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 35 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

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.