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Dublin: 10°C Tuesday 18 May 2021
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Families get surprise reunion of a lifetime thanks to Supermac's

Reunited… and it feels so good.

TWO FAMILIES GOT the surprise of a lifetime last night when they were reunited with their loved ones on television.

Thanks to Supermac’s Bring Them Home campaign and the Late Late Show, the two families were the winners of a competition that saw their relations being flown out for the surprise reunion.

One of the winners was Leena Kelly, who was “still in shock” the day after she was reunited with her brother Michael Murphy and his two sons, Patrick and Calum.

imageLena Kelly shows the shock on her face as she is reunited with her brother Michael Murphy. Picture Andres Poveda

The other was Amanda Quann, whose brother Gareth Quann, who lives in Boston and was last in Ireland four years ago, his first visit home in 15 years. His young daughter had never met the rest of his family.

(RTÉ/YouTube)

In a twist, both families were told they were being considered as winners of the competition. Kelly was told that she hadn’t won, and was given the chance to send a Christmas wish to her brother.

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But just minutes later, she was invited to give that message to him face to face, when he and family appeared on stage.

The Quanns, meanwhile, were told that they had won a trip to Boston to see Gareth and his family.

They sat in the audience of the Late Late Show during the special taping, and were surprised at the end to see Michael and family waiting there to meet them.

Kelly and Quann were still on a high after their wonderful surprises.

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Kelly, from Enniscorthy in Wexford, said that “it was amazing what Supermac’s had done to create the surprise” – the family stayed in a hotel in Limerick for a number of days to ensure they weren’t spotted, and the boys weren’t allowed to tell their friends.

She had entered the competition to go visit them.

“The outcome is just so much better because everyone gets to see them as opposed to just us,” she said. Her brother and family had made a number of attempts to come home, but things never worked out.

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Then, last year, her sister-in-law Shirley sadly passed away. Though she had never met her, Shirley had kept in touch with the family on an almost daily basis, letting them know how the boys were doing.

Gareth first went to Australia in 1987, and has been home twice in 26 years. His family are delighted to have him and his sons home. “I thought I’d go for it but I thought I’d never win a competition,” said his delighted sister.

Even better, Patrick and Calum will celebrate their birthdays during their stay.

I felt unbelievable – the three of them were standing there. I believe my face was a picture! I couldn’t believe it. I was giving him a big hug. He was just so thrilled to be there, the boys were just shell-shocked.

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Kelly said that who she felt most for over the years was her late mother, who missed her son although he and Shirley made sure she was kept up to date with their lives.

“We’re going to meet all their Irish uncles and aunts, he can bring them around and show them everywhere that he has told them stories about,” she said of her nephews.

The Quann family

Amanda Quann was also gobsmacked after her win. “At the end of the show they appeared – it was a real shock,” she said. She had entered the competition on behalf of her mother so they could go visit Gareth, her brother.

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Before they knew it, they were on the show – and were being told they had won a trip to Boston to visit Gareth and his family.

imageAmanda Quann and family

They sat in the audience, when: “Just at the end [Ryan Tubridy] turned around and looked at me and I though oh my God, something is going on here. It was all a bit of a blur. The next thing [Gareth] appeared with his wife and daughter Sadhbh.”

The Quann family had never met Sadhbh (2), and Amanda’s young daughters can’t wait to meet their cousin. “I can’t believe it all happened. I really don’t know what to do with myself,” Amanda told TheJournal.ie.

It has been 15 years since Gareth left for America, and he has only been home once in that time. His wife is expecting another child, so his parents and four siblings thought it would be a few years before they saw him in person again.

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This year, they will all get to have Christmas dinner together.

Both families say they are really grateful to Supermac’s and the Late Late Show for the opportunity to see their family members this Christmas.

“It’s a dream come true,” said Amanda Quann.

imageThe Quann family

All pics: Andres Popova

Read: Watch the heartwarming moment a Dublin family are reunited for Christmas>

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