Tag: Queensland

Irish backpackers facing abuse and being thrown off jobs in rural Queensland

Paddy Farrelly, coordinator at Irish Australian Support Association Queensland.

“Young Irish backpackers in Queensland are getting turfed off farm jobs in favour of locals. I dealt with one case where a young lady was verbally abused and spat at in a rural town, called ‘a f***ing filthy foreigner!’”

Those are the words of Paddy Farrelly, coordinator of Queensland’s Irish support group IASAQ, who is used to dealing with difficult cases coming through the door of their office in Brisbane, but with the onset of Covid-19 and the economic crisis, the seriousness and frequency of incidents has risen to a whole new level.

“We are currently dealing with domestic violence and alcohol-abuse cases, as well as people of all ages who find themselves stranded here with no support network or resources.”

With the massive rise in the cost of airline tickets, many people haven’t been able to afford to fly home to Ireland.

“Some backpackers bought tickets to go home at greatly elevated prices when the pandemic first began, only for those flights to be cancelled at short notice and no refunds given. That four to seven thousand dollars they paid for tickets would have kept a roof over their head and food in their belly for quite a long while.

“It’s easy for people to say they should have gone home when they had the chance but all flights stopped quite quickly once the social measures began to take effect. Many of them were in far north Queensland or way out west, and wouldn’t have been able to get to a last-minute available seat on an aircraft in Brisbane with just hours of notice given.”

Young people have to rely on local charities and their families to bail them out. Paddy says: “Some have families who can send them money to survive until they can get home, others are not so lucky as their families are being hit hard financially back in Ireland as well.”

And it’s not just the young Irish who are finding themselves stranded; it’s people of all ages.  

Paddy explains: “Many people in their golden years have become stranded due to flight cancellations and not all of them can afford the figures being quoted by some airlines for a ticket home, in some cases people have been quoted more than $7,000 for a one-way ticket. Also, the older folks who are stranded are greatly concerned about the dangers of actually making the journey home, while the pandemic is still ongoing.

“A lot of people who are contacting us presently simply don’t qualify for any available assistance.”

In order to support those in need of their services during these extraordinary times, the Irish Australian Support Association of Queensland (IASAQ) is asking the community to donate to their Covid Appeal. You can contribute here and all donations over $2 are tax deductible.

You can watch IASAQ’s appeal video here.

Isla’s poem about Irish hero Michael Collins goes viral

Isla Corbett in Brisbane

A poem about Micheal Collins written by a 12-year-old Irish girl, Isla Corbett, who lives in Brisbane, has gone viral online and she will be interviewed about the experience on Cork radio station 96FM and 103FM tomorrow.

Isla penned The Ballad of Michael Collins for a school English assignment at The Gap High School. The class had been asked to write about their hero. Isla’s teacher awarded her an A for her efforts.

Isla was born in Cork and her family moved to Australia in 2011, first to Sydney and then settling in Brisbane. The family moved back to Ireland for several years to care for Isla’s elderly grandparents.

Isla took a great interest in Irish history at school in Whitegate, County Cork. Her great-grandfather and great-granduncles had all fought alongside Michael Collins and served in the Free State Army under his leadership.

Despite being just 12 years old, Isla shows great promise as a poet and her poem has reached more than 50,000 people all over the world on Facebook. It was also shared by Micheal Collins House, a museum dedicated to the life and times of the revolutionary, soldier and politician, in Clonakilty, County Cork.

You can hear Isla’s interview at 11.30am Irish time (9.30pm Queensland time) on December 17 at www.96fm.ie

The Ballad of Michael Collins

1916 was the start, the war in full commence,
When British troops were swarming in to slaughter and dispense,
Against the Empire’s daunting might, Ireland stood no chance,
When Michael Collins heard the news and came to take a stance.

