Rideau Canal Irish Workers
On Thursday, June 20th 2013 at noon, a ceremony was held at the Ottawa Lockstation, on the Rideau Canal in Ottawa to commemorate the workers who helped build the Rideau Canal during 1826-1832.
It is estimated that over 1000 Irish and their co-workers died during the building of the Canal which stretches from Ottawa to Kingston, Ontario.
I am delighted to announce that I was invited by Parks Canada to attend the ceremony. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend.
However, Mr. Tony O’Loughlin of the Kingston Irish Folk Club and Kingston Great Hunger Committee kindly offered to attend in my place. Tony’s efforts to ensure recognition of the Irish Workers on the Rideau Canal is certainly to be commended.
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The Rideau Canal is recognised by UNESCO as a World heritage Society and the contribution of the Irish Workers involved during its completion is certainly deserving.
Everyone who has provided support in any way to the Monument project, no matter how minimal, can take real joy in this day coming to fruition.
I would particularly like to thank all the Directors and Members of the Monument Society, including Mr Eddie Reynolds in Dublin and Margaret Phelan in Abbeyleix Ireland and Mr. Conor O’Reilly, Dermot Devine and Belinda Caleb in Vancouver for their constant support and help to the Monument project.
In addition I would also like to convey sincere thanks to all those who have come on board as patrons, sponsors or donors of the project to date. Your support, commitment and not least patience has been influential in ensuring recognition for the Irish workers who built the Canal and so many more contributions by Irish Canadians to Canada from the Atlantic to the Pacific Coast in the last 500 years.
I was also been invited to speak regarding the Monument project and the Canal Dedication event on Vancouver’s Co-op Radio at: http://www.coopradio.org
The Monument project has been made possible by the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation who have dedicated the Monument site at Thornton Park Vancouver. We are very grateful to the Commissioners and staff at Parks Board and also staff at the City of Vancouver, Review Arts Committee.
I hope you were able to listen to the program where ever you are. It will be available for download for those who would like to listen later.
The Ireland Canada Monument, Vancouver B.C.