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Ballarat and District Irish Association Ballarat, Victoria

Ballarat's powerful and dynamic history is very much part of Australian history, with its stories of gold discovery, massiv immigration, the diggers and life on the goldfields, Eureka Stockade and the stand for democracy, rapid urban and rural development, and finally the establishment of an elegant and prosperous city.

The contribution by people of Irish background to Ballarat's social, cultural and industrial development is substantial and needs to be presented, celebrated, promoted and enjoyed.

The Ballarat and District Irish Association Inc aims:

- To create the social interaction of people interested in Australian Irish culture
- To foster the involvement and presentation of Australian/Irish music, dance, literature and poetry
- To suppot, facilitate and participate in special events and festivals
- To present and support cultural, heritage and history workshops/seminars
- To enhance the knowledge of and to encourage the development of a permanent record of the Australian Irish contribution to the development of the Ballarat region
- To assist interested members searching information concerning Irish/Australian ancestry and associated heritage
- To compile information concerning travel to Ireland as well as various locations throughout Victoria and Australia that have Australian Irish heritage and cultural significance
- To affiliate with complementary organisations - local, national and international
- To seek funding for relevant programs
- To organise a venue for regular meetings
- To consider the establishment of an Australian Irish Resource Centre

Contact Information

location
Ballarat VIC 3350 (map)

Opening Hours

N/A

Entry Fee

Annual membership is $20.00

Location

Ballarat Victoria

View on Google Maps

The collection of the club is virtual. It includes copies of images and writings obtained with the permission of the owners.

Beryl Hill 5 May 2015 3:17 PM

I anxious to learn of the whereabouts of Alice and Arthur Shirreff, of Dereel. My emails to them have been unsuccessful. Are you able to help with an address? I was a work colleague and friend of Alice for many years. I would appreciate any information you may be able to provide as to how I can contact either Alice or Arthur. Thank you, Beryl Hill

Catriona Banks 5 May 2015 4:23 PM

Hi Beryl, I shall ask around for you, through the Ballarat Irish Club. I'll be in touch. Regards, Catriona

Catriona 6 May 2015 10:30 AM

Hi Beryl - I have been in contact with someone who knows Alice. Could you please contact me on 0414.942.385, or by email on [email protected] and I can pass on the info to you 'off-line'. Cheers, Catriona

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Image - Gleeson

Ballarat and District Irish Association, Ballarat

Image - Process Servers

Ballarat and District Irish Association, Ballarat

Photograph - Colour - McMahon Headstone in Eganstown Catholic Cemetery

Ballarat and District Irish Association, Ballarat

Photograph of a white marble headstone in the Eganstown Catholic Cemetery. The headstone features a Harp of Erin. The headstone if for John McMahon and his family.

Historical information

John McMahon was born in County Clare, Ireland

Image - McDonald

Ballarat and District Irish Association, Ballarat

Photograph - Colour - St Patrick's Cathedral Hall, Ballarat, 2007

Ballarat and District Irish Association, Ballarat

A series of colour digital photographs showing a large red brick hall associated with St Patrick's Cathedral, Ballarat. The bell tower is situated to the right of the hall.

Historical information

St Patrick's Cathedral Hall was erected in 1900 to the architectural plans of Clegg, Kell and Miller. The builder was Peter Bodger. The Cathedral Hall is a massive structure in the Gothic manner, with slender proportions and Gothic window detailing. The main hipped roof of the hall is intersected on both sides by four gables, and the front ridge is intersected by two further gables to form the street elevation. Internally the hall resembles many town halls except for the two tiers of Gothic windows and the manner in which the ceiling curves downward towards the walls. Pointed Gothic windows on the upper level intersect the curved ceiling in a simple groined junction. The plaster ceiling is coffered by intersecting beams, while a central skylight floods the hall with natural light. Other features of note are the ridging on the front gables, and the iron bell tower framed in steel angles and braced with criss-crossed rods, complete with a huge wheel and a great bell. St Patrick's Hall demonstrates a notable application of decorative schemes, particularly its highly decorated ceiling which has few parallels amongst other church halls in Victoria. The hall is in an important location as part of St Patrick's complex, as well as part of the group of churches which include St Andrew's Kirk and the former Baptist Church, opposite in Dawson Street. (http://stpatscathedral.weebly.com/cathedral-hall--presbytery.html, accessed 13 November 2013.

