Is Ireland my True Homeland?

March 4th, 2018

Hello everyone! My name is Sarah Murray, I’m a senior and part of the class of 2018 at Westtown and about to embark on my Senior Project. I’ve been attending Westtown since I was in kindergarten and to say that I’ve been looking forward to this week for a long time would be an understatement. Currently, I’m in the international airport terminal at Philadelphia waiting to board for my flight. You might be wondering where I’m going (if you didn’t read my blog post title). Well, after several lengthy conversations with my parents and swim coach, I decided that I would go on an independent Senior Project and travel with my father to Ireland to research my family heritage. My grandfather would constantly talk about my family history and our family members who still lived in Ireland. He was so passionate about the subject that I decided to go back to visit “homeland” and see what’s so special about Ireland. Plus I’ll be able to have consistent pool time in Ireland so I can continue my training for my Swim Championship which is the first weekend in April.

I will be landing in Dublin sometime Monday morning around ten. From there I’ll be driving to a small town outside of Belfast called Ballyclare where my aunt and uncle Rachel and Stephen Deyermond live with their daughter Martha. I’ll be spending a couple of days with them before visiting my family homestead in Ardrahan. My great-grandmother who I’m named after grew up in this homestead with her nine other siblings before she immigrated to the United States in 1937. After this part of the trip, I’ll travel to some other cities and towns, such as Donegal and Port Stewart in Northern Ireland. I’ll also be visiting some of the sites where they film the popular television show Game of Thrones since I’ll be in the area. I hope that by traveling to Ireland for my Senior Project I’ll feel more connected with my ancestors, my larger family, and come to understand why my grandfather felt so connected to this magical place that he would often reference as my homeland. 

Signing off for now!

~Sarah

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