famine statues in Dublin
According to the 2011 census, more than 4.5 million Canadians report Irish ancestry. The figure is probably higher because Catholic Irish orphans from the coffin ships who arrived at Grosse Ile, our Canadian version of Ellis Island, were adopted into French-Canadian families. My own great-grandmother, believed to be French-Canadian, reported her ancestry on the 1911 census as French/Irish.

Many Irish came to Canada

My friends and I represent counties Cork, Limerick, Mayo, Armagh and Antrim and our ancestors were Church of Ireland, Catholic, and Presbyterian. They all left Ireland before Independence and Partition.  We'll never know all the reasons for leaving Ireland but we can assume that they were looking for a new start.

Daughter and I met Annie Moore last year at Ellis Island. There is a statue in Cobh as well.
She was the first immigrant through Ellis Island.

Ireland is a beautiful country. There are so many shades of green in the landscape.  I love the small towns where you can walk in the street and hear music coming out of almost every door. Yesterday, we went to the Burren, a rocky landscape where 70% of Ireland's botanical species bloom and to the famous Cliffs of Moher where we looked down on the Atlantic Ocean.

My friends went off to eat and drink this evening while I stayed in the hotel to read and write. I'm definitely in need of quiet time to process my experiences and to share them with my friends and family. One more night in Ennis and we're off to Galway!