Irish-Australian documentary to premiere on SBS this St Patrick’s Day weekend

February 27, 2017

  • One of the bitterest chapters in Australian history
  • Irish Australian force born that would influence significantly Labor politics
  • Over 100,000 people lined the streets of Melbourne to support Irish independence on St Patricks’ Day in March 1920
  • One third of Australians have Irish heritage

Irish-Australian documentary to premiere on SBS this St Patrick’s Day weekend

  • One of the bitterest chapters in Australian history
  • Irish Australian force born that would influence significantly Labor politics
  • Over 100,000 people lined the streets of Melbourne to support Irish independence on St Patricks’ Day in March 1920
  • One third of Australians have Irish heritage

A documentary on the impact of Ireland’s 1916 Easter Rising in Australia will premiere on SBS this Saturday March 18.

The historical documentary, The Rise of Irish Australia, tells the powerful story of how in the midst of the First World War, the executions of the leaders of Ireland’s 1916 rising would influence the Irish Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne, Daniel Mannix, to take a public stance against the question of conscription facing the Australian people. A bitter sectarian divide opened in Australian society, as an Irish-Australian Catholic force, which would shape the political and social trajectory of Australia, was forged.

‘The conscription debates were one of the bitterest chapters in Australian history and this documentary charts the forging of an Irish-Australian Catholic force in the embers of a revolution on the other side of the world’ comments director of the documentary, Eoin Hahessy.

‘One third of Australians have Irish heritage, yet the depth of Irish-Australian history seems to have been lost. On St Patricks’ Day in March 1920, over 100,000 people lined the streets of Melbourne to support Irish independence. It was a time that saw the birth of a hugely influential Irish Australian community, a force that would that would go on to have a significant, and divided impact on Labor politics’ highlighted Eoin Hahessy.

The documentary was made by an Irish-Australian production company, Flight of the Cubs, and was recently broadcast on Ireland’s State national broadcaster, RTE, while Etihad Airways have also secured the rights for the documentary across their global fleet.

The documentary goes to air on SBS at 5.30pm (AEDT) on Saturday March 18.

‘With the documentary being aired on SBS the day after St. Patrick’s Day it allows for a reflection on the rich shared history between Australia and Ireland’