Wednesday 16 October 2019

Brownes gather for Bridgetown festival

Members of the Browne family
Members of the Browne family
The parade crossing the bridge to Kathleen’s house
Dr Ivor Browne who unveiled the plaque
John Rochford polishing the steam engine

Maria Pepper

The renowned psychiatrist Dr. Ivor Browne, unveiled a plaque in memory of his aunt on the house where she was born, at the Kathleen Browne Arts and Literary Festival in Bridgetown, which drew large crowds including many family members of the legendary politician, writer, historian and farmer who was County Wexford's first woman Senator.

Dr. Browne, regarded as the father of Irish psychiatry, gave a talk about mental health to senior students at Bridgetown Vocational College on Friday afternoon, encouraging them to look after their hearts as well as their minds, while Kathleen's cousin Bernard Browne, the historian outlined her political career.

The 90-year-old Dr. Browne. also spoke to a rapt adult audience after the screening of the film 'Meetings with Ivor' in the AOH Hall which was introduced by his son Ronan, the well-known Uilleann piper, answering questions at length about mental illness and drug-free healing and covering some of the topics contained in his book Music and Madness published in 2008.

On Saturday, a parade moved through the village to Norah Doyle's house for the unveiling and the presentation of prizes to the winners of children's competitions by Kathleen's nephew Peter Browne, former presenter of The Rolling Wave on RTE and Bernard Browne, signalling the start of a busy festival programme with Dr. Ivor climbing onto a steam engine owned by Willie Rochford and engaging in some sword play with Latimerstown relative Eleanor Doyle.

Wexford People

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