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Irish emigration to Australia

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Irish emigration to Australia

Irish Australians form the second largest ethnic group in Australia, numbering 1,919,727 or 9.0 per cent of respondents in the 2001 Census.

Irish settlers – both voluntary and forced – were crucial to the development of the Australian colonies from the earliest days of European settlement. The Irish first came over in large numbers as convicts (50,000 were transported between 1791 and 1867), to be used as free labour; even larger numbers of free settlers came during the 19th century, partly due to the Donegal Relief Fund. Irish immigrants accounted for one-quarter of Australia's overseas-born population in 1871.

Convicts & Orphans

Several emigration schemes were set up by the English home rule in Ireland, for example the Earl Grey orphan transportation scheme and the convict transports from Ireland.

Aim of this project

The aim of this project is to not only to create a collection of profiles from people who emigrated from Ireland to Australia but also to try and discover where in Ireland they came from and who their ancestors were.

Please add profiles to the relevant State or Territory

New South Wales


South Australia



Western Australia

  • Irish Settlement in Western Australia


Northern Territory

  • Irish Settlement in Northern Territory

Related projects

Sources and external links