Publication Details

Crozier-De Rosa, S. 2011, ''Not Just Ned: A true history of the Irish in Australia'. Safeguarding against 'a shallower and a poorer play'', Seanchas Ard Mhacha: Journal of the Armagh Diocesan Historical Society, vol. 23, no. 1,


As an Irish migrant to Australia, I was particularly keen to visit the ‘Not Just Ned: A true history of the Irish in Australia’ exhibition at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra. As it was, given teaching and research commitments, I just managed to catch the exhibition one week before it closed. (It ran from St Patrick’s Day, 17th March, to 31st July.) So, what struck me immediately on entering the museum was just how crammed full of visitors the exhibition space was. Perhaps a bevy of people, like me, all squeezing in a last minute peek before the exhibition closed? Or, perhaps it was something more than that? That is, demonstration of the remarkable pulling power of stories about the Irish and the contributions, good and bad, that they have made, and continue to make, to Australian history. An official figure of over 68,000 people all travelling to the nation’s capital to view the exhibition goes a long way towards supporting the latter assertion.