This weekend will see a very special event taking place in Ionad Cuimhneacháin na nImirceach, The Emigrant Commemorative Centre in Carna – the Centre has been in collaboration with a group in the city of St. Paul, Minnesota to commemorate the Connemara Patch, the area in St. Paul which was home to many emigrants who left Connemara for Minnesota at the end of the 19th Century.
Over the years, the Irish community in the Connemara Patch gradually left the area – however some of their descendants remained until the 1950s, when a large number of the buildings were demolished to make way for the great roadbuilding project being undertaken in the United States at the time.
Some of the descendants of the Connemara Patch Irish attended a conference in the Emigrant Centre in Carna in 2019; it was there that the idea for a commemoration of the Connemara Patch was conceived, so that the memory of this part of Irish and American history would not be lost.
On Saturday evening, the Connemara Patch will be remembered simultaneously in St Paul’s and in Carna.
Údarás na Gaeltachta are very happy to support this event, which highlights the importance of the Gaeltacht Diaspora and the bond between those who stayed in Ireland and those who left – still a vital connection, more than a century later.
The maintenance and strengthening of these links with the Irish and Gaeltacht Diaspora worldwide creates cultural, social and economic opportunities; this is fully recognised in the Údarás na Gaeltachta Strategy 2021-2025.
The event is being broadcast live on the Diaspora na Gaeltachta Facebook page at 7pm, Saturday 20 August.