Plans unveiled for Irish commemoration site in Montreal
Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre unveiled plans Friday to create a commemoration site for thousands of Irish immigrants who died of typhus in the city in the 1800s.
Although the announcement is good news, some who have pushed to build a project are upset they weren’t invited.
“The fact that he didn’t even bother to invite us is absolutely…I can’t even think of the words to use for it,” Fergus Keyes, Montreal Irish Memorial Park Foundation director, said.
The Montreal Irish Memorial Park Foundation has pushed for six years to have something built beside the Black Rock memorial.
It appears the group will get its wish, but members are still uncertain about how they feel.
“It seems to be like a double thing,” Keyes said. “First of all, of course we’re really pleased that the city has made an announcement, but we’re really upset that they didn’t bother to invite us to this announcement.”
The land is currently a parking lot but was once used as a burial ground for Irish immigrants.
Hydro-Quebec owns the land and will build a substation on it by 2023, but wants to share the space.
“We are sensitive to the concerns of the Irish community,” Johanne Savard, Hydro-Quebec spokesperson, said.
Coderre and his administration have plans to honour the past as several proposals are still on the table including potentially moving the stone.
“We need to do something to make sure that from generation to generation the people will understand and know what happened,” Coderre said.
Coderre added that an archeological dig of the site is expected soon.
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