Organising Committee

Below are details of the Organising Committee for the Gleeson Clan Gathering 2016, including biographies of the Committee members, the Roles & Responsibilities of each member, and our general modus operandi.

We have put together a Committee with representation that truly reflects both Local Irish & Diaspora Irish. This talented group of people have the skillset necessary to make this project a success, including 1) over 150 years of cumulative genealogical research; 2) expertise at organising international conferences; 3) a plenitude of local knowledge with strong links to local historical societies; 4) IT and social media proficiency with a pre-existing web presence that has attracted in excess of 250,000 people; 5) an extensive network of international contacts.

Committee Members

Michael Gerald Gleeson (Chairman & Treasurer)

Maurice Gleeson (Project Manager, Webmaster, DNA Adviser, UK Ambassador)

Margaret O'Sullivan (Assistant Treasurer)

Betty Gleeson (Irish Ambassador)

Nora Gleeson O'Meara (Irish Ambassador)

John Flannery (Irish Ambassador)

Dick Doherty (US Ambassador)

Mike Stapleton (Canadian Ambassador)

Brian Gleeson (Australian Ambassador)

Steve Dunne (New Zealand Ambassador)

Biographies of Committee Members

Michael G Gleeson has been involved in organising many International Conferences mainly in the area of Apiculture. He was the National Secretary of the Federation of Irish Beekeepers’ Associations from 1997 to 2013. In 2005 he was part of the organising committee that brought 3,500 beekeepers from many parts of the world to Dublin for a weeklong conference held at the RDS, known as Apimondia 2005. In 2012 he was part of the organising committee that ran a one day International Bee Health Symposium in City West Hotel, Dublin. He is currently the Summer Course Convenor for the annual weeklong beekeeping summer course held during the last week of July at the Franciscan College, Gormanston, Co Meath. He has held that position since 2014. This event attracts in the region of 500 visitors from all parts of Ireland including about 75 to 80 from the U.K. In recent years it has attracted visitors from further afield including USA, Denmark, France, Australia and New Zealand. He has represented Irish Beekeepers at many International Beekeeping Conferences including South Korea, Ukraine, France, Slovenia and South Africa.

Maurice Gleeson is a psychiatrist, pharmaceutical physician, genetic genealogist, and DNA Project Administrator. He has organised the DNA Lecture series for Genetic Genealogy Ireland for the past 3 years (2013, 2014, 2015) and is organising it again for 2016. This is held as part of Back to Our Past at the RDS each October (attracting up to 20,000 people). These DNA Lectures attract an international audience with many American visitors specifically coming over to attend these lectures, such is the international appeal of this event within an event. Most of the lectures are recorded for the associated GGI YouTube channel, which Maurice set up, and which has received over 47,000 views. Maurice also runs an associated blog website (Genetic Genealogy Ireland, with over 130,000 hits), and a Facebook group (with over 2600 members), all of which attract an international audience. The metrics for this post-event publicity are summarised here – Metrics for Genetic Genealogy Ireland.

Maurice also helps organise the DNA Lectures for Who Do You Think You Are - Live! This event has been held in both London and Birmingham and Maurice has been involved with it since 2013. He created and maintains the associated YouTube channel which has attracted over 65,000 views from its global audience.

In 2015, Maurice was voted Genetic Genealogist of the Year 2015 by SurnameDNA Journal, L21 Person of the Year by the R1b-L21 group, and won a special award for Best Innovative Use of Integrated Data from world-reknowned genetic genealogy blogger Roberta Estes.

Betty Gleeson is a native of North Tipperary and has a wealth of local knowledge. She is Secretary, Treasurer and a founder member of the Silvermines Historical Society established in 2012 with a membership of over 70 local history enthusiasts . The SHS have a mission to collect and preserve local history and they endeavour to do this by recording, writing and collecting material locally and further afield. Their local history book Mining the Past, showcases these collections of story, history and verse and Betty promotes it internationally through the SHS website and facebook. Mining the Past , after four years of publication has been purchased by many people from USA, Australia, New Zealand and further afield with the majority of them having ancestral links to the area. Betty has established a strong network of communictions by reaching out to people whose ancestors hailed from the locality. Some researchers have visted on a regular basis and have also contributed articles to Mining the Past.

