Gavin Roche

On behalf of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Incorporated, welcome to the 11th Brisbane Irish Festival.

After a 1000-day absence, Brisbane’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade is back.

COVID got in the way of our 2020 and 2021 events and, seeing the parade return after three years, is a fitting way to bring some much-needed cheer to the city.

As I write this, South East Queensland is experiencing its worst floods since 2011. Our hearts go out to those affected, and we commend the courage of the emergency workers during this time. Over the past two years, many people have experienced difficulty during the pandemic, the 2020 bushfires, and this year’s floods. It has been a long road and it is more important than ever we say an extra special Thank you, with the parade’s theme recognising the magnificent contribution of frontline workers.

Beyond the parade, this year’s Brisbane Irish Festival kicks off with the fabulous Charity Ball at Victoria Park in aid of the Irish Australian Support Association of Queensland on Saturday 5th March. 

Sadly, we’ve lost a couple of events from the 2022 festival calendar, including the Family Festival at Willawong and the Queensland Irish Choir performance. Hopefully we will see these events return at a future Festival.

However, we are thrilled to welcome a new addition to the program. The St. Patrick’s Day Festival at Eagle Farm Racecourse on Sat 19th March will be a fantastic way to close out the 2022 Brisbane Irish Festival.

Given the momentous nature of the occasion, including the triumphant return of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, it’s fitting we should welcome the new Irish Ambassador to Australia His Excellency Tim Mawe to this year’s festival. It’s tremendous to have the ambassador join us for our 2022 celebrations.

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. Our sponsors, Brisbane City Council, Queensland State Government, Dept. of Foreign Affairs & Trade (Irish Govt.), St. Patrick’s Day Festival at Eagle Farm Racecourse, Irish Murphy’s – Brisbane CBD, St. Joseph’s College – Gregory Terrace, St. Patrick’s College – Shorncliffe and the program advertisers, all play a vital and much-appreciated role. 

Preparing for the Brisbane Irish Festival takes months of careful planning, and I’d especially 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 Australia’s Irish community.

Go raibh míle maith agaibh,

Gavin Roche

President of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Association Inc.