The story of Adelaide's Irish National Association (INA) has remained largely untold. Its lineage stretched back to the local Land League of the late 1870s, and indeed to all subsequent local Irish Nationalist groups, and it survived until about 1950, thus its 1918 emergence and development deserves documenting. The group was perceived as disloyal if not dangerous, and thus the object of close Special Intelligence Bureau (SIB) surveillance for some years, but it nevertheless ultimately became an effective champion of Irish culture. Membership numbers were high in the early years when Ireland faced a violent and uncertain future in undeclared war with England, but Civil War from 1922-23 reduced interest, creating a real crisis in the mid-1920s. Carefully negotiated regeneration produced creative strategies for promoting Irish culture, a strong decade of growth followed. But the war years were challenging and leadership was aging; by the late 1940s, the group seemed to fade away. Its history suggests ongoing tension between the cultural focus and Ireland's political situation, a dichotomy highlighted early by security personnel. No INA records have been located, leaving National Archive security files (from 1918 to 1922) and Irish-Catholic newspapers, in particular, Adelaide's Southern Cross, as major sources of information.
|Journal||Journal of the Historical Society of South Australia|
|Publication status||Published - 2017|
- Irish National Association
- Irish culture
- South Australia