In 2001, prior to a trip to Australia by Betty & her husband Denis, Betty undetook extensive research on the O'Brien family history in Silvermines, she plans to update it and is currently working on their Gleeeson family tree.

Margaret O’Sullivan is also a native of North Tipperary and has a wealth of local knowledge. She has been researching her family tree for the past eight years and during that time has carried out research throughout Ireland, the USA , Australia and the UK. Margaret has forged links with many of the Irish diaspora who are also carrying out their own family history research and has established a strong connection with the Georgetown Digital Library in South Carolina. Her particular interests are the families who emigrated from the North Tipperary area.

Margaret had also completed two courses with the University of Limerick - a Certificate in Local History and a Certificate in History of the Family and Genealogical Methods.

Nora Gleeson O’Meara, M.A. is a Genealogist with the North Tipperary Genealogy Centre for nearly 30 years. Nora is in constant consultation with the Irish Diaspora overseas. Nora has promoted and exhibited at several National and International Genealogy/Tourism Events over the last number of years i.e. Who Do you Think You Are – Live! in London, Back to Our Past in Dublin, Over 50’s shows in Ireland. Nora travelled to the USA in 2008 with Tourism Ireland promoting Genealogy. She organised a Gleeson Family Gathering of her cousins from New Zealand, Australia and Ireland in 2012. Nora assists Tipperary Tourism on an ongoing basis promoting Tipperary and Ireland to the domestic and overseas visitors market. Nora delivers Genealogy Classes on an ongoing basis. She delivers Lectures on Genealogy to several Historical Societies and Local Community/Groups.

John Flannery is a native of North Tipperary and President of the Ormond Historical Society. Founded in 1977, the Ormond Historical Society is dedicated to promoting an interest in history, both National and Local. Based in Nenagh, capital of the ancient Barony of Ormond, the Society organizes a programme of lectures / historical site visits of interest to members. John is a prolific speaker and a regular contributor to historical societies in Tipperary and Clare.

Dick Doherty of Troy, Michigan, USA is a professional genealogist, lecturer and author with 40+ years of experience who specialises in Irish research. His Gleeson ancestors came from the townlands of Garraun & Cappadine in North Tipperary.

Dick worked with the IBM Corporation for 30 years and following his retirement, he set up and became the Director of Celtic Quest, LLC. His company organises very focussed genealogical research trips (for small select groups of people) to Ireland’s archives and repositories. He has made 35 research trips to Ireland.

Dick has been president of the Irish Genealogical Society of Michigan (1998-2000 and 2004-2006), the Detroit Society for Genealogical Research (1986-1988 and 2011-2015), and the Oakland County Genealogical Society (1979-1983), and sits on all three boards. He is a delegate to the Federation of Genealogical Societies and the Michigan Genealogical Council, and is also a member of the Genealogical Speakers Guild.

He has lectured on various Irish genealogical topics since 1982 including land valuation records, estate papers, the Registry of Deeds, and National School Records. His lecturing has taken him across the US, Canada, and Ireland, including two Irish Genealogical Congresses (Trinity College, Dublin, and Maynooth College, Co. Kildare, Ireland); the Back to Our Past event in Dublin; and the 1st Celtic Connections Conference in Waltham, MA. He is due to speak at the 2nd Celtic Connections Conference in Minnesota this coming August. Dick has appeared on televised talk shows discussing Irish genealogy, and has a personal Irish library of over 750 books.

Mike Stapleton hails from Ontario, Canada. He is a highly experienced genealogical researcher and well-known to locals as he frequently visits North Tipperary to further his research. His Gleeson ancestors came from the areas of Ballyhiskey and Burgesbeg in North Tipperary.

Mike is a member of the Middlesex County (Ontario) branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society, and the Irish Genealogical Research Society. For more than two decades he has conducted extensive research on the Irish Stapletons (globally) and Gleesons from the Nenagh/Silvermines area.

