The Gathering spotlight is on the Sullivan-O’Leary Family originally from Baurgorm, West Cork, Ireland.
On this page you will find links to information on the history of the Sullivan-O’Leary family and their gathering this summer, as well as some special stories shared with us by descendants Donal Collins and his mother, Dympna.
- For a brief introduction to the Sullivan Gathering, click here.
- The Sullivan Gathering will be held June 15, 2013 at the Westlodge Hotel in Bantry, West Cork…to see the official Gathering Listing click here.
- Click here to read about the Sullivan-O’Leary Gathering in the February issue of Irish Lives Remembered Genealogy Magazine (page 24).
In the 1890s five Sullivan siblings – Patrick, Denis, Timothy, Helena, and Katie – left Baurgorm in West Cork and sailed for America. They settled in Manchester, New Hampshire, joining a grand-uncle named Florence O’Leary. Florence had emigrated to Manchester some years before.
Of the five siblings, four would stay in the United States, but one would return to West Cork. Read Katie’s story, as told by her grandniece, Dympna Collins, here.
Dympna wrote a great account of the journey of Katie’s cast iron bed – click here. Dympna inherited the Anchor Bar in Cobh from Katie and her husband Peter Spillane, and has operated it since 1953.
The strong connections Dympna and Donal feel today to their past and to their family scattered throughout the world can be traced to Katie. Because she returned to Ireland, leaving her only sister and her younger brothers in America, Katie personally knew both sides of the emigrant experience. She never forgot her siblings and their families far away in the USA.
Although Dympna did not forget either, it is easy to lose touch with overseas relations. An interesting turn of events brought Dympna and Donal back in touch with a cousin from the O’Leary side of the family, Frank McGillan. Read the story here.
Now, what about that ruined farmhouse pictured above? Donal embarked on a renovation project in 1997. The finished product was revealed in 2000. Read the details of the process in the February issue of Irish Lives Remembered (page 24) – click here.
Links to Dympna’s stories: