The Irish at Gallipoli 100 years on

In this centenary year of the Gallipoli campaign the main focus of commemoration in Australia and New Zealand has been the anniversary of the landing on 25 April. For the Irish, however, August rather than April is the most significant month. Although three Irish battalions took part in the landing at Cape Helles as part of the 29th Division, it was in August that the Irish arrived in strength with the 10th (Irish) Division taking part in the major offensive that was intended to break the stalemate which had set in after the original landings three and half months before.… Read the rest

Centenary of the Gallipoli Campaign

The centenary of the start of the military phase of the Gallipoli campaign on 25 April 1915 will be well commemorated in Australia and New Zealand, as might be expected. Although many thousands of Irishmen served at Gallipoli and died there, the campaign is not well known in Ireland and has not been widely commemorated there. … Read the rest

Irish Anzacs Project

IAP Logo 3The Irish Anzacs Project is a significant research undertaking of the Global Irish Studies Centre (now called Irish Studies at UNSW), made possible by a grant from the Irish government’s Emigrant Support Program. The project aims to identify all Irish-born enlistments in the Australian Imperial Force during the First World War, or as close to all as is practicable, and to compile a publicly accessible database containing information on each of them.Read the rest

Anzac Day in Dublin 2014

photo 1

Jeff Kildea giving Anzac address at Grangegorman Military Cemetery (Courtesy Michael Lee)

When I arrived at Dublin’s Grangegorman Military Cemetery this morning at 6 o’clock for the Anzac Day dawn service to commemorate all those who died in the Gallipoli campaign of 1915, a crescent moon was rising in the east. Very appropriate, I thought. After all, the victors in that campaign were the Turks, whose national flag includes a crescent moon.… Read the rest

The Last Summer: William Redmond’s Final Visit to Australia

This year 2014 we will be commemorating the centenary of the start of the First World War, which, appropriately, will overshadow many other centenaries. Nevertheless, apart from the war, a centenary event of relevance to Irish Australia is the 100th anniversary of the enactment of the Third Home Rule Bill, which had been introduced into the Westminster parliament in April 1912.… Read the rest

2013 International Irish Famine Commemoration in Sydney

Sydney played host this weekend (23-25 August) to the 5th International Famine Commemoration, marking the occasion with a dinner, a seminar and the annual gathering at the monument to the Great Irish Famine in the grounds of the Hyde Park Barracks. Previously, the event has been held in Toronto (2009), New York (2010), Liverpool (2011) and Boston (2012).… Read the rest

Anzac Day and the Irish Anzacs

For Australians, April brings to mind Anzac Day, the annual commemoration of those Australians who died or served in all conflicts in which Australia has been involved. The day itself – 25 April – is the anniversary of the landing in 1915 of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) at Gallipoli in Turkey. Eight months later the troops were evacuated having gained little more in ground than that which they had captured on the first day.… Read the rest

Easter Rising

The 97th anniversary of the Easter Rising falls on 24 April. Commemorations of this momentous event in Irish history usually occur on Easter weekend but it is not often that the calendar anniversary and Easter coincide. This year they are almost a month apart. In Sydney we had the usual Easter Sunday Mass at the 1798 Memorial in Waverley Cemetery, where Kerry Casey gave an interesting address on the participation in the Irish War of Independence of Australian soldiers from the First World War.… Read the rest

Saint Patrick’s Day in Sydney

Saint Patrick’s Day has come and gone, yet again. In Sydney the day was marked with many events stretching over a couple of weeks. St Patrick’s Day is very rapidly becoming St Patrick’s month. A ball, many lunches and dinners and the annual parade were all well attended. But it has not always been so. The celebrations of St Patrick’s Day have waxed and waned over the years and have taken many forms. … Read the rest