Clan to name first leader in 800 years

Members of the Clan Currie Society at a memorial cairn to the family poets in South Uist. PIC: Contributed.

Members of the Clan Currie Society at a memorial cairn to the family poets in South Uist. PIC: Contributed.

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Members of Clan Currie are to gather in Scotland this summer for the historic appointment following an international search to find their new leader.

A Family Convention will be held in August to name the clan’s first Commander.

Naming the commander, effectively a head of the family, will start the process of appointing a new Chief of the Name and Arms of Currie and securing official recognition of the clan.

The clan takes the ancient name MacMhuirich or MacVurich, once influential poets and historians to Lords of the Isles.

READ MORE: Who are Scotland’s present day clan chiefs?

Nominations for the role of Commander will close at noon on June 30 with the successful candidate to be named at a meeting at a meeting at Trades Hall, Glasgow, on August 15.

The Commander will then lead his fellow Curries up the Royal Mile to the gathering of the clans at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

READ MORE: The battle cries of the Highland clans

Suitable candidates have to be born a Currie or MacMhuirich (or suitable variation), have a birth certificate that proves their origins and be of good standing. Those with criminal convictions will not qualify.

A video link may be set up so that people can observe proceedings from overseas.

The decision will be determined by Liam Devlin, Unicorn Pursuivant, appointed by the Court of the Lord Lyon.

Professor Hugh Cheape, from the National Centre for Gaelic Language and Culture, described Clan Currie as a ‘bardic dynasty’ with a “remarkable history.”

He added: “It ought now to be recognised on the wider stage of Scottish culture as a family with an independent role at the centre of a widely connected and well-ordered culture.”

The Curries descended from the 13th century Irish bard, Muireadhach Ó Dálaigh (O’Daly).

Dr Bruce Durie, genealogist, heraldist and historian said, “Historically there never was a Clan Currie or Clan MacMhuirich, with territories and a quasi-military structure.

“The term ‘family’is probably inappropriate for Currie, as it indicates the Lowlands. The MacMhuirichs, however, were proud Highlanders, and hereditary bards to a number of clans.

“They were truly a ‘learned kindred’, which may be the best designation for Currie.”

The Society was originally formed in Glasgow, Scotland in 1959 to further the knowledge and appreciation of the MacMhuirich bardic dynasty.

The MacMhuirichs served as professional poets to the Lords of the Isles and later to the MacDonalds of Clanranald, among others.

The Red Book of Clanranald, one of Gaelic Scotland’s literary treasures, was penned by successive generations of the MacMhuirich bards on South Uist.