Eileen was born in Belfast in 1935 where she met her husband Ralph, an Anglican minister, and the couple eventually left Northern Ireland in 1975 with their two daughters. They settled in Winnipeg where she worked as a librarian in the River East Transcona School Division until the birth of her eldest grandchild.
Joe was born in 1934 in Dublin and joined the Dominican Order after high school. He studied in Rome and taught in India before deciding to leave the Order. He then pursued his doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology at the University of Manitoba in 1972. While living in Winnipeg he met and married Mary (nee Kelly) in 1975. He was a founding member of the Irish Association of Manitoba (est. 1972), directed the Irish Mist choir for many years, and sang in the Irish Stew (a ballad group).
Born in 1944, Mary was raised in Nenagh, County Tipperary. She studied nursing in England and worked in Dublin as a midwife. In 1973 she visited her sister who was living in Winnipeg and decided to stay. She married Joe and the couple returned to Ireland in 1978. They decided to come back Winnipeg seven years later where they raised their three children. Mary was prominent member of the Tara Players since the theatre company’s beginning (1973), directing many plays and acting as artistic director for several years.
Shirley Foamete is the latest migrant to Winnipeg within this group. Born 1971 and raised in Cork, she first visited Winnipeg in 1999 for her sister’s wedding and eventually moved to Manitoba in 2012 with her two sons. She has acted in several Tara Player productions, including The New Electric Ballroom which won Best Production of the 2015 Acting Irish International Theatre Festival.
Patrick (Pat) Gannon was born in 1947 in County Cavan and moved to Winnipeg with his family (including his sister, Catriona) when he was 10 years old. He was educated and made his home in Winnipeg where he and his wife raised their family. Now retired, Pat worked for many years in the Finance Department of the provincial government.
Greg, born July 1970, left Belfast with his family as a teenager in 1985. He has worked as a social worker in Manitoba for many years and has written several books and poems on his memories of Ireland and his experience of migration. This includes, Through the Eyes of a Belfast Child: Life. Personal Reflections. Poems (2014).
A native Dubliner, Tom was born in May 1954 and first visited Canada when he worked in Vancouver for a summer during his college years. After completing his first degree at Trinity College in Dublin, he decided to pursue graduate studies in geography at Simon Fraser University. Afterwards he worked in the Yukon for many years before settling in Winnipeg in 1990 where he and his wife Heather (whom he met through the Irish Club) raised their two sons.
Born in 1945 and raised in Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin, Brian first moved to Potsdam, New York, to study biology but decided to pursue acting. He moved to Canada and lived in Montreal and Halifax for a few years before heading out west with a friend from Manitoba in 1970. As they were passing through Winnipeg their car broke down and he ended up settling in the city. He has worked as an actor, storyteller, musician, director, playwright, and poet.
Maureen Taggart came to Winnipeg in 1971 when her husband Hugh got a job teaching in the city. She was born in 1946 and was raised by her grandparents in the countryside of County Tipperary near Cappawhite while her parents lived and worked in England. She worked in the University of Winnipeg library and has been extensively involved in the Winnipeg theatre community.
Catriona Younger (nee Gannon) was born in 1951 and raised in Cootehill, County Cavan. Her parents and three brothers, including Pat, moved to Winnipeg in 1957 when she was 6 years old. She stayed in Manitoba, started a family, and currently teaches Technical Communication at Red River College.