Saturday 10 December 2016

Couple return to Irish church where they wed after 50 years in US to celebrate golden anniversary

Michael McHugh

Published 24/02/2016 | 12:11

Laurence and Cecelia McCann on their wedding day, as the Northern Ireland couple have returned from the US to enjoy a special 50th anniversary at the church where they wed. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.
Laurence and Cecelia McCann on their wedding day, as the Northern Ireland couple have returned from the US to enjoy a special 50th anniversary at the church where they wed. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.

A Irish couple have returned from the US to enjoy a special 50th anniversary at the church where they wed.

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Laurence and Cecelia McCann were married in 1966 at Drumcree Church in Portadown. It has since been dismantled and rebuilt at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum in Co Down.

Laurence and Cecelia McCann on their wedding day, as the Northern Ireland couple have returned from the US to enjoy a special 50th anniversary at the church where they wed. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.
Laurence and Cecelia McCann on their wedding day, as the Northern Ireland couple have returned from the US to enjoy a special 50th anniversary at the church where they wed. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.

Mr McCann is a retired businessman and his wife a former nurse. They settled in Albuquerque in New Mexico but have lived all over the world.

Mrs McCann said: "This is a very special day for us, made even more memorable by being here at the same church, now in a different county."

They were joined by family and friends - including the bridesmaid and best man.

Mrs McCann added: "Many of our guests have travelled thousands of miles to be here and it has been wonderful to have the blessing in the very unique setting of the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum."

Drumcree Catholic Church was originally located on the Birches Road in Portadown, County Armagh.

Built in 1783, it was dismantled and reconstructed at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum in 1990.

Laurence and Cecelia McCann on their wedding day, as the Northern Ireland couple have returned from the US to enjoy a special 50th anniversary at the church where they wed. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.
Laurence and Cecelia McCann on their wedding day, as the Northern Ireland couple have returned from the US to enjoy a special 50th anniversary at the church where they wed. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.

The church is comparatively rare in that it was created before the repeal of the Penal Laws, which attempted to force Catholics and Presbyterians to accept the Church of Ireland.

It includes a magnificent early-1800s pipe organ as well as 14 Stations of the Cross, identical to those hung in the original church.

The couple, aged in their seventies, first met through church and then developed their friendship as young people when they were both volunteers with the Legion of Mary - an organisation which helps and coordinates home visits for people in need.

They have two sons and four grandchildren.

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