Image - Patrick A. Collins, c1864

Ballarat and District Irish Association, Ballarat

Image of Patrick A. Collins, United States Congressman

Historical information

As a young man, Collins joined the Fenian movement (founded to overthrow British rule in Ireland). This work led him into politics. He was quickly elected a state representative and then a state senator. As a legislator, Collins worked to ease restrictions on the practice of religion for Catholics in state institutions and to earn public money for Catholic charitable institutions. With the rapidly increasing number of Irish voters in Boston in the 1870s, their vocal assertion of their rights, and strong political organization, the Irish were beginning to be recognized as a power to be reckoned with. Collins was central to these developments.(http://www.questia.com/library/journal/1P3-2036414231/young-patrick-a-collins-and-boston-politics-after, accessed 21 January 2014)

Photograph - Colour - St Patrick Statue

Ballarat and District Irish Association, Ballarat

Detail of of St Patrick Statue from the Infant Jesus Church, Koroit.

Image - Irish Life

Ballarat and District Irish Association, Ballarat

Two images of people in front of a thatched cottage. A man walks with a sheep, and in the other a man and a woman ride a horse.

Image - Patrick Cronin, c1864

Ballarat and District Irish Association, Ballarat

Image of a man known as Patrick Cronin.

Image - Reynolds

Ballarat and District Irish Association, Ballarat

Image - Justin McCarthy M.P., 1864

Ballarat and District Irish Association, Ballarat

Image of a bearded man wearing glasses. He is Justin McCarthy, M.P.

Historical information

McCarthy, JUSTIN, Irish politician, journalist, novelist, and historian, b. at Cork, November 22, 1830; d. at Folkestone, England, June 24, 1912. He was the son of Michael McCarthy, and was educated at a private school in his native city. At the age of eighteen he obtained a position on the literary staff of the "Cork Examiner". In 1853 he went to Liverpool as a journalist; in 1860 became Parliamentary reporter of the London "Morning Star", which he edited later (1864-68). From 1868 till 1871 he lectured with great success throughout the United States of America and was one of the assistant editors of the New York "Independent". On his return to England he contributed frequently to the "Nineteenth Century", the "Fortnightly Review", and the "Contemporary Review", and for many years was leader writer for the London "Daily News". From 1879 till 1896 he was a member of the British Parliament, representing the Irish constituencies of County Longford, Derry City, and North Longford. In November, 1880, he joined the Irish Land League, which won so many victories for the Catholic peasantry; two years later he became chairman of the National Land and Labor League of Great Britain. In 1886 he revisited the United States. From 1890 till 1896 he was chairman of the Irish Parliamentary party in succession to Parnell, having previously been vice-chairman for many years. His courtesy and moderation won him the respect of all parties in Parliament. Though participating so actively in the political life of Ireland, McCarthy took more interest in letters than in politics. His first novel, "The Waterdale Neighbors", appeared in 1867, and was followed by about twenty others, many of which are still popular. Of these the chief are: "Dear Lady Disdain" (1875); "A Fair Saxon" (1873); "Miss Misanthrope" (1877) and "The Dictator" (1893). Other publications were: "Con Amore", a volume of essays (1868), and biographies of Sir Robert Peel (1891), Leo XIII (1896), and Gladstone (1897). McCarthy's popularity as a writer depends rather on his historical writings, which are always lucid, forceful, and wonderfully free from party spirit. Of these works the most important are: "History of our own Times" (7 vols., London, 1879-1905), dealing with the events from the year 1830 to the death of Queen Victoria and supplemented by "Reminiscences of an Irishman" (1899); "A short History of our own Times" (1888); "The Epoch of Reform, 1830-1850" (London, 1874); "History of the Four Georges" (4 vols., 1884-1901), of which vols. 3 and 4 were written in collaboration with his son, Justin Huntly McCarthy well-known as a novelist and play-writer; "Ireland and her Story" (1903); "Modern England" (1899); "Rome in Ireland" (1904). Failing health and old age could not induce McCarthy to lay down his pen, and even as late as November, 1911, he published his "Irish Recollections", describing with his wonted charm the events of his earlier life. He was an ardent advocate of Catholic rights, and, though he had been indifferent for many years, in his old age he returned to the practices of his religion. A.A. MACERLEAN [http://oce.catholic.com/index.php?title=Justin_McCarthy, accessed 3/12/2013]

