Scotch-Irish / Ulster Scots Trip 2023

N. Ireland Clan Hannay Town Hall Meeting &

Ulster Scot Clan Hannay Dinner

Kilkeel, Co. Down, N. Ireland 29-30th May 2023

The Clan Hannay Society is pleased to announce a special Scotch-Irish educational trip, Town Hall Meeting and Ulster Scot Clan Dinner in Kilkeel, County Down, N. Ireland and invites all Hannas, Hannays, Hannahs, Hanneys and their ilk from near and far in Ireland and abroad to attend and learn more. This unique trip and dinner is open to Members and Non-Members of the Clan Hannay Society and immediately follows the annual Clan Gathering in Sorbie, Scotland that is taking place from the 26-28th May 2023.

The Scotch-Irish or Ulster Scots are a distinct group of people that descend from the original lowland Scottish Presbyterian settlers that ventured across the North Channel between Scotland and Ireland from the 17th century onwards. Many would subsequently re-emigrate further afield to north America and Australasia in the 18th and 19th centuries taking with them their desire for freedom, independence, religious self sufficiency as well as a vibrant aural and cultural heritage.

The main focus of our two day unique tour is Kilkeel, a fishing and farming town in rural southern County Down that happens to have the highest concentration of the Scottish surname ‘Hanna’ in the world today. It is situated in the scenic and world famous Mountains of Mourne region of the north of Ireland beloved of the writer of the Narnia stories, C.S. Lewis. It also has one of the oldest extant Clachan settlements in all of Ireland at Hanna’s Close one mile outside the town that was set up by a group of inter-related Hanna families in the late 17th century. It has been renovated and turned into Holiday Cottages and an Ulster Scots heritage site. This guided tour is an ideal opportunity to see and experience what the Scots who settled in Ulster went through in the last 400 years and how the crucible of Ireland shaped them for their journey to north America in particular with respect to their shared Scottish, Irish and British histories.

We will meet the Schomberg Society, a very vibrant and active local Ulster Scots group in Kilkeel, who have preserved their distinctive Scottish dialect and Ulster Scots culture, customs & traditions within a hardy community that has produced a long history of military service and tradition of emigration with hundreds of Hanna men, women and children moving to North America, Australia & beyond.

A N. Ireland Clan Hannay Dinner will be held in the Kilmorey Arms Hotel, Kilkeel on the evening of the 29th May 2023. This will be an ideal opportunity to meet with a wide range of Hanna/ys across Ireland as well as residents of Kilkeel. The Clan Town Hall Meeting beforehand is free to all and should be an ideal opportunity to hear about the Clan Hannay Society and share ideas as to how Clan Hannay can engage better with those who are interested in the north of Ireland and to listen to local needs.

Trip Itinerary

Monday 29th May 2023

11.30hr – 13.45hr – Depart from Cairnryan Ferry Terminal in Scotland on the Stenaline ferry to N. Ireland (arrive 1hr early; car parking @£5/day)
13.45hr – 17.00hr – Coach pickup in Belfast and Scotch-Irish tour of north Co. Down including Groomsport, Donaghadee and Ballynahinch arriving at the Kilmorey Arms Hotel in Kilkeel via the scenic coastal route
18:00hr – 19.00hr – Clan Hannay Town Hall Meeting in the Kilmorey Arms Hotel, Kilkeel
19.30hr – 22.00hr – Clan Hannay Ulster Scot Dinner with Schomberg Society Entertainment

Tuesday 20th May 2023

9.00hr – 10.00hr – Hanna’s Close 17th Century Ulster Scots Clachan Settlement visit, Kilkeel
10.00hr – 12.00hr – Introduction to the Schomberg Ulster Scot Society and visit to the Statue of Robert Hanna V.C., Kilkeel
12.00hr – 14.00hr – Lunch in Kilkeel and free time
14.00hr – 18.30hr – Scenic Tour of The MourneMountains and Scotch-Irish sites in Co. Down including Scarva and Hillsborough
19.30hr – 21.52hr – Return via Stena Ferry from Belfast back to Cairnryan Terminal

How to book

Full trip itinerary

Places for the full trip itinerary including the Clan Dinner are limited to 20 and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Tickets cost £75 per person and can be purchased here. Please note that your ticket does not include travel to and from Northern Ireland, or accommodation in Kilkeel, which must be booked separately (see below).

