International O Driscoll Memorial Archive & Remembrance Ceremony

Cape Clear Island Museum Society, Co. Cork has for a number of years offered a facility to the O Driscoll worldwide family whereby one may submit an account of their family for preservation in the O Driscoll Collection in the island museum. This website, was set up to promote the gathering of these family accounts, had considerably increased the number of submissions by 2013. It was felt that the time had come to establish an O Driscoll Memorial Archive to store and preserve the collected data. Remembering, honouring and uniting all who form the worldwide O Driscoll family, past and present, became the objective. The International O Driscoll Memorial Archive is located on Cape Clear Island, which is part of the ancestral homeland of each member of today’s international Driscoll family.

West Cork-man, Seán O Driscoll, a native of Drimoleague, inaugurated the International O Driscoll Memorial Archive during the June 2013 O Driscoll Clan Gathering visit to Cape Clear Island. Click here for details of the O Driscoll Clan Gathering.

Dr. Eamon Lankford and O Driscoll Chieftain 2013-2015, John Driscoll, U.S.A.

On that occasion volumes of material relating to the lives of O Driscolls worldwide compiled by Dr. Éamon Lankford since 1986 were deposited in Cape Clear Island Museum as the International O Driscoll Memorial Archive. The O Driscoll Collection of volumes had reached 35 by 2018. We invite you to write an account of your O Driscoll ancestry for inclusion in the O Driscoll Memorial Archive and have you and your family remembered in part of the ancestral lands of all O Driscolls. If you have any ancestral connections with Cape Clear Island please also make a submission of information about yourself and your family for inclusion in the Cape Clear Island Archive. If you can tell us something about what you know, perhaps we might be able to add something to your account, especially if you have had in the past some family connections with Cape Clear island.  We will tell you what we know if we can make a link with whatever you do tell us about your O Driscoll or Cape Clear family story.  Click here for details on how to submit your family story for inclusion in the archive.

Pictured at Dún na Séad castle in Baltimore where the 10 additional volumes were added to the existing 25 volumes of the O’Driscoll Memorial Archive at Cape Clear Museum included in the photo are Eamon Lankford who compiled the O’Driscoll Memorial Archive, Cllr. Joe Carroll, Deputy Mayor Cork County and Tim Driscoll, current Chieftain O’Driscoll Clan, members of the O’Driscoll clan and friends. Photo: Anne Minihane..

With the launch of the O Driscoll Memorial Archive, former O Driscoll Clan Gathering Chieftain Bruce O Driscoll of Canada was invited to bring a candle from New Brunswick to be called The O Driscoll Candle, which was used in a moving Remembrance Ceremony. A candle representing all who emigrated from Ireland during the terrible Great Famine of 1845-47 was brought to Cape Clear for the Famine Remembrance Exhibition of 1995 by James J. O Driscoll of Long Island, New York. This is lit at the start of the O Driscoll Remembrance Ceremony.

Each year, some person from a selected country across the world who has O Driscoll ancestry is invited to bring a candle, The O Driscoll Candle from their home country and give a brief account of their Driscoll family story and heritage. In the quiet of the O Driscoll Archive, housed in a restored old schoolhouse, all present are invited to reflect for a little while and then one by one call the name of a deceased ancestor and in so doing let their relatives ‘live again’ for a short while among their own people in a part of the lands of their ancestors. Joan Thatcher-O Driscoll brought the 2014 O Driscoll Candle from Sydney, Australia; the candle for 2015 was brought by  Tim Driscoll of the UK;  Theresa Driscoll Barndt of USA brought the 2016 Remembrance Candle; Kerry O Driscoll of Christchurch, New Zealand brought the O Driscoll Candle in 2017 and Donal O Driscoll of West Cork and Cork City led the 2018 Remembrance Ceremony with a candle from Cork. In 2019, the honour of bringing the O Driscoll candle to the Clan Gathering Remembrance Ceremony fell to Margaret Drew (Driscoll) of the UK.

Cork County Council, Fáilte Ireland and IPB Insurance Community Tourism Diaspora Initiative supported the event.

If unable to attend the Clan Gathering one can still participate in the meaningful ceremony. Members of the O Driscoll Memorial committee along with former O Driscoll Chieftains will respectfully call the names of a loved one on their behalf at the next International O Driscoll Memorial Archive Remembrance Ceremony.

Please send an email to with the following information:

Name of person Submitting information:


Email Address:

Name of the deceased ancestor:

In what Country / State/ City/ did the person named live:

Approx. date of birth/ or date of demise:



To enable us to verify that the submitted details are correct it is essential that your contact details are given.