The mission of the International O'Sullivan Clan organization is to promote and preserve the history, culture, language, literature, art, and heritage of the illustrious and noble O'Sullivan clan. Due to war, famine, adverse propaganda, and oppression, much of our rich heritage has been lost and forgotten. It is our duty to sift through the smoldering ashes of our past and recover those relics of identity that will help restore our dignity and rightful place in history and in the community of men.
The Oak and Serpent
A definitive history of the illustrious O'Sullivan clan was commissioned by the International O’Sullivan Clan and published in 2007.
The History of the O’Sullivan Clan Research Project
Continued research into the history and heritage of the O’Sullivan Clan is sponsored by this organization.
Succession of Clan Chief Research
In 2011 the International O’Sullivan Clan commissioned Fiona Fitzsimmons of Eneclann, Dublin, Ireland, to research the chiefly succession of the O’Sullivan family. Her areas of specialization include Gaelic lordships and Irish lineages; Irish land law 16th to 20th Centuries; Dublin Guilds and artisan-business 17th to late 19th Centuries; and Irish records for fostering and ‘boarded-out’ children, prior to 1952. She has also made a particular study of collections including the records of the Valuation Office, the Registry of Deeds, and the Petty Sessions Courts in Ireland. She has published scholarly articles in academic journals and books of essays, and was also a contributor to The Encyclopaedia of Ireland (Rutledge Publications New York), and The Oxford Companion to Irish History (Oxford University Press).
Etymology of the O’Sullivan Name Research Project
The original meaning of the name ‘O’Sullivan’ has eluded modern day etymologists. The International O’Sullivan Clan continues to support research in this area.
The O’Sullivan Seminar
The International O’Sullivan Clan hosted the Irish Educational Association annual O’Sullivan/Sullivan seminar at Georgia Southern University in 2004. This event brought O’Sullivans from around the United States to learn about their unique place in Irish and world history. The event was co-sponsored by the Georgia Southern University Center for Irish Studies.
The O’Sullivan Gathering
The International O’Sullivan Clan continues to investigate the feasibility of a meaningful and educational clan gathering in the future.
The O’Sullivan yDNA Project
Clan member Kathleen Sullivan Kerwin continues to advance the O'Sullivan / Sullivan Y-DNA Project with the goal of accurately identifying to which sub-branch of the clan we all belong. To keep abreast of the latest news concerning the project, please consult the Clan Correspondence page.
Knockgraffon Archaeological Dig
The International O’Sullivan Clan has contacted Professor Tadhg O'Keeffe MA, PhD, DEA, FSA, Head of School, UCD School of Archaeology, and is arranging for an archaeological dig on Knockgraffon Motte. Knockgraffon was originally the sacred inauguration site for the kings of Munster. It eventually became the primary residence of the chiefs of the O'Sullivan clan. In 1192 the Normans successfully wrested the site from the O'Sullivans and built a classic defensive motte there. Knockgraffon remained in Norman hands for the next 806 years until it was bought by an O'Sullivan (Dr. Gary Brian Sullivan, Present Taoiseach) from Donal Keating of Clonmel House. The last O'Sullivan chief to live at Knockgraffon was Donal Mor. To celebrate the return of this sacred site to the O'Sullivan clan, Dr. Sullivan named his son, who was born in 1999, Donal Mor Connor O'Sullivan.
The O’Sullivan Clan Tartan
In June, 1994, Gary Brian O’Sullivan [121G] commissioned the O’Sullivan MacCragh tartan to be designed by Chris Aitken of Geoffrey (Tailor) High-land Crafts Ltd.
The O’Sullivan Clan Battle Flag
The International O’Sullivan Clan commissioned the Battle Flag to be designed and produced in 1995. Since the O’Sullivan clan is the most senior line of the royal family of the Milesian Celts and Milesius, King of Spain, was the forefather of the family, a version of his personal insignia is the official Battle Flag of the clan. The three lions of Milesius, reminiscent of his hunting trip in Africa and symbolic of his courage, are displayed in a Celtic art motif to reflect the ancient Scythian heritage of the family. The round design in gold on a black background forms a solar disc, announcing the clan’s divine right of kings, as allegorical descendants of the sun.
The O’Sullivan Clan Song
The International O’Sullivan Clan commissioned lyrics to be written to the music of the O’Sullivan March Planxty in 1995.
Dunderry Castle Restoration Project
(Dun Daire, Fort of the Oak Wood)
One branch of the O’Sullivan MacCragh sept of Cappanacush Castle acquired Dunderry Castle in the village of Gravier, near Nevers, France. Dunderry remains the family home of this illustrious sept and serves as the headquarters of the International O'Sullivan Clan. Many O’Sullivan icons and symbols are found in the architectural elements of the castle. Continued restoration and preservation of the castle is supported by the clan organization.
The ridge upon which Dunderry Castle stands was originally the site of an ancient Celtic fort built by the Bituriges-Cubi tribe. The name “Bituriges” means “King of the World” in the proto-Celtic tongue. When Vercingetorix unsuccessfully rebelled against the Romans in 52 BC, the Bituriges were forced to abandon their stronghold at Dunderry and retreat to their hilltop capital, Avaricum (present day Bourges). After an extended siege they were eventually slaughtered with 120,000 of their fellow tribesmen by the superior Roman forces.
Delegation to Finte na hÉireann ~ Clans of Ireland
The International O'Sullivan Clan is recognized by Finte na hÉireann ~ Clans of Ireland, the official representative organization of Irish Clans to the Government of Ireland, the United Nations, and the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs. A delegation representing our clan is sent each year to the annual Clans of Ireland General Meeting in Dublin, Ireland.
The International O’Sullivan Clan Website
A very successful and oft-visited website is maintained by the clan organization, including a clan correspondence blog, a genealogical forum, and a very popular Facebook page.