Cricket: When Irish Eyes are Smiling

My wife and I have just returned from a cricketing tour of England with the Sydney Cricket Ground XI that included two days at Lord’s for the second Ashes Test. The atmosphere at Lord’s was fantastic – too bad about the cricket. It was not long ago that as an Irish-Australian I took delight in the way Australia used to put England to the sword whenever the two teams played the game the English had invented.… Read the rest

Digitised Newspapers on Irish-Australia

The good news for those interested in Irish-Australian history is that two Australian Catholic newspapers The Freeman’s Journal (1850-1932) and The Catholic Press (1895-1942) are now being made available online. Trove, the National Library of Australia’s online research service, has for a number of years been digitising Australian newspapers and uploading them to its digitised newspapers website.… Read the rest

Redmond Brothers’ Tour of Australia 1883

For ten months in 1883 John Redmond and his brother William toured Australia and New Zealand promoting the cause of Irish self-government and raising funds for the Irish National League. The Redmond brothers’ tour has received limited coverage in the published literature despite the length of the visit, the public controversy it caused and the significance which some historians have ascribed to it.… 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

Tours Downunder: John Redmond MP and the English Cricket Team of 1883

One hundred and thirty years ago this month John Redmond MP, an Irish member of the House of Commons, and his brother William came to Australia on a lecture tour to promote the cause of Irish home rule and to raise funds for the Irish National League.

At the same time a tour of a different sort was underway.… Read the rest