The relationship between Monaghan and PEI has been well documented and is still developing.
Three decades ago when Seamus McCluskey, Brendan O’Grady and Benny Hackett were chatting
little did they think that the two areas would become so closely connected. Many
contacts were made at that time and much of it was on an academic level but it was
there that the foundations were laid for the full-blown joining of hearts and minds. Willie
McKenna and the Late Tommy Makem, R.I.P. made the initial official contacts on a
social level and the rest is history. Monaghan became twinned with PEI and North
Monaghan became a must-visit centre for visitors from PEI. The tomb of Canon Moynagh
was a reminder to all of how PEI shared an Irish heritage with Monaghan and many
PEI citizens were able to trace their ancestors to the Emyvale or Truagh regions.
Premier Ghiz and Premier Pat Binns visited and delegations from Monaghan returned
the visits. Public representatives and ordinary citizens visited each other and relationships
developed. Groups came from there for our St. Patrick’s day celebrations and Monaghan
groups travelled to PEI to celebrate the Irish festival there. One of the first groups
to go therein 1991 came home with tales of hospitality and friendship. It was described
as a ‘home away from home’ and this encouraged others to travel there. Another group
to go in 1999 was the Barratitoppy Ceili Band together parents and friends. Again
they reported on a wonderful trip and again close friendships were formed. People
were accommodated in private homes and this cemented relationships. One of the families
to host members of the Irish group was the Profit family and Kathleen and Gene Murray
maintained contact with their hosts over the years since then. Unfortunately they
received sad news at Christmas when they learned of the death of Gerard Profit, which
occurred suddenly on Christmas Eve 2010. Kathleen and Mary Connolly decided to organise
a Mass for Gerard and as support for his family. This was celebrated in Knockatallon
on Saturday, January 15th and it coincided with the Months Memory Mass being celebrated
at the same time in PEI. Celebrant was Fr. Earley and Darragh Mullen was Alter-server.
Kathleen Murray was Reader and Damien Murray read the Prayers of the Faithful, which
had been composed by Josephine Treanor (more below). Cathal McKenna and Gene Murray
brought the Gifts to the Altar and Mark McGee, Mary McKenna and Peter McKenna were
Eucharist Ministers. Hymns were rendered by the choir led by Nicholas and Colette
Johnston and family. It was a solemn occasion and the thoughts and prayers of all
were directed to Gerard’s family. Those who had travelled to PEI were present though
some, including Josephine, were unable to attend due to prior commitments. Willie
McKenna and wife, Nancy, were also present. Afterwards the group had supper in the
local Sliabh Beagh Hotel and they express appreciation to the Sliabh Beagh Committee
for that. We add our condolences to Gerard’s wife, Lissa, and to his children - Gregory,
Jordan and Ryan and to his many friends in PEI and here in Ireland. Ar dheis Dé to
raibh a anam dílis.
Our picture shows the group of people who have been to PEI and attended the Mass
in memory of the late Gerard Profit. Click on images below for audio presentations.