I recently heard the Canadian Ambassador to Ireland , Her Excellency Nancy Smyth, speaking about the historical connections between Canada and Ireland and I was genuinely surprised by how many there were.
Here’s just a flavour of Irish connections to Canada:
- Thomas D’Arcy Magee who was born in Carlingford, Co Louth in 1825. D’Arcy Magee was an Irish-Canadian politician, Catholic spokesman, journalist, poet, and a Father of Canadian Confederation. There is a statue to D’arcy Magee in Ottawa.
- The Irish Shamrock is part of the flag of Montreal.
- 4.5 million Canadians identify with Irish Heritage and there is an Irish heritage month in Canada every March.
- When the ‘Shamrock Summit’ was held in 1985 between Brian Mulroney, the Canadian Prime Minister and Ronald Regan, President of the USA they were actually heard to sing “When Irish Eyes are Smiling” together!
- Ireland and Canada work closely together at the UN on pressing issues like Climate Change.
By the way, Canada also has the longest land border in the world at 9000 kilometres!