Post famine Irish immigration to Australia was very significant with some writers claiming that over 30,000 single Irish women alone arrived over a fifteen-year period between 1848 and 1863. In a male dominated society, these numbers would have altered the demographics of Australia in a very significant way. It is also claimed in many quarters, that 30% of its present population have some Irish blood in their veins.
The Hyde park Barracks were constructed by convict labour (much of which was Irish). As the principal male convict barracks in New South Wales it provided lodgings for convicts (many of whom were Irish) working in government employment around Sydney until its closure in 1848. After then it was an Immigration Depot for single female immigrants (the previously mentioned Irish women) seeking work as domestic servants and awaiting family reunion from 1848 to 1886 and also a female asylum from 1862 to 1886. From 1887 to 1979 law courts and government offices were based at the Barracks.