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Welcome to the Montreal Irish Monument Park Foundation Website. We invite you to peruse those sections that may interest you in this extraordinary story...

A project to build a beautiful world class Memorial Space around the Black Rock on the Montreal side of the Victoria Bridge.

This space would remember the 6000+ Irish immigrants, fleeing the Great Hunger in Ireland, that died and were buried in the area in 1847.

It would also honor the many Montrealers of every language, religion, and heritage that provided help and comfort to these dying Irish. Many of these “caregivers” also gave their life in this great humanitarian effort.

...and to acquaint you with our plans!




Update - August 2021

As mentioned, more than 1 year ago, archeologists working with the REM discovered the remains of 14 victims of 1847. These remains are currently at a laboratory where tests are being done and we hope to have more details about these remains, in the next couple of months,- i.e., gender, approximate age, perhaps cause of death and DNA. (Like so much else these tests were delayed as result of the virus scare).

However, more than 2 years ago, a different team of archeologists, working with Hydro-Quebec, started a study in the main parking lot across from the Black Rock, where Goose Village, and then the Autostade existed. In this case no remains were found - but various items like clay pipes were discovered. Clay Pipes were a favorite of the Irish but it is difficult to tell if these pipes were from the Irish victims of 1847, or from the Irish that were working on the Victoria Bridge a decade or so later.

Right beside the main parking lot, there was another area occupied by Lafarge Cement which was also on land purchased by Hydro-Quebec. The Lafarge Cement company has now moved from the area, which, in turn, has allowed the archeologists from Hydro-Quebec to continue their search in this area.

This excavation is taking place in what I guess could be called the North end of the property. At the South and East section, construction of the Hydro station, to be called Poste des Irlandais (Irish station) has now started. But the area of this main site construction is generally “land fill”. In the 1950’s during the excavation for the Seaway and then again in the 1960’s during the construction of the Metro-Subway, a great amount of earth was transported to the area and extended the property. (The St. Lawrence River originally was much closer to the Black Rock). All to say that the land where the actual Hydro Station is being built simply did not exist there in 1847 and as a result, there is really no likely possibility of discovering any remains or even artifacts in this section.

On Tuesday, August 3rd, 2021, representatives of the Montreal Irish Monument Park Foundation were invited to visit and observe this new excavation.

They are discovering a number of every-day artifacts including bottles, a very old coin etc. – but it is still to be determined the origin of these items – were they from the Fever Sheds; the later builders of the Victoria Bridge; or from residents of Goose Village; or even later when the Autostade was built in the area?

All to say that the Montreal Irish Community could not possibly ask for more care and planning than that which is being done by the Hydro-Quebec organization.

The hope in the end is that all artifacts that are discovered by the archeologists will be cleaned-up, dated etc. and then displayed in any interpretation centre / museum that we plan to include in our world class memorial space around the Back Rock.

(all photos copyright - Hydro-Quebec





Update April 2021

Around St. Patrick’s Day, Victor Boyle provide a general update on the project. This update can be viewed here:

Black Rock Project Update March 18 2021 - YouTube

A Terrific REM Video.
Although we are not pleased that the REM organization agreed with the Mayor’s silly suggestion to add Bernard Landry’s name to the Girffintown station – that is a fight for another day.
Overall, we will always really appreciate the tremendous effort that REM made to respect Irish Montreal when excavating for a pillar for the new light transit rail system. Their planning, actual work, and co-operation with our community was definitely beyond reproach. And as most of you are aware, they did discover the remains of 14 victims of the 6000 Irish that died and were buried in the area in 1847.
A few months ago, the Montreal Irish Monument Park Foundation joined with REM as they made a terrific video record of their efforts around the Black Rock.
The release of this video was delayed like so much else as a result of the Virus scare but now, since August is Archeology Month, it has been released.
(This video starts in French but when Victor Boyle and myself join in about half way, we are speaking in English. If you would like to add the subtitles to this video, you will have to click on the little “settings button” and then click on subtitles)
Please do take an opportunity to view it either on Facebook or on Youtube at the following links:



Recent project updates - (Click on "project uodates for previous notes)

Update note for May 31st 2020

As most of you are aware, some months ago, during the REM excavation for the new light transit system, the remains of 14 victims from the 1847 event, were discovered. (This excavation took place in 1% or less of the total area where the main burials of the victims from 1847 took place.)
These remains were subsequently sent to a laboratory for testing purposes.
We did receive a note from REM in the last days that although the laboratory has been closed during this virus scare lockdown, that work on this project will resume as soon as possible. They also mentioned that the remains were fairly well preserved and that DNA can likely be obtained for all or most of these remains. They have also sent out requests to other various labs around the world who might be able to provide specialized information.
The hope is that the DNA will provide information such as the gender of the victim; the approximate age; the cause of death (likely typhus or malnutrition or a combination); the diet of the victims over time (likely potatoes, corn etc.); confirmation that these remains were Irish and from the 1847 event (almost for sure but still testing is required) and similar information that will help to build a profile of each victim.
In the meantime, we have also been contacted by a group of volunteer scientists and genealogist in Ireland with an offer to help to review this DNA against their databases. This could provide such information as the location in Ireland where the victims originated. This group has provided a similar investigation concerning unidentified soldiers from WW1 – (if you would like to see a great video on their work in this area, it can be viewed at: https://youtu.be/R76Ubg-b_Sc )
Advances in DNA and the information that it can yield are happening everyday. For example, new developments in forensic DNA is starting to be able to provide a fairly good image of an individual from their DNA.
This is all quite exciting especially since after more then a decade of searching we have never been able to find any record of the names etc. of the 6000+ victims that died and were buried in the area in 1847. And although 14 out of 6000+ is a small number, they could provide at least some representation of all the victims.
The plan is after all the testing etc. has been completed, these remains will be reburied near the Black Rock in the most dignified manner possible – although that is likely a couple of years down the road.
Once again, we offer our thanks to the REM organization for their extremely excellent efforts in this discovery and follow-up.
Ongoing development of a proper Memorial by the Park Foundation and the Irish Community, for an awakening in Ireland of the impact of the Great Famine on the world.

Due to the current virus scare, the annual "Walk to the Stone" was cancelled.

However, on Sunday, May 31, 2020, the AOH had a simple laying of the wreath at the Black Rock along with a prayer.

Joining us was the team from the Park Foundation working on the Memorial:

Fergus Keyes
Lynn Doyle
Paula Phelan (for Scott Phelan)

We felt you were all there with us.



Donation Note.......

Quite often recently, we have been asked about how someone might make a small donation to the Montreal Irish Monument Park Foundation to help with promotional efforts; event costs etc.

It is actually quite easy….

On the left side of this page, click on the yellow button “DONATE”

You can make a donation through PayPal or most major Credit Cards



If you prefer to send a donation by check, it can be sent to:

The Montreal Irish Monument Park Foundation

c/o 523 rue Charon

Montreal, Quebec H3K 2P4

That’s it – if you have any questions about this issue, please let us know


Recent activities:-

June 12 2019

Inter Faith religious Blessing at the Black Rock

July 1st 2019

Irish Contingent in Montreal Canada Parade


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