Our Constitution















THE KELLY CLAN is a perpetual hereditary association of people bearing the surname of, or having descended from an ancestor with the surname of O’KELLY, or any of the variant spellings of the name, and of those of other surnames who support the aims and aspirations of the Clan association. The Clan is a non-profit organisation open to any and all qualified individuals, as set forth in ARTICLE 111 MEMBERSHIP, without regard to race,colour, creed, religious affiliation, age or gender.


The Name of the association shall be “MUINTIR UI CHEALLAIGH” in Irish or “KELLY CLAN” in English, hereinafter called “the Clan”. The name O’Kelly as used hereinafter, shall encompass all of the variant spellings of the name, including KELLY, KELLIE and all similar spellings.


The Objects of the Clan shall be:-

1. To foster kinship, friendship and camaraderie amongst all O’Kellys.

2. To bring O’Kellys together in periodic gatherings at a location on former Clan lands in Ireland.

3. To establish and maintain a Clan Office in Ireland as a central point for communications for O’Kellys throughout the world.

4. To create communications amongst O’Kellys of the world by collecting, distributing and publishing information about all aspects of the Clan, including publishing an Annual Journal, periodic newsletters, books and other pertinent media and creating Communications with the public, industry and governments to inform and educate same about the history, culture, traditions and contributions of the Clan and it’s members.

5. To create and maintain an archive of materials relating to the O’Kellys and their ancestors for the use of Clan members, including conducting, promoting, or assisting research work into the Clan history.

6. To develop and maintain a genealogical library and data base for the use of Clan members in tracing theirancestry.

7. To identify, mark with plaques and monuments and preserve the historical and archaeological sites, treasures and events related to O’Kellys and earlier ancestors, including the graves, castles and residences of O’Kelly ancestors.


Membership in the Clan shall be open to any individual who agrees to abide by the Rules and Regulations of the Clan, upon the payment of the required fees, as established by the Clan Council, in individual, family and senior Membership categories as defined herein:-

Individual Membership: An individual Member is defined as an adult over the age of 18 years of age. Such member shall have one vote.

Family Membership: A Family Member is defined as a husband and wife, and all children under the age of 18 years. The Family Membership shall have one vote for the family.

Senior Membership: A Senior Member individual over the age of 60 years. have one vote.

Senior Family Membership: A Senior Family Member is defined as a husband and wife, one of which is over the age of 60 years and all children under the age of 18 years. The Senior Family Membership shall have one vote for the family.

Life Membership: Any category of membership may become a Life Member upon payment of a once off fee.

Membership will automatically terminate upon the annual anniversary date of the payment of first membership fees if the required fees for renewal of membership have not been received as of that date. Membership will be reinstated, and considered continuous, with full rights and privileges, upon receipt of the required membership fees.

Any Clan member who fails to renew his annual membership will be retained on the Clan Membership Registry, but shall not be entitled to Newsletters, Journals, publications, notices, discounts or other privileges of membership enjoyed by those paying annual membership dues.

Clan Member as hereinafter used shall mean a member whose dues are paid up to date.

Membership in the Clan may be terminated for cause by a two thirds majority vote of the Clan Council. A membership that has been terminated may be reinstated by a majority vote of the Clan Council.

Each Clan Member shall on being admitted as a member be entitled to receive a Certificate of Clan Membership and shall during the period of his membership be entitled to attend all Clan Gatherings and vote at the Clan Assembly. A Clan Member shall be eligible, if nominated by at least five other Clan members, to stand for election to the Clan Council.


The Clan Members shall be convened to meet at least every two years at Clan Gatherings. A formal meeting of Clan Members, to be known as “The Clan Assembly” shall be held once every two years and shall coincide with a Clan Gathering.
The location and timing of a Clan Gathering and the Clan Assembly shall be a matter for the Clan Council and shall be in Ireland and preferably at a location of historic significance to the Clan.
Formal notice of the Clan Assembly shall be sent to each Clan Member, together with an Agenda of the business to be conducted thereat, at least 90 days before commencement date of the proposed Clan Gathering.
Any Clan Member who wishes to have business put before the Clan Assembly shall notify the Clan Council of such intent together with a summary of such business at least 30 days before the commencement date of the proposed Clan Gathering.
The Clan Members shall, at the Clan Assembly, elect, from among those members nominated and eligible to stand, such members of the Clan Council, for which vacancies exist. The election for membership to the Clan Council shall be conducted by way of ballot.
The Clan Members shall, at the Clan Assembly, be entitled to vote on any proposed amendments to the Articles of Association properly before the Clan Assembly. Such proposals shall be carried if a two-third majority of the Clan Members present in the Clan Assembly vote for the Motion.
All other decisions of the Clan Assembly shall be by simple majority vote. All votes, save the election of members to the Clan Council, shall be by show of hands. In the event of there being a voting tie, the Uachtaran shall have the casting vote.


