The Madden Cousin Gathering was held last weekend in Roscrea and Birr. Over 100 direct descendants from far and wide came together for the event, some crossing continents, so they could retrace the lineage of Michael Madden and Mary Anne Lowry.
The merchant families had prominent shops in both Roscrea and Birr over several generations. Michael Madden, 1842 – 1921, had eight children and it was his great grand children who gathered to make and renew acquaintances. The weekend event involved a tour of East Galway O’Madden territory – including a tour of the O’Madden Cloghan Castle and Meelick church.
In Roscrea the cousins retraced the visit by Alan M. Buck an Irish-American author and broadcaster, and son of Anne Madden, Main Street, Roscrea. His book, “When I was a boy in Ireland”, was published in New York in 1935 and relates wonderful tales of life in Ireland in the early nineteenth century. His tale of Roscrea from 1917 includes a visit to the Round Tower, to St Cronan’s church and convent, and possibly the highlight, a visit to the Roscrea Bacon factory. Saturday started with a book reading in Roscrea Castle and culminated that night with a celebration concert and meal at the ancestral home at Main Street, Roscrea.
Members of Edward L. Madden and Michael Madden, Birr and Roscrea attended from across Ireland, the US and Switzerland. Other cousins included the McGaurans, O’Mearas, O’Connors, Maddens of Cork, Philbins, Prices, McCanns, Mitchells, Merrys, McDonalds, Tobins, and Bucks.