2016 Crowley Clan Gathering in Bantry
by Marian Crowley Chamberlain, Crowley Clan Newsletter, November 2016
On the evening of September 16th, Crowleys from around the world walked in the front door of J.J. Crowley's Pub in Bantry, Cork, Ireland, and the Crowley Gathering began. The weather outside was windy and rainy, but the atmosphere in J.J's back room was warmer than a summer day in Australia. And there were Australians there who could testify to that!
J.J. out did himself in generosity with platters of fruit and cheese and glasses of red or white wine for his international and local cousins. Irish dancers entertained with traditional dances, and Crowleys were encouraged to join in.
Everyone managed to be awake and prepared to board three of Martin Crowley's coaches in the morning for a ride through the countryside to tour historical sites. It was a "soft' morning, but Crowleys were dressed for the weather with raincoats and umbrellas.
Taoiseach Michael-Patrick Crowley drew from his extensive knowledge of the history of Ireland to explain how the Crowleys came to County Cork and what were the advantages of a round fort.
The rain paused long enough for Crowleys to make a thorough inspection of their one-time ancestral homes and to admire the lovely Irish scenery.
The group also toured the graveyard and round tower at Kinneigh.
After a pub lunch, Crowleys continued on to Ahakeera for an outdoor Mass on the site of the Crowley castle. After Mass, the Crowley Clan Council stopped by the Ahakeera Community Center and made a €150 donation.
The traditional Crowley Clan Banquet was held Saturday evening at the Maritime Hotel in Bantry. The Banquet is always a time of camaraderie and celebration for the clan. This year was no exception. Attendees were encouraged to wear traditional Gaelic dress, and a number of Crowleys arrived in kilts and Munster plaid scarves.
The Maritime Hotel outdid itself in the culinary department. Keynote speakers were Kevin Vickers, the Canadian Ambassador to Ireland, and An tUas Gearóid Ó Ceallaigh, Chairperson of the Clans of Ireland.
Sunday's field trip began with a bus ride to the Beara Peninsula known for its wildly beautiful scenery. Once again the day dawned windy and rainy. And, once again the Crowleys were up for the challenge. First there was a tour of Kilcatherine Graveyard followed by lunch and a tour of the Copper Mine Museum. The final stop was at the ruins of the O'Sullivan castle at Dunboy. This dramatic scene was the backdrop for the changing of the Crowley Clan Taoiseach.
After three successful years, Michael-Patrick Crowley of Paris handed over the title of Taoiseach to Patrick Crowley, MD of Kilkenny.
See photos from the event (Click Photo below):