Members of the extended Butler family visit Ormond Castle in Carrick on Suir
Ninety members of The Butler Society, including descendants of the Dukes of Ormonde from all over the world, visited Carrick-on-Suir's newly re-opened Ormond Castle and Kilcash over the Bank Holiday Weekend.
The tourists with a special family connection with Ormond Castle and Kilcash Castle were attending the Golden Jubilee Rally of The Butler Society based in Kilkenny.
And it was a timely visit for the group. Ormond Castle was officially re-opened two weeks ago by Minister of State for the OPW Kevin "Boxer" Moran following the completion of a €2m renovation project that took more than two and half years.
The Butler Society's Honorary Treasurer John Kirwan said the Golden Jubilee rally was attended by members of the Butler family from the UK, USA, New Zealand, Australia, France and Germany.
A family group of Ormonde descendants led by Lady Cynthia Hammer, one of the two daughters of Charles Butler, 7th Marquess of Ormonde (1899-1997), were amongst the 120 people who attended the Rally that kicked off with an official reception in Kilkenny Castle on Friday evening.
On Saturday, two bus loads of Butler Society members travelled to Carrick-on-Suir to do a tour of Ormond Castle and were quite impressed by the work the OPW has done on the Elizabethan manor house.
"I am going to visit the Castle in the next few days. I have heard the OPW has re-rendered the exterior walls so I am looking forward to seeing that," said Mr Kirwan, an historian and archivist, who did an MA thesis on Black Tom, the 10th Earl of Ormonde, who built Ormond Castle's manor house.
After the Butler Society's tour of Ormond Castle, they travelled to Kilcash, the home of Kilcash Castle, another Butler stronghold.
Mr Kirwan said the party enjoyed lunch in Kilcash Community Hall before visiting Kilcash Castle, which has also undergone recent conservation by the OPW.
"Kilcash has been are regular place to visit in the Butler rallies," said Mr Kirwan.
"The community in Kilcash is always very good to us. They treat us very well. They always provide entertainment to the people attending the rallies, who love going there because the entertainment is of the home grown variety; natural and country."