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Timeline of the Irish in Latin America

By Edmundo Murray
I - II




●  First official hurling match in Argentina, sponsored by the Buenos Aires Hurling Club (local branch of the GAA), which is presided by James P. Harte (1900).

●  William Bulfin's Tales of the Pampas published in London by Fisher & Unwin(1900).

●  Aníbal Duffy from Carmen de Areco founds Duffy town in Santa Fe (1900).

●  St. Patrick's Day is celebrated by 9,000 Irish-Argentines pilgrims in Luján basilica (17 March 1901).

●  The building of Azcuénaga chapel opens with the support of Elena Ham (1902).

●  First class of students graduated from the Passionist Congregation in St. Paul's Monastery in General Sarmiento (1904).

●  Paddy McCarthy (1871-1963) of Cashel, Co. Tipperary, is hired by Club Atlético Gimnasia y Esgrima of Buenos Aires to train its players. He was also coach of Boca Juniors, referee of the Argentine Association Football League during eighteen years, and one of the first professional boxers in Argentina (1904).

●  Roger Casement (1864-1916) is appointed British consular official in Brazil. Casement was sent to the western Amazon to investigate treatment of the local Indian population by the Peruvian Amazon Company (1906).

●  John Nelson (1859-1931) launches the Hibernian-Argentine Review (1906).

●  After sixteen years trying to recover from financial losses, the entrepreneur Eduardo Casey commits suicide in Buenos Aires (1906).

●  O'Brien railway station and town are founded in Bragado (1906).

●  Tomás Mullally founds Realicó, in La Pampa (1907).

●  Eduardo Pedro Maguire, one of the most important landowners in Argentina, and Kate Murray found Maguire railway station in Pergamino (1907).

●  Lovat Ashe Mulcahy founds Mulcahy in 9 de Julio (1909).

●  John James Murphy (1822-1909) of Wexford dies in Buenos Aires. He emigrated in 1844 and became one of the wealthiest Irish settlers in Argentina (1909).


●  John Lalor (1860-1931) establishes his cattle auctioneer business in Buenos Aires (1910).

●  The republican review Fianna is edited by Patrick MacManus (1910).

●  Padraic MacManus launches Fianna, a nationalistic newspaper addressed to Irish Argentines (1911).

●  Following the Anglo-Argentine support to the British forces in the World War I, several Irish-Argentines enrol in the British Army. Pedro Ricardo Meehan (1890-1972), and Gerald I. N. Deane (1886-1962) serve in the Royal Air Force (1914). 

●  During the Easter Rising, Argentine-born Eamon Bulfin (1892-1968), son of the writer William Bulfin, rises the Irish flag in Dublin's Post Office building. After the surrender, his death sentence is pardoned owing to his Argentine citizenship but he is expelled from the British Isles. Later Eamon de Valera will appoint Bulfin as the first diplomatic representative of Ireland in Buenos Aires (1916).

●  The size of the Irish-Argentine community is estimated on 30,000 for the city of Buenos Aires and 80,000 outside the city, in the whole Republic (1917).

●  Thomas Murray's The Story of the Irish in Argentina is published in New York by P.J. Kenedy & Sons. The book's reception in Argentina is rather cold but it elicits some articles in Ireland (1919).


●  The Irish flag is shown for the first time in Buenos Aires during a demonstration of Irish-Argentines and "friends of the Irish freedom", who rallied through the streets up to Plaza de Mayo (1920).

●  The "Irish Race Congress in South America" is held in Buenos Aires with over 50 delegates. A grant is established to students of Spanish in the National University of Ireland (1921).

●  Frank W. Egan is the Irish Republic representative in Chile (1921).

●  After his mission in South Africa, Patrick J. Little is sent to Argentina, Brazil and Chile as the diplomatic envoy of the Irish Free State (1921).

●  Hurling Club opens. First Hurling Championship won by The Wanderers, seconded by the Capilla Boys (1922).

●  Benito Lynch's El inglés de los güesos published in Buenos Aires (1922).

●  New wave of Irish emigration to Argentina owing to social upheaval in Ireland, particularly young professionals and employees from Cork and Dublin, some with Church of Ireland background (1923).

●  Tomás Keating founds Keating town in Chacabuco, Castilla railway station (1923).

●  The Argentine polo team wins a Gold Medal in the Olympic Games in Paris. Two of the four players are the Irish Argentines Juan Nelson and Arturo Kenny (1924).

●  The Passionist Sisters arrive in Buenos Aires and found the Michael Ham Memorial College for girls (1926).

●  Juan Santos Gaynor (1905-1963) graduates in Theology in Rome (1929).


●  Juan O'Leary's El héroe del Paraguay published in Asunción (1930).

●  Sean Healy (1894-1982), a chemist from Galway who was teaching in the English High School since 1928, opens St. Cyran's School of Buenos Aires (1934).

●  Barbara Peart's Tia Barbarita: Memories of Barbara Peart published in Boston by Houghton Mifflin (1934).

●  Edificio Kavanagh in Buenos Aires, the tallest building in Latin America at the time of its completion, is commissioned by Corina Cavanagh (b1910), daughter of Juan José Cavanagh and Luisa Juana MacKeon (1934).

●  Guillermo Furlong, S.J. (1889-1974) is appointed member of the national academy of history. Fr. Furlong is a prolific historian and geographer, who published over 2,000 studies - including more than 100 books - on music, libraries, architecture, mathematics, medicine, and natural history (1939).


●  Carlos Viván "El Irlandesito" (born Miguel Rice Tracy) publishes his tango Moneda de cobre, with lyrics by Horacio Sanguinetti (1942).

