Ionad Cuimhneacháin na nImirceach
Emigrant’s Commemorative Centre.
Lámh chairdis trasna na dtonn.
Linking the diaspora.
We extend a CÉAD MÍLE FÁILTE, a hundred thousand welcomes, to the descendants of the Carna and Connemara area to their native heartland. We intend that the Emigrants and Diaspora Centre will be a focus for bringing our communities all across the world to this place of their forbears.
The concept of the Diaspora and Emigrants Centre is to link together the people of this community and this region…and the descendants of our emigrants wherever they may be. This area has a long and historic connection with the United States of America but our people have also emigrated in large numbers to Britain and indeed to countries as far away as Australia and New Zealand
We now intend building this centre at the site of the old Parish Hall in Carna village. This was a primary school at one time before it was converted into a parish hall. It has many memories for the people of the parish both at home and abroad. It has fallen into dilapidation in more recent years.
It is intended that the new Centre will be built on the footprint of the old Hall and will comprise the following facilities:
An information Library about family and local history;
We are coupled with the Maine Irish Heritage Centre in Portland in the State of Maine where many people from this area spent their lives. The descendants of those emigrants are now closely associated with us.
- We will develop a compendium of information about the many descendants of people from this area including those who became very significant figures in politics and public life in the United States.
- We are being given a collection of interviews and recollections from the Central Artery Tunnel project –the Big Dig – in Boston where many people from Connemara worked over the years.
We will have an Emigrants Remembrance Garden;
We will have a Room overlooking the Atlantic dedicated to neighbourliness, folklore, conversation, local history and culture.
- A hall suitable for events such as dances, concerts, drama, sports, classes and training courses, seminars and other activities;
- Community offices including an office for the preparation and publication of the annual Community Yearbook which concentrates on keeping links with the community alive and strong all over the world;
- A visitor information point.
This project has a multi-focused objective:
honouring our emigrants;
linking the diaspora;
providing a living picture of the history of a rural, Irish speaking west of Ireland community;
providing community facilities;
….and on a broader front it would provide a much needed social outlet and a centre point for the development of cultural and heritage tourism.
Ag daingniú an cheangail idir an pobal sa mbaile agus i gcéin … agus ag fáiltiú roimh mhuintir na háite agus an domhain mhóir – sin é an manna atá ag Ionad Cuimhneacháin na n-Imirceach.
Sliocht Iorras Aithneach agus polaitíocht Mheiricea.
Links between this area and politics/public life in the United States.
Martin J. Walsh – Present Mayor of Boston.
Both of his parents were natives of this area. He officially unveiled the foundation stone for the Emigrants Commemorative Centre here in Carna last September.
Denis McDonough – Chief of Staff in the White House.
His grandfather was from here in Carna.
Joseph E. Brennan – Former Governor of Maine and
Both of his parents were natives of Carna.
Margaret Craven – Former State Senator in Maine.
She is a native of Carna.
John E. McDonough – Former State Senator and Adviser
to Senator Edward Kennedy.
John’s father came from here in Carna. John is now Professor of Practice at the T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Harvard University.
You will note from our list of Patrons/Ambassadors for the project that we have many more links in the United States.
The Committee: Dr Michael Casey, Máirtín Ó Catháin, Paula Folan, Ann Marie Flaherty, Máirtín Griffin, Yvonne King, Dr. Gerard Hooke, Dara O’ Flaherty, Fr. Pádraig Standún, P.P., Eileen Davis, Nóirín Ridge, Kathleen Conroy, Louis Ridge, Susan uí Chatháin, Ann Dowd, Joseph Cooke, John Clancy, Séamus Ó Catháin, Joseph Curran, Robert Healy, Pádraig Hernon, Róisín Keane, Cliona Folan, John Casey, Kim Brown, Michael Folan (Mweenish), Stephanie Folan.
An Coiste: Dr Micheál Ó Cathasaigh, Máirtín Ó Catháin, Paula Ní Chualáin, Áine Máire Ní Fhlatharta, Máirtín Ó Gríofa, Yvonne Nic an Rí, Dr Gerard Hooke, Dara Ó Fhlatharta, an tAthair Pádraig Standún, Eileen Uí Dháibhís, Nóirín Nic an Iomaire, Caitlín Uí Chonaire, Louis Mac an Iomaire, Susan Uí Chatháin, Áine Uí Dhúbhda, Seosamh Ó Cuaig, Seán Mac Fhlannchadha, Séamus Ó Catháin, Seosamh Ó Curraoín, Roibeárd Ó hÉalaí, Pádraig Ó hIarnáin, Róisín Ní Chatháin, Clíodhna Ní Chualáin, Seán Ó Cathasaigh, Kim de Brún, Micheál Ó Cualáin (Muigh Inis) agus Stephanie Ní Chualáin.
Centre Patrons: Liam Cosgrave –former Taoiseach (Prime Minister of Ireland), Martin J. Walsh, Mayor of Boston; Maureen Coyne Norris – Founder of the Irish Heritage Centre, Maine; Senator Margaret Craven – State Senate in Maine; Róisín Ní Chatháin –B.P.T.W. Architects, London; Professor John E. McDonough – Director of the School of Public Health Policy at 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.
PROJECT ADDRESS: Emigrants Commemorative Centre,
C/O Údarás na Gaeltachta Offices, Carna, Connemara, Co Galway, Ireland.