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Expansion of Passport Online Services

Passport Online has expanded its services and is now open to all applicants residing in Canada! This means, in addition to renewals, first time applicants can use the Passport Online tool to apply for their Irish passport (or renew their passport that was issued over 15 years ago). The expanded service includes both adult and children's applications. For information on how to apply, or to begin your application, please see:

Passport Online provides citizens with faster processing times and lower fees than the alternative paper route. The Passport Service recently resumed processing online applications and they aim to have the current backlog of onlie applications cleared within the next 6-8 weeks. The online service still remains the fastest way to apply for an Irish passport.


We’re working on something special for Bloomsday this year! After the success of last year’s virtual event, we’ll once again be welcoming you to our YouTube channel to celebrate Ulysses and Bloom. June 16th is a while away, so whether it's your first or 100th time, you have just over a month to try tackling Ulysses in its entirety! Or, if you prefer, you can revisit your favourite chapters. We promise there won’t be a quiz…Details to come.

An Irishman Abroad (in Canada)

Confucius once said: “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” My guess is that Confucius never skated on ice.

I understand many of the quirks of Canadian culture. Poutine makes complete sense to me - a hearty meal based on function over form. Milk in a bag, hard to justify but I understand the concept. But the human desire to skate makes no sense. Surely it’s not just me that thinks there’s something unnatural about balancing on knives attached to the soles of my feet….for fun!

That being said, early in my first Canadian winter, I accepted the reality that I would have to deflect attention away from my frozen bone marrow and eke SOME goodness from the perpetual cold. Having heard from so many people about the unique experience of skating on the Rideau Canal – and having been brought up thinking that to walk on water was an achievement of messianic proportions – I decided to invest in a pair of skates and throw myself at it.

Well throw myself I did, mainly in a graceless hurtling motion toward the ice. It’s extremely hard to articulate the sense of unease when you first stand up in a pair of skates. My first time involved ambling down to the canal and mindlessly sitting down like everyone else on the benches to begin the process of strapping my skates on tightly. So far, so good. It was only when my body instinctively began to stand up that I realised I hadn’t thought this through. I assure you dear reader that it is not for comic effect that I tell you my first experience of standing up on skates resulted in a swift ego-obliterating fall forward and a terse meeting of bench and jaw.

Having undertaken to never again experience the public derision of that first foray (there was no derision to my face of course, but I could tell instinctively there were multiple derision-fests happening all over Ottawa that night), I decided to teach myself to skate under the cover of darkness. Luckily, the neighbourhood ice rink had me covered. As soon as the last of the child-Gretsky’s retired for the evening, that rink became my colosseum, and I was the gladiator. Assuming the roles of the man-eating tigers on chains were: my natural imbalance, inherent fear, and gravity.

George Bernard Shaw said that “A man learns to skate by staggering about and making a fool of himself.” Never a truer word spoken. It may have looked clownish, but if you could have heard the montage music playing in my mind, you’d have known this was an arena of life or death. It suffices to say that, although I’ve never scaled Everest, I now know the mental fortitude necessary.

That was the first winter, and with the second now safely under my belt, I can at least point to progress. The jaw has healed, the ego less so, but the constant threat of obliteration for every second spent on the ice has given my winters a whole new lease of life. I won’t say I’ve perfected it – this year’s socially-distanced looks of abject sympathy from passing strangers as I lay in a heap on the ice attest to that – but my fear has abated, and where I once saw terror on the ice, I now see challenge.

It still makes no sense to me, but I’ve surrendered my allegiance to logic and good sense, and my winters have been all the better for it.

Series of FREE online Irish History Talks

Series of FREE online Irish History Talks

Online talks at 1pm and 7pm BST

Pacific (5am / 11am), Mountain (6am / 12noon), Central (6am / 12noon), Eastern (8am / 2pm),

Atlantic (9am / 3pm) and Newfoundland (9.30am / 3.30pm)

From 10th June 2021 to the 14th July 2021, Clifton House in Belfast, along with our partners, will run a series of unique free events to celebrate the life, legacy and relevance today of Mary Ann McCracken, on what would have been her 250th birthday.

Mary Ann McCracken (1770-1866) was born and lived in Belfast. In life and in history she was often overshadowed by her brother, executed United Irishman Henry Joy McCracken. Mary Ann, like many other remarkable women of her time, were often written out of history. However recently her name and her achievements are becoming more well known. Mary Ann was an abolitionist, social reformer and activist who fought for the rights of women and championed the disadvantaged at both home and abroad. She lived a long life that encompassed the most turbulent years of Irish history. Her radical, humanitarian zeal and generous strength of character were indefatigable, and her contribution to Belfast life is still felt and celebrated today.

To see the full list of events and to register, visit

We look forward to welcoming our canadian neighbours to these events.