Image - Joseph Chamberlain, 1864

Ballarat and District Irish Association, Ballarat

Image of a man called Joseph Chamberlain.

Historical information

Joseph Chamberlain was was an important businessman and a politician. He worked to improve education, and cities. He was a Member of Parliament from 1876 to 1914, and Colonial Secretary (controlling British colonies) from 1895 to 1903. His son Austen won the Nobel Peace Prize and another son Neville was Prime Minister from 1937 to 1940. (Wikipedia) Chamberlain was a Unitarian, a Christian who believes Christ was an example of the way to live life, but was not divine (not a part of God). Unitarians try to work to help society. There were many problems in Birmingham after the industrial revolution, and many men were not allowed to vote. In 1868 Chamberlain helped a liberal man to become the Member of Parliament for Birmingham. In 1869, he started a group working for free primary education for all children. In November 1869, he became a member of Birmingham City Council. There he worked for cheaper land prices for rural (countryside) workers, and became very popular. In 1873 he became the Mayor of Birmingham. He bought the gas companies and water companies for the city, so people were able to have clean and safe water. He made parks, roads, schools museums and built new houses for poor people. In June 1876 he became the Member of Parliament (MP) for Birmingham. In parliament he worked to unite radical M.P.s (MPs that wanted change) against the Whig party who were in power. His work helped William Ewart Gladstone to become Prime Minister in 1880. Chamberlain often spoke about education in parliament. (Wikipedia)

Image - John Fitzgerald, c1864

Ballarat and District Irish Association, Ballarat

Imaged of a bearded man known as John Fitzgerald

Image - John Edward Redmond, c1864

Ballarat and District Irish Association, Ballarat

Image of moustached politician John E. Redmond.

Historical information

John Edward Redmond, was a prominent banker and businessman before entering Parliament as a member for Wexford constituency in 1859; his statue stands in Redmond Square, Wexford town.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Redmond, accessed 21/01/2014) His great nephew, John Edward Redmond (1 September 1856 – 6 March 1918) was an Irish nationalist politician, barrister, MP in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party from 1900 to 1918. He was a moderate, constitutional and conciliatory politician who attained the twin dominant objectives of his political life, party unity and finally in September 1914 achieving the promise of Irish Home Rule under an Act which granted an interim form of self-government to Ireland. However, implementation of the Act was suspended by the intervention of World War I, and ultimately made untenable after the Conscription Crisis of 1918. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Redmond, accessed 21/01/2014)

Image - Henry Grattan, M.P., c1864

Ballarat and District Irish Association, Ballarat

Portrait of a man wearing a jacket. He is Henry Grattan, MP.

