The extended Brennan family who come to Ardee this week as part of a major family reunion and gathering have released a 73 minute commemorative video of their family history, packed with layers of history, photographs, audio recordings and video that detail the family back to the 19th century.
The two day gathering , starting in Ardee tomorrow (on Wednesday) is being held in memory of a returned Irish emigrant and his wife – David and Ann (nee Walsh) Brennan – and their 12 children, grandchildren and extended family. It is taking in Ardee, Dundalk and the Brennan’s home in Drumkeen, Claremorris, Co. Mayo.
Mid-Louth – and Ardee in particular – was where many of David and Annie’s children settled, first in the 50s. Martin and wife Bridie arrived and Martin’s sister Bridie also set up home in the area. Hence, the use of Ardee as the central hub of the major reunion.
More than 100 of the extended clan will converge on Ardee on Wednesday to celebrate the life and times of their ancestors from Mayo and their family.
The video , which you can view below, gathers together a large collection of family photos, audio segments of family members, and a rare interview with Ann Brennan with her late son John (Jack) in 1975 when he was home on holidays from New Orleans. Jack Brennan’s seven adult children and a grandchild, are among the family proudly attending the reunion.
“We are proud to present this video as a memento of wonderful times past with an eye to the future generations of our family as we gather together in Ardee, Dundalk and Claremorris,” John Aidan Byrne, said. Having grown up in Ardee, John Aidan is now a US-based journalist and media consultant. He is the son of the late Bridie Byrne (nee Brennan) and her husband, Alfie, of Bridge Street, Ardee, who ran a grocery business in town.
“The video honors our many Brennan ancestors, their accomplishments and great sacrifices,” he added. His mother Bridie Byrne was one of the 12 children of Ann and David Brennan of Drumkeen.
“We are delighted to welcome so many family from at home and abroad for our gathering,” said David Brennan – the son of the late Martin and Bridie Brennan of Pepperstown, Ardee. “We will share many family stories, enjoy the company of each other, and have a wonderful time together,” he added.
Highlights of the above video include photos of the late Fr. James Walsh, a brother of Ann (Annie Bán) Brennan, accompanying the late Princess Grace (Kelly) to her ancestral homeland in Mayo and a tribute to the work of Fr. Joe Brennan, a Brennan relative who promoted unity among various faiths in the US, especially among the Catholic and Jewish communities of Rochester, NY.
There is also a segment featuring television actress Martha Byrne of Skerries, Co. Dublin. Martha is the daughter of Eric Byrne, formerly of Bridge Street and historic photos with scenes from Ardee and Claremorris.
As well as the video, the Brennan family have also created an official banner for the reunion (below). As well as a family mass at the Church of the Nativity on Wednesday evening, there will be a house reception plus an night of craic and chat at Brian Muldoon’s Brew House on Bridge Street.
Councillor Dolores Minogue will give a speech to all in attendance. A Clay Pigeon event on the farm of the late Martin Brennan will also be held and the family will assemble for a special reunion reception and dinner at the Crowne Plaza in Dundalk on Thursday.
You can read more about the Brennan Family Reunion in our previous article: “Many stories to tell at Brennan’s Ardee reunion”