and have already, produced additional proofs. That the IGO is now unwilling to accept the proofs is not to say that there aren't any. Again we ask the question, if no records exist supporting the MacCarthy Mór's claim then why did Chief Herald, Gerard Slevin, register the pedigree and why did Chief Herald Donal Begley issue a formal certificate of recognition? The process by which Dr Terence MacCarthy was recognised as MacCarthy Mór was no mere formality but rather involved a protracted and intensive investigation lasting six years; this was on top of the several years required to verify the pedigree in the first place. It is pertinent to bear in mind that no questions whatever were asked of the MacCarthy Mór during the lifetime of Gerard Slevin. It has been said before but evidently requires repeating:
"By letter dated October 20th, 1998, I replied to the above mentioned letter of July 22nd, 1998. This was a detailed reply of sixty one pages supported by fifty one documents, including copies of original eighteenth century documents proving my clients connection with the Srugrena sept" John G O'Donnel, Solicitor to the MacCarthy Mór, July 10th 1999.
Conveniently the IGO now claims that they are unable to locate one such document, the Arthur Vickars, Ulster King of Arms, certificate (1905). This in itself is odd since they failed to mention this fact until August of 1999, more than two & a half years into their investigations and fully two months after their withdrawal of 'courtesy recognition'.
In conclusion the former MacCarthy Mór, Dr Terence MacCarthy has stated:
"At the time of registration (of the pedigree) Mr Slevin was aware of several difficulties and contradictions. However he took into consideration not merely certificates of baptism, birth, marriage and death, but an original pedigree prepared and authenticated in 1905 by Sir Arthur Vickars, Ulster King of Arms, for my grandfather" he goes on to state "Mr Slevin also took other supplementary evidence into consideration. This, as Chief Herald, he was perfectly entitled to do! During his lifetime (and he only died in 1997) no questions were raised about my pedigree"
The Clan MacCarthy Association sees no reason to demand of the MacCarthy Mór a higher standard of proof than that required for any other Gaelic Catholic Chief. It is a sad fact of history that the destruction of the public record office during the 1920's and the earlier penal laws have served to create a dearth of official documentation with regard to the Catholic Gaelic gentry. Were we to demand the same level of proof of the other Gaelic chiefs that is demanded of the MacCarthy Mór we would soon find the Standing Council of Irish Chiefs and Chieftains reduced to a tiny rump.
Terence has claimed that his great-grandfather was Daniel McCarthy, who left County Kerry and moved to Belfast. Records show that Terence's great-grandfather was Bernard, and not Daniel. How is this explained?
In the first place the great-grandfather of the current MacCarthy Mór was James and not Daniel. In fact Daniel was James' grandfather! The question however does not really relate either to Daniel or James, but to John, the current MacCarthy Mór's great-great-grandfather. It is John who has been misidentified as a Bernard. It must once again be said that 'records' do not exist which support the misidentification of John as Bernard, a single record in a wedding register is the sole evidence for this claim. As has been noted elsewhere the registrar who recorded this error has gained considerable notoriety for his unreliability. If anyone imagines that Gerard Slevin, widely regarded as a competent and cautious Chief Herald, registered the pedigree of the current MacCarthy Mór without actually examining supporting documentation then they are very naïve.
The evidence produced to prove that Terence & Conor's great-grandfather Daniel McCarthy was living in Belfast, is a copy of a letter from Andrew of Srugrena to his brother Daniel in Belfast. Despite that, Samuel Trant McCarthy's second book, titled "A MacCarthy Miscellany" (published after his death in 1928), mentions that Andrew's brother Daniel never left Co. Kerry and lived next door to his brother. How is that explained?
Again we point out that the tendency to view Samuel as some faithful chronicler of family history is entirely misplaced. As a matter of fact Samuel routinely remembered 'details and facts' which otherwise went unrecorded. Strangely they invariably bolstered his own claim to be MacCarthy Mór by primogeniture. When it came to recording facts at variance with his own claim, his usually sterling memory seems to have failed him quite badly. An interesting example of this is that, in his book 'The MacCarthys of Munster' Samuel was able to name the children of his ancestor Andrew in exact order of birth. He listed his own ancestor Daniel as elder than Jeremiah (the current MacCarthy Mór's ancestor). Since no birth or baptismal records survive from that period, Samuel's identification of Daniel as senior is truly remarkable. Especially since he was strangely ignorant of the Christian name of Andrew's wife Catherine Mahony. Also noteworthy is the fact that the book referred to by the Clan Society North America was published posthumously when Samuel could not be held accountable for the inclusion of inaccurate or deliberately distorted information.