He joined the Easter Rising, allied by Plunkett n’ Pearse,
They seized the grandest buildings to face a battle fierce,
The British were enraged and the Rebels they engaged,
Using brutal force, war on Dublin had been waged.

Furious were the citizens, their home had been destroyed,
Their relatives deceased and their souls devoid of joy,
The once thriving streets, now blown up and aflame,
And so they thought the Rebels were the only ones to blame.

Cornered up with guns, the rebellion’s state was bleak,
Arrested by the British with their spirits far from weak,
The cruel retribution saw 2,000 sent to camps,
And the brave leaders’ fates were sealed harshly with a stamp.

15 killed by firing squad, without a trial or care,
Connolly so wounded he was shot tied in a chair,
With the barbarism shown, Irish anger had arose,
And turned the former traitors into national heroes.

By the time of Collin’s release, plans were brewing in his head,
Of how he could prevent Ireland’s suffering and dread,
He motivated an army and beat the British crown,
Guerrilla tactics he invented were used to bring them down.

Dáil Éireann was established, but it came with a price,
Half a country only, the rich north the Brits would slice,
Civil war engulfed the land, Collins ambushed with a gun,
Ireland’s greatest hero shot down at 31.

1916 was the start, the war in full commence,
When British troops were swarming in to slaughter and dispense,
He’d fought strong like a lion, saving Ireland Collins swore,
He hadn’t won the battle, but he had won the war.

Epic Ned Kelly movie set to premiere on Australia Day

Oscar winner Russell Crowe starring in True History of the Kelly Gang.

An epic fictionalised telling of the story of Irish-Australian bushranger and outlaw Ned Kelly, True History of the Kelly Gang, will open in select Australian cinemas on January 9, just 17 days before it makes its Australia Day television premiere on streaming service Stan.

The cast features BAFTA award-winner George MacKay as Ned Kelly. Nicholas Hoult, Essie Davis, Charlie Hunnam and Russell Crowe co-star. 

Inspired by Peter Carey’s Booker prize-winning novel, Justin Kurzel’s film shatters the mythology of the notorious icon to reveal the essence behind the life of Ned Kelly.

Spanning the younger years of Ned’s life to the time leading up to his death, the film explores the blurred boundaries between what is bad and what is good, and the motivations for the demise of its hero. Youth and tragedy collide in the Kelly Gang, and at the beating heart of this tale is the fractured and powerful love story between a mother and a son.

Justin Kurzel, director and producer said: “I am thrilled in the boldness and daring by Stan to embrace our ambitious film. For Australians to see our take on Peter Carey’s extraordinary book in cinemas and on Stan over the summer is very exciting. I hope as many eyes as possible get the opportunity to see a film the makers are deeply proud of.”

It will be released into Irish cinemas on February 28, 2020.

Celtic Woman Reschedule Australian Tour Dates

Due to unforeseen scheduling conflicts, Celtic Woman have been forced to postpone their forthcoming Australian tour. The concerts were due to commence on September 12 and tour is rescheduled to January 2014. New dates and some venue changes are listed below. Tickets for the original dates will be valid for the new dates and those ticket holders who wish to obtain refunds should request a refund from point of purchase by 31st August 2013.

Celtic Woman’s Susan McFadden says, “We are truly sorry for any inconvenience we have caused our Australian fans and promise that when we come over in January we will put on a show to remember!”

 “We are sorry for any inconvenience to the fans. We are pleased we could reschedule the tour and not cancel”, said Leon Spellson from Nine Live, the Promoter of the Australian Tour.

Brisbane’s concert has now moved to Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre tickets are transferable for the Brisbane Entertainment Centre. New seated tickets for Brisbane Entertainment Centre will be automatically posted out to current seated ticket holders after 31st August 2013. Additional tickets for the Brisbane Entertainment Centre are available from www.ticketek.com.au.

