ARTWORK by Jose De Freitas
“May the light of heaven shine on the souls of the Gaels
who left Ireland in the years of the Great Famine
to find eternal rest in this soil. They will
be remembered as long as love and music last”
About Martindale Pioneer Cemetery
ALONG the banks of the Gatineau River in western Quebec, just north of Canada’s National Capital Region, lies a small rural community with deep Irish roots.
Here a unique memorial stands as a testament to survivors of Ireland’s Great Hunger who settled the community in the late 1800s.
The monument is located in the old graveyard at St. Martin’s Parish on the Martindale Road in Low, Quebec. It features a triple cenotaph engraved with a fleur-de-lys and a shamrock representing both the French and Irish local heritage. It also features a listing of names of those buried there.
Further to the right, stands a magnificent 12-foot Celtic Cross. Inscribed at the base of the cross in English, French and Irish are the following words: “May the light of heaven shine on the souls of the Gaels who left Ireland in the years of the Great Famine to find eternal rest in this soil. They will be remembered as long as love and music last.”
Over the years many people have visited this site and many wondered what it represents. Where are the graves of those whose names are listed on the triple cenotaph?
The purpose of this website is to share the story why this monument was established, the role of Catholine Butler [formerly known as Elaine Gannon], and to set the record straight for future generations.