John Kent Blue Plaque 23-05-2024

June 2, 2024

Today, Thursday, May 23, at 3:30 PM, Canadian Ambassador to Ireland HE Nancy Smyth unveiled a Waterford Civic Trust Heritage Blue Plaque on Hanover Street, Waterford City. This plaque honors John Kent, a Waterford-born individual who became the second Premier of Newfoundland, serving from 1858 to 1861. John Kent, born in Waterford in 1805, moved to Newfoundland in 1820, joining many Irish who had emigrated since the late 17th century, primarily seeking employment in the fishing industries. By the 19th century, the Irish influence in Newfoundland was significant, as noted by writer Henry Winton, who remarked that Waterford natives dominated the island's leadership and cultural landscape. The Trust highlighted the persistence of the Irish language and accent in Newfoundland well into the 19th century, with many inhabitants retaining a distinctly Irish accent, especially reminiscent of Ballybricken in Waterford.

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