History of the Embassy
The Irish Embassy to Australia was established in Canberra in 1946.
Dr. T. J. Kiernan, Ireland’s first Ambassador to Australia, began his posting at the Hotel Canberra, before moving to Deakin. Office space was then taken at Bank House in Civic where the Chancery was located for a number of years.
The Irish Government took up an offer of a lease of land in the diplomatic quarter of Yarralumla and the new Chancery was established there in 1980. Diplomatic missions in this quarter are requested to design their buildings in a traditional style reflecting that of their respective home countries. After some consideration it was decided to design the new Irish Embassy as a modern interpretation of a traditional Irish cottage, with white-washed walls and a slate roof.
A new Ambassador’s Residence was built on the same site in 2004, following the same theme. The interior furnishings of the Residence were made in Ireland and are contemporary in nature. The design of the furniture invokes Celtic mythology, the stars and the wider universe and the relationship between Ireland and Australia.
There have been seventeen Irish Ambassadors to Australia.
|Dr. T.J. Kiernan||September 1946||December 1954|
|Leo Skentelbery||December 1954||March 1957|
|William B. Butler||March 1957||December 1960|
|Sean Kennan||January 1961||October 1963|
|Eoin MacWhite||May 1964||October 1967|
|Brian Durnin||August 1967||March 1969|
|Francis Coffey||April 1969||May 1971|
|Gerry Woods||July 1971||December 1974|
|Florrie O’Riordan||January 1975||November 1981|
|Joseph Small||November 1981||February 1987|
|James Sharkey||February 1987||August 1989|
|Martin Burke||September 1989||July 1995|
|Richard O’Brien||July 1995||August 2002|
|Declan Kelly||September 2002||September 2006|
|Máirtín Ó Fainín||October 2006||August 2011|
|Noel White||January 2012||August 2016|
|Breandán Ó Caollaí||September 2016||to date|