The Argentine ambassador, Ann-Laura Cachaza was guest of honour at the annual asado of the Longford Westmeath Argentina Society at The Rustic Inn in Abbeyshrule last year. Also present were two former Irish ambassadors to Argentina. From left, Deputy Robert Troy TD, first consul Juan Tacetti, Maria Tacetti, Deputy Nicolas Vidal, Ambassador Cachaza, John Casey, Mullingar, Mary Egan, Ferbane, former ambassador Philomena Murnaghan, Peter Wallace, Multyfarnham, and former ambassador Paula Slattery.

Tango and other Argentine treats on menu for annual ‘asado’ night

To the members of the Longford Westmeath Argentina Society, a summer highlight is their annual ‘asado’ – an Argentine-style barbecue – and this year’s event is taking place on July 20 at The Rustic Inn in Abbeyshrule.

It is now almost 450 years since the Jesuit missionary, Thomas Field of Limerick, became the first Irishman to set foot in Argentina, but this country’s close links really began in earnest in the early years of the 19th century.

It is estimated that by 1840 some 3,500 Irish had settled in Argentina and up to 75% of them were from Westmeath, and another large proportion being from Longford. They were joined over the years by emigrants from other parts of Ireland, largely Galway and Wexford, and in 1844, Fr Anthony Fahy from Loughrea went to Argentina to minister for the Irish community there. He played a large part in introducing many of the young men to young women from Ireland and still today throughout Argentina there is evidence of the Irish presence in that country, particularly in rural areas where they embraced the opportunity to engage in farming.

The Irish had their own schools, some of which still exist including Cardinal Newman College, (alma mater of the rugby legend Felipe Contepomi) and Colegio Santa Brigida.

Also well known in Argentina is the Hurling Club, located in Buenos Aires, and still in existence is the almost 150-year old newspaper for Argentina’s Irish community, The Southern Cross.

It is estimated that a half million Argentines have some Irish ancestry, and many families here still maintain the links with their South American cousins.

The links between Ireland and Argentina are still celebrated by the Longford Westmeath Argentina Society and also by the Admiral Brown Society in Foxford, County Mayo, which honours the memory of William Brown of Foxford, who is considered the founder of the Argentine Navy.

The Longford Westmeath Argentina Society, founded in Mullingar 35 years ago, each year holds an ‘asado’ (barbecue) at The Rustic Inn in Abbeyshrule.

This year’s asado is to take place on Saturday July 20.

Providing the music will be ‘The Man with the Golden Trumpet’, Johnny Carroll, and fans of the tango will again have the chance to see it performed by trained dancers who have spent years learning this complicated sequence.

As ever there fine steak will be served, smoking hot off the barbecue, together with Argentine-style side-dishes and salad and for dessert, the Argentine classic dulce de leche.


Tickets for the asado, at €50, are available from members of the committee including chair Una Byrne, from Ardagh (087-293837) and PRO Eilís Ryan from Mullingar (086 2627410), or alternatively make contact via the society’s Facebook page,