●  Edelmiro Juan Farrell (1887-1980) is sworn Argentine President after leading a pro-Axe military coup d'état. General Farrell will be fundamental on the rise of Juan D. Perón to the highest office (1944).

●  Kathleen Nevin's You'll Never Go Back published in Boston by Bruce Humphries. The manuscript was completed by her sister Winnie (1946).

●  An Irish commercial mission led by L.H. Kerney visits Argentina to buy wheat. A chargé d'affaires, Matthew Murphy, is appointed latter in the year (1947).

●  Maria Elena Walsh's Otoño imperdonable published in Buenos Aires (1947).

●  Cardenal Newman school of the Christian Brothers opens in Buenos Aires (1948).

●  Half of the players in the Argentine hockey team in the Olympic Games in London are from the Hurling Club. Since the 1930s, in the Hurling Club there is a transference from hurling to hockey (1948).


●  James M. Ussher's Father Fahy: a Biography of Anthony Dominic Fahy, O.P., Irish Missionary in Argentina (1805-1871) is published in Buenos Aires.

●  Juan O'Gorman completes the painting of the Central Library in the campus of Universidad Autónoma de Mexico, covering 4,000 square meters of historical scenes (1953).

●  Christian Brothers' Stella Maris school opens in Montevideo with Br. Patrick Kelly as the first schoolmaster (1955).

●  Lorenzo McGovern is the first Irish Argentine to be appointed to the Argentine mission in Dublin (1955).

●  Rodolfo Walsh's Operación Masacre published in Buenos Aires (1957).

●  Edmundo O'Gorman's La invención de América published in Mexico (1958).

●  The Horan Report is received in Dublin from the Irish chargé d'affaires in Buenos Aires, Timothy Horan (1958).


●  Michael J. Siejes  is appointed first honorary consul of Ireland in Rio de Janeiro. Later, Padraig de Paor is the first non-resident Irish ambassador accredited to Brazil (1964).

●  The Irish mission in Buenos Aires is upgraded to embassy-level. Michael Leo Skentelberry is appointed the first ambassador (1964).

●  Ernesto "Che" Guevara Lynch lands in Shannon airport with other officers of the Cuban government. His Irish links go six generations back to Patrick Lynch of Co. Galway, who arrived in 1749 in South America (1965).

●  The Irish-Argentine Miguel Fitzgerald (b. 1926) flies twice to the Falkland Islands as an act of Argentine sovereignty (1964, 1968).

●  Eduardo F. McLoughlin (b. 1918), a former Argentine Air Force officer, is appointed Argentine ambassador to Britain (1966).

●  John Joseph Scanlan opens St. Brendan's College in Buenos Aires (1966).

●  Christian Brothers John Johnson, Dominic Sanpietro and James Barry take over the school Mundo Mejor in Lima, Peru (1969).


●  Luis Alberto Murray's Pro y contra de Sarmiento published in Buenos Aires (1974).

●  An Irish trade mission led by Robin Bury visits São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The Irish diplomatic mission is established in Brazil (1975).

●  The Massacre at St. Patrick: in San Patricio parish church of Buenos Aires, a navy death squad kills five members of the Pallotine community, including Alfie Kelly (parish priest), Alfredo Leaden, Eduardo Dufau, Emilio Barletti and Salvador Barbeito (1976).

●  Writer and journalist Rodolfo Walsh (1927-1977) dies in a military operation (1977).

●  An Irish embassy is established in Mexico (1977).


●  John Walter Maguire's La pezuña de oro published in Buenos Aires (1980).

●  Hilda Sabato and Juan Carlos Korol's Cómo fue la inmigración irlandesa a la Argentina published by Plus Ultra in Buenos Aires (1981).

●  John Brabazon's memoirs are published in Spanish by Eduardo Coghlan, Andanzas de un irlandés por el campo porteño (1982).

●  During the Falklands War, Irish and Irish-Argentine soldiers fight in both sides of the conflict. Translation is one particularly skilled service rendered by many Irish Argentines. In the European Commission, Ireland supports the removal of economic sanctions on Argentina (1982).

●  Eduardo A. Coghlan's Los Irlandeses en Argentina: su Actuación y Descendencia is published in Buenos Aires. The volume includes more than 4,000 Irish-Argentine families and their ancestors (1987).


●  Maria Elena Walsh's Novios de Antaño published in Buenos Aires. A chapter includes family letters describing the life of Anglo-Irish railway workers in 1880s Argentina (1990).

●  Peadar Kirby's Ireland and Latin America: Links and Lessons published by Trócaire in Dublin (1992).

●  Juan José Delaney's Tréboles del sur published in Buenos Aires (1994).

●  The Associação Brasileira de Estudos Irlandeses at the University of São Paulo publishes the first issue of ABEI Journal: The Brazilian Journal of Irish Studies, edited by Munira H. Mutran and Laura P.Z. Izarra (1999).


●  Martin Greene, first resident ambassador of Ireland to Brazil arrives in Brasilia (2001).

●  Two thousand Argentines with Irish ancestry submit a petition to the Irish government demanding Irish nationality based on ius sanguinis claims (2002).

●  John Cribbin O.M.I., of Shanagolden, Co. Limerick, is awarded honorary citizenship of Rio de Janeiro for his 40-years missionary work in Brazil (2004).

●  IRA members Niall Connolly, Martin McCauley and James Monaghan are sentenced to 17 years after an appeal court in Colombia which found them guilty of training FARC guerrillas (December 2004).

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Copyright © Edmundo Murray, 2005


The Society for Irish Latin American Studies, 2005

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