IRELAND CANADA MONUMENT

From 1536 they came from the Island of Ireland. They became Founding Fathers of the Nation. They built canals and bridges to new freedoms. They founded schools and hospitals, tilled the fields and shared the harvests, kept up the good sports and filled hearts with the joy of music.

They are the Irish -  immigrants and decendants, women and men - whom we honour here now.

Backstories:

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                    for an alphabetical list  of  the men, women, sports and sociaties preenstly approved for inclusion on the monument.

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Ireland Canada Monument Society
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V3L 3T6

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An Górta Mór (The Great Hunger) 1845-1848
In three years, 1845–48, as the potato crops failed, the island’s population fell from 8 to 5 million people. In every County of Ireland thousands of people of every age died. Most vulnerable, labourers and cottiers on half-acre holdings  depended on the potato as their sole food source. They, died of starvation and malnutritionment.

Some (fewer in number) with limited resources or help from abroad, crowded into ships holds and were scattered around the world. Many were on their way to Canada in search of a new life.
      It is generally accepted that the failure of the potato crop, in Ireland and other European countries, was the result of a blight transported across the Atlantic on cargo ships. The impact on Ireland was compounded by the fact that Ireland’s grains, dairy products and calves were exported across the Irish Sea to England.


Grosse Île and the Irish Memorial National Historic Site
     Most who left Ireland on “coffin ships” crossing the Atlantic, had been misled by passage-brokers into believing that food would be provided. An estimated 5,293 died and were buried at sea. Those who disembarked were described as cadaverous and feeble. For those who reached Canada, the need was not anticipated and there was a serious lack of both facilities and medical personnel. Care was  negligent at best.      

With deep respect and appreciation the Ireland Canada Monument Society acknowledges that Wainborn Park, the site on which the monument will stand , on the ancient unceded territory of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations..

TALAMH an ÉISC  1536

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There lies deep within all creation, creatures and persons, unconscious memories. To know the past is key to unlocking the future.

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GROSSE ILE

Click here and Connect to Irish Canadians who have, and still are, upbuilding this nation!

Check out the Annual Grosse Ile

Pilgrimage at ...

For sure the Irish did a good job of dropping their language and blending in so, if you're Irish or not, you might be surprised by who accomplished what and wouldn't it be great to chip in and help us all get the Ireland Canada Monument built now so that the stories of many unsung heroes/heroines will be told and honoured.

Check out the bios ... you may be surprised to find Dr.F. Banting,, the Vaniers, Bobby Orr, Geraldine Heaney ...       Your donation of any amount makes a difference and your support is deeply appreciated. Please chip in what you can. With your permission we'll add your name to the donor's list (never the amount)                 Absolutely confidential.   Absolutely secure.   And, you can submit your gift any way you choose ...

During the Great Hunger of the 1800s thousands of Irish arrived in Montreal. Most came alone, some with their family. Desperate, but courageous, looking for a new life. They needed work. The best possibility was the canal projects.

BUILDING THE CANALS

Under Construction

From a contractor’s correspondence: “I therefore expect to collect a great number of persons on the Works by the first May and fear from the wretched condition of most of the emigrants applying to me for work, that it will be indispensably necessary to issue bedding to prevent sickness ... at present the poor fellows lay with nothing but their rags to cover them and their numbers are increasing"

The Lachine Canal                            as European explorers dreamed of finding a route from New France to the Western Sea and on to China it was named in French - La Chine.                Ca. 1689, the French Colonial government was planning a canal to bypass the Lachine Rapids en-route to Montreal. However, in the second half of the 18th century, England took possession of the territories, the United States invaded Canada in 1783 and again in the War of 1812. Securing the boundaries became a priority and a plan, developed by Montreal merchants and contractors, was awarded the commission and funding to proceed.  In 1821, 500 labourers with pick and shovels, axes and wheelbarrows assembled at Lachine. It was the largest workforce in Canadian history. Most of the pittance that was their salary was left in Lachine as they were obliged to obtain housing and all their needs. Lachine paylists 1822-1824 McCord Museum).       The canal officially opened in 1825, helping to turn Montreal into a major port and attracting industry to its banks. A contractors' gold-mine.
       When the canal was widened the appalling working conditions and unfair treatment of the Irish lead to Canada’s first labour strike in 1843.
    The Lachine Canal is a designated  National Historic Site of Canada.

CANADA'S FIRST NATIONS

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On Grosse ile, in the middle of the St. Laurence River, this Irish Memorial stands that they may never be forgotten.

At their June 5th meeting the Vancouver Board of Parks & Recreation voted approval of the Ireland Canada Monument to be installed at George Wainborn Park, False Creek, Vancouver.  “Discovering a New Land”, the chosen design, features a wall of stones from all Ireland and Canada in an existing bosque of trees, a pathway outlinies Ireland's shoreline and names all 32 counties
Upon completion panels will be engraved with 256 names, iconic Irish images and symbolic artwork.  . 
The design assures an aesthetic and unobtrusive amenity for walking, sitting, relaxing & reflecting.       
We sincerely thank Park Board; the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations;      our generous supporters and PWL designers for bringing this monumental recognition of Irish- Canadian's contributions to this success              and we invite you to move forward with us now 

   Thank you for your patience.                        This new Ireland Canada Monument site is

Approved to go ahead !

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The first Irish to settle in Canada landed in 1536 and 'struck gold' and the island we know as Newfoundland was known as Talamh an Eise (Land of Fish).


We'll never know. Were they simply tossed across the heaving Atlantic or did they set out with a sense of purpose in the wake of Columbus' crossing? Some say St Brendan, born c 1484 in Ireland. kead them on the voyage to a new life. 

Written records assure us that they set out in a currach. Built of lightweight wood or wickerwork frame over which animal skins, cured with oak bark and sealed with tar, were stretched. The currach (some variants) remains unique to the West Coast. 

For sure, the first Irish to settle in Canada landed in 1536 and 'struck gold'. The island we know as Newfoundland was known as Talamh an Eise (Land of Fish).

The seagoing currach was described by Captain Phillips as "A portable vessel of wicker ordinarily used by the Wild Irish" who kept up a thriving fishing industry there until the Great Hunger of the 19th C broke the economy and drove millions of destitute Irish from Ireland.     The 20th C brought the founding of the Canadian Nation, a new  wave of immigration and  the settling the vast prairies.  Arriving in Canada, most Irish set  aside their language to fit in but still, scorned as 'Famine Irish' found themselves on the low steps of Canadian culture.  However, excelling in diverse fields, they became a cultural force and brought to the fore values that significantly define  what it means to be Canadian.     

The 2011 Census reported more than 4-million descendants of Irish immigrants - 14% of the Canadian population.