Perth’s concert has been moved to the Riverside Theatre, Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre. Perth Arena tickets are transferable for the Riverside Theatre. New seated tickets for The Riverside Theatre will be automatically posted out to current seated ticket holders after 31st August. Additional tickets for The Riverside Theatre can be purchased from www.ticketek.com.au.

JANUARY 2014 TOUR DATES

 Brisbane – Brisbane Entertainment Centre – Sunday, 12 January, 5.30pm

Newcastle – Newcastle Entertainment Centre – Wednesday, 15 January, 7.30pm

Wollongong – WIN Entertainment Centre, Thursday, 16 January, 7.30pm

Sydney – Sydney Entertainment Centre, Friday, 17 January, 7.30pm

Canberra – Royal Theatre, Saturday, 18 January, 7.30pm

Melbourne – Arts Centre Melbourne, Hamer Hall, Sunday, 19 January, 5.30pm

Adelaide – Adelaide Entertainment Centre, Tuesday, 21 January, 7.30pm

Perth – Riverside Theatre, Perth Convention & Exhibition Centre, Friday, 24 January,       7.30pm

Tickets are on sale now. Book at ticketek.com.au / 132 849

 

 

David starts out on a 30,000km drive to Australia

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MEET David O’Connor. He’s from Tramore, Co. Waterford. And like so many other young Irish men, he’s planning to come to Australia. But he’s not coming on a plane. He’s going to drive and he’s leaving today.

David is doing a charity drive that will take him through more than 20 countries and cover almost 30,000km, in aid of the Irish Cancer Society and Console, a national suicide prevention charity.

He told Irish Queenslander: “I was working for an online company in Cork and it went to the wall. I had been planning a trip like this for some time and it gave me the push to go for it.” 

David is driving a converted 99 Toyota Landcruiser, with 240kms on the clock. 

“It’s had lots of modifications, including a roof tent and shelving inside. I bought it three years ago with the sole purpose of undertaking a big drive into Europe or maybe beyond. When I looked into where I could drive and what was feasible, I realised that many people have driven from Western Europe to Australia, albeit with an incredible amount of planning. The dream of driving to Australia started to take root. After three years of planning and saving, it’s time to turn this dream into action.”

The two charities David chose to support are close to his heart. He says: “Cancer and suicide are two of the biggest killers in Ireland. My aunt recently died of cancer and a friend of mine committed suicide. I feel that people would be very supportive of these charities.”

 Even though David will be passing through more than 20 countries, he needed visas for only three – India, Iran and Pakistan. David says that the Pakistan Embassy in Ireland had never dealt with a visa request like his before. 

“The preferred route at the moment is through Europe, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, India, and Nepal and back to India, before shipping the vehicle to Malaysia. I will then visit south east Asia before heading down to Indonesia and then ship to Australia,” he said.

David is planning on shipping the vehicle into Freemantle or Darwin, then driving over to Queensland and down the east coast to Sydney. “I should arrive in Sydney in time for Christmas,” says David, who has a sister living there. But, he adds, “It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.”

The expedition costs are being funded by David, with the support of sponsors. David is looking for people to join him on a leg of the journey to help with the costs.

“I am looking to add people to the team to share the experience and raise some funds for two very good causes. It looks like different people will be jumping on and off on different legs of the trip.”

“There are some prerequisites to join me on the trip that include having available funds, the necessary time off and an open mind. I will be a glorified taxi on a 30,000km to the other side of the world. Don’t worry, there’s no meter running!”

We will be keeping you up to date with David’s journey here at Irish Queenslander. You can also follow his trip and donate to his chosen charities at his website, http://www.overlandtooz.ie.

I did nothing!

I did nothing!

Irish Queenslander is proud to announce that my photo is the state winner for Queensland in the taxback.com GAA photo competition, on behalf of the Brisbane Shamrocks GFC. The prize is an event for the club to either watch a Lions game together or can be used as part of an existing club event/fundraiser. Very glad to be supporting Gaelic Games in Queensland, on their 40th anniversary year.