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Building on mass-grave sites: the old-school gentrification that never goes out of style, apparently...

For five years, members of Montreal’s Irish community have been working on plans for a park to memorialize the 6,000 famine refugees who died here in 1847’s Summer of Sorrow.

Now, the sale of the site of the proposed park appears to have dealt a deathblow to the plans to commemorate North America’s largest Irish Famine burial ground.

On Tuesday, organizers learned the Canada Lands Company, a federal agency, has sold the land near the Victoria Bridge to Hydro-Québec.

Given that they had been working with all levels of government to bring the memorial park to fruition, the news came as a total shock, said Victor Boyle, national president of the Ancient Order of Hibernians and a director of the Montreal Irish Monument Park Foundation.

“After all, we have met with every level of government, from the local borough mayor right up until the local MP, Marc Miller, so repeatedly that these guys know our shirt size. And they promised that they would keep us in the loop,” Boyle said.

Johanne Savard, a spokesperson for Hydro-Québec, confirmed that the utility is acquiring the lot at Bridge St. and Des Irlandais St. to build a new electrical substation.

Savard said the new substation is needed to supply the future Réseau électrique métropolitain (REM) train as well as the growing population of Griffintown...

Land sale threatens dream of Irish Famine memorial in Montreal | Montreal Gazette

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