Fáilte – Carna, Connemara

A blessing for the future - the Mayor of Boston, Marty Walsh (on right) looks on as Carna Parish Priest, Fr Pádraig Standún, blesses the foundation stone for the Emigrants Commemorative Centre in Carna. September-23-2014.
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Searching for the past – Mayor Marty Walsh of Boston looks through the old roll books in the Carna Primary School to find the names of his aunts, the Walsh’s of Callowfeenish. On left, Máire Greene, the School Principal and immediately to her right is Sergeant Winnie Cotter of the Boston Police, the Mayor’s first cousin. Mayor Walsh’s mother, Mary Walsh – a native of Ros Muc – is on the left of the picture.
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If those walls could talk – the old building from 1887. It was once a school and later the Carna Parish Hall. It will be blended into the Emigrants Centre.
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Welcome to The Emigration and Diaspora Centre Project – Carna, Connemara. Carna and Cill Chiaráin (Kilkieran) are on the far West coast of Connemara in the West of Ireland. These two areas comprise the peninsula of Iorras Aithneach – ‘The Windy Peninsula’.

THEY SAILED AWAY. Thousand left on ships like this Cunard line and on vessels that were away below that standard over the centuries and the decades. We will remember them.
THEY SAILED AWAY. Thousand left on ships like this Cunard line and on vessels that were away below that standard over the centuries and the decades. We will remember them.

‘The Windy Peninsula’ is renowned for its rich traditions of music, ‘sean-nós’ singing, ‘sean-nós’ dancing, folklore and storytelling. It is a community steeped in seafaring and fishing over the centuries and it has an illustrious tradition of boat building – Galway hookers and sailing boats included.  But it was a tough place to live; the land was poor. The infrastructure was bad an there was little means of regular earnings. Emigration was the only option for very many people.

… And this is the story of Connemara and emigration.

The Emigrants and Diaspora Centre will tell that story;

  • It will be a monument in honour of our emigrants.
  • It will be a symbolic gathering point for the people of this community and their descendants wherever they may be.
  • It will portray the changing face of a rural Gaeltacht areas and the effects of emigration.

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The Centre

The Old Town Hall in Carna, Connemara

It is intended that the new Centre will be built on the footprint of the old Hall...

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News and Updates

Martin Walsh - Mayor of Boston

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Photo Gallery

Photo Gallery

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Ambassadors for the Emigrants Commemorative Centre

  • Martin J. Walsh - Mayor of Boston;
  • Liam Cosgrave – former Taoiseach (Prime Minister of Ireland;
  • Maureen Coyne Norris – Co-founder of the Irish Heritage Centre, Portland, Maine;
  • Senator Margaret Craven – State Senate in Maine;
  • Róisín Ní Chatháin –B.P.T.W. Architects, London;
  • Professor John E. McDonough – Professor of Practice, TH Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University;
  • Danny O'Flaherty – Founder of the Celtic Nations Foundation in Louisiana;
  • Professor Michael Connolly – Professor of History in St Joseph's College in Maine;
  • Joanne Riley – Head of Archives Department, University of Massachusetts;
  • Mary Pat Kelly - journalist and author, New York;
  • Ms. Terry Fitzgerald - I.T. Consultant, Seattle, U.S.A.

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