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Its a Small World

The link between Emyvale, Monaghan, and Prince Edward Island, Canada, first began in the 1950's when a Professor in The University of Prince Edward Island in Charlottetown, Prof. Brendan O'Grady, began to trace his wife's family tree and was drawn to Emyvale, Monaghan, where the Delany family lived as his wife was of that family line. He had the assistance of Seamus McCluskey who was able to give him the Delany Family history and show him the burial grounds for the Delany family and some of their crafted stonework. This began the link and Prof. O'Grady did further research on the link and published the definitive history of Irish immigration to Prince Edward Island and the rest, as they say, is history.

Two years ago a group of interested people with members of Monaghan County Council got together to organise an event to celebrate Canada Day (July 1st) in Monaghan. As part of that event a son of Prof. O'Grady, Thomas, himself a noted scholar, was invited by the committee to give the Keynote Address and he accept the invitation and he and his wife participated in the Canada Day weekend and thrilled the audience with his presentation entitled - 'The Backward Look - from Monaghan to Monaghan Road PEI'

Thomas O’Grady was born and grew up on Prince Edward Island.  He was educated at the University of PEI, University College Dublin, and the University of Notre Dame.  He is currently Professor of English, Director of Irish Studies, and a member of the Creative Writing faculty at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife and three daughters.  He has had many books of poetry and many short fiction stories published and his articles, essays and reviews on literary and cultural matters have been published widely in scholarly journals and general-interest magazines in many countries.

He and I spent some time together during the weekend and established a warm friendship and we kept in contact after his return. Last week I received an amazing email from him telling me that he had two young men helping with renovations to his house and when he asked them where they were from they told him - Emyvale, Monaghan. Their names are Darragh and Emmet Trainor/Treanor. He asked them about knowing Seamus McCluskey, which they did, and yours truly was also recognised. He describes the boys as - 'very nice guys and great ambassadors for Emyvale'. What a surprise - it is definitely a 'very small world' and he says that after speaking to them he really wants to return to Monaghan for another visit. His father, Brendan, is now 93 and well and we send our best wishes to him and Seamus McCluskey sends his best wishes too. Thomas sends good wishes to all the friends he made in Monaghan and remembers his visits here with great happiness. We would also like to send good wishes to Darragh and Emmet and tell them that we are delighted that they are doing so well.