THE first O’Neill clan leaders to visit the Hill of the O’Neill in 400 years have called on the world-wide tribe of O’Neills to turn the site into a tourism goldmine.
Thousands of visitors are expected to visit the multi-million pound heritage site, which boasts views across Ulster, when the O’Neill clan calls their annual global gathering in the town next year.
Daniel O’Neill, Chief Guardian of the clan, and Tricia Morrow, Vice Chief, were welcomed to the historic site by Mayor Phelim Gildernew and the Chief Executive Mr Ian Frazer, and presented with specially commissioned gifts.
Mr O’Neill said, as Chief Guardian of the Ancient Clan O’Neill of Tyrone, it was his duty to promote this project to every person who carries an Ulster Gaelic surname around the world
“It’s now up to the people of the greater Dungannon area to take ownership of this project, to talk about it on their travels and to let every relative abroad know of it”, he said.
“The whole history of Ulster is told on that one hill, from Gael to Planter and war to peace, it’s something that has to be experienced.”
Commenting on the fact that he may be the first O’Neill chief to visit the site in over 400 years, he said: “It’s more than a breathtaking view it’s a spiritual experience.
“Between The O’Neill Hill in Dungannon and Tullyhogue hill in Cookstown lies a tourism goldmine. We in the Ancient Clan O’Neill of Tyrone will be promoting these sites around the world as the Mecca of the Northern Gaelic Clans.
“We also want every O’Neill from across the nine counties of Ulster to join us on our oneillsofulster.com website where they can become an official member of the Ancient Clan O’Neill of Tyrone and join in on next years big O’Neill clan gathering and festivities. Membership and use of our site is free. We need all O’Neills to play their part to make this a success.”