Return fare Cairnryan-Belfast costs c. £35-£40 each way and can be booked at Stena Ferries. Please reserve your foot passenger bookings immediately after booking your Tour ticket

The number of hotel rooms is limited and can be booked at the Kilmorey Arms Hotel in Kilkeel at the preferential rate of £85/night B&B for a single room and £120/night for a twin/double room. Please book directly with the hotel by email or phone, +44 (0)28417 62220, citing the Clan Hannay event bedroom rates. Please note that 15 rooms will be held at the hotel until 31st January 2023, so please book early to secure our preferential rate. Alternative B&B and other accommodation preferences in the Kilkeel region can be found on websites like www.booking.com.

Ulster Scot Clan Dinner only

Click here to purchase tickets for the Clan Hannay Three Course Ulster Scot Dinner on the 29th May. Please note these tickets are for the dinner only in Kilkeel and do not include any other activities. A full menu of multiple options to suit all tastes for the dinner involving excellent locally sourced Mourne produce can be downloaded here. You will be contacted after your booking to confirm your preferred choices. The Clan Hannay Town Hall Meeting in the Kilmorey Arms Hotel prior to the dinner is free and open to all.

Any questions or for further information please contact Keith Hanna to arrange this as space will be limited.

 

 

Checklist for Northern Ireland 2023

Checklist

Clan Hannay events will be included in the price of the tickets, but some transportation and accommodation are not. Please review this checklist carefully to make sure you have made the necessary preparations.

Event Tickets

The Clan Hannay Society has organised a series of events and meals as well as a coach to provide transport while we are in Northern Ireland. Tickets can be purchased here.  The excursion includes a special 3-course dinner for the evening of Monday the 29th of May. There is also an option to purchase only the meal without the rest of the tour.

Please note that your ticket does not include travel to and from Northern Ireland, or accommodation, which must be booked separately.

Transportation to Cairnyran

The excursion departs from Cairnyran, a ferry terminal a few miles north of Stranraer in Scotland.

You will need to provide your own method of transportation to Cairnyran. Some possibilities are:

  • If you have just attended the 2023 Gathering in Sorbie and Newton Stewart, share a ride with another Clan Hannay Society member!
  • If you are driving, Cairnyran is on the A77, about 7 miles North of Stranraer and 84 miles southwest of Glasgow.
  • If you are flying into Scotland specifically for the Ulster Scots trip you will likely land at Glasgow International Airport.  Cairnryan is 90 miles to the Southwest of the airport; the easiest solution is to rent a car and drive there.  Public transportation by bus and rail is infrequent and can take several hours and multiple connections.
  • Citylink runs buses from Glasgow and Glasgow Airport to Cairnyran several times a day. The trip is approximately four and a half hours.
  • Scotrail runs from Glasgow Central (in the heart of the city) to Stranraer Harbour.  From there, you will need to take a taxi or local bus to Cairnryan (about 4 miles). Total journey is about three and a half hours.

Return Ferry Trip from Cairnryan to Belfast

  • The Hannay group will be departing Cairnryan for Belfast on Monday 23 May, 2023, on the 11:30 am sailing.
  • We will be returning from Belfast to Cairnyran on Tuesday 20 May, 2023, on the 7:30 pm sailing.

You will need to purchase your own round-trip tickets for this trip. Tickets cost c. £35-£40 each way and can be booked at Stena Ferries.

Accommodation in Kilkeel

Rooms have been reserved at the Kilmorey Arms Hotel in Kilkeel at the preferential rate of £85/night B&B for a single room and £120/night for a twin/double room.

