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Author runs across Quebec & Ontario to honour Irish heritage

Click to play video: 'Run to the Black Rock' Run to the Black Rock
WATCH: Award-winning Irish author Michael Collins arrived at the Black Rock in Griffintown Friday, as part of his 900-kilometre marathon. Collins hopes to raise awareness of the many Irish immigrants who died in Canada trying to flee the famine in Ireland and raise funds for various Irish memorials – Jun 17, 2016

The United Irish Societies of Montreal and the Montreal Irish Memorial Park Foundation, Inc. got a big boost Friday as they try to build a park to remember their ancestors who died of typhus.

Award-winning Irish author Michael Collins arrived at the Black Rock in Griffintown as part of his 900-kilometre marathon.

Collins is retracing the route of Irish immigrants who arrived in 1847 to escape the famine.

READ MORE: Montreal Irish honour the past with annual ‘Walk to the Stone’

He began his journey at Grosse Isle, Que. and will finish at Ireland Park near Hamilton, Ont.

“We have a great shame about the famine that happened to us and we have been unable to process it,” Collins said. “Maybe it’s survivor’s guilt.”

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“When I came to Canada to learn French, I learned this history myself – I didn’t know it. So I went around and told the Irish newspapers about this specific May-to-October passage of 100,000 immigrants.

The Black Rock, located on Bridge Street, is the burial site of 6,000 Irish immigrants.

The Montreal Irish Memorial Park Foundation wants to build a commemorative site adjacent to the Black Rock.

The proposed site is currently owned by the federal government but efforts to build a park have gained traction in the past four years.

WATCH BELOW: Montreal Irish Monument Park

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