The Gathering 2013

Townsend coat-of-arms
Townshend 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 [273] 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

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.

9th Generation

10th Generation

11th Generation

12th Generation

13th Generation

A genealogical table showing the relationship of those attending is given here.

Family Group Photo of those at the Gathering

The Castle

© 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

Saturday 29th June

Sunday 30th June

Photographic Memories

Anne, Laura & Anna

Anne Cochrane-Townshend with her granddaughters Laura (left) and Anna (right)

John & Robert

John Townsend (left) and Robert Salter-Townshend (right)

Desmond & Elisabeth

Desmond Charles Townshend and Elisabeth Frances Townshend

Richard, Robert & Tony

Richard Bridges (left), Robert Knox, and Tony Knox (right)

Elisabeth, Charlotte & Veryan

Elisabeth Frances Townshend (left), Charlotte Townsend, and Veryan Young (right)

Charlotte, Wendy & Sydney

Charlotte Townsend (left), Wendy Davies, and Sydney Newby (right)

Elizabeth, Jane, Desmond & Miriam

Elizabeth Mary Townshend (left), Jane Somerville, Desmond Townshend and Miriam Burgess (right)

Jennifer, Ellie & Richard

Jennifer Townsend (left), Ellie Townsend, and Richard Townsend (right)

Salter-Townshends together

Salter-Townshends together
Left to Right: Robert, Mark, Abbie, Karen, Freda, Richard, Anne (who took many of the photos shown on this page)

Desmond & Michael

Desmond Walter Townshend (left) and Michael Webb (right)

Andrew, Justin & Sharon

Andrew Cochrane (left), Justin Cochrane, and Sharon Poulter (right)

Mark, Robert & Hugo

Mark Salter-Townshend (left), Robert Salter-Townshend, Hugo Townshend (right)

Julia & Elizabeth

Julia Bridges (left) and Elizabeth Mary Townshend (right)

Malcolm & Robert

Malcolm Cochrane (left) and Robert Knox (right)

Robert & Hugo

Robert Salter-Townshend (left) and Hugo Townshend (right)

Charlotte & Melissa

Charlotte Townsend (left) and Melissa Webb (right)

Robert, Wendy, Sydney & Richard

Left to right: Robert Salter-Townshend, Wendy Davies, Sydney Newby, and Richard Salter-Townshend

Michael & Richard

Michael Webb (left) and Richard Bridges (right)

John Townsend & Family

Left to right: Jennifer Townsend, Bea Wiles, Ellie Townsend, Rosemary Townsend, John Townsend, Richard Townsend, and Tiggy Wiles

Mixed Townshends

Left to right: Jo-Anna Townshend, Isabelle Townshend, Ruby Townshend, Dinny Yassukovitch, Michael Venner, and Camilla Dinkell

Tiggy & Mark

Tiggy Wiles and Mark Salter-Townshend

Ruby & Desmond

Ruby and Desmond Charles Townshend

Hugo & Tom

Hugo Townshend (left) and Tom Somerville(right)

Tony, Richard & John

Tony Knox (left), Richard Bridges, and John Townsend (right)

Sydney, Jane, Ken & Wendy

Left to right: Sydney Newby, Jane Somerville, Ken Davies, and Wendy Davies

Camilla & Michael

Camilla Dinkell and her husband Michael Venner

The Rainshower

The 'Unfortunate' shower during Anne’s briefing on the history of The Castle.
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.