You will need to book your own accommodation directly with the hotel. Make sure you ask for the Clan Hannay event bedroom rate (valid if booked by 31st January, 2023).  Contact info is as follows:

 

2023 Clan Gathering – tickets now available!

The 2023 Gathering of the Clan Hannay Society will take place on 26-28th May and will be followed immediately by a special Scotch-Irish / Ulster Scots Historical and Cultural Trip to Kilkeel, Co. Down, N. Ireland from the 29-30th May for those of you interested in understanding your north Irish clan ancestors. As part of the tour an Ulster Scots Clan Hannay Dinner and Irish Clan Hannay Town Hall Meeting will be held in Kilkeel on the 29th May. Each event can be booked separately.

 

2023 Clan Gathering

A full program of events is planned, to include a reception in Sorbie Tower, the AGM of the Clan Hannay Society, a Dinner Dance and Clan games. Tickets are now available (please log in to view) and a full timetable of events can be seen further down this post.

The 2023 Gathering includes a repeat of the hugely successful reception at Sorbie Tower, which is a rare chance for members and their guests to see the tower by candlelight and with fires lit. The traditional elements of Piping in the Colours at Sorbie Tower, led by Clan Piper, David Hanna, a Dinner Dance on Saturday evening, along with a picnic and Clan games on Sunday also feature over the weekend. 

The Creebridge House Hotel in Newton Stewart is the venue for the Saturday night Dinner Dance, which will feature a traditional ceilidh along with a raffle and auction to raise money for the Tower Restoration Fund (donation of prizes very welcome, bring them along or contact the Clan Convenor).

On Sunday the grounds of Sorbie Tower will be the venue for a family picnic with Clan games. Bring your own food, drink and picnic rug, and simply enjoy the afternoon with other Clan members, or take part in the Clan games. There will be informal games such as badminton, horseshoes etc for all, and plenty of opportunity for children to burn off some excess energy! If you would like to donate a game, or funds to buy a game, to be kept at the Tower, then please contact the Clan Convenor.

The timetable for the Gathering is:

Friday 26th May

19:00 hrs. Reception at Sorbie Tower. Tickets £15 per person including wine (or soft drink) and nibbles. A chance to see the Tower by candlelight. Clan members and their guests welcome.

Saturday 27th May

10.30 hrs for 11.00 hrs. AGM. Garlieston Village Hall. Clan members and their guests welcome. Free of charge, no ticket required.

13.00 hrs. Buffet lunch following AGM. Tickets £15 per person. Clan members and their guests welcome.

15.00 hrs. Piping in the Colours at Sorbie Tower. Free of charge, no ticket required, all welcome.

18.30 hrs for 19.00 hrs prompt. Clan Dinner Dance at the Creebridge House Hotel, Newton Stewart. Tickets £30 per adult, £15 per child up to 12 years. Please note that under 12s will receive a child’s portion dinner. Clan members and their guests welcome.

Sunday 28th May

12.00 hrs onwards. Picnic with Clan games at Sorbie Tower. Bring your own picnic and watch or take part in the Clan games, which are open to all, adults and children. Free of charge, no ticket required, all welcome.

Accommodation

The Creebridge House Hotel is offering a special Bed and Breakfast rate for Clan members of £60 per night for a single room, and £80 per night for a double or twin room, if booked directly with the hotel before May 1st.

For information on accommodation, transport, places to eat and visitor attractions, go to the Visit Scotland website.

Some camping will be available on site. Contact Stephen Hanna to arrange this as space will be limited.

Clan Hannay Policy on Commercial Promotions

We have recently received several requests for promotion of external products and services. We also continue regularly to receive “spam” promotions masquerading as legitimate social media postings. As such, we feel we must remind visitors that:

The Clan Hannay Society has a policy of not allowing commercial advertising in its online presence (website and social media feeds).

 

Obituary: Michael Bennett

Michael K. Bennett
Died October 11, 2022.

We received the following obituary from Hanna Bennett concerning her father, Clan Hannay Society Life Member Michael K. Bennett.


Michael K. Bennett beloved father, brother and uncle died on October 11, 2022. He was 62 yrs. old.

Mike is survived by his daughter, brother and five nephews.

He was a Merchant Marine Officer and Chief Engineer. Sailing around the World, meeting and making new friends wherever he went. Always willing to give a hand when needed.

He will truly be missed.

