Where: McKibbin’s Pub (downstairs in “the Sheebeen”), 1426 Bishop Street, Montréal. Be aware that there are a number of different “McKibbin’s Pubs” in town, this one is on Bishop’s St.
There will be music, songs and entertainment. The primary organizer is Yolanta Kruk.
Pádraic Ó Conaire (Pat Conroy, as he is known to his Canadian friends), who is a native Irish speaker, was born in the heart of the Connemara Gaeltacht in Carraroe in 1927. His parents were farmers who like many at the time emmigrated to North America in 1929 in search of a better life.
Pádraic was subsequently raised in Carraoe by his grandmother. In addition to farming Pádraic attended Carraroe Technical School where he studied carpentry. At sixteen, Pádraic became a member of the Local Defense Force (Army Reserve) and was part of the guard of honor when Éamonn de Valera visted the area. In his spare time in Tir an Fia Pádraic enjoyed watching the men on the Galway hookers and the currachs going about their work hauling turf, other goods and fishing in the bay. Pádraic's other great love was music and is self-taught on the melodeon. His music was enjoyed by the community at large during festive occasions and appreciated by the local séan-nós dancers, who would dance on the flat stones by the shore as was the custom in the day.
In 1947 Pádraic emmigrated to Canada to join his parents who had settled in Montreal at that time. Pádraic was thrilled to finally meet his sister, born in Canada when he was 10 years old. Over the years, Pádraic worked at constructing green houses at Cartierville Airport, at Imperial Tobacco and spent 35 years working at Northern Electric until his retirement. After a visit back to Ireland in 1973 with his friend Joe Mell, Pádraic made strong connections with Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éirnn (CCE) and the following year brought the travelling CCE "Echos of Erin" show for its first ever performance in Montreal. This achievment would be the followed by many more such occasions. A branch of Comhaltas was established in Montreal by Pádraic and his friend Joe Mell. Pádraic served as president until his retirement a few years ago. Over the years Pádraic has received many accolades and honors for his services in promoting Irish language and culture in Montreal.
As well as serving as president of Comhaltas Montreal, Pádraic would host informal Ciorcal Comhrá (conversation circles) sessions regularly for those who were interested in the language and for those ex-pats who wanted to keep from getting rusty. Pádraic was also a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians and of Innisfail Montreal. You can still rely on Pádraic to have his "bosca ceol" (button accordian) at the ready at any Innisfail social gathering to entertain. Although many of Pádriac's peers who were ex-pats and Irish speakers from all corners of Ireland have passed on, you can still hear Pádraic speaking our beautiful Irish language whenever the opportunity arises. This is a marvelous thing in itself after leaving Connemara behind 67 years ago.
Today Pádraic resides in Rawdon Quebec, a semi-rural community north of Montreal with his wife Eunice. Pádraic has 3 children; Peggy who resides in Vancouver, Kevin who resides in Toronto
and Patricia Conroy who lives in Nashville and is an award winning Country and Western singer. Although Pádraic has retired from Comhaltas Montreal, he is still very much involved with it. During the summer months he enjoys hosting music sessions at his home, visiting his children and of course visiting the "home" he left behind in Ireland.
The committee is honoured and pleased that Pádraic has accepted the role of being our president for the June 2014 festival held in venues in Tamworth/Erinsville and Kingston, Ontario.
For information and to purchase tickets please visit Oireachtas.ca.
Enquires in Irish Gaelic can be made to Aralt Mac Giolla Chainnigh
Please direct media enquires in English to Allyson Reid
Pádraic Ó Conaire ceaptha mar Uachtarán don Cheathrú Fhéile Bhliantúil
“Oireachtas Gaeilge Cheanada” 27 – 29 Meitheamh 2014 Tamworth/Erinsville/Kingston, Ontario
Chun tuilleadh eolais a fháil agus chun ticéid a cheannach, tabhair cuairt ar: Oireachtas.ca.
Cuir fiosrúcháin as Gaeilge goAralt Mac Giolla Chainnigh
Cuir fiosrúcháin chumarsáide as Béarla go Allyson Reid