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McKenna Clan Exhibition 2018

It has always been accepted that the McKenna name is spread all over the world and that they originated in Meath and then Monaghan. However it was the Monaghan branch which has had the greater impact on world affairs and its McKennas have become famous in many distant parts of this universe. In 1990 it was decided to set up an organisation to try to bring the McKenna families all together and to share stories and trace lineage. An International Rally was held in North Monaghan, home of the McKenna, every second year and each Rally opened with the launch of a McKenna Journal, containing history and stories of McKennas around the world. The Editor was the very capable Sean MacCionna RIP and after his passing, Seamus McCluskey took over the role. There were ten books/journals published and they contain excellent reading for McKennas but indeed anyone interested in history. However during the past few years the McKenna Clan lost some of its vigour and the death of Willie McKenna, a driving force of the Clan, also put a dampener on the work of the Clan. Now there seems to be renewed spirit and effort to revitalise the Clan. The current committee, led by Peter McKenna, organised an Exhibition of McKenna paraphernalia and connections in the Markethouse in Monaghan opening on Friday, April 20th and continuing on Saturday and Sunday. Current Clan Chieftain, Jerry McKenna of Boerne, Texas, was in attendance for the opening at which he gave details of some of the work he has done since taking on the role. He has designed and had made a new Chieftain Cloak and staff and he was dressed in the new outfit at the launch. He has also designed and had made a McKenna Medal, which is to be presented to a McKenna who gains fame and adds to the list of honourable McKennas. Already Jerry has presented the medal to a Desmond McKenna in Australia who has passed away but had become famous in a number of fields including music and sculptor. Jerry travelled to Australia and present the medal to his family. He then travelled to New Zealand and presented a medal to the family of the late Owen McKenna, from Brackagh, and who was killed in an Earthquake in Christchurch. He was very instrumental in reviving the Christchurch GAA club and Jerry was presented with a Club jersey, which he had framed and submitted as part of the exhibition. Cllr. Aiden Campbell, deputising for the Mayor, welcomed all to the exhibition launch and wished the clan every success.  It was also announced that the 2019 McKenna Rally would take place in Texas and anyone wishing to be part of it should give their name to a Committee member. Two previous Rallies have been in other countries and while it spread the word it did not seem to enlarge the membership. In my opinion it would be more appropriate and more life-giving to the Clan to revive the Rally in the McKenna Homeland and encourage emigrants and the families to come to the place from which their ancestors departed in the centuries past. However it is the Clan decision and we wish it success. Through this site I get numerous requests from McKenna personnel mainly in USA/Canada and I have been able to discover the homestead and/or grave site for the family and it is a very emotional moment when they arrive to that place and they somehow get this feeling of 'being home'. They also love to hear what life would have been like in the days when their ancestors lived here and how they coped and what they ate and type of house etc. and this makes it so special for them to come here.

On left is Dodo McKenna, artist from Clones whose work was on display while on right is Kieran McKenna, brother of the late Owen McKenna with the Club jersey behind them.