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Just Another Ireland

Public representatives and officials from Monaghan County Council paid a recent visit to our twinned island of Prince Edward Island, Canada, and there they were presented with a new publication entitled ‘Just Another Ireland’. A number of copies were sent home with our representatives and on Wednesday, June 12th Adge King, Paul McGeown, Monaghan Town Mayor, Sean Conlon, County Monaghan Mayor, Councillor Gary Carville and Willie McKenna presented copies of the book to Deirdre Elliott, acting county Librarian, in the Monaghan Town Library. The book contains a number of articles detailing the connection and the development of the bond between Prince Edward Island and Ireland and Monaghan in particular. A man, who was the person who made the original contact with Monaghan, Dr. Brendan O’Grady has written a forward to the book and no one better than he knows the closeness of the two communities and the Irish roots that were planted in the Island in the mid-1800’s. Seamus McCluskey and Brendan O’Grady shared information and built up the story based on factual evidence and then Willie McKenna began publicising the beautiful, touching and amazing similarities between PEI and Monaghan. Initially many in Monaghan were sceptical and played down the importance of the link and tried to discourage officialdom from becoming involved but thankfully the link developed.  The exchange of people was slow at the beginning but soon gathered steam as people in PEI became more aware of their origins and became eager to define their roots. Willie encouraged  and promoted exchanges and the two areas were twinned. Since then the major traffic has been from PEI to Monaghan and Ireland in general. This has been a great boost to the local economy in many ways and it has been an emotional experience for many who came from their Island to this Island and to discover the remains of the house of their forefathers and/or the family burial ground. I have personally witnessed the emotion of such occasions. Many locals have visited PEI and received a real Irish Céad Míle Fáilte and were astounded at the strength of Irish Culture there and the similarities with Monaghan - it truly is ‘Just Another Ireland’. Emyvale Development Association saw the benefits and the necessity to help with the development and paid particular attention to the Canon Patrick Moynagh link and visitors from the Island with Monaghan links have often their origins from people who were assisted by Canon Moynagh. The traffic has increased over the years since the early 1990’s and it has also led to two other twinnings with the Canadian areas of The Miramichi and Peterboro. In 2013 there were 800 bed nights in Monaghan town as a result of visitors from Canada. This book has been produced and dedicated to the three founding members of the Fort Augustus Irish Descendants Association - Glen Trainor, Albert Hughes, Charles Duffy  and their associate in Ireland, Willie McKenna. It is a lovely book to read and has many interesting photographs. You can call to Monaghan Library on the North Road and see for yourself.