Willie McKenna of Ireland remembered as true Prince Edward Island ambassador

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Memorial service in P.E.I. planned for November

Willie McKenna, second left, is pictured with Tignish Irish Folk Festival chair Paul Shea, left, Joe McGuire and Elmer Arsenault in this TC Media file photo.

The Irish community on Prince Edward Island has learned of the death of Willie McKenna, Co. Monaghan, Ireland. He died Sept. 26.

McKenna was a member of the original Irish delegation which visited Prince Edward Island in 1990 when the Department of Tourism adopted the theme A'Kin to Ireland.

He has continued to visit Prince Edward Island, annually, to celebrate Irish Settlers Days, sponsored by the Fort Augustus Irish Descendants Association.

”His keen interest in history, ancestry, love of Irish culture and vivacious personality has greatly strengthened the bond between Ireland and Prince Edward Island,” says Anna Duffy, a spokeswoman for the association.

“His enthusiasm and interest in the people and businesses of the Island have endeared him to hundreds of Islanders, especially those in the communities of Fort Augustus, Emyvale and Kelly's Cross, who have officially twinned with Co. Monaghan, Ireland. Willie has been the bond who cemented these ties over the years, resulting in many Islanders researching their roots and travelling to Ireland.”

His funeral was held Monday at St. McCarten Basilica, Monaghan town, Ireland. His remains were laid to rest in Ballyosen, his birthplace. A memorial mass will be celebrated in St. Patrick's Church, Fort Augustus, Sunday, Nov. 9.

Organizations: Department of Tourism, Fort Augustus Irish Descendants Association

Geographic location: Ireland, Prince Edward Island, Fort Augustus

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