Hanna Gathering in the News

The Mourne Observer printed the following article on p. 23 of the Wednesday, 3 May, 2023 issue.

Kilkeel will play host to international gathering of the Hannas

By Julie Mclaughlin (julie @ mourneobserver.com)

An international gathering of people with the surname Hanna will be taking place in Kilkeel towards the end of this month. The Clan Hannay Society is hosting a special Hanna gathering to enable people with the surname Hanna to get together and meet one another. The Clan Hannay Society is an organisation “dedicated to global fellowship and friendship of all those bearing or descended from the family names Hannay, Hannah, Hanna or Hanney”, their website, Clanhannay.org, says. The organisation was founded in 1960. The society even has published a history of the Hanna family, “The Hannays of Sorbie” by Stewart Francis, which is available on Amazon. All people with the surnames Hanna, Hannay, Hannah, Hanney and similar are invited to attend two special days of events taking place at the end of May.

An international gathering of people with the surname Hanna will be visiting Hanna’s Close in Kilkeel at the end of May to learn more about the Hanna family in south Down.

People do not have to be members of the Clan Hannay Society to attend. The Northern Ireland event is timed to take place directly after the annual Clan Gathering, which is taking place in the village of Sorbie, Scotland, the last weekend in May. According to the organisers, “This is therefore a unique opportunity to meet with kinspeople with a shared historical and genetic connection and to find out more about one of the most active Scottish clan societies.”

The main focus of the two days of events will be Kilkeel, which according to the Clan Hannay, has the highest concentration of the surname Hanna in the world. The two-day schedule starts with a coach tour of County Down on the afternoon of Monday, 29 May. That evening at 6pm will be the Clan Hannay Town Meeting at the Kilmorey Arms Hotel in Kilkeel. This will be followed by a Clan Hannay Ulster-Scots dinner with entertainment by the Schomberg Society.

“We will use this opportunity to have an American-style town hall meeting for the clan leadership to present where the Clan Hannay Society is after over 50 years of existence and the future direction at both Sorbie Tower, our ancestral home, “and with our sister societies around the world,” a spokesperson said. “This will be a wonderful opportunity to meet and share with Hannas, Hannahs, Hanneys and Hannays from across the British Isles and beyond as well as a time for an open Q and A session with the clan leadership and to meet with the clan historian and clan genealogist. “Many of the original founders of the Clan Hannay Society from Northern Ireland have sadly passed away but we think this event will offer a chance to discuss future directions and to see if there is interest in rekindling local Clan Hanna activities in Ulster and across Ireland.”

The Clan Hannay Society will stop to see the Robert Hanna statue in Kllkeel during a tour of local sights.

On Tuesday, 30 May, there will be a visit to Hanna’s Close from 9 to 10am. At 10am there will be an introduction to the Schomberg Ulster-Scots Society, which will include a stop at the Sgt Major Robert Hill Hanna statue at Lower Square, Kilkeel. He received the Victoria Cross for his heroism in World War I.

On the Tuesday afternoon, there will be a scenic tour of the Mourne Mountains, Scarva and Hillsborough. For those who wish to attend the town hall meeting, it is free and no tickets are required.

Tickets for the dinner at the Kilmorey Arms are £33 for adults and£8.50 for children. They can be purchased online at clanhannay.org/product/kilkeel-dinner-tickets and the deadline for booking is 22 May. There is an £8 supplement payable on the night for those who order the sirloin steak meal.

Tickets for the entire two-day Scotch-Irish/Ulster Scots Historical and Cultural Trip to Kilkeel, which includes the dinner at the Kilmorey Arms, is £75 per person. Tickets can be purchased online at clanhannay.org/product/kilkeel-tickets.

For more information, contact Keith Hanna by email at postmaster @ kdehannaithe.plus.com.