Irish South Australia: New histories and insights

Susan Arthure (Editor), Fidelma Breen (Editor), Stephanie James (Editor), Dymphna Lonergan (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportAnthologypeer-review


Its capital is named after German-born Queen Adelaide, its main street after her English husband, King William IV, so it is not surprising that little is known about South Australia's Irish background. However, the first European to discover Adelaide's River Torrens in 1836 was Cork-born and educated George Kingston, who was deputy surveyor to Colonel Light; the river was named in turn for Derryman Colonel Torrens, Chairman of the South Australian Colonisation Commission. Adelaide's first judge and first police commissioner were immigrants from Kerry and Limerick. "Irish South Australia" charts Irish settlement from as far north as Pekina, to the state's south-east and Mount Gambier. It follows the diverse fortunes of the Irish-born elite such as George Kingston and Charles Harvey Bagot, as well as doctors, farmers, lawyers, orphans, parliamentarians, pastoralists and publicans who made South Australia their home, with various shades of political and religious beliefs: Anglicans, Catholics, Dissenters, Federationalists, Freemasons, Home Rulers, nationalists, and Orangemen. Irish markers can be found in South Australian archaeology, architecture, geography and history. Some of these are visible in the hundreds of Irish place names that dot the South Australian landscape, such as Clare, Donnybrook, Dublin, Kilkenny, Navan, Rostrevor, Tipperary, and Tralee (as Tarlee).
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationMile End, South Australia
PublisherWakefield Press
Number of pages322
ISBN (Print)9781743056196
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Irish migration
  • South Australia
  • History


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