Historical information

Born on July 3, 1746, in Dublin, Ireland, Henry Grattan became a brilliant parliamentary orator who pushed for Irish legislative independence from Britain, achieved for a time starting in 1782. As a Protestant, he also advocated for Catholic emancipation and voting rights, clashing with ex-ally Henry Flood over ideology. Later serving in the House of Commons, Grattan died on June 4, 1820. [http://www.biography.com/people/henry-grattan-9318523, accessed 14/12/2013] Born in 1746, died in 1820; was admitted to the Irish Bar in 1772; entered the Irish Parliament in 1775; secured the restoration of independence to the Irish Parliament in 1782; retired from the Irish Parliament in 1797; returned to the Irish Parliament in 1800, in order to oppose the Union; elected to the Imperial Parliament in 1806, remaining a member until his death.[http://www.bartleby.com/268/6/4.html, accessed 14/12/2013]

Image - McKenna

Ballarat and District Irish Association, Ballarat

Photograph - Colour - John Lynch, Smythesdale Cemetery, 2013

Ballarat and District Irish Association, Ballarat

Photograph - Colour - St Patrick's Cathedral, Ballarat, 2007

Ballarat and District Irish Association, Ballarat

A series of coloured digital photographs showing the bluestone church known as St Patrick's Cathedral, Ballarat.

Historical information

St Patrick's Cathedral first conducted services from 1851 onwards, the parish of Ballarat was instituted in 1852.The first Parish Priest was Father Matthew Downing,who selected in 1853 the two acres site for this church which was granted under a crown Grant in 1855. The style of the church is early Gothic from the era of Edward the 1st in the 13th Century. (http://www.ballarat.catholic.org.au/parishes/default.cfm?loadref=93, accessed 13 November 2013) Bishop James Alipius Goold OSA (Bishop of Melbourne) celebrated Mass in St Patrick's Ballarat on Sunday November 8th 1863. The Bishop had laid the foundation stone for the Church in 1858 and by November 1863 the Church was sufficiently completed to be used on a regular basis. (http://stpatscathedral.weebly.com/, accessed 13 November 2013) See http://www.ballarat.catholic.org.au/aboutus/default.cfm?loadref=9

Image - Morley

Ballarat and District Irish Association, Ballarat

Image - Reverand Doctor George C. Betts, c1864

Ballarat and District Irish Association, Ballarat

Image of Rev. Dr George C. Betts.

Historical information

Rev. George Betts was rector, St. James Protestant Episcopal Church (http://www.aihs.org/American_Irish_Historical_Society/About_Us.html, accessed 21 January 2014) The Reverend George C. Betts was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1840, immigrated to New York in 1861, and eventually settled in Chicago where he was in business for a short time before joining an Indiana regiment in the Union Army. When his enlistment was up, he went to Nebraska and studied for the ministry. George C. Betts was ordained in 1867. (http://thebigredchair.blogspot.com.au/2011/11/sacred-secret.html, accessed 21 January 2014) He died in 1901.

Image - Evicted - Homeless, 1864

Ballarat and District Irish Association, Ballarat

A barefoot woman sits on a table in the rain, outside a cottage with thatched roof. She is surrounded by her possessions.

Historical information

Absentee landlords were common in Ireland and for many landlords the primary focus was income rather than the conditions of their tenants. Many landlords realized that they could get a higher income by turning their properties to pasture than to continue with the old practice of collecting rents from tenant farmers. Evictions was the most common way of getting rid of unwanted tenants. The tenant frequently built his cottage himself from local materials. However, his rent was higher if he had windows, if his door was over a certain height and if he made any type of improvements or enlargements to the dwelling. The landlords practiced "Rack Renting" in order to get rid of unwanted tenants. Rents were raised to the point that the tenant could not afford to pay them. The landlord then had the tenant evicted for non payment of rent. There were no appeals and no mercy shown. Although the only legal reason for eviction was non payment of the rent there were numerous examples of landlords who evicted tenants if they did not conform to the landlord's wishes.[http://www.maggieblanck.com/Mayopages/Eviction.html, accessed 13/12/2013] This image was also printed in he Illustrated London News, April 17, 1886, with the title 'all that is left, scene at a Mayo Eviction.

