2014 Gathering Report

Shamrock Flag 3The Sixth Towey Gathering
was held at Durkin’s, The Square, Ballaghaderreen, Co Roscommon, Ireland on Friday to Sunday  22 — 24 August, 2014. Many family members and friends came from Ireland, US, UK, China and Australia. Gathering success was due to the dedication of Clan committee members, under the leadership of Chairperson, Mike Towey, of Dublin. See our program at 2014 Bifold Schedule.

The SquareFour AltarsTowey StoreTowey Service Station

Shamrock Flag 3Friday Evening, 22 August

The Towey AGM Business Meeting was conducted

1. Executive Committee members were elected:


2. Continuing Honorary Officers:


3. Next Gathering
Our next Towey Gathering is in 2017 in Ballaghaderreen during the weekend of 25, 26, 27 August 2017. We have high hopes that dozens of Toweys and Towey descendants around the world will attend, inclusive of us with variant family names (see our Home Page).

4. Displays
On a display stand were our 2014 Bifold Schedule,  several historical maps of Ireland, notes on the death of Lord Nelson and suggestion of a possible connection to a John Towey of Ballaghaderreen, plus notes about Haemochromatosis (blood iron overload) (Haemochromatosis affects about one in five Irish of Celtic descent).

Shamrock Flag 3Saturday Morning, 23 August

Memorial Mass for Deceased Towey Ancestors

Brusna Church

Brusna Church and School

We participated in a Memorial Mass for Deceased Toweys at the Brusna Church by Father Tommy Towey. Other participants were Eileen Towey-Collins, Birmingham, UK  – 1st reading and Sheila Towey-Sneezum  – 2nd reading. Prayer petitions in memory of deceased Toweys were read by Mike Towey, Dublin.

  • Father Tommy inspired us with his heart-felt homily about our beloved ancestors and with his appropriate readings.
  • Two school girls, Caoimhe Towey of Knocknacunnyy Road and Jessica Towey of Crenane, sang beautiful hymnal music during Mass.
  • Eileen Towey-Keegan  of Brusna School, led the sale of copies of the school’s historical book, “Gathering the Memories – The Story of Brusna.”  Chapters written by local citizens describe local historical experiences and their past family living. It is an extremely useful publication in association with genealogical studies.
  • After mass, we adjourned by invitation of the owner Kathleen Horan to the nearby Brusna Inn. Tea and refreshments were made available.
  • Brusna is an area northwest of Barnaboy where a hundred Toweys lived, attended Church and their children were schooled.

Shamrock Flag 3Saturday Afternoon 23 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 20 riders, of Ballaghaderreen and surrounding area where the majority of Towey ancestors lived in 1800s.

Mike pointed out the following historical sites and led walking stops at Brusna Church, Derrinacartha Church, Carrontemple Graveyard, and Four Altars:

  • 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
  • Bockagh Hill with views of Lough Gara and five counties
  • Attaintaggart Townland, where priests rock is located
  • Broher Townland
  • Derrinacartha Townland
  • Derrinabrock School and ruins of Miller Towey ancestral home and mill
  • Cloonmeen Townland, birthplace of Patrick Tuohy famous artist’s father
  • Carrontemple cemetery with ancient Celtic stone drawings
  • The Four Altars hilltop where Mass was celebrated in open air during Penal Law times when Catholics were forbidden to worship in Church
  • Bishops House in Edmondstown
  • Kilcolman Cemetery

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 on website www.ballaghaderreen.com

Shamrock Flag 3Saturday Evening 23 August

Ceili Social Evening

The Saturday night social began at

Mike Eileen, Mary

Mike Towey, Eileen Towey-Collins, Mary Towey-Ratto

8 p.m. with with Caroline Hassett, Patrick Hassett, John Ratto, Brigid Smart (Tuohy) and Mike Towey receiving guests and updating registrations from attendees.

  • Chairperson Mike 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. Amy Towey granddaughter of Johnny Towey, the bandleader, danced the Broom Dance and other Sean Nos dances. Ann Gavaghan sang. Others played the 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 dancingand others.
  • From the audience came Malachy Towey playing the Bodhran and singers Chris Lynot and Mike Towey who further enhanced the evening with their talent.
  • Let us honor the oldest Towey attendees — Malachy Towey, 97, from Chicago, IL and his sister Isadora, 83.

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, payable by check, Euro or international money order.

Shamrock Flag 3 Sunday Morning, 24 August
Genealogy Discussion

  • Mike Towey, Dublin, Ireland, provided a Genealogy briefing, a copy of which is at Create My Irish Family Tree.
  • Among attendees was Brigid Smart (Tuohy) of Manchester, England whose relatives were originally from Cloonmeen, Cloontia (located at top of our Coach Route Map. Her parents also owned a house on Market Street in Ballaghaderreen. She is also a relative of Patrick Tuohy, a famous Irish artist born in Cloontia. They also believe her Tuohy ancestors were, long ago, banished from Cork during the Desmond Rebellion
  • On a side table were posters of historical interest that included a 1894 map of Ballaghaderreen town, railway photos, farmland maps of Barnaboy and Attaintaggart, Brusna School & church photos, and old Catholic churches & cemeteries
  • Handouts on a poster table included a 1901 Ireland census of Toweys, a chronological outline of Ireland history, several maps of historical Ireland, the Towey Y-DNA Project and other historical information. Contact wtowey5953@aol.com if you wish copies of the handouts for email to you.

  Shamrock Flag 3Photos of 2014 Coach Tour

Slan go foill