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Canada Day 2017 in Monaghan

Monaghan is twinned with Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick in Canada because of the number of people from Monaghan, especially North Monaghan, who were forced into emigration and so many selected to head to Canada. PEI is somewhat different in that a Monaghan man, working in Scotland went with emigrants from there to PEI and he saw the opportunity and he asked his Priest and Landlord, for both titles were held by the same Fr. O'Donnell, and he contacted Fr. Moynagh in Donagh parish to tell relations here that they should head for PEI and a new life. Fr. Moynagh organised and paid the passage of over 60 families who took the family names and the names of their townlands with them and so the graveyards of PEI have a very close resemblance to those of North Monaghan in a sad but beautiful way. Since the first contact between Brendan O'Grady and Seamus McCluskey in 1956 and then developed by Willie McKenna with the support of Monaghan County Council that bond has strengthened and many PEI inhabitants have come to Monaghan and found their roots. New Brunswick also received hundreds of Irish people and again Monaghan had a strong representation there too and again the bonds were established and developed. Links have also been established with Peterboro, also in Canada. Over recent years the Canadian Ambassador to Ireland, and there have been a number of different people in that Post, have visited Monaghan and strong relationships have been cultivated in social and economic terms. Great praise must go to the Late Willie McKenna for his tremendous enthusiasm and foresight in bringing the project into a living reality.

In 2016 Monaghan County Council organised a Canada Day to celebrate the bonds between us and a programme of activity was laid on for the weekend. It was a great success as both local and visitors participated and enjoyed the programme. As a result and also because this year is its 150th anniversary Monaghan Co Co has organised another weekend to coincide with Canada Day in Canada which is July 1st. Canada will have ongoing celebrations  in different places throughout the year and they will highlight the evolution of the country from its Indigenous origins (with National Aboriginal Day); the contact with the French and the birth of our Francophone heritage (with Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day, Fête nationale du Québec et de la Francophonie canadienne); through to more recent waves of immigration that have led to the development of a diverse and inclusive society (with Canadian Multiculturalism Day). These major celebrations will culminate with celebrating Canada Day which will be held in Ottawa.

 

The Monaghan's programme began On Friday, June 30th with a celebration in Sliabh Beagh Hotel starting at 8.30pm. MOPOSOGS, which is a group of Monaghan singers, song-writers, musicians, poets and story-tellers and artists, launched a CD which was commissioned by the Canada Day Committee, and it is called 'Home From Home' celebrating the links between Canada and Ireland through song poetry and storytelling. Various personnel whose work is featured on the CD were present and performed for the audience, which contained a number of people who are Canadian citizens or who spent time in Canada. It was a terrific night of entertainment and food was served by the Sliabh Beagh Hotel. The CD is well worth getting as you would enjoy its programme and it would be a very appropriate gift for a Canadian visitor. We also had a great display of dancing by four excellent members of the Brogan School of Dancing and indeed an All-Ireland champion in one of them - Patrick Corrigan.

On Monday June 12th Canada Day was launched  by Monaghan  County Council prior to their monthly meeting in M-Tec 1. Chairman of the committee, CLlr. Sean Conlon, gave an update on preparations and details of the programme. It was also stated that the Canadian Ambassador would attend on the Saturday. Today FM will also air the Allison Curtis Show on Saturday morning from the Westenra Hotel and that should give the event great national exposure. Air Canada have sponsored the radio programme and have offered two free airline tickets to Canada for some lucky winner on Saturday - so on Saturday July 1st make sure you tune in to Today FM from 8.30am. An Air Canada representative was present at the launch and she stated that Air Canada is delighted to be involved with this international event. County Mayor, P.J. O'Hanlon welcomed all including Cllrs. and committee members. He thanked Air Canada and all those who are working on the preparations. Other councillors to speak in a similar vein were Noel Keelan, Padraig McNally, Paudge Connolly, and Sean Conlon. County CEO, Eamonn O'Sullivan added his thanks and praised the work being done and wished the Canada Day celebrations every success. All of them had a special welcome for four Prince Edward Island visitors who were spending a couple of days in Emyvale. See more HERE. It added a nice touch to have four Canadians present for the launch.

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June Visitors HERE