Government of Canada Signs New Twinning Arrangement with Government of Ireland

News release

Terra Nova National Park and Signal Hill National Historic Site will be Twinned with Connemara National Park and the Marconi Station in Ireland

May 6, 2019                              Gatineau, QC                       Parks Canada Agency

On the eastern reaches of Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador boreal forest meet the Atlantic and across the sea Ireland’s green hills rise up on the east. Our most easterly province has long been a place that connects Canada with the world. In 1901, the first wireless signal travelled across the Atlantic to Signal Hill, where it was received by Guglielmo Marconi and reshaped our world, bringing us closer together than ever before.

Today, on behalf of the Government of Canada, the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Indigenous Services and Member of Parliament for St. John’s South – Mount Pearl, attended a signing ceremony with Trevor Donnelly, National Director, National Parks and Wildlife Service and H.E. Jim Kelly, Ambassador of Ireland to Canada, representing the Government of Ireland to mark the twinning agreement between Terra Nova National Park and Signal Hill National Historic Site in Newfoundland and Labrador with Connemara National Park and The Marconi Station in Ireland.

The Government of Canada, through Parks Canada and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht of the Government of Ireland have reaffirmed the strong cultural connection between our countries, and our mutual goals in the areas of conservation and history. The twinning arrangement will promote cooperation and knowledge exchanges for the mutual benefit of these national parks and historic sites, which have an important role in habitat protection and the conservation of wildlife, as well as in the cultural heritage of both countries.

Canada’s Terra Nova National Park and Ireland’s Connemara National Park are both filled with bogs, wetlands and woodlands and share common species including the pine marten. There is also a strong historical cultural connection between the east coast of Newfoundland and Ireland. Signal Hill National Historic Site in St. John’s played an important role in Canada’s communications and defence history. The Marconi Station in Ireland opened in 1907 when commercial signalling started between Ireland and Canada.

Parks Canada manages one of the finest and most extensive systems of protected natural and cultural heritage areas in the world. Parks Canada is responsible for protecting nationally significant examples of Canada’s natural and cultural heritage and sharing the stories of these treasured places.



“Newfoundland has been described as the most Irish place in the world outside of Ireland. Lying some 1800 miles to the west, Newfoundland is the only place outside Europe with its own distinctive name in the Irish language - Talamh an Éisc, Land of the Fish. This twinning arrangement deepens an old and abiding friendship between Ireland and Canada.  It strengthens our common desire to protect nature, preserve our heritage and promote natural and cultural tourism.”

The Honourable Seamus O’Regan,
Minister of Indigenous Services and Member of Parliament for St. John’s South – Mount Pearl

“I am delighted that my Department through the National Parks and Wildlife Service is entering into a twinning arrangement with Parks Canada. Both parties aim to capitalise on the significant networking and knowledge sharing opportunities given the natural and cultural resources protected and presented by both organisations, as well as our respective mandates. The connections between the people, culture and history of Ireland and the provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador in particular further enhance the opportunity for success in working together.”

Josepha Madigan TD
Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht

Quick facts

  • Terra Nova National Park protects the area where the North Atlantic Ocean touches the Island boreal forest of Eastern Newfoundland. The landscape of the park varies from the rugged cliffs and sheltered inlets of the coastal region to the rolling forested hills, bogs and ponds of the inland.

  • Signal Hill National Historic Site celebrates the rich communications and military history of Signal Hill and sits amidst a spectacular view of St. John's and the surrounding coastline. Along with its link to telecommunications history, the national historic site was part of harbour defences for St. John's from the 17th century to the Second World War when soldiers of The Royal Newfoundland Regiment manned fortifications.

  • Situated in the West of Ireland in County Galway, Connemara National Park covers some 2,000 hectares of scenic mountains, expanses of bogs, heaths, grasslands and woodlands. Some of the Park’s mountains, namely Benbaun, Bencullagh, Benbrack and Muckanaght, are part of the famous Twelve Bens or Beanna Beola range. The iconic Diamond Hill or Bengooria also lies within the park. Western blanket bog and heathland are the predominant vegetation types to be found in the park. The park has a strong association with the Red Data Book species, St. Dabeoc's Heath (Daboecia cantabrica), a species which in Ireland is restricted to Connemara and south Mayo. The Park also maintains a farm of traditional breeds of livestock, including Connemara Ponies and Irish Moiled “Maol” Cattle. Connemara National Park was established and opened to the public in 1980.

  • The Marconi Station Historic Site is located at Derrigimlagh Bog, near Clifden, in the West of Ireland and was officially opened October 17, 1907 when commercial signalling commenced between Clifden and Glace Bay, Nova Scotia. Named after famed communications pioneer Guglielmo Marconi, the site commemorates significant advances in communications technology during this era. The station originally consisted of a huge condenser house building, a power house with six boilers and a massive aerial system consisting of eight wooden masts. In 1911, Marconi opened a second radio station seven miles away in the village of Letterfrack, installing a separate directional antenna system. The site of this radio station and some of the masts lies within the Connemara National Park. The receiving room is now the Park Manager’s office. The Derrigimlagh site is owned by the National Parks and Wildlife Service, but is managed by the Connemara Chamber of Commerce.

Associated links


Ray Kenny
A/External Relations Manager
Newfoundland East Field Unit
Parks Canada

Media Relations
Parks Canada Agency

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