20/06/2014 : Minister Deenihan opens Margaret of New Orleans Cottage in Carrigallen, Co. Leitrim
Friday, June 20th 2014: Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, will this afternoon open the cottage in Carrigallen, Co Leitrim which honours the birthplace of Margaret of New Orleans.
Margaret Gaffney was born in the townland of Tully, Carrigallen, Co. Leitrim on December 25th 1813. Poor circumstances led to some of her family emigrating to America where they settled eventually in Baltimore. Orphaned at 9 years age, Margaret eventually went on to marry and settled in New Orleans in 1835. Margaret suffered more tragedy when she lost both her husband and child. Margaret was deeply moved by the plight of the city’s orphans. She offered her services to the orphanage of the local Sisters of Charity where she found her place and became manager of the facility. A woman of unsurpassed charity, Margaret became famed for her lifelong championing of the destitute.
Speaking in advance of the opening, Minister Deenihan commented:
“This project is evidence of what can happen when a community comes together and invests their time and skills to enhance a project such as this. This has happened because the community in Carrigallen have pride in their local culture and heritage. They are a great example to other communities around the country. Margaret of New Orleans was an extraordinary individual who left an enduring legacy in New Orleans, and I’m delighted that strong links are being forged between County Leitrim and the United States in her memory.”