Visitors to the Archbishop Mannix Memorial Weekend which was held in Charleville as part of the Gathering in September of last year have contacted the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Mr. Leo Varadkar, T.D., expressing their appreciation of the great experience they had at the event over the three days in Charleville.

The Minister passed the letters of congratulations to Failte Ireland who in turn notified Cork County Council and Mr. Barry Walsh of the latter contacted Ms Winnie Wallis Cross, a grand niece of Archbishop Mannix who travelled from New York for the event wrote: “Patrick Mannix and the Charleville committee are to be commended for their dedication to detail in all phases of event planning from the moment of welcome to the conclusion of the hurling match, we experienced a flow of events that was impressive and informative, particularly the quality and content of the lectures and talks at the history conference.”

Ms Cross also commented on the memorial dedication to Archbishop Mannix which was unveiled in the grounds of Holy Cross Church and the tour of Charleville, which, “brought us all closer to our heritage and as a grand-niece of Archbishop Mannix the trip to Charleville made an everlasting impression.”

Another visitor to the town for the Gathering weekend, Monsignor John F. Bennett, Pastor of the Church of St. Patrick, Huntington, New York also contacted the Minister to express his appreciation of the event and extend his thanks to the committee who organised the event. This was chaired by author and historian Patrick Mannix, a native of Killarney who launched his book on the association between Archbishop Mannix and Eamon de Valera in September 2012 at the Convent of Mercy in Charleville.

Mr. Mannix was later contacted by local man Michael McGrath, who invited him to chair the committee to honour Archbishop Mannix in the 50th year of the anniversary of his death in 1963 and the 100th anniversary of his going to Melbourne in Australia in 1913, as part of Charleville Chamber’s contribution to the Gathering.

“The weekend would not have happened without his expert and in-depth knowledge of the life of the Archbishop, his exceptional organisational ability and his contacts with those in the historical sector. His input was enormous and he drove the event, with the assistance of the local committee, to make it the success it was,” said Mr. McGrath.

The other members of the committee were Ian Doyle, Mike Donegan, Tommy Kavanagh, Philip O’Connell, Sr. M. Colman, Peter and Brid Somers, John Walsh and members of the historical society, who were supported by Donncha O’Dulaing of RTE Radio One and members of Charleville Chamber and a large number of local people, organisations and sponsors, who may also share in the credit for the success of the weekend.

People from Australia, New York and the UK as well as from all over Ireland came to Charleville for the commemorative event, the centre-piece of which was a history conference at the Charleville Park Hotel.

Letters of appreciation were also received from the Australian visitors who were very positive in their comments on their time spent in Charleville and the extra knowledge they gleaned on the life and times of the young Daniel Mannix.