Historic Twinning Agreement between Ireland and Canada signed during Alcock and Brown Centenary Commemoration

  • Minister Seán Kyne TD joins representatives from Parks Canada to celebrate shared history
  • Wreaths are laid to commemorate the first ever non-stop transatlantic flight
  • Agreement to twin National Parks and historic sites is signed

Minister of State for the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands, Seán Kyne TD, will today sign a twinning agreement with representatives from Parks Canada.

The arrangement  twins The Connemara National Park and the Marconi Station in Ireland with Terra Nova National Park and Signal Hill National Historic Site in Newfoundland and Labrador – sites which share transatlantic technological feats of the early 20th century.

The agreement aims to promote bilateral cooperation and exchanges for the mutual benefit of the national parks and historic sites, which have an important role in habitat protection and the conservation of iconic species, as well as in the cultural heritage of both countries.

The signing ceremony takes place during the Alcock & Brown 100 Festival in County Galway which  celebrates the first ever non-stop transatlantic flight.  Pioneering airmen,   John Alcock and Arthur Whitten-Brown, made landfall on June 15, 1919 at Derrigimlagh Bog which is on the grounds of Connemara National Park after their incredible 16-hour journey from Newfoundland.

Minister Kyne will join relatives and friends of the airmen, representatives of Parks Canada and the local community at a special ceremony to mark 100 years since the historic flight.  He will lay a wreath at the site of where the landing, as will Tony Alcock, nephew of Sir John Alcock and Bill Brake, Field Unit Superintendent of Parks Canada.

Minister Seán Kyne said :

“As we commemorate Alcock and Brown’s flight from Newfoundland to Connemara we will be also thinking about Guglielmo Marconi. He is another pioneer who chose Derrigimlagh bog for his experiments; and who was first to connect Connemara and Nova Scotia through wireless communication. Both Marconi’s and Alcock and Brown’s achievements remind us of centuries-long social and cultural connections between Ireland and Canada.

 He added, “Taking inspiration from the past, we are launching exciting new initatives. The signing of a twinning agreement between Connemara National Park and The Marconi Station in Ireland, and Terra Nova National Park and Signal Hill National Historic Site in Newfoundland, Canada build on our historic ties . We share great past achievements and we have a common goal for the future – the preservation of our magnificent natural heritage. I am sure that this agreement will be a first step towards constructive collaboration between the National Parks and Wildlife Service and Parks Canada. “

The Honourable Catherine McKenna MP, Minister for Environment and Climate Change and Minister Responsible for Parks Canada, said

the twinning arrangement deepens an old and abiding friendship between Ireland and Canada. It strengthens our common desire to protect nature, preserve our heritage and promote natural and cultural tourism.   Thank you to all those involved for their dedicated efforts to establish this important twinning arrangement between these special places in both our countries. Working together, we can make sure we preserve and protect the natural spaces we love, for our children and our grandchildren.”

Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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