The President of Ireland, Dr. Mary McAleese, visited Nova Scotia from October 8-10th, 1998 as part of her official visit to Canada.
Part of that visit to Nova Scotia was flying to Sydney from Montreal and visiting the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site.
“On Thursday Mrs McAleese and her party flew from Montreal to Cape Breton, the island at the northern tip of Nova Scotia, and were driven to Fort Louisburg, a reconstruction of the 17th-century French fortress which was taken twice by the English. Its citizens were expelled to France or fled to French-held Louisiana.
The windswept fort, on a bleak promontory sticking out into the Atlantic, is now a national historic site of Canada, and the presidential party viewed various scenes from the past. Actors in period costume paraded and danced.” – The Irish Times – October 10th, 1998
Many dignitaries visited the Fortress of Louisbourg that day accompanying the Irish President.
William A. O’Shea, Head of Historical and Cultural Resources (Parks Canada) at the Fortress of Louisbourg was tasked with giving Dr. McAleese an informative and memorable tour of the Fortress.
“President McAleese and her husband will arrive in Sydney and visit the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site and the University College of Cape Breton. They will have the opportunity to observe the many cultural and historical links between Ireland and Cape Breton.” – News release – Province of Nova Scotia – September 30th, 1998
A special thanks to Helen O’Shea for contributing these photos to the O’Shea Archives.
This site is dedicated to the memory of William A. O’Shea:
William A. O’Shea was a researcher, historian, and manager for Parks Canada / Heritage Canada. His professional life was dedicated to learning more about and teaching Canada about the history of our country. One of his personal passions has always been to learn more about local histories and share them with the broader community. He was a founding member of the Louisbourg Heritage Society, Deputy Mayor of the Town of Louisbourg (Nova Scotia) and wrote many books and articles about the town of Louisbourg and the surrounding area. He called Louisbourg home for more than 30 years. Until his passing on October 14th, 2019, he resided in Cornwall, Ontario near his home town of Long Sault, Ontario.
This site is maintained and updated by Kevin O’Shea (O’Shea Archives founder).
Contact Kevin (email): firstname.lastname@example.org