In the mid/late sixties a number of new Irish immigrants arrived in Winnipeg. They came from Dublin and pretty well every county of Ireland. While settling into their new lives in Canada they still felt a need to get together and celebrate their heritage and some of the social interconnection that they had with family and friends back home. Thus the Irish Association of Manitoba was formed in 1972. The founding president was Aiden O’Brien. Since then the Association has become a centre for not only those who started it but immigrants from Ireland. The founders also wanted an outlet so that they could pass their culture along to the following generations.
The founding members were all committed to a place for all Irish to meet and socialise. They founded the club on the basis of non-political, non-sectarian and not-for-profit. There was a strong desire to avoid importing troubles and disharmony being experienced in Ireland at that time.
The club then initiated a number of groups and activities. A very active theatre group, the Tara Players started putting on two productions a year. A choir was formed and Irish Dancing classes started. All are still going strong
Before acquiring permanent quarters social functions were held at various locations around the city. The first participation in Folkorama for example was St. Ignatius Parish. Shortly after the Association’s inception the need for a regular venue became necessary, a. search committee was formed and our current location at 654 Erin was selected. A few years later, under the presidency of Sydney Grey the building was purchased and we became our own landlord!
Today, the club operates as the centre for the propagation of Irish Culture, library, a place for friends to meet and a welcome for Irish new to the City and Province. We have an active membership and welcome all who are Irish, or want to be Irish! Cead Mille Failte to all who embrace the principles of the Association.
Oh...and a good bar is an important part of any Irish Centre! So come down and join us for a pint and or an event and get to meet other Irish here in Winnipeg.