UP to 500 Kingstons are set to meet in Dunmanway later this month as the family hosts a clan gathering, which will include a visit from the Canadian Ambassador to Ireland.
From August 24th – 26th, the families will meet for the first time in five years.
On Friday night the festival will kick off at the Parkway Hotel with a dinner-dance where the guest speaker will be the Canadian Ambassador to Ireland, Kevin Vickers, who has also traced his roots to the Kingston clan.
Tickets are €30 and available from www.kingstongathering.irish.
On Saturday there will be an exhibition of family trees, photographs and memorabilia in the parish hall all day and at 2pm there is a heritage walk around Drimoleague, starting at the Methodist Church.
At 8pm, Dr Gearoid Kingston, who heads up the family DNA project, will speak at the Parkway Hotel and there will be other short Kingston-related talks and entertainment.
On Sunday, there will be church services (all taken by an ordained Kingston), at St Mathew’s Church of Ireland 11am, All Saints Roman Catholic noon and the Methodist Church at 11.30pm.
At 2pm there will be a threshing display with vintage tractors and cars at the railway yard in Drimoleague followed by music and song with visiting folk group at St Mathew’s Church in Drimoleague at 8pm.
Members of the Kingston clan told The Southern Star they are delighted to have Ambassador Vickers on board for the event.
Ambassador Vickers hit the headlines after he shot an intruder at the Ottawa Parliament in Canada and two years later tackled a protestor at a 1916 ceremony in Dublin.
Offered a diplomatic post almost anywhere in the world, Mr Vickers chose to be Canadian Ambassador to Ireland so that he could bring his then 88-year-old mother, Monica Margaret Kingston, home for the first time with him as Ambassador.
He even brought her to see the spot in Bantry Bay where her great great grandfather, Paul Kingston, left for Canada in 1826, and to spread her sister Carmel’s ashes there too.