independent

Tuesday 17 July 2018

Golden moment for US couple

Gerri Offsharick, from Atlanta, whose grandfather Jim was from Castlebridge, and her husband Jack, celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in The Sky and The Ground
Gerri Offsharick, from Atlanta, whose grandfather Jim was from Castlebridge, and her husband Jack, celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in The Sky and The Ground

Maria Pepper

Gerri Offsharick and her husband Jack travelled from America to Wexford to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary at the Sky and the Ground.

Gerri is a granddaughter of Jim Doyle of Ardcolm, Castlebridge, who emigrated to Philadelphia in 1910 at the age of 18 and met and married Lizzie Dempsey, also a native of Castlebridge.

They went on to have eight daughters and a son, James, a fire fighter, who is commemmorated at City Hall in Philadelphia, following his tragic death in a chemical fire when he was in his thirties.

While Jim Doyle never returned to Wexford, his granddaughter Gerri reconnected with her ancestra roots in the 1980's when she and her aunt Dolly, Jim's daughter, arrived in Wexford to find their relatives.

She located her second cousins Peg Kearney of John's Road (formerly of Selskar), Kathleen Halpin of Castlebridge and the late May Devereux of Ballyboggan, Castlebridge, who later travelled to Philadelphia to visit their relations.

Peg who is a first cousin of Gerri's late mother Eileen, has been to America a few times since then and the American side of the family have travelled here several times.

Gerri and Jack who live in Atlanta, Georgia came to Wexford for a holiday last year with their daughter Michelle and had such a good time that they decided to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary here in 2018.

The couple came this time with their daughters Michelle and Ann Marie, their son-in-law Jose and their grandchildren Daniel, Sophia, Anna and Sam and were joined by Wexford family members and friends at a party in the Sky and the Ground.

The couple's third daughter Mary Beth was unable to travel to Wexford for the celebration but sent all her good wishes with them.

'When Michelle came for the first time last year, she loved it so much that she vowed to come with her children and she had the opportunity to travel here again for her parents' 50th wedding anniversary,' said Peg's daughter Siobhán Kearney.

'And her sister Ann Marie also came with her children. They stayed for a week and had a ball'.

Gerri and Jack spent a week in Wexford before travelling to Cork on sunday for a week's holiday with Wexford family members. The couple will spend another few days in Wexford on their return before flying back home.

Wexford People

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