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Bellew clan keep tradition alive in Julianstown

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Pat and Marita Bellew

Pat and Marita Bellew

Pat and Marita Bellew

The Bellews gathered for their sixth reunion on recently at Dardistown Castle near Julianstown. Bellews came from Louth, Meath, Armagh and Galway. A couple from America, Frances and Norman Poole, timed their visit to Ireland to coincide with the gathering. They celebrated 60 years of marriage the previous day. Frances's mother is a Ballew, spelt with an 'a', who is now 97 years old.

Bellews from the Dundalk area also attended, including Harry Bellew, Seamus Bellew (Blackrock), Pat and Marita Bellew, Maisie and Lisa McGuinness (Bellurgan) as well as Bryan and Rosemary Bellew (Barmeath).

Ballyneety-man, Chris Ryan gave a talk on the Sarsfield-Bellew connection and on Sarsfield who campaigned for the Jacobite side. John Bellew (1522-1600) of Bellewstown and Castletown married as his third wife, Genet Sarsfield who came from the neighbouring village of Sarsfieldstown next to Dardistown.

Chris detailed the life and six husbands of Genet Sarsfield and how she built on an extension to her daughter's house at Dardistown. Her daughter Katherine Shillingford was married to Thomas Talbot who lived there.

Local historian, John McCullen took the group through the tower house that was built by Richard Cornwalsh in 1465. A copy of the book 'The Field Names of County Louth' was presented to Lizanne Allen who hosted the gathering. Musicians from Galway provided some tunes and Lisa McGuinness also sang beautifully.

Irish Independent