UCC Love Stories

Stephen Keating and Tracy Scannell-Keating

14 Feb 2020
Stephen Keating and Tracy Scannell-Keating, Study Abroad 1976

‘Our wonderful life together began at UCC, as our lives across two US coasts remarkably came together in Cork City.’

Tracy Scannell-Keating, from Oregon, and Stephen Keating, from New York, saw their worlds collide when they first met during their study abroad year at UCC, in 1976. Now, 44 years later, the happy couple are sharing highlights and memories from their #ucclovestory

What courses did you both study at UCC?

We were both English Literature/Arts majors, enjoying such brilliant and captivating professors such as John Montague, Sean Lucy, and Sister Una Nelly.

How did you first meet?

When our small cohort (13) of American students arrived in Cork (we were all strangers), we met initially at a convent that was on the campus at the time. There, we first met. Our first real conversation took place at Teach Beag An, a fantastic pub then on Oliver Plunkett Street, which was a popular place for UCC students, and our regular pub hangout.

What is your favourite memory from your time together at UCC?

Our life as students was truly amazing, as the lecture and tutor structure and experience was so different from our American college system.

Outside of UCC, we loved our immersion into day-to-day life in the gritty yet wonderful culture of Cork City. We secured flats and spent many hours walking the great streets of the city, and becoming part of everyday life there.

Is there a campus spot that has special meaning for you both?

The beautiful Honan Chapel was where we’d frequently meet, for Mass or just quiet prayer together.

What was your favourite kind of date in Cork?

Afternoon tea at Thompson’s; music at Carneby’s (where we saw the great Bothy Band and others), shopping and strolling in the English Market; picnicing in Fitzgerald Park.

And as we both share Irish roots, the story has even greater meaning to us and our families. 


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