Friday 29 July 2022

Has ICOC cocked it up? Apparently not!

 The Chief Herald of Arms of Malta has deleted from his website quite a few things of late which he clearly finds embarrassing. Given the reasons for his embarrassment and his many errors of judgement in regard to the acceptance of foreign and dubious hereditary honours, I am deeply concerned that the Maltese Heraldry website still features his CV which boasts the fact that "He is a Commissioner on the Board of the International Commission for Orders of Chivalry " . If ICOC is to retain any credibility at all, I suggest that it might be a good idea to review their acceptance criteria for Commissioners*. I strongly suggest that no one is more unsuitable for membership of ICOC than the present Chief Herald of Arms of Malta.

Screen shot taken from the official website of The Chief Herald of Arms of Malta 29/7/2022

For those who are not familiar with ICOC, The International Commission for Orders of Chivalry is a private association, based in Milan (Italy) composed of renowned scholars on chivalric matters and award systems. The main goal of the ICOC is to determine the legitimacy of the Orders of Chivalry by publishing the Register of Orders of Chivalry.

* At the time of writing this I can't find his name on the ICOC "Patrons and Members" web page. Has he been removed?

Addendum 8th August 2022:
I have been assured by Pier Felice degli Uberti, President of ICOC, that Dr Gauci is no longer a member (and presumably therefore ought not to be still claiming on the Malta Heraldry website that he is). Pier Felice degli Uberti has sent to me a document outlining the membership procedures and asked that I publish it as an addendum to this post:  

Thursday 28 July 2022

The Chief Halfwit of Arms of Malta

 I notice that our entertaining friend, the Chief Halfwit of Arms of Malta, has now removed those webpages which have given us so much pleasure since he launched them such a short while ago; his entire armorial and that even more entertaining page referencing those “hereditary honours” he has recognised have now disappeared from public view. Someone obviously tipped him off that he was coming under a great deal of criticism on Facebook heraldry forums however, he now has one other self-created conundrum he will have to solve. He is required, by the very legislation which created his office, to make public all his grants and registrations, many of which have caused him to panic and delete the very pages he is required by legislation to publish. I look forward to seeing how he wriggles out of this one.

Tuesday 26 July 2022

O'Sullivan and Malta

 The Chief Herald of Arms of Malta has just sent a round robin email to all who have expressed an interest in his activities alerting them to his "New Look Website" which has details of not only recent grants and registrations but also his registration of hereditary honours

I have a number of concerns and begin to wonder about the ability (or desire) of the Chief Herald of Malta to check the facts provided by applicants prior to making his grants or registrations. One in particular stood out, that of O'Sullivan recorded in the hereditary honours section: 

Image screen shot from the Maltese website 25/07/22

Name: Sullivan, Gary Brian Sullivan (a.k.a. Gary Brian O’Sullivan & Garraí Eoin Brian Ó Súilleabháin MhicRaith). Honour : O’Sullivan Mór,  Count of Knockgraffon, Prince of Munster (foreign titles).

A check on the grants/registrations page provided this image: 

Image screen shot from the Maltese website 25/07/22

Image screen shot from the Maltese website 25/07/22

A quick check in Burke's General Armory provided me with a blazon for the arms of O’Sullivan and O’Sullivan Mór and it came as no surprise that the arms granted/registered by the Chief Herald of Malta are different. 

A further check in MacLysaght's book "Irish Families, Their Names, Arms and Origins", confirms that the true blazon for the O’Sullivan Mór is that given by Burke and not the arms granted/registered by Dr Gauci (no supporters either). I then had a conversation with a friend in The Genealogical Society of Ireland (Irish: Cumann Geinealais na hÉireann) (a voluntary non-governmental organisation promoting the study of genealogy, heraldry, vexillology and social history in Ireland and amongst the Irish Diaspora) and we both came to the same conclusion.  

Image taken from MacLysaght's book "Irish Families, Their Names, Arms and Origins" 

We both felt that when faced with a petition for arms from a person claiming to be an Irish Chief and bearing the titles Count of Knockgraffon and Prince of Munster it would have been sensible to have contacted his counterpart in Ireland to ascertain the veracity or otherwise of such claims linked with the territory and jurisdiction of the Chief Herald of Ireland. Had he done so (it is actually quite unfathomable that a Chief Herald would not be aware of this), he would have been informed that the "courtesy recognition" of Irish Chiefs and Chieftains was discontinued by Chief Herald Brendan O'Donoghue in 2003 following "The MacCarthy Mor" scandal - see: Irish Chiefs: Contents (

The claims contained in the text recorded on the website of The Chief Herald of Arms of Malta are entirely unsupported by the Chief Heralds of Ireland and I doubt if Colette O'Flaherty (Chief Herald) would have agreed to their inclusion, if asked by the Chief Herald of Malta.

The inclusion of the "Prince of Munster" and the "Count of Knockgraffon" is laughable given the scandal mentioned above.  Ireland, just like Malta, is a Republic - in both jurisdictions no such titles of nobility can be recognised by the State under the Constitution.  

If the gentleman was genuinely entitled to the arms of O’Sullivan Mór then, regardless of the fact that The Chief Herald of Ireland would not be in a position to recognise his honours and titles, he ought nevertheless to be in a position to prove his right to the undifferenced arms of his ancestors. In eschewing the Irish Office of Arms and instead choosing to swim over to Malta, it would seem that the petitioner now has "official" recognition - for what it is worth!

I fear that The Chief Herald of Arms of Malta is allowing himself to be used. 

College of Arms Newsletter April 2024

 The latest College of Arms Newsletter for April 2024 is now online .

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