Six Carrick-on-Suir people travelled to Newfoundland recently as part of the Ireland-Newfoundland Connections Group from the South East.
They visited various locations in the Avalon Peninsula and Cllr. Sylvia Cooney Sheehan laid a commemorative wreath at the grave of Michael Greene, a native of Carrick-on-Suir, who settled in Tilting, Fogo Island and who was buried there more than 150 years ago.
In a speech delivered in Irish and English, Tom Nealon, Chairman of Carrick-on-Suir’s Ireland-Newfoundland Group, said the wreath laying ceremony was a tribute not only to the memory of Michael Greene, but to all the emigrants from the Carrick-on-Suir area who emigrated to make a new life for themselves and who made enormous contributions to the life and success of the communities in which they found themselves.
Another member of the local group, Frances Norris did a number of readings outlining the connections between Carrick-on-Suir and Newfoundland on Tilting radio.
Tom Nealon joined Kevin Power and others as part of the Irish entertainment group for the Festival of the Sea.
Kevin availed of the visit to host the Newfoundland launch of his new folk music CD “Going on the Road”.
Cllr. Cooney Sheehan presented a talk on the development opportunities offered by the South Tipperary area and distributed a promotional CD to more than 50 participants at the Economic Conference.
She presented a framed picture of the Valley of Slievenamon to the Mayor of St. John’s on behalf of South Tipperary County Council and a framed picture of the Suir Valley to Mayor Mullowney of Bay Bulls on behalf of Cllr. Patsy Fitzgerald, Mayor of Carrick on Suir.
One of the travelling party Margaret Doyle played a prominent role in the school twinning events between schools in both countries and said she hoped to create a link with a school in Carrick-on-Suir in the near future.
John Shortiss presented a scroll on behalf of the Carrick-on-Suir Branch of ONE to Maureen Sullivan for her work on genealogy and family connections.
Guided by Gander-born Sherry McCann a frequent visitor to Carrick on Suir, the travelling group felt they were following the trail blazed by Michael Coady nearly thirty years ago.
It was Michael, who first brought attention to the magic of Newfoundland and the unique charm of Tilting.
This year’s participants felt particularly close to the people of this quaint old-world fishing village, which nestles so closely against the low lying rocks that it seems almost part of the North Atlantic.
The visitors hope to forge closer links with Tilting, which became the final resting place of Michael Greene and where many of the residents are his direct descendants.