) are Canadian citizens who have full or partial Irish heritage including descendants who trace their ancestry to immigrants who originated in Ireland.
1.2 million Irish immigrants arrived from 1825 to 1970, and at least half of those in the period from 1831–1850.
About one-third were Catholic in 1931 and two-thirds Protestant.The Irish immigrants were overwhelmingly Protestant before the famine years of the late 1840s, when the Catholics started to come.Even larger numbers of Catholics headed to the United States; others went to England and Australia.The 2006 census by Statistics Canada, Canada's Official Statistical office, revealed that the Irish were the 4th largest ethnic group, with 4,354,000 Canadians with full or partial Irish descent or 15% of the country's total population.The first recorded Irish presence in the area of present-day Canada dates from 1536, when Irish fishermen from Cork traveled to Newfoundland.
After the permanent settlement in Newfoundland by Irish in the late 18th and early 19th century, overwhelmingly from Waterford, increased immigration of the Irish elsewhere in Canada began in the decades following the War of 1812.Between 18, 60% of all immigrants to Canada were Irish; in 1831 alone, some 34,000 arrived in Montreal.The peak period of entry of the Irish to Canada in terms of sheer numbers occurred between 18, when 624,000 arrived; in contextual terms, at the end of this period, the population of the provinces of Canada was less 2 million.During this period much smaller numbers arrived in Newfoundland.Besides Upper Canada (Ontario), Lower Canada Quebec, the Maritime colonies of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, especially Saint John, were arrival points.Not all remained, many out-migrated to the United States or to Western Canada in the decades that followed. During the Great Famine, Canada received the most destitute Irish Catholics, who left Ireland in grave circumstances.