independent

Sunday 15 September 2019

The return of the Scallans

Paul Byrne, Gretta Organ, Chrissie Kelly, Ji Wang, Anne Rowan and Bruce Rowan at the original home
Paul Byrne, Gretta Organ, Chrissie Kelly, Ji Wang, Anne Rowan and Bruce Rowan at the original home
The Scallan clan outside the church in Kilmore Quay

Maria Pepper

Over 100 members of the extended Scallan family came from far and near to gather in Kilmore Quay for a family reunion and a trip down memory lane.

The surviving children and grandchildren of the late Larry and Annie Scallan rented the original family home for a weekend of activities which included the singing of a special Scallan Ballad written by their granddaughter Justine Plunkett with music by their great-grandson Tom Green.

The idea for the reunion stemmed from a conversation between a few of the cousins who attended the funeral of their uncle Marty Scallan (Larry and Annie's son)in June 2017.

'We hadn't seen each other in years and we felt it was sad to only meet at funerals', said granddaughter Anne Rowan. 'Fast forward a year and it became a reality.'

Larry and Annie had 12 children, ten of whom survived to adulthood and they in turn had 34 children. Five of Larry and Annie's children are still alive and 33 of their children.

The weekend reunion was attended by family members from Australia, Canada, America, England and Ireland and began with a three-course meal at the Silver Fox Restaurant on the Friday, followed by a larger gathering in Kehoe's pub.

On Saturday morning, a group of 24 cousins and their children braved the wild seas with Declan Bates on a trip to the Saltee Islands which they visited when they were young.

On Saturday evening, 110 people sat down to enjoy dinner at Coast Hotel in Kilmore Quay, bringing back happy memories for the cousins wwho went dancing there with their parents when it was called the Saltees Hotel.

Keeping it in the family, the entertainment was provided by accomplished Irish dancer Lauren Scallan and other family members who played the piano and sang.

On Sunday, there was a special Scallan Mass in Kilmore Quay at which the Scallan ballad was sung and this was followed by tea in Stella Maris Hall which was decorated with photographs from the past.

Later, the Scallan clan visited cemeteries in Kilmore and Rathangan to lay flowers on the graves of their departed ancestors and again joined in singing the commemorative ballad.

On Sunday evening, they enjoyed a three-course meal in the Stella Maris Centre followed by more family entertainment and a visit to Kehoe's pub.

The weekend was filled with memories that will last a lifetime and ended with a promise that it will not be another 40 years before they all meet again.

Wexford People

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