Re: I’m Irish, too (PM Mailbag, Friday, 15 March 2013) – Irish Descendants in Australia – not only were Irishmen sent to Australia as Felons, many of their guards were from Northern Island and serving in the British Army. There were also a few “Free Settlers”. In the Gold Rush of the mid 1800’s there was a further influx from America & Ireland.
After World War 2 the Australian Government set up an assisted migration scheme (10 Pound Poms). Southern Irish were included and many of them took up the offer. Then in 1949 the government rescinded the scheme and cut out the Southerners as they said that they were a Republic and not part of the Commonwealth. They continued to accept the people from Northern Ireland.
Australia, with a population of 23 million, has the most Irish descendants outside Ireland. It’s a fact we have more than America per head of population. Don’t forget the Fr Brennan Foundation.