Irish influence in Tasmanian history has traditionally been seen as minimal; numerically they made up a relatively small proportion of emigrants- free or bond. However, they – as elsewhere – “punched above their weight.” This was particularly so in South-East Tasmania where many first settled.
Two factors influenced my interest in Irish settlement in Tasmania:
- moving to live at Dulcot near Richmond in 1973, and then getting to know Alf King, grandson of Irish sheep thief Denis King, transported from Co Galway, and
- in 1985 meeting Richard Reid, Irish-born historian then working with the Australian War Memorial, Canberra. Discussion over many hours, and now years, comparing Irish communities in NSW & VDL , helped evoke the unique character of the Tasmania Irish experience.
Irish Beginnings in Tasmania
Irish Political Prisoners
There were several waves of political prisoners from Ireland who were sent to Van Diemen’s Land.
William Smith O’Brien