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Townshend gathering in Castletownshend

Tuesday, 6th August, 2013 2:47pm
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Townshend gathering in Castletownshend

A TOWNSHEND gathering took place at the Castle, Castletownshend from Friday, June 28th to July 1st, with people coming from as far away as Canada, France, Singapore, the UK, Donegal, Kerry, Meath and Dublin to attend.

Everyone who attended was from the ninth to the 13th generation from the original Richard Townsend, who settled in the area in 1649. All ages, from as young as three to as mature as 80, were represented at the gathering.

Proceedings got under way on the Friday, with 53 people getting together for bubbly and snacks from 6 to 8pm in the marquee beside the castle. This was followed by a meal in Mary Ann's function room, where some 30 people enjoyed a delightful four-course meal.

On Saturday, breakfast in the castle was followed by kayaking and boat trips around Castlehaven Harbour. Lunch at Mary Ann’s was followed by a visit to Drishane House, where owners Tom and Jane Somerville made all feel at home. Tom Somerville also has Townshend blood from his great-great-great-grandmother. In the evening, a well-attended barbecue in the marquee was followed by live music from Ronnie Carthy and Derry Moynihane.

On Sunday, after a service in St Barrahane’s Church of Ireland at 9.30am, church warden Robert Salter-Townshend gave all a conducted tour of the church and graveyard, where they all had relatives buried. On Sunday afternoon the group received a tour of the castle while afternoon tea and a buffet supper in the marquee were enjoyed by all.


The gathering ended on the Monday, when many sad farewells took place.

‘Everyone should do a family gathering this year and try to bring their relations from other parts of the world back to Ireland’, said Anne Cochrane-Townshend, owner of the castle. ‘I can thoroughly recommend it!’

She extended thanks to her relations for coming, with a special note of gratitude to UK-based Colonel John Townsend, without whose help the gathering would never have happened.

Anne also thanked her ‘huge team of helpers’ and her husband Malcolm, sons Justin and Andrew, and granddaughters Laura and Anna, who flew over from the UK to support the event.