The houses of the Order in Ireland, the first of which was founded in Leighlinbridge, Co. Kildare in 1271, were once part of the English Province. But because of dissension, this association seemed to last only till 1300 and the autonomous Irish Province was erected in 1305. The Protestant Reformation brought much damage to the Province: in 1570 there were only four or five houses left in the Province and the Prior General, Fr. Rubeus, ordered the surviving confreres to return to these houses under the authority of a Vicar Provincial. Since there was little hope of restoring the Province within a short period of time, the General Chapter of 1593 appointed a "titular Provincial", simply to at least preserve the title. Nevertheless, although severely diminished, the Province never totally disappeared, thanks also to the help it received from Carmelites from the Continent. In 1737 the Province was once again canonically erected.
In the second half of the 19th century the Irish Carmelites founded houses in Australia, from which there emerged a General Commissariat in 1930 and a new Province of the Order in 1948. Similarly the Province of St. Elias in North America was born from the foundations made from Ireland since 1889. Also the restoration of the British Province in 1969 was due to the Irish brothers who started working there in 1926. Today the Irish mission in Zimbabwe, founded in 1946, is really flourishing.
At present the Province of Ireland has about 125 religious working in Ireland, Zimbabwe, Italy and Kenya.
For further information: Province of Ireland
9, Third Street
P.O. Box 259