Sinn Féin Councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú has paid tribute to the organisers of this year’s D’Arcy McGee International Forum event which was held in Thomas D’Arcy McGee’s hometown of Carlingford.
Thomas D’Arcy McGee born in Carlingford in 1825 . He was a revolutionary Irish nationalist who later became a Canadian parliamentarian and was assassinated in 1868. He was a complicated character containing a lot of the complexities of Irish history.
Cllr Ó Murchú said “it is a great event with a myriad of political opinions, backgrounds and identities all brought together under the roof of the Holy Trinity Heritage Centre. The idea of the forum is to ‘bring together interested parties from across Canada and Ireland, to
discuss and debate, to explore new ideas, and to question old ones.’ This is much needed.”
Cllr Ó Murchú said “This year’s theme was ‘Canada and Ireland – exploring new beginnings in uncertain times’ and with the chaos of Brexit looming, I feel this is very apt.”
The event was opened by Kevin Vickers, the Canadian ambassador. The James M.
Flaherty lecture was given by the Canadian novelist and poet, Jane Urquhart, who spoke
eloquently about her Irish roots and the issue of her Quinn antecedents converting to Protestantism.
Cllr Ó Murchú also paid tribute to General John de Chastelain who will be awarded the Thomas D’Arcy McGee Award. “General de Chastelain
was Chairperson of the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning and had the unenviable job of overseeing the weapons issue as part of the Irish Peace Process. He is very deserving of this award and I wish him all the best going forward.”