The Business of the Clan shall be the responsibility of the Clan Council. Such Council shall consist of nine members being The O’Kelly, who shall be deemed to be a member as of right and eight Councillors to be elected by the Clan in the Clan Assembly.
In the year of formation the Council shall consist of The O’Kelly
and eight members who have prior to the adoption of these
Articles of Association shown a willingness to work for the
benefit of the Clan.
Three members of the Clan Council other than The O’Kelly, the
Uachtaran and the Tanaiste shall resign at each Clan Assembly but
shall be eligible to put themselves forward for re-election.
The Council members, other than The O’Kelly, the Uachtaran and the Tanaiste, shall retire by rotation, the first three Council Members to retire shall be chosen by lot. The O’Kelly shall be
entitled to sit on the Clan Council at all times. The Uachtaran
shall retire at the termination of his office and the Tanaiste
shall automatically succeed to the office of the Uachtaran.

Four members of the Clan Council present and together at a convened Clan Council meeting shall constitute a quorum for the conduct of any Clan business. The Clan Council shall decide what notice of meeting shall be given and at what times the said Clan Council meetings shall be held.

Should a vacancy occur on a Clan Council and there be more than two months to run to the next Clan Assembly, the remaining members of the Clan Council may co-opt a Clan Member to serve for the period remaining to the next Clan Assembly, at which stage such co-opted Clan Member shall resign from the Clan Council but shall be eligible for re-election.

Special Committees may be appointed or created by the Clan Council for the purpose of furthering the programmes and activities of the Clan. The membership of such committees and the responsibility of such members will be announced at the time of formation. The Clan Council may add or delete members from time to time at their sole discretion.

An Officer of the Clan Council, other than The O’Kelly, may be removed from office for failure to perform the duties of the office by a two-thirds majority of the full Clan Council then in existence.

The Clan Council shall, from among it’s members, elect Officers of the Clan, these shall consist of the Uachtaran (The President), the Tanaiste (the Deputy President), the Ard-Runai (the Secretary), the Sparanai (the Treasurer) and the Breitheamh (the Legal Counsel). These Officers, together with The O’Kelly and the three remaining Council Members shall comprise the Clan Council.

The functions of the Officers shall be as follows:-

The Uachtaran: The Uachtaran shall be the presiding officer of the Clan Council and shall preside at all meetings of the Clan. He shall supervise the work and activities of Muintir Ui Cheallaigh and perform such other duties as usually pertain to the office of the Uachtaran. The Uachtaran shall be the Convener of the Clan Gathering at the year of formation of the Clan and shall remain in that office for four years at which time he shall stand down therefrom and his successor shall be elected. The Uachtaran shall reside during the term of his office in Ireland and shall bear the surname O’Kelly or Kelly. A retiring Uachtaran shall retire at the termination of his term of office but shall be entitled to stand for re­ election to the Clan Council.

The Tanaiste: The Tanaiste shall be the deputy to the Uachtaran and shall remain in that office for four years at which time his successor shall be elected from among the members of the Clan Council. The Tanaiste shall not be obliged to stand for re­ election to the Clan Council at the expiration of his term as Tanaiste but shall automatically be deemed elected to the position of Uachtaran. In the event of the Uachtaran becoming unable to perform the duties of the Uachtaran, for any reason whatsoever during his term in office, the Tanaiste shall, by directive of the Clan Council, assume the duties of the Uachtaran for the balance of his elected term as Tanaiste. The Tanaiste may at the request of the Uachtaran deputise on behalf of the Uachtaran from time to time as the Uachtaran may request. The Tanaiste shall be entitled as of right to succeed to the office of the Uachtaran on the expiration of the Uachtaran’s term. This right shall not place an obligation on the Tanaiste to accept such office. The Tanaiste will normally be elevated to the office of the Uachtaran at the conclusion of his term of office,accordingly, only members of the Clan Council with the surname O’Kelly or Kelly shall be eligible for office of Tanaiste. Should the Tanaiste be unwilling, unable or ineligible to assume the office of the Uachtaran at the standing down of the Uachtaran, the Breitheamh shall be deemed to be the Tanaiste and shall if otherwise eligible be elected automatically to the office of the Uachtaran.

If the Breitheamh should also be unwilling or unable to assume the office of Uachtaran, such office shall be filled by the sole appointment of
The O’Kelly.

The Ard-Runai (Clan Secretary):

The Ard-Runai shall be responsible for keeping
records of the Clan, it’s business and the
business of the Clan Council. The office shall
be the communication and co-ordination centre for
the Clan activities and the Ard-Runai shall
prepare and present a summary of such activities
at the Clan Assembly. The Ard-Runai shall be
elected from among the members of the Clan

The Sparanai (Clan Treasurer).

The Sparanai shall be responsible for the collection, distribution, safekeeping and accounting of the funds of the Clan and shall prepare and present an accounting summary for the General Assembly. The Sparanai shall be elected from among the members of the Clan Council.

