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Canada's €5k gift for upkeep of memorial

May 3rd, 2016 5:06 PM

By Southern Star Team

The Canadian Ambassador, Mr. Kevin Vickers presented €5,000 to Cork County Council towards the upkeep of the Air India Ahakista Memorial. Cllr. John Paul O'Shea, Mayor of the County of Cork (right) accepted the cheque on behalf of Cork County Council. Photo: Martin Walsh.

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A GIFT of €5,000 has been given by Canada to the Air India Memorial at Ahakista near Durrus.

The memorial to the 329 passengers and crew lost in the Air India flight bombed off the Cork coast in 1985 is located on the rugged coastline on Sheep’s Head.

This week, Canadian Ambassador Kevin Vickers made a visit to Cork County Hall to present the County Major Cllr John Paul O’Shea with the gift for the upkeep of the memorial.

Cork County Council erected the shrine and memorial garden to the victims of the atrocity on the peninsula of Muintir Bhaire, an Irish placename that translates to ‘Close to God’.  The site also looks directly out to the Atlantic ocean, 165 miles from the point where the plane went down.

‘It was an honour to meet Canadian Ambassador Vickers today,’ said Cllr O’Shea, ‘and on behalf of the people of Cork, I want to thank him and the Canadian government for this kind donation.’

Canadian Ambassador, Kevin Vickers said he wished to express, once again, the profound appreciation of the Canadian people to the people of West Cork for their ongoing commitment in maintaining the Ahakista memorial site.

A memorial service is held every year at Muintir Bhaire as commemoration for the families who come to remember their lost loved ones.  ‘I know that time does not lessen the pain of such a tragic loss,’ said Cllr O’Shea. ‘People have travelled from all over the world to this permanent memorial and many strong friendships have been forged and are strengthened every year.  The memorial provides a place of tranquillity and reflection for visitors to the area and this incredibly kind donation from the Canadian government to assist in the maintenance of this memorial place is very much appreciated.’

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