World Scout Jamboree 2023 – Mark Hannay

Mark Hannay to attend World Scout Jamboree

When you hear the word “jamboree,” it’s not unlikely you think of the Scout Movement (or the Boy Scout Association). The word has become strongly associated with the impressive gathering of originally thousands, and now tens of thousands of scouts, held somewhere in the world every four years since 1920 (with only two exceptions based on disruptive world events). Host countries have included Sweden, Japan, the US, UK, Austria, Hungary, Thailand and Chile, among many others.

Our clan will be well represented at the event next year. Sixteen-year-old Mark Hannay, grandson of our Membership Secretary, Jacquie Hannay, and her husband Harry, has been selected to attend the 25th World Scout Jamboree at Saemangeum, South Korea. He is one of only 11 scouts selected from the Cheshire district in England, and he declares he feels honoured to have been given this opportunity.

At the event, he explains, “scouts camp in the host country and meet people from all kinds of places. This year over 40,000 scouts will attend. The jamboree allows young people such as myself an opportunity to travel to new places and experience cultures we have not experienced before.”

He also points out that the event allows young people to share ideas about important issues. “There will be a large focus on the environment this year, and we hope to bring new ideas for sustainability back to our various scout groups around the world.”

Mark and the other members of his district have been working hard to raise money to attend the event, an opportunity with a price tag of nearly £50,000. It is, of course, very expensive to send a large number of scouts to South Korea from around the world—and some of the amount Mark raises will also be used to allow scouts from lower-income countries to attend.

We all wish Mark a rewarding and enjoyable experience, but we can also support him more directly, by donating to the effort and helping to sponsor Mark, his district and others who do not have the means to pay. if you would like to help support this exciting effort, please visit http://wsjchester.org.uk and see the information in the “Donate” section. Please be sure to mention Hannay in the reference of any donations, so we know it’s from you!

 

Andrew Boyd Hannah (1864-1940) Scottish Footballer

 

Andrew Boyd Hannah was an early professional Scottish international footballer in the 19th century who played as a right back in both Scotland and England. Uniquely, he is the only player to have been captain of both Everton FC and Liverpool FC over his three separate spells in English football. He missed just two games in Everton’s 1890–91 English First Division title winning season.

He was born in Renton, Dumbartonshire, north west of Glasgow to Northern Irish emigrant parents from near Killinchy, County Down, Henry Hannah and Margaret Boyd. Henry worked in the Glasgow shipyards and eventually had his own dairy business to which Andrew was apprenticed. However, his penchant for the newly professional association football meant that he was signed for Renton FC.

He won the Scottish Cup twice with Renton and his team was even unofficial world champions after defeating English cup holders, West Bromwich Albion, in 1888. He was subsequently signed by WBA after they saw how good he was. By all accounts, he was an all-round athlete who also competed and won the ‘hop, step and leap’ in the Highland Games at Braemar.

Bizarrely, we also won a £10 wager by going into a Circus lions cage as a publicity stunt! He was married twice and had several daughters and a son. Some of his children emigrated to Canada. A few years ago his unmarked grave in Clydebank cemetery in Glasgow had a gravestone erected by representatives of Everton FC to which some of his descendants attended for its unveiling.

Shannon Bews from Canada is a Clan Member and his great, great, great granddaughter.

2022 Gathering: Annual General Meeting

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2022 Gathering: Final Report

And so the 2022 Gathering comes to an end.  Here’s one last look ’round at the Saturday event at Sorbie Tower, as well as some greetings videos from Clan members who could not attend in person.

Remember that you can support the restoration of Sorbie Tower by contributing to the Sorbie Tower Charity.

See you in May of 2023!


← Saturday Report

2022 Gathering: Saturday Report

In the afternoon, we held our traditional procession to Sorbie Tower, to the tune of “The Hannays Return to Sorbie”, played by Clan Piper David Hanna.  See the following VR video (use your mouse to move around in any direction).

In the evening, we gathered for dinner and socializing in Newton Stewart.  See the following abbreviated VR video (use mouse to move in any direction; sadly the streaming connection was cut off after about 20 minutes).


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