McAulays gather in Carrick to celebrate Scottish heritage

Mid and East Antrim Deputy Mayor Cllr Cheryl Johnston welcomed Clan Chief Hector MacAulay and Laurence McAuley to the international clan gathering at the Loughshore Hotel, Carrickfergus.
Mid and East Antrim Deputy Mayor Cllr Cheryl Johnston welcomed Clan Chief Hector MacAulay and Laurence McAuley to the international clan gathering at the Loughshore Hotel, Carrickfergus.

More than 150 people from around the world with variations of the name MacAulay have gathered in Carrickfergus.

The clan is meeting for three days of activities to celebrate kinship and their Scottish heritage.

This is only the second time they’ve met outside Scotland and has attracted visitors from across the globe including New Zealand, USA, Canada and Australia.

The Loughshore Hotel has been fully booked for months in anticipation of the event and it has generated footfall to the Borough to international visitors.

The Deputy Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Cllr Cheryl Johnston welcomed the clan saying: “It’s great to see so many local and international visitors coming to the Borough to celebrate their heritage.

“Carrickfergus in particular has a great affinity with Scottish heritage and the three days of events will also show off what other fantastic tourism offerings we have here across Mid and East Antrim.

“It’s an honour to welcome the clan chief to the Borough and on behalf of council, I would like to wish them all the best for the weekend ahead.”

Events include a coach tour of MacAulay places of interest along the Antrim coast and banquet with ceilidh.

The modern Clan MacAulay Association was founded to unite the three unrelated Scottish groups bearing the MacAulay surname. Historically the clan had its chief at Ardencaple near the town of Hellensburgh.

The last chief died in 1767 with no heir, landless and penniless. In the 1990’s it was decided to resurrect the clan, but as no person with a proven direct bloodline to this last chief came forward, it was agreed that the clan would elect a chief on merit for a five year period.