independent

Friday 29 August 2014

Murphy clan reunited at Merryweather Fire Engine

Margaret Roddy

Published 12/07/2014 | 12:00

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Vincent and Bridie Murphy and extended family members who attended the Murphy family gathering in St Joseph's GFC, Dromiskin

DUNDALK'S iconic Merryweather Fire Engine provided a fitting backdrop when the Murphy family met for a family re-union last Saturday.

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As the descendants of Michael and Ella (nee Boyle) Murphy from Market Street got together, they remembered Michael's years as a firefighter with Dundalk Fire Service and recalled how he brought his children and grandchild to visit the old fire station in Defender's Row.

The couple married in 1932 and their six surviving children, Jim, Blackrock, Vincent, Bay estate, Maureen, Bay Estate, Brian, Avondale and Eamonn, Ferndreg, along with grandchildren and great grandchildren got together to celebrate their family ties and renew old acquaintances.

'It's something we'd been meaning to do for years,' says Sean, who as the second eldest grandchild eventually took the bull by the horns and set the ball rolling for the re-union.

It was decided to hold the re-union last Saturday to coincide with a visit home by eldest grandchild Tony Mullen who lives in New Zealand.

'We had over 100 relatives, with people coming from Germany, France, Scotland and Philadelphia as well as New Zealand,' says Sean.

Six months of planning went into planning the event, with one member of each branch of the family joining the organising committee. The re-union started with Mass being celebrated in St Fursey's, Haggardstown, and then it was onto the Joe's GAA clubrooms in Dromiskin where all the family posed for photos with The Merryweather.

'There's an old family photo with my grandfather as part of the Merryweather crew from the 1940s so it was great to have the engine there on the day,' says Sean.

Seven display boards detailing the family history with lots of photos were displayed around the clubrooms and everyone was presented with a 28 page colour booklet outlining the family history as a momento of the reunion. 'It was a great day and everyone enjoyed the chance to meet long lost cousins,' says Sean.

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