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The Rideau Canal Celtic Cross fully resurrected at locks

The cross was toppled over and badly damaged last year.
USED 2018-02-28 Rideau Canal locks winter1 MV
The locks between the Ottawa River and Rideau Canal in Ottawa, February 28, 2018. (Photo/ Mike Vlasveld)

A re-dedication ceremony will mark the return of the Celtic Cross monument to its rightful place alongside the Rideau Canal at the first lock, located between the Parliament Buildings and the Chateau Laurier.

It takes place Sunday at 3 p.m.

"We were devastated in August of 2017 when we first learned the Celtic Cross monument was toppled over and badly damaged," said Sean McKenny, President of the Ottawa and District Labour Council and one of the lead organizers who first helped to erect the monument. "Although it's been eight months since the monument was damaged, our city, our country and more importantly those workers and their families who died building the Rideau Canal between 1826 and 1832 finally have their Celtic Cross back where it belongs. We are truly sorry it took so long."

McKenny added that they didn't have all the details as to what exactly happened last year, and he still doesn't know all of the specifics.  

The Ottawa and District Labour Council along with others first erected the monument in 2004.  Since that time, it has been seen and admired by hundreds of thousands of tourists and local residents.  

"The outpouring of shared grief when it was damaged was incredible," said Brian Daly, President of the Irish Society NCR.

Within days of the damage caused to the monument last year, the Ottawa and District Labour Council contacted the monument company who initially cast the Celtic Cross in 2004.  

"They were matter of fact", said McKenny.  "They told us the whole of the monument, four separate pieces would have to be recast.  The decision to proceed was an easy one for us, how could we not."

The monument is inscribed, 'In memory of the 1000 workers & their families who died building this canal 1826-1832.' That sentence appears in English, French, Gaelic and Algonquin.

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