|Regions with significant populations|
|Spanish. Minority speaks English and/or Irish as first language.|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Irish people, Irish Americans, Irish Argentines, Irish Brazilians, Irish Canadians, Irish Mexicans, Irish Peruvians, Irish Uruguayans, Scottish people, Scottish Chileans, Welsh Chileans.|
Irish Chileans (in Spanish: Hiberno-chilenos, Irish: Gael-Sileánach) are the inhabitants of Chile who either came from some part of the island of Ireland or are descendants of immigrants from there. Generally coming in the 18th century and early 19th century, the generally Catholic Irish were seeking refuge from the oppression of the Protestant-run government of the Kingdom of Great Britain. Spain, being a Catholic power, enticed many Irish to move to Latin America. Immigration diminished later in the 19th century as Catholic Emancipation made emigration to a Catholic nation less of a vital consideration and as the United States and Canada established themselves as more viable lands for settlement.
A large proportion of Irish Chileans are sheep farmers in the Magallanes region of the far south of the country, and the city of Punta Arenas has a large Irish foundation dating back to the 18th century.
The most notable Irish Chilean, Bernardo O'Higgins is often referred to as the "Father of Chile", and is commemorated in many places in Chile.
Notable Irish Chileans
- Alberto Blest Gana (1830-1920), a Chilean novelist and diplomat
- Camila Vallejo, Communist Youth of Chile politician.
- Jorge Arrate, Communist Party of Chile politician.
- Paz Bascuñán Aylwin actress
- Pedro Dartnell Chilean Army Inspector General
- Patricio Lynch Admiral of the Chilean Navy
- Juan Mackenna General, Chilean patriot
- Pablo Mackenna, writer, TV host, poet
- Bernardo O'Higgins Supreme Director of Chile
- Carlos Ibáñez del Campo, Chilean general and twice president of the republic
- Sandra O'Ryan actress
- Benjamín Vicuña Mackenna politician, writer (Irish grandfather: Juan MacKenna).
- Rodolfo Carter Politician, Mayor of La Florida commune, Santiago de Chile.
- Luis Calvo Mackenna eminent physician