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Minister Flanagan to launch database of Irish serving in Australian forces in the First World War

Minister Charles Flanagan, Irish abroad, Press Releases, Asia and Oceania, 2014

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr Charlie Flanagan, TD, will tomorrow morning [Friday 17 October] launch a database of Irish-born individuals who served with the Australian forces in the First World War. The database will be publicly available and will allow Irish and Australian people to trace the records of their relatives who served in the War, known today as “Anzacs”.

 

The project was compiled by the Australian University of New South Wales (UNSW) in partnership with UCD, and the ceremonial launch will be broadcast live from UCD to students in both universities. The database was funded through a grant from the Department’s Emigrant Support Programme and by the Global Irish Studies Centre of the University of New South Wales.

 

Speaking before the event, Minister Flanagan said:

“This pioneering work was made possible by the Global Irish Studies Centre of the University of New South Wales; the invaluable partnership of UCD; and a grant from the Irish Government’s Emigrant Support Programme. It is a true tribute to the Irish Anzacs and a gift to researchers, family members of Anzac participants, and all us who possess an abiding interest in our history.

“One third of the Australian population boasts Irish ancestry. Ongoing academic collaboration between UCD and UNSW, two superb institutions of learning, is representative of the strength of our people-to-people ties.

“This year is the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, which claimed more Irish lives than any other conflict. Irish and Australians stood shoulder to shoulder in Gallipoli and at the Somme, and I am delighted that today we continue to work together in more peaceful times.”


The database is here: www.bit.ly/1rAOjK3

 

ENDS

Press Office

16 October 2014

 

Note to Editors:

The Irish Anzacs Project is a research undertaking of the Global Irish Studies Centre at UNSW and UCD, made possible in part by a grant from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Emigrant Support Program.

Anzac refers to the “Australian and New Zealand Army Corps” of the First World War.

 The project has identified six thousand Irish-born people who enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force during the First World War, including soldiers and nurses.

The Database will provide families with information on their Irish-born family members who served in the war in a variety of capacities (soldiers, nurses, chaplains) as well as providing statistical information to help researchers understand the contribution of the Irish to the Australian war effort.

The Database was launched by Minister Flanagan in the presence of the Irish and Australian Ambassadors, UCD President Anthony J. Deeks, Visiting UCD Professor Jeff Kildea, who is an Irish-Australian and chief researcher on the project, University of New South Wales Professor Ronan McDonald,  and other scholars and researchers who participated both in person and via video-link.