Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and opposition leader Tony Abbott will be the guests of honour at the Queensland Irish Association’s (QIA) St Patrick’s Eve Dinner in Brisbane on Tuesday, March 16, it has been revealed.
The country’s two leading politicians will attend the event in what is a major coup for the club, while visiting Irish Government minister Billy Kelleher will also be on hand.
This will be the second year in a row that Mr Rudd will appear at the QIA dinner, having spoken at length about his own Irish background at last year’s event.
QIA president Eamon Gaffney told the Echo that the club is delighted to be playing host to both Mr Rudd and leader of the opposition Mr Abbott.
“It really is a feather in the Irish community’s cap to have the Prime Minister come to us two years in a row,” Mr Gaffney said.
“And to have Tony Abbott come too is really great. This is the first time in quite some time that we will have both sides from national politics at the event.
“It’s a bit like America really – the Irish vote is quite important to them. Not that this will be a political venue for either of them – we keep politics out of it at the St Patrick’s Eve dinner.”
by Isabel Hayes