Brian Edmund Gleeson is an amateur genealogist from Melbourne, Australia. He is a past Councillor and Secretary of the Genealogical Society of Victoria Inc. Extensive research over twenty five years culminated in Brian’s acclaimed seminal work, A Gleeson Butler Story, from Kilkenny to Port Phillip (2009, 483 pp). At age 22, playing for the St Kilda Football Club, Brian won the 1957 Brownlow Medal (award for the Best & Fairest Australian Rules player in the top competition). He has often appeared on TV, Radio and in the News Press on behalf of Australian Football and Genealogy.

Steve Dunne lives in Wokalane, North Island, New Zealand. He is a retired international cricket umpire and has written an autobiographical book of his experiences entitled “Alone in the Middle” (2003). Steve has travelled to Ireland on many occasion to research his Gleeson, Cash, and Dunne connections and is well know to the Silvermines Historical Society.

Modus Operandi
  • The Committee consists of the Core Organising Group (the Core Committee, consisting of Michael, Maurice, Margaret, & Betty) and ancillary members of the Extended Committee, namely the Regional & Country Ambassadors (Nora, John, Dick, Mike, Brian, Steve)
  • The Core Organising Group will be responsible for organising the event, including the programme (speakers, tours, visits, social events, etc), financial arrangements (bank account,  budget, financial accounts), insurance, rental of the Scout's Hall, applying for grants & sponsorship of the event, etc
  • The Committee will meet face to face when they can, but will otherwise liaise with each other by email & phone
  • Minutes of relevant meetings and discussions by the Core Organising Group will be generated & overseen by the Chairman
  • To expedite the decision-making process, the Chairman will collect all viewpoints and co-ordinate a democratic decision based on a majority vote of the Core Organising Group
  • Country representatives will be responsible for promoting & publicising the event within their own country and will help attract recruitment
  • In Ireland, Betty, Nora & John will liaise re promotion & publicity

Roles & Responsibilities 

Michael G Gleeson - Chairperson & Treasurer
  • Impartial, listens to all, chairs meetings 
  • Clarifies Roles & Responsibilities as needed
  • Casting vote in the event of a tie (2nd vote) 
  • Implements the majority viewpoint of the Core Committee 
  • 1st signatory on the bank account 
  • Maintain books & accounts 
  • Gathers all registration fees 
  • Pays all outstanding authorised expenses
Maurice J Gleeson - Project Manager, Webmaster, DNA Adviser, UK Ambassador
  • Updates programme of events
  • Co-ordinates tours & outings
  • Notifies Treasurer of any expenses
  • Advertising & Communications (Press Releases, etc)
  • Registration of attendees
  • Drafts Meeting Minutes
  • Maintains & updates Action Plan
  • Generates draft publicity material for the website for consideration by the Committee
  • Co-ordinates Promotion & Publicity on a local level to promote the event & attract attendees
Margaret O'Sullivan - Assistant Treasurer
  • Assists Chairman with financial arrangements
  • Second signatory on bank account
Betty Gleeson - Ireland Ambassador
  • Co-ordinates Promotion & Publicity on a local level to promote the event & attract attendees
  • Liaison with Silvermines Historical Society
Nora Gleeson O'Meara - Ireland Ambassador
  • Co-ordinates Promotion & Publicity on a local level to promote the event & attract attendees
  • Liaison with North Tipperary Genealogy Centre
John Flannery - Ireland Ambassador
  • Co-ordinates Promotion & Publicity on a local level to promote the event & attract attendees
  • Liaison with Ormond Historical Society
Dick Doherty - US Ambassador
  • Co-ordinates Promotion & Publicity on a local level to promote the event & attract attendees
Mike Stapleton - Canadian Ambassador
  • Co-ordinates Promotion & Publicity on a local level to promote the event & attract attendees
Brian Gleeson - Australian representative
  • Co-ordinates Promotion & Publicity on a local level to promote the event & attract attendees
Steve Dunne - New Zealand representative
  • Co-ordinates Promotion & Publicity on a local level to promote the event & attract attendees 

The Committee would like to acknowledge the work of Damian Gleeson who put the Programme of Events together. Damian was Committee Secretary up until December 2015.

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