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Visit By Canadian Ambassador,

Pat Binns, on Tuesday, April 27th

He is no stranger to the North Monaghan area and has been here a number of times before but he is always welcome and we are delighted that he takes the time out to visit Monaghan and call on various businesses and individuals during a full itinerary drawn up by Willie McKenna. We are speaking of course of the Canadian Ambassador to Ireland, Mr. Pat Binns, whose ancestors emigrated to Canada a century ago from the Castleshane area. Pat has traced his roots back to there and has met with relatives still living in the North Monaghan region.

His first visit to Monaghan was while he was Premier of Prince Edward Island. PEI has very close connections with Monaghan and Emyvale in particular and these have been developed in recent decades and now there is a steady stream of people from PEI coming to spend a holiday in Monaghan and look up their ancestors. I have been present when some have been taken to their ancestral home for the first time and it is a very emotional experience for them to stand at the homestead where their forefathers were born, reared and lived and from which they had to leave to head to the great unknown world to seek a living. Many of them were very successful in Canada and Canada has been a great place for them and they in turn have contributed greatly to the development of that country but they never forget their roots and that they are really Irish people still. Hopefully history is not repeating itself when hundreds of young Irish people are being forced to take the route to foreign lands to get work and a living. Will their children's children be returning here in years to come looking for their ancestral homesteads or will people from Ireland head to Lithuania or Latvia or Poland seeking their ancestral homes?

This time again Willie McKenna had a great itinerary laid out for the Ambassador beginning with an Official Welcome from Town Mayor, Sean Conlon in the Four Seasons Hotel. Sean gave a brief run down of the developments going on around the town and plugged the Feile Oriel and Blackwater 10K Run/Walk. It was then out on the road and the Ambassador was accompanied by Willie and Tony Murphy, former County Secretary, who was very involved and central to the development of links between Monaghan and Canada.

Below are locations of the Ambassador’s visit and you can click on them to get a more detailed report and pictures. Mr. Binns also visited the Colosseum in Rossmore Park but unfortunately we were unable to be there to record the event.