2017 Gathering Report

The 2017 Towey Gathering  was held at Durkin’s, The Square, Ballaghaderreen, Co Roscommon, Ireland, on Friday 25 August 2017 through Sunday 27 August, 2017.   Many family members and friends came from Ireland, US, UK, and other countries. Gathering success was due to the dedication of Clan committee members, under the leadership of Chairperson, Mike Towey, of Dublin. See our program at 2017-bifold-schedule

Of interest is that one Towey family of 17 members from the USA, toured Ireland via O’Hara Coaches for the week then attended the Gathering weekend in Ballaghaderreen.  Planning and arrangements began one year before the 2017 Gathering.

Durkin's Hotel, The Square   

Friday Evening, 25 August
The Towey AGM Business Meeting was conducted

1. Executive Committee members were elected or chosen:

 

2. Continuing Honorary Officers:

 

3. Next Gathering
Our next Towey Gathering will be scheduled for Ballaghaderreen, Ireland, in the summer of 2020. We have high hopes that dozens of Toweys and family descendants around the world will attend, inclusive of us with variant family surnames.

4. Haemochromatosis
Mike Towey, Dublin, Ireland made a strong presentation and provided handouts about Haemochromatosis, which is a hereditary blood overload disorder.  It affects about one in five Irish since we are of Celtic descent.  Most common symptoms are chronic fatigue, joint pain, diabetes, irregular heartbeat, enlarged liver and loss of libido.  A simple blood test confirms iron overload and treatment is simply via Phlebotomy (blood withdrawal).


Friday Afternoon, 25 August
Walking Tour in Ballaghaderreen

Mike Towey led a group of Gathering attendees on a tour of many historic sights in Ballaghaderreen, including St Nathy’s Cathedral, Old Graveyard, the old Hydro Power Station, the Fairgreen, old Rent Office (now Partridge’s House), the Shambles (old Market Yard), De La Salle first level school, the Technical collage (now amalgamated with St. Nathys College), St Nathy’s College, the Barracks and the old Railway Station and site of the Old Creamery.


Saturday Morning, 26 August
Memorial Mass for Deceased Towey Ancestors

We participated in a Memorial Mass for Deceased Toweys at St Colman’s Derrinacartha Church read by Father Tommy Towey.

  • Mass readers were Alex Fishman, Tampa, FL  – 1st reading and Lisa Taylor  – 3rd reading.
  • Prayer petitions in memory of deceased Toweys were read by Mike Towey.
  • Father Tommy inspired us with his heart-felt homily about our beloved ancestors and with his most fitting readings.
  • Derrinacartha is a a townland just northwest of Ballaghaderreen where many Toweys practiced their religion.

Saturday Afternoon 26 August
Coach tour of local area

Mike Towey, Clan Taoiseach, who was born and raised in the area, guided and narrated  a coach trip, with 30 riders, of Ballaghaderreen and surrounding townlands where the majority of Towey ancestors lived in 1800s.

Mike pointed out the following historical sites throughout the 2½ hour couch tour:

  • Dillon Home, now occupied by the Western Development Commission and Ballaghaderreen Branch Library
  • St Mary’s Hall
  • St Nathy’s Cathedral and St Nathy’s College
  • Power House
  • Old Grave Yard
  • Fairgreen
  • Shambles
  • Old road through Ballaghaderreen
  • Flannery Bar burned by Black and Tans in September 1920
  • Bianconi Coach Stop
  • Ballaghaderreen Railway Station, closed in 1963
  • De La Salle School
  • Technical School, Convent and Industrial School
  • Castlemore’s flax mill ruins being rebuilt into apartments
  • Barnaboy Townland
  • Brusna Church and School
  • Bohalis Townland
  • Tonraegee Townland and school
  • Bockagh Hill with views of Lough Gara and five counties
  • Attaintaggart Townland, where priests Mass rock is located
  • Broher Townland
  • Carrontemple cemetery with ancient Celtic stone drawings
  • The Four Altars where Mass was celebrated in open air during Penal Law times when Catholics were forbidden to worship in Church
  • Kilcolman Cemetery

 

At north end of Barnaboy townland, upon special request, O’Hara Coaches stopped opposite the Brusna Church and School for a view and photo of Patrick and Martin Towey’s 35 acre farmland listed in the Griffith’s Valuation Survey of 1856.  Patrick was Great Grandfather of Bill Towey, Stockton, CA whose 19 family members attended the Gathering.

To view or print a copy of the tour route, look at our Coach Route Map.
Some historical information and pictures of the area are available at website www.ballaghaderreen.com


Saturday Evening 26 August
Ceili Social Evening

The Saturday night social began at 8 p.m. with Caroline Hassett, Patrick Hassett and Mike Towey receiving guests and updating registrations from attendees.

  • Chairperson Pat Towey warmly welcomed everyone to the festivities and acknowledged those involved in planning the Gathering.
  • Johnny Towey Band played traditional Irish music, encouraging song and dance to which everyone eagerly responded.
  • We had many waltzes, the Siege of Ennis, Shoe the Donkey, The Stack of Barley and other dances.  Women and men from the audience, plus Mike, sang Irish songs.
  • There was also Toweys playing a tin whistle and spoons.
  • View the types of Irish dancing by using your Internet Search block for step dancing ireland, for set dancing Ireland, Sean Nos dancing, Siege of Ennis dancing and others.

Malachy Towey with Chieftain Mike Towey

 

Let us honor the oldest Towey attendee — Malachy Towey, 96, from Chicago, IL who regularly played the Bodhran

Tom Coppinger recorded the Saturday festivities and produced a DVD. Contact TomCoppinger@Eircom.net or 0872255408/(09498)60481. His address is Clover Terrace, Ballaghaderreen, Price €20, or US $25.00, payable by check, Euro or international money order.


Sunday Morning, 27 August
Genealogy Discussion

Mike Towey, Dublin, Ireland, and Bill Towey, Stockton, California, led discussion of  Irish Genealogy charts and a DNA analysis, upon displaying the following:

  • Genealogy charts of Mark Towey (b 1709) and his 1,682 descendants, as extracted from genealogy databases compiled by Richard E. Towey, Clan Genealogist (2001 to 2012) and Janet Towey Mann (Clan Secretary (2004 to 2010) (both deceased).
  • A 1894 map and old photos of Ballaghaderreen town
  • 1856 farmland maps of Barnaboy and Attaintaggart townlands listing Towey tenants
  • Historical maps and chronological history of Ireland
  • Brusna School & Church photos
  • Old local Catholic abbeys  & cemeteries
  • A DNA ancestral analysis of one Towey family was presented and compared with common spittle analysis as performed by two ancestry companies.
    • Dicks and Janets genealogy records clearly identify their Irish and German heritage.
    • DNA analysis of their brother’s saliva by two ancestry companies identified a much wider heritage range, to include Great Britain, Scandinavia, Iberian Peninsula and possibly Polish and Russian.

A DVD was made available that contained files of a wide variety of genealogical Towey family and a ton of historical Ireland data
Contact wtowey5953@aol.com if you wish the DVD or any specific poster files to be emailed to you.

Photos of 2017 Gathering 

Saturday Evening

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Slan go foill