Mr. Speaker, St. Patrick's Day is a time to remember that many Irish people left their country over 150 years ago to escape famine.
After a long and difficult voyage across the Atlantic ocean, during which several of them died, these courageous men and women found in our country a generous new land where they settled, and a friendly new community which they joined.
Far from being indifferent to the debates that were taking place in their new community, the Irish generally espoused the political aspirations of that community, as witnessed by the participation of a number of them in the noble cause of the Patriotes, in 1837-38.
While maintaining a very strong emotional link with the land of their ancestors, that far away Ireland that achieved political independence or that is still on the way to emancipation, Quebecers of Irish origin, and I am one of them, have developed very deep roots in America.
Because of history, these people are now in a unique position to see how similar the situations of the Irish and Quebec people are.