The Gathering 2013
Conceived by the Irish Government The Gathering Ireland 2013 was intended as a year-long celebration of everything Irish. With over 70 million people worldwide claiming Irish ancestry, The Gathering provided the perfect excuse to reach out to those overseas, their relatives, friends and descendants, to invite them home and celebrate their heritage.
In December 2012 Anne Cochrane-Townshend  contacted sixty-three members of the family all over the world inviting them to participate in this celebration with a Townsend/Townshend Gathering at Castletownshend at the end of June 2013.There was a good response and this page of the website serves as a commemoration of an outstandingly successful weekend, blessed with glorious weather (with only one unfortunate shower!) much enjoyed by members of the family from Ireland, the UK, USA, Canada, France and Singapore. Fortuitously every branch of the family was represented and the programme of events was kept simple with plenty of time for family chatter and gossip. It was a memorable and unique event and a huge debt of gratitude goes to Anne, her family and the staff at The Castle for all their hard work.
The Castle with those at The Gathering enjoying the afternoon sun
Forty-five descendants of Colonel Richard Townesend, with their families, attended the Gathering. They are shown below by generation.
- Michael Webb — descendant of Anna Townsend  — with his wife Melissa
- Desmond Walter Townshend [5B49] with his partner Miriam Burgess
- Diana Yussukovich [5B39] with her husband Stani
- Desmond Charles Townshend [5C27] with his wife Ruby
- Charlotte Townsend [6B60]
- Robert Salter-Townshend  with his wife Freda
- George Salter-Townshend  with his wife Gina
- Anne Cochrane-Townsend  with her husband Malcolm Cochrane
- Peter Salter-Townshend  with his partner Gerry
- Tom Somerville — descendant of Henrietta Townsend  — with his wife Jane
- Wendy Davies — granddaughter of Agnes Townsend  — with her husband Ken
- Robert Knox — grandson of Elizabeth (Zeenie) Townsend 
- Tony Knox — grandson of Elizabeth (Zeenie)Townsend 
- Richard Bridges — son of Margaret Townsend [5A23] — with his wife Julia
- John Townsend [5A26] with his wife Rosemary
- Veryan Young — granddaughter of Helen Agnes Townsend [5A14]
- Camilla Dinkell — granddaughter of Kathleen Townsend [5A15] — with her husband Michael Venner
- Amy Fletcher — granddaughter of Kathleen Townsend [5A15]
- Elizabeth Mary Townshend [5B54]
- Hugo Townshend [5C29] with his wife Jo-Anna
- Elisabeth Frances Townshend [5D67]
- Richard Salter-Townshend with his wife Karen
- Mark Salter-Townshend with his wife Anne
- Zoe Salter-Townshend
- Charlotte Salter-Townshend
- Justin Cochrane with his partner Sharon Poulter
- Andrew Cochrane
- Thomas Somerville
- Hal Somerville
- Tiggy Wiles [5A29]
- Richard Townsend [5A28] with his wife Jennifer
- Isabelle Townshend [5C40]
- Oliver Townshend [5C41]
- Abbie Salter-Townshend
- Laura Cochrane
- Anna Cochrane
- Taryn Gleeson [3A55]
- Sydney Newby
- Beatrice Wiles
- Eleanor Townsend [5A40]
- Fion Ponsonby
- Bella Ponsonby-Gleeson
- Oscar Ponsonby
- Tilly Gleeson
- Remi Gleeson
A genealogical table showing the relationship of those attending is given here.
