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O'Keeffe Clan

Gathering and Rally

9, 10 and 11 Sept 2016

guided tours, lectures

historical and genealogical exhibitions

cultural and musical events,

buffet banquet Saturday evening
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Dan Joe O’ Keeffe
Official Chieftain of the O’ Keeffe Clan

The Official Chieftain of the O’ Keeffe Clan Dan Joe O'Keeffe lives in Toureencahille, Rathmore, Co. Kerry. The original gathering of the O’ Keeffe’s during the summer of 1989 was the inspiration of Dan Joe, Denis Angland, Senior of Dromagh, and Dan Joe O Keeffe of Rathcoole Post Office. They decided to it would be very interesting to have an O’ Keeffe Clan Gathering, which proved to be an outstanding success. Enquiries came from France and America after a small advertisement appeared in the national press. As a result of this the O’ Keeffe Clan gathering attracted over Three hundred people with several travelling from both France and America where Dan Joe O’ Keeffe from Rathmore was elected Chieftain, and it was he who was responsible for such a mellow and uplifting day. This title was passed on to Gerard O’ Keeffe, Solicitor from Kanturk. The title went back to Dan Joe O’ Keeffe, Rathmore in 2007.
Dan Joe felt that the potential of the Clan’s gathering as an annual event could be utilised for tourism in the greater Duhallow area as there is great history attached to the area. It was found by past gathering committee’s that the interest world-wide was great. The Irish Diaspora have a need for knowledge on the roots of their ancestors. They were bowled over by the interest locally and internationally.
Dan Joe is a man of great charm and has achieved many good deeds through his own professional life. He is an easy man to get on with. And the translation of O’ Keeffe meaning ‘the Gentle one is very appropriate when it comes to Dan Joe. Whilst he has a magnetic and gregarious personality.
Dan Joe is an only child, educated in Toureencahille, he was of the Fifth generation of his own family living in Toureencahille, Rathmore, making his children the sixth generation of the O’ Keeffe family in Toureencahille. Most of his ancestors are buried in Nohovah, a pre-Cromwellian graveyard between Rathmore and Knocknagree. His parents had a very successful grocery store in their home but Dan Joe’s father died when he was six years old leaving his mother to bring him up on her own. He recalls fond memories of growing up in the shop with his mother, but was very much aware of the fact he grew up without the fatherly bond and advice that a father & son should have in the family relationship.  A headstone remains today from 1840 of his ancestors in the graveyard. His mother also had a travelling grocery shop, this is where they travelled out into the more remote parts to sell and deliver groceries at weekends mostly.
Dan Joe had his Insurance business in Tralee which was the main office for forty five years and had an office in his home in Toureencahille also. He is retired today, but people still contact him today for advice on their policies, as they see him as an expert in the area. The Insurance business started out of his home, Dan Joe educated himself for the Insurance business world through correspondence and achieved his exams with excellence. It was vital for him in his business to know the law associated with insurance. He had customers from as far wide as Waterville to Newmarket. “Dan O’ Keeffe is known and respected throughout the county as a leading professional advisor in the insurance industry” Kerry Man/ Corkman February 1980.
The insurance business was kept as a separate entity from the mobile home hire business. Mobile homes were hired out mostly at sea side’s resorts like Ballybunion, Lehinch and Ballyheigue etc. The marque hire business came in later years. The business is very flexible as they cover functions such as weddings, gatherings, and one of their biggest projects was the annual event of “the Five Peaks”, all customers’ individual needs are taken into consideration.
Dan Joe and his wife Peggy have four grown up children and grandchildren whom they love and adore. Pat is married in Toureencahille who has taken over the family business, Michael in Waterford, Catherine in Sligo, Geraldine in Killarney.

Excerpts from Gerard O’ Keeffe, The Ascent of the O’ Keeffe’s.
Interview taken with Dan Joe in Toureencahille 09/01/16.
Patricia O Keeffe, Newmarket.