Map - Panell's New National Map

Ballarat and District Irish Association, Ballarat

Image - Gannon

Ballarat and District Irish Association, Ballarat

Image - John P. Sutton, c1864

Ballarat and District Irish Association, Ballarat

Image of a bearded man known as John P. Sutton.

Image - St Patrick's Day Parade, Ballarat, 1916

Ballarat and District Irish Association, Ballarat

Black and white photographic reproduction of the 1916 St Patrick's Day March in Sturt Street, Ballarat. A band leads the parade, a horse drawn float carries a banner "Unity of Peace & War" with hundreds following as part of the parade.

Historical information

St Patrick's Day is celebrated on 17 March. A St Patrick's Day March was held in Ballarat. According to the Ballarat Courier of 03 February 1916 a festival was organised in Ballarat to celebrate St Patrick's Day: "ST PATRICK'S DAY FESTIVAL - There was an excellent attendance last night at St. Patrick's Hall to make a rangments for the annual celebration of St. Patrick's Day Festival. Mr A. W. Hager occupied the chair. The date allotted by the V.R.C. committee, Friday, 24th March, was accepted, and the festival will take place on that date, with the usual race meeting on the Miners' Racecourse, and entertainment at Her Majesty's Theatre in the evening. The secretary was instructed to appeal for the hearty co-operation of the different societies, and to ask for a holiday on 24th March. The amount of stakes and the racing programme were left in the hands of racing committee, whose report will be dealt with at the next meeting. The following officials were appointed to carry out the celebrations:--Chairman, Very Rev. Father Kennelly; vice-chairmen, Rev. Father Henneberry, T. J. O'Loughlin, and A. W. Hager; general manager, Mr M. Newton; Secretary; Mr F. T. Kierce; treasurer, Mr William White; collecting secretaries, Revs. Fathers Kennelly and Henneberry; entertainment. Mesers D. J.Ward, J. Morrisey, Fraser Hussy, Chris Hager, Shelly, Dr Spring, Dr Kelly, J.J. Coglan, P. Thornton, Jasper Coghlan, Jas Early; finance committee, Revs. Kennelly, Henneberry, Messrs White, T. Foley, Dr Spring, Brophy, Shelley. All present with power to add wore appointed a general committee. A vote of thanks to the chair concluded the meeting."

Image - Gladstone

Ballarat and District Irish Association, Ballarat

Image - Pepper

Ballarat and District Irish Association, Ballarat

Image - McCarthy

Ballarat and District Irish Association, Ballarat

Photograph - digital - Headstone of Mary Roberts and Her Brother John Commons

Ballarat and District Irish Association, Ballarat

Photograph of the Ballarat Old Cemeteryheadstone of Mary Roberts and her brother John Commons. John Common was from Tipperary, Ireland. He died on 08 June 1858 aged 26 years. Also his sister Ann who died 21 November 1863 aged 35. Mary Roberts died 07 October 1866 aged 42 years.

Image - Ross Castle, Lower Lake, Killarney, c1864

Ballarat and District Irish Association, Ballarat

Image of a boat being rowed on a lake in front of Ross Castle, Lower Lake, Killarney.

Historical information

Ross Castle sits on the edge of Killarney's lower lake and was built by O'Donoghue Mór in the 15th century. The Castle came into the hands of the Brownes who became the Earls of Kenmare and owned an extensive portion of the lands that are now part of Killarney National Park . Legend has it that O'Donoghue still exists in a deep slumber under the waters of Lough Leane. On the first morning of May every seven years he rises from the lake on his magnificent white horse and circles the lake. Anyone catching a glimpse of him is said to be assured of good fortune for the rest of their lives. The large rock at the entrance to the bay is known as O'Donoghue's prison. Ross Castle was the last stronghold in Munster to hold out against Cromwell. It was eventually taken by General Ludlow in 1652. (http://www.killarneynationalpark.ie/Ross%20Castle/Ross%20Castle.htm)