Anzac Day in Dublin 2014

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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