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June 2017 Visitors.

On Tuesday, May 30th Patrick McKenna and Megan Martin arrived in Monaghan from Canada. They are originally from Prince Edward Island, where their families still live but they are working and living in Alberta. Patrick's father, Brian, has been a visitor to Monaghan on a couple of occasions and when he heard Patrick was coming to Ireland he told him to be sure to spend some time in Monaghan, which he duly did. He made contact with Cllr. Sean Conlon and hey visited some hostelries in Monaghan town. I was asked to meet them and when I heard they would like to visit some of the places which had connections with PEI and with the McKenna name I offered to take them on Tour of North Monaghan on Wednesday. We spent half the day and they were very impressed and delighted to have come to Monaghan. Our picture shows them with Cllr Sean Conlon and Kathleen McKenna, proprietor of Sherry's Dublin Street. Naturally a McKenna wanted a drink in McKennas.

On Monday June 12th I had arranged a Tour for four people from Emyvale, PEI. They were Gerard and Shelley Woods and Patricia and John Stewart. Gerard and Patricia knew that an ancestor of theirs, Henry Woods, emigrated from the Donagh area to PEI in 1839 and they were hoping to connect with their roots here. I was introduced to them on Sunday evening and did a bit of homework and so was able to take them to Donagh Old Graveyard where there are four graves belonging to Woods. Some of these had Christian names similar to the Woods family in PEI and it was somewhat likely that one of these, or more, were belonging to their ancestors. There are a few lines that would need to be clarified before anything could be said for definite but it looks very likely that they have found their roots. They will do more research when they return to PEI. We will also try to connect the deceased members in Donagh Old Graveyard with one of the several Woods family in North Monaghan but the fact that it is known the emigrant came from Donagh might narrow it down. While in the graveyard I covered the McKenna family history, though briefly, and the Donagh Cross. We then attended the Summer Party in the Blackwater Centre and they enjoyed a very tasty dinner and had great fun as they joined in the dancing afterwards. The first stop on Monday morning was to M-Tec Building for the Canada Day Launch by Monaghan County Council. I am a member of the organising committee and was covering it for this site but decided to take the visitors along and they were given a wonderful reception by the Mayor and Councillors. On Sunday they had travelled around the area and had visited Castle Leslie and were very impressed. They visited other places on Monday evening and then departed on Tuesday morning. They used the Teach Bán as their B & B and were delighted with the accommodation, friendliness of the owners and quality of the food. I really enjoyed my time with them as they seemed to feel at home among the people of North Monaghan and they marvelled at the similarities between Emyvale Ireland and Emyvale PEI. They want to come back again, which is a great sign.

When the visitors above went home they celebrated Canada Day there with parties and sailing in the harbour.


The view above and the one to the right here show Charlottetown Harbour, which is in Prince Edward Island and is the harbour into which so many Irish men, women and children sailed on their way to a new world and a new life. These are the first sights they would get of their future homes and after a perilous journey across the Atlantic one can hardly imagine their relief, but also their trepidation and apprehension of what lies ahead. There was also a great sadness for some as they would have lost a family member to illness during the journey and also the sadness that they knew they would never again in this life see the people they left behind in Ireland. Thanks to Gerard Woods for the photos.