Mr. Speaker, Irish history is vibrant and rich in the city of Miramichi. Irish immigrants began arriving in the area around 1815 and continued to do so even after the great tragedy of 1847, where hundreds of Irish immigrants perished on Middle Island after fleeing the famine in their homeland. Many of the survivors flourished, however, and started new lives on the banks of the Miramichi River.
Thanks to people like Farrell McCarthy, who is one of the founders of the Irish Canadian Cultural Association and the annual Irish festival, the Irish history in the region lives on and is celebrated each year. Farrell was also the well-deserved recipient of the Douglas Hyde Award, which was presented to him last month by Dr. Ray Bassett, the Irish ambassador to Canada.
I invite everyone to experience the closest thing to visiting Ireland, Canada's Irish capital, and enjoy the celebration of the Miramichi Irish Festival from July 14 to 17.