Celebrating the Butlers

Kilkenny Castle was once again home to the Butlers last week as the Butler family gathering returned to the venue.

Kilkenny Castle was once again home to the Butlers last week as the Butler family gathering returned to the venue.

Butler family members from the likes of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the US, UK, Germany, France and Ireland gathered for the celebrations that took place from Tuesday through Saturday.

A special dinner in Kilkenny Castle on Saturday night saw 130 of the Butlers sharing a meal together.

It was a highly enjoyable event, said Butler Society honorary secretary Brenda Butler, an Arklow resident who first attended the Butler gathering as a child at the inaugural event in 1967, her father having served on the organising committee at the time.

This year’s gathering included a visit to Lisnavanagh, Rathvilly, County Carlow, home of Lord and Lady Rathdonnell, the latter of whom is a Butler; a barbecue in Ballintemple, County Carlow, the home of Sir Richard Butler, whose ancestor Pierce Butler was among the signatories of the US Declaration of Independence; and a visit to an old Ormonde castle in Carrick on Suir. They also visited Kilcash and Clonmel, both of which have strong Butler connections.

In Kilkenny, they enjoyed a meal at Zuni restaurant, and they heard a talk on genealogy in Rothe House.

They also had an evening of remembrance for the late Melosina Lennox-Conyngham, who served as the society’s secretary for many years. She was also a niece of Hubert Butler, whose works were celebrated in a reading of excerpts from his works by Trinity College Dublin professor Nicholas Grene.