Family Group Photo of those at the Gathering
© Anne Minnihane
Left to right, front to back: Robert Salter-Townshend. Robert Knox. Tilly Gleeson. Taryn Gleeson (holding Remi Gleeson). Tony Knox. Anna Cochrane. Malcolm Cochrane. Andrew Cochrane. Tiggy Wiles. Justin Cochrane. Rosemary Townsend. Freda Salter-Townshend. Beatrice Wiles. Melissa Webb. Eleanor Townsend. Michael Webb. John Townsend. Bella Ponsonby-Gleeson. Anne Cochrane-Townshend. Jennifer Townsend. Charlotte Townsend. Oscar Ponsonby. Richard Townsend. Ken Davies. Abbie Salter-Townshend. Sydney Newby. Desmond Walter Townshend. Mark Salter-Townshend. Fion Ponsonby. Miriam Burgess. Wendy Davies. Elisabeth Townshend. Hugo Townshend. Richard Bridges. Oliver Townshend. Amy Fletcher. Desmond Charles Townshend. Julia Bridges. Isabelle Townshend. Jo-Anna Townshend. Stani Yakussovich. Ruby Townshend. Camilla Dinkell. Zoe Salter-Townshend. Michael Venner. Laura Cochrane. Dinny Yakussovich. Charlotte Salter-Townshend. Sharon Poulter. George Salter-Townshend. Peter Salter-Townshend. Veryan Young.
Friday 28th June
- Champagne reception at The Castle
- Dinner at Mary Ann's restaurant in Castletownshend
Saturday 29th June
- Kayaking and boat trips around the harbour
- Croquet and bowls on the lawns at The Castle
- Visit to the Somerville residence at Drishane House, Castletownshend
- Visit the Edith Somerville Museum
- Tour of Drishane House gardens followed by teas
- Barbecue/buffet followed by live Irish music
Sunday 30th June
- Service in St Barrahane’s Church
- Conducted tour of the church and graveyard by the Churchwarden
- Conducted tour of the Castle
- Croquet and bowls followed by afternoon tea
- Farewell buffet supper
Anne Cochrane-Townshend with her granddaughters Laura (left) and Anna (right)
John Townsend (left) and Robert Salter-Townshend (right)
Desmond Charles Townshend and Elisabeth Frances Townshend
Richard Bridges (left), Robert Knox, and Tony Knox (right)
Elisabeth Frances Townshend (left), Charlotte Townsend, and Veryan Young (right)
Charlotte Townsend (left), Wendy Davies, and Sydney Newby (right)
Elizabeth Mary Townshend (left), Jane Somerville, Desmond Townshend and Miriam Burgess (right)
Jennifer Townsend (left), Ellie Townsend, and Richard Townsend (right)
Left to Right: Robert, Mark, Abbie, Karen, Freda, Richard, Anne (who took many of the photos shown on this page)
Desmond Walter Townshend (left) and Michael Webb (right)
Andrew Cochrane (left), Justin Cochrane, and Sharon Poulter (right)
Mark Salter-Townshend (left), Robert Salter-Townshend, Hugo Townshend (right)
Julia Bridges (left) and Elizabeth Mary Townshend (right)
Malcolm Cochrane (left) and Robert Knox (right)
Robert Salter-Townshend (left) and Hugo Townshend (right)
Charlotte Townsend (left) and Melissa Webb (right)
Left to right: Robert Salter-Townshend, Wendy Davies, Sydney Newby, and Richard Salter-Townshend
Michael Webb (left) and Richard Bridges (right)
Left to right: Jennifer Townsend, Bea Wiles, Ellie Townsend, Rosemary Townsend, John Townsend, Richard Townsend, and Tiggy Wiles
Left to right: Jo-Anna Townshend, Isabelle Townshend, Ruby Townshend, Dinny Yassukovitch, Michael Venner, and Camilla Dinkell
Tiggy Wiles and Mark Salter-Townshend
Ruby and Desmond Charles Townshend
Hugo Townshend (left) and Tom Somerville(right)
Tony Knox (left), Richard Bridges, and John Townsend (right)
Left to right: Sydney Newby, Jane Somerville, Ken Davies, and Wendy Davies
Camilla Dinkell and her husband Michael Venner
The 'Unfortunate' shower during Anne’s briefing on the history of
Left to right: Jo-Anna Townshend, Taryn Gleeson, Remi Gleeson, Thomas Somerville, Julia Bridges, Anne Cochrane-Townshend, Stanni Yassukovich (with brolly), Wendy Davies, Camilla Dinkell, Hal Somerville, and Tom Somerville
Report in the Southern Star
The Gathering was reported in The Southern Star as follows:
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.