Amina's family play traditional generation game in Ballybunion

Marisa Reidy

AN annual gathering that goes back generations continued in Ballybunion at the weekend, when family and friends of Athea woman Amina Parkes made the most of a spectacular weekend in the seaside town.

Amina's daughter, Trish Joy from Ballyduff, explained that the tradition began many years ago when their relations - the O'Connor Browne families - used to organise informal gatherings at the same time every year, meeting up at what were then Daly's Seaweed Baths.

When the boom times began, however, more and more families began to jet off on foreign holidays, so Amina, her brother Ted Browne and cousin Seamus O'Connor, set about organising an official gathering for her family and friends and so the Ballybunion Gathering was formed.

On Saturday and Sunday over 150 people once again made their annual trip to Ballybunion, some travelling from Australia, New Zealand, Africa and even Madagascar.

The party began with dinner in the Cliff House Hotel on Saturday night, followed by the now customary barbecue and bonfire on the Men's Beach on Sunday - with the rain holding off for the first time in seven years.

"It was an amazing weekend once again and it's important we pay tribute to Amina for putting it all together, because a lot of work goes into this each year," her daughter Trish told The Kerryman.

"It's a great way for people to meet up and it's now become popular not only with our family, but with close friends and even their friends."


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