The Breitheamh (Legal counsel):

The Breitheamh shall be responsible for the creation and preservation of the genealogical and
historical archives of the Clan, and shall give an opinion if required by the Clan Council on the interpretation of the Articles of Association. The Breitheamh shall be elected from among the members of the Clan Council.


The Clan Chief shall be The O’Kelly. The O’Kelly is Chief of the name and as such is Head of the Clan and he shall wherever he may be, be recognised as such by the Clan as the rightful Clan Chief. The O’Kelly is a hereditary distinction and he shall be a member of the Clan Council as of right and without the need for re-election. All Clan Members shall recognise The O’Kelly as Clan Chief and he shall be afforded due recognition and honour at each Clan Gathering. The current holder of the title, The O’Kelly, is Count Robert O’Kelly.


There are those individuals, who by their actions, labours or deeds, contribute to the advancement of the goals of the Clan, or by their achievements bring added honour to the Clan and the O’Kelly name. The Clan may acknowledge such actions, labours, deeds or achievements by conferring upon a deserving individual, either living or deceased, at the Clan Gathering, one or more of the following Honours:

HONOURARY MEMBER: a non-voting membership granted in appreciation

to any individual, whether or the Clan, who has given contributions to the Clan.
vote of the Clan Council.
not such individual is a member of significant service or other This honour is granted by special

DISTINGUISHED MEMBER: A non-voting membership granted in appreciation to any individual whether or not such individual is a member of a Clan who has brought recognition and honour to the Clan by their achievements in their personal or professional lives. This honour is granted by special vote of the Clan Council.

THE ORDER OF UI MAINE : A high honour which may be awarded to any member of the Clan for extraordinary and meritorious services, actions, deeds and/or contributions to the Clan, by special vote of the Clan Council. Recipients of this Honour shall be entitled to wear the insignias of the Order and the use of the postnominals ” O.U.M.”

Any member of the Clan may nominate an individual for Honours by sending such nomination together with full description of the reasons for nominating to the Ard-Runai. All nominations for Honours must be received by the Ard-Runai at least one month prior to the Clan Gathering.



The O’Kelly Clan Emblem is a Shield of Arms (azure), a tower
triple-towered supported on either side by a lion rampant
(argent) as many chains descending from the battlements between
lions’ legs (or).

crest. On a ducal coronet (or) an enfield (vert).

Motto: Turris Fortis Mihi Deus (God is a tower of strength to me)

Historically, Coats of Arms were used to identify a specific individual, and thus, were the personal property of that individual. However, with Irish Clan Arms, it has become common practice for all members of a Clan to assume the Emblem of the Clan for their personal use if they wish, but in doing so, such arms only signify a relationship to the Clan, and are not their arms for personal identity.


All archives, records, documents, books, materials, monies and property gifted, purchased, produced or otherwise acquired by the Clan shall be the property of the Clan and not that of any individual or officer nor shall any individual or officer have any claim to any of the property of the Clan in hisjher possession.
Any appointed or elected officer or member of the Clan or a non­ member of the Clan, who may be in possession of same, shall hold same as custodian only, and shall immediately surrender any and all such items owned by the Clan to the person and place as directed by the Clan Council.
In the event that the Clan is terminated, all funds, property and
assets will be assigned, at the discretion of the Clan Council,
to an organisation of similar goals and activities with the
provision that such funds, property and assets be used
exclusively for the promotion and advancement of the goals of
said organisation.


The Clan Council shall consider any applications from Clan Associations who wish to be associated with Muintir Ui Cheallaigh and which are based in Countries other than Ireland, if the Clan Council feel that such applications have merit and are satisfied that such Clan associations would foster the aims and purposes of the Clan such association shall be admitted as a Clan Chapter for whatever Country it is based in. The organisation of such Clan Chapters shall be a matter for such Chapters provided always that the purpose of the Clan Chapter shall not be in anyway in conflict with the purpose of Muintir Ui Cheallaigh.


It is a specific condition of membership that no member at any time, or for any reason whatsoever, shall hold any appointed or elected officer of the Clan or member of any committee, or any volunteer assisting the Clan, liable for any good faith action taken by such Officer or member on behalf of the Clan, except where:-

a) such action involves the commitment of a crime or

b) where such action was taken to expressly cause damage to

the reputation or property of the Clan, or

c) where an individual having custody of the property of Clan

0 fails to deliver such property when directed by the

Executive Committee, or causes damage to property of the

Clan through gross negligence or a wilful act.


In these Articles of Association, the masculine includes the feminine and neuter genders.

If there shall be any disagreement as to the interpretation of the meaning of any of the Articles of Association, same shall be adjudicated on by the Breitheamh, whose interpretation shall be final.

Amendment to Article V of the Constitution on 271h April 2003 at AGM held in Hotel Westport

Joe A Kelly proposed that the number of Council members be increased from 12 to 16

This proposal was put to the floor and a vote was taken and the motion was passed 17 votes for and none against.