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Friends of Ireland

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Cairde Na hÉireann

'Ourselves are not only where we are, but where we have come from'.

the late Professor Patrick O'Farrell, historian of Ireland and Australia

Founded in 1985, the Friends of Ireland Society (or in Irish, Cairde na hÉireann) reflects the deep interest of many people in the Canberra region in their Irish origins and in the links between Ireland and Australia.

The Society seeks to promote a better understanding of modern Ireland (both North and South) and of the distinctive contribution that the Irish have made to the Australian way of life.


Irish Anzacs Project

with Dr Jeff Kildea
Wednesday 8 April 2015
Canberra Irish Club,  Parkinson Street, Weston

Join us for a pre-meeting meal at Molly Bloom's Bistro from 6.30pm. 

The Bistro is getting very popular, so early booking are advised on 6288 5088

More than 6000 Irish men and women enlisted in the Australian forces during the First World War. Most had come to Australia to find a new life in a young country far removed from the troubles of the old world, only to find themselves caught up in the conflict between the European powers that raged 100 years ago. About 900 did not return. The Irish Anzacs Project aims to build a database of all of the Irish-born who enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force during the war. Compiled from a range of sources, the database will enable family and local historians to uncover the stories of the war service of Australia's Irish Anzacs.  

Dr Jeff Kildea is an adjunct professor in Irish Studies at the University of New South Wales and the director of the Irish Anzacs Project. A retired barrister, he held the Keith Cameron Chair of Australian History at University College Dublin in 2014. He is the author of Anzacs and Ireland (UNSW Press, 2007) and other books and articles on Irish-Australia some of which are available on his website: jeffkildea.com.

There will also be a brief presentation on Francis Hubert McNamara,VC, Australia's first VC in the air. He was awarded this honour after a daring rescue of another Australian pilot over Palestine in 1917. McNamara was the second Irish Australian to be awarded the VC in W.W.1 and there is a famous painting of his heroic event in the Australian War Memorial.


Our guest speaker nights are particularly popular &  are usually held at the Canberra Irish Club on the third Wednesday of the month, with an optional pre-meeting meal beforehand.

Past speakers include Booker Prize winning author, Thomas Keneally; Susan Ryan, the Federal Age Discrimination Commissioner; Frank O'Shea, Canberra writer and book critic; and H.E.Noel White, Ambassador of Ireland.


Irish language classes 2014: The Society runs Irish language classes. For more information see Irish Language classes page on this menu or call Conor Bradley on 6251 4838.

The Society is supported by the Canberra Irish Club. We encourage members & their friends to support the Club. Becoming a Club member, enjoying a bistro meal at Molly Bloom's, or arranging your work / family function at the Club are all practical ways to ensure the continuation of an Irish Club in Canberra. 

Follow-up to St.Patrick's Day Ecumenical Service 2015 - READ the letter (attached at the bottom of this page)  from the Corrymeela Community, detailing the work they are undertaking.


All of our events are open to the public.  Why not become a member? You'll find a warm welcome!  Annual membership is $20 or $10 (concession) and 2 year memberships and direct debit facilities are available. Members receive an occasional  newsletter. Membership enquiries to Jill Hanson 02 6288 6729.

Cairde Na hÉireann publicises its activities on the Irish Voice radio program on 2XX at 10.30 am on Sundays; Queanbeyan FM Radio;and in the Fridge Door column in The Canberra Times.

Co-Presidents: Richard Reid and John Collard.
Opening Hours
Mon 10:30am - 10:00pm
Tue - Thur 10:30am - 11:00pm
Fri - Sat 10:30am - 1:00am
Sun 10:30am - 10:00pm
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6 Parkinson Street
Weston, ACT, 2611