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Photographs supplied by John Huth

The memorial commemorates the Irish settlers, priest and nuns, and the Irish who worked on the Snowy Mountains Scheme. The memorial was unveiled in 1999 during the 50th anniversary of the commencement of the Snowy Mountains Scheme. 

One of the earliest settlers in Cooma (1830s) was an Irish convict (one of those who unwillingly came to Australia) called James Kirwan. Kirwan was a hawker, innkeeper (Kirwan Inn) and substantial landholder and farmer in Cooma before he died in 1852.

One of the Irish nuns was the Rev. Mother Mary John Syrian (from Limerick) of the Brigidine Order who established the Convent/ school across the road from St Patrick’s Church. The Right Reverend Ryan, originally from Tipperary served as parish priest in Cooma from 1936 to 1967.

Many Irish people, finding it difficult to get employment in the post war gloom in Europe, joined migrants from 27 other countries and arrived in Cooma to work on the Snowy Mountains Hydro Scheme – the biggest hydro-electric scheme the world had ever seen – between 1959 and 1974. Of the 121 workers who died while the Scheme was constructed fifteen were Irish.


Address:46 Murray Street, St Patrick`s Catholic Church, Cooma, 2630
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -36.238383
Long: 149.126069
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Landscape


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 17th October, 1999
Front Inscription

The Irish Who Died During And Since The
Construction Of The Snowy Scheme

The Early Irish Settlers, Many Who Came
Unwillingly, Some To Settle And Prosper On The
Monaro And Kiandra Gold Fields

The Irish Nuns And Priests Who Dedicated Their
Lives To Serving The People

We Honour And Remember Them All

Dedicated During The 50th Anniversary
Celebration Of The Commencement Of The
Snowy Mountains Scheme, Oct 17th 1999
By H. E. Mr. Richard A. O'Brien
Ambassador Of Ireland To Australia

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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