Pat Byrne and Chieftain Val Byrne, 1992 Clan Rally.
Pat Byrne of Florida arrived in Ireland out of the blue in 1992 to attend the Rally in Aughrim. This resulted in the creation of a significant contribution to the relatively newly formed Clan's presence in the USA. Pat actually brought with him a computer which he donated to the Clan, a major contribution at that time. On his return home he then set about setting up a Clan website aimed at the Byrnes of America and which is still operating to this day. I had a call from Pat in 1993, he was all excited and was coming to Ireland immediatly and to book him a room , which I did. He was hardly in his room when he rang me, again all excited ! His bedroom was overlooking the Downes Hill which he had discovered in his researches was the Inauguation site of the Byrnes of Crioch Branach, called " An Dun Cailleach Beara ". The following day we climbed the hill but no remains were visible ( the English authorities of around 1600's broke up most of these sites ) However on our way up the hill, hidden in all the trees , was a stone wall fortification stretching about 200 ft long and about 4to 6 ft high. In the cente of the wall a V shaped ' lookout post ' was constructed. Standing in the V you could overlook the Pass of the Glen of the Downes, which in the early Tudor times was the major access road to the South and therefore of significant strategic importance. This could well have been the reason for the out of proportion importance the Downes Byrnes had in the election of Chieftains of Crioc Branach and also why their inauguration site was located in this spot. Further research is ongoing but we thank Pat for his contributions. > join the Downes climb > for more on the Downes Byrnes > current USA web site> back to 1992 rally