On behalf of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Incorporated, welcome to the 12th Brisbane Irish Festival.

In 2022 we welcomed back the community to participate in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade after a two-year COVID-induced hiatus. We also had some serious challenges with the parade route after the major flooding in February. Thankfully it all came together bringing much-needed cheer to the city.

Last year we said Thank you to frontline workers, with the parade’s theme recognising the magnificent contribution they have made and continue to make. This year we celebrate 200 years of Irish Queenslanders. It was 1823 when John Finnegan, one of four men who set off on a timber-getting mission from Sydney, got blown off course during a storm and became one of the first Europeans to live in the area and discover the Brisbane River. We celebrate the significant contribution Irish Queenslanders have made to Queensland over the years. Please read P16-17 for more information about this year’s parade theme. 

It is indeed a year of milestones, with the QIA marking the 125th Anniversary of its founding on 23 March 1898. On Friday, March 3rd the Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Adrain Schrinner is hosting a Civic Reception with the launch of “A Hundred Thousand Welcomes: a History of the Queensland Irish Association”.
I congratulate them on achieving such a significant milestone. I also congratulate the Australian Irish Dancing Association for celebrating 50 years and for keeping Irish dancing alive in Queensland. 

Various committees and organisations have organised this year’s festival events. The festival could not proceed without the dedication of all the volunteers who donate their time and expertise throughout the year-long planning process. We also recognise the support of Traffic Engineering Australia, Queensland Police Service, the SES, Brisbane City Council and a very special thank you to Cllr. Vicky Howard; a long-time supporter and advocate for the Irish community here in Brisbane. 

Many thanks to the parade and festival sponsors, Brisbane City Council, Queensland State Government, Dept. of Foreign Affairs & Trade (Irish Govt.), The Star Entertainment Group, Irish Murphy’s – Brisbane CBD, Gilhooleys Irish Pub & Restaurant, St. Joseph’s College – Gregory Terrace, St. Patrick’s College – Shorncliffe and the program advertisers, all play a vital and much-appreciated role.

Lastly, I would like to thank members of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee. They have worked tirelessly to make this year’s festival a great celebration of Irish culture and Queenlsand’s Irish community.

Go raibh míle maith agaibh,

Gavin Roche


St. Patrick’s Day Parade Association Inc.