We're having a small Valentine contest and were wondering if you would like to participate?

Hello, everyone!

Valentine's Day is quickly approaching and with the Province still in lockdown, we figured that now would be the best time to hold another short story contest dedicated to being with that special someone!

We're not looking for just any Valentine's stories, though. We'd like to see some Bloody Valentine submissions! What's a Bloody Valentine? Well, the phrase has several meanings, but for the purposes of our contest, let's just say it's when love mixes with violent passion.

Feel free to send your ideas to [email protected] . We can't wait to see what you come up with!

Submission Guidelines

• Short story must be 5,000-7,000 words max.

• Short story content must contain G to PG13 rated content.

• Please include page numbers in the upper right corner of your document and story title in the header.

• Please include a cover letter separate from your story submission that includes your name, home and email address, telephone number, story title and word count. Please specify whether you're a Guild member, non-member, or member of another literary organization.

• We are only accepting email submissions for this contest. Please make sure file is sent as a PDF, Word or .txt Document.

• Send submissions to [email protected]

Deadline: February 19th, 2021

Prize: $50-$100 McNally Robinson Gift card

Your story published in our newsletter

If you're interested or have any questions please let us know. Thank you.

Alex Dawson

Manitoba Writers Guild Programming Board

Closed for the Third Wave!!!

We are saddened to say that we will be closed until the current restrictions lift. Please stay safe everyone. We will see you again soon! 🙏☘️😔


This is a great time to renew your membership if you haven't already or join! The more the merrier at the Irish Club. Membership is also a great way to support the club in these trying times. Visit for more info.

March is now Irish Heritage Month in Canada

An historic moment!! March is now Irish Heritage Month in Canada thanks to James Maloney MP for all his efforts in making this happen-

James Maloney, who represents Etobicoke-Lakeshore in the Canadian House of Commons, celebrates after his motion to designate March as Irish Heritage Month passed unanimously.

In an interview James Maloney said: “My motion just passed in the House of Commons with unanimous consent.

The month of March is now officially known as Irish Heritage Month”

Maloney’s motion, M-18, reads: “That, in the opinion of the House, the government should recognize the important contributions that Irish-Canadians have made to building Canada, and to Canadian society in general, and should mark the importance of educating and reflecting upon Irish heritage and culture for future generations by declaring the month of March as Irish Heritage Month.“

Keep an eye on our website to learn the history in making history this month!

James Maloney

#irishheritagemonth #IrelandCanada #IrishinCanada

This has been anything but a normal year for the Association as we confronted Covid-19.

The impact on the club finances has been immense. With the necessity to cancel St. Patrick’s celebrations & Folklorama, our two main fundraisers, in addition to losing all rental potential & club functions the association has generated no income since March. We have seen our share of good times and bad, but Covid-19 has been a complete game changer for our finances. Therefore the IAM board is asking for your support in it’s fundraising efforts.

Fundraising Irish Association of Manitoba

Dear Members,

As you know the Irish Association of Manitoba needs to fund raise to keep the doors open and continue to operate the Irish Club. We need your support now more than ever!

In addition to becoming a member, we are also offering sponsorship packages. Payments to start as of November 15/2020. Bronze to Gold packages can be paid in full if desired.

Bronze Sponsor - $100 ($25/month)

After 4 consecutive months of sponsorship:

1 fish and chip supper *

1 complimentary alcoholic or nonalcoholic beverage

Silver Sponsor - $180 ($45/month)

After 4 consecutive months of sponsorship:

2 fish and chips suppers*

2 complimentary alcoholic or nonalcoholic beverages

Gold Sponsor - $300 ($75/month)

After 4 consecutive months of sponsorship:

2 fish and chip suppers*

2 complimentary alcoholic or nonalcoholic beverages

2 tickets to the next St. Patrick’s Day Gala**

Platinum Sponsor - $1000 (payment in full)

4 fish and chip suppers*

1 complimentary bottle of wine

Advertising on the IAM website

Sponsors can also choose where they would like their funds allocated. These include but are not limited to:

• Roof Repairs

• Kitchen Upgrades

• Operating Budget

All sponsors will be recognized on the IAM website.

Please email [email protected] 

for more information.

Thank-you for your continued support.

*Meal/beverage sponsorship reward available until Jan 1, 2022.

**Meal rewards and Gala tickets will distributed in late February 2021

For more information, forms & list of sponsors please click on the "Learn More" button below which will take you to the "Sponsorship Drive" page.

Learn More

to September 2018 newsletter

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Link to "Irishassoc" Facebook page

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December Newsletter

New face  of the Irish Club!

Anyone needing space for business or private functions please keep the Irish Club facilities in mind. For more information on renting the banquet room, games room or the theatre please contact: [email protected]