The book referred to above by Samuel Trant McCarthy does not include any mention of Terence & Conor's family being related to Samuel Trant McCarthy. How do they explain that, especially since Terence claimed that Samuel Trant McCarthy recognized his family relationship, and promised to cover it in any subsequent publication?
The above question would be relevant only if Samuel Trant McCarthy were a competent and reliable genealogist, he was neither. The answer to this particular question is actually becoming tedious, so frequently has it been answered. In the first place Samuel Trant McCarthy's work was designed primarily to promote the fiction that he was MacCarthy Mór by primogeniture, disregarding all facts and evidences to the contrary. As such his works are a very poor guide indeed to the history of Gaelic Munster in general and the descent of the title of MacCarthy Mór in particular. Both the former MacCarthy Mór and the current MacCarthy Mór have demonstrated that Samuel Trant was incapable even of producing a MacCarthy regnal list, without subjecting it to the grossest ideological distortions. His book omits no less than six kings of Desmond. Furthermore his book undeniably omits all reference to a very large number of individuals with better claims than his own. Those interested should consult the open letter of the former MacCarthy Mór contained on these same pages or the Murphy report contained on the website of the Clan MacCarthy Association
Given the facts, there presented, it might be more pertinent to ask the 'claimant', Mr Barry Trant McCarthy, to account for his great uncle's staggering amnesia. The Clan Society North America have asked why Mr Samuel Trant McCarthy failed to mention the family of the current MacCarthy Mór in subsequent publications. The answer to this question is self evident; further; it is unreasonable to ask the current MacCarthy Mór to account for the actions of an eccentric fantasist who died almost three-quarters of a century ago.
Terence McCarthy claimed that a Belfast cousin named Thomas Donal McCarthy was to inherit the title of MacCarthy Mór as tanist upon the death of Samuel Trant McCarthy. How does Terence or Conor explain the fact that the will of Samuel Trant McCarthy mentions his nephews as beneficiaries, but does not mention Thomas Donal McCarthy?
Again the question is irrelevant not to say misleading. Samuel Trant was not the MacCarthy Mór, even were he, he could not simply pass a Gaelic title on in a will, anymore than he could assume it by deedpoll; a Gaelic title is not a Queen Anne table. Do the descendents of Samuel Trant McCarthy even claim that the title MacCarthy Mór is mentioned in his will? I suspect they do not, for of course although a Gaelic title can be described as 'ideal propery' generally, it devolves by fixed successional laws. Certainly one cannot leave an Irish title in a will, for it's descent is regulated by the laws of tanistry. Had Dr Terence MacCarthy died in 1998 and left his title to someone not approved by his derbhfine it would, in no sense, be legal. Relations between Samuel Trant and the then MacCarthy Mór were not convivial; since Samuel was not MacCarthy Mór and could not leave the title in a will even if he were his failure to name the MacCarthy Mór in his will is neither significant nor surprising.
The Clan MacCarthy Association takes the view that the arguments advanced to deprive the current MacCarthy Mór of his title are for the most part ill informed and contradictory. Were this not the case there would have been no necessity to prepare the ground for Dr MacCarthy's 'unrecognition' with an unprecedented campaign of vilification. The most odious tactic have been employed in this campaign, including the distribution of anonymous and abusive letters and the pillorying of the MacCarthy Mór, and his family and friends in the gutter press. The weakness of the opposition case is evidenced by the unscrupulous and unsavour tactics they employ.
The Clan MacCarthy Association unreservedly accepts Conor Michael MacCarthy as the MacCarthy Mór, further, under no circumstances will the Association ever recognise either Mr Barry Trant MacCarthy or any of his relations. In conclusion, the Association calls on the MacCarthy Mór not to be distracted by these vindictive attacks but to continue the remarkable work of his brother, Dr Terence MacCarthy, in promoting the cause both of his own Clan and Gaelic Ireland.
Mark Madden N.N
Secretary of the Clan MacCarthy Association (October 1999)
|Webmaster's note:||Just what the date October 1999 above signifies is unclear. Today (Nov. 21, 2000), on the website for the Clan MacCarthy Association, under the Introduction, the first line states, "The Clan MacCarthy Association was formed during the spring of 2000".|
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