Minister of State Ciarán Cannon, TD - Irish Community, Renews, Newfoundland
Speech30 September 2018
Dia dhaoibh go leir a chairde. Tà an àthas orm a bheith anseo libhse inniu. It’s a pleasure to be here with you all.
As Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade with special responsibility for the Diaspora and International Development, I am delighted to be here in Newfoundland, a place with such deep Irish connections, and with a long Irish history and tradition going back to the 16th century, when the first fishermen arrived from the south east of Ireland.
I’m especially delighted to join you here today in Renews. The drive along the beautiful Irish loop this afternoon really showed me what a home away from home Newfoundland, and later Canada, has always been to Irish emigrants.
I’m told that half the residents here in Renews claim Irish heritage, which is an incredible statistic, and the work you have all done over the years to keep your Irish heritage alive is to be commended, and we in Ireland have been proud to support you in this work.
Your St. Patrick’s festival CraicDown sounds like....well, great craic, and I hope you can repeat the success of this year’s event for many years.
This afternoon, I got to learn more about the Irish community here and your longstanding commitment to promoting Irish heritage. This was of great interest to me, particularly as Renews has been twinned with my hometown of Athenry, Co.Galway since 2013. The annual masses in our two towns, where our townspeople offer prayers for each other, show that the deep connection between Ireland and Canada survives to this day.
I know it’s not an evening for long speeches, but I would like to take this opportunity to thank Loyola and his committee for hosting us here today. Loyola is a proud Irish Canadian, and he brought this pride and passion to Ireland with him in his role as the Canadian Ambassador to Ireland, and for this he is to be commended.
Thank you, and enjoy the evening. Go n-eirí libh go leir.