Press Release

Return to News index

October 14, 1999

STATEMENT ON THE MACCARTHY MÓR SITUATION:

Dear Members,

I have been informed that on Oct. 9, 1999, The MacCarthy Mór abdicated his title as a result of the on-going controversy about his pedigree and the loss of support of many of his former supporters.

The Clan MacCarthy Society objective during this painful episode was to defend the Chief of the Name from unproven allegations and to demand proof from the Irish Genealogical Office of the charges against him made by that office.  We were placed in a dilemma in that the IGO provided The MacCarthy Mór with "courtesy" recognition in 1992 after a lengthy 6 year investigation and now, claims that the records in their possession since 1977 proves that the earlier approval was in error.

We have made a formal request under the Irish Freedom of Information Act, 1997, for copies of the correspondence between the IGO and Terence Francis MacCarthy since 1977.

Although many former supporters withdrew their support and urged abdication on him, The Clan MacCarthy Society preferred to receive the evidence before committing to this course of action.  Now that The MacCarthy Mór has abdicated, The Clan MacCarthy Society is left with no other choice but to accept his decision.  We have been told, unofficially, that the documents will be released in mid-October.  When they are released to us, they will be examined and a report provided to the membership.

Now that the abdication of Terence Francis MacCarthy has taken place, the Clan MacCarthy Society is turning its attention to the process of choosing a successor as the Chief of the Name of the MacCarthy family.  The challenge is to make this choice in modern times by the application of the ancient Brehon descent law.  We will be conferring with the Clan MacCarthy Societies in Ireland about this process and discussing this issue with experts in the ancient Brehon laws.

We do not expect this process to be accomplished quickly as several complicated issues in the succession process will have to be resolved.

Only the MacCarthy family has the authority to choose a successor as The Chief of the Name although, as a courtesy, the choice can be confirmed by others.

In order that the Clan MacCarthy Society will be satisfied with the process and choice of successor, a new Chief of the Name of the Clan MacCarthy will have to be chosen under Brehon descent law by recognizing eligible candidates and electing the most suitable one to be The MacCarthy Mór.

In the possession of Terence Francis MacCarthy are the "heirlooms" of the MacCarthy family, especially the Genealogy, and a provision should be made in cooperation with him for this collection to remain whole in trust for the Clan MacCarthy.  We have begun discussions with him on this issue.

This past year, a new book "The Book of Cashel" was prepared by Terence F. MacCarthy and nearly ready for publication.  It is our intention to review the manuscript in due time and attempt to publish what can be included, under changed circumstances.

As new developments occur, The Clan MacCarthy Society will bring them to the attention of the members.

We welcome your help in this process.  Please send your advice, recommendations, and comments to my attention.

Best regards.

                        Yours sincerely,

                        Lawrence J. McCarthy
                        President
LJM:ljm

Return to News index