Bridget Margaret Byrne emigrated with her parents from Ireland some time in the early 1850s. She married William Irwin in 1856. She was present in Ballarat at Eureka in 1854 tending to the sick and wounded. After the events of Eureka Bridget and William produced four children. On 12th December 1853 William Irwin and Henry Abbott signed an agreement to join in partnership in an eating house. After this partnership William Irwin, in partnership with McCrae and Eva, built the Star Hotel at 223 Main Road Ballarat East, between Eureka and Esmond Streets. This partnership was dissolved on 23 August 1856. The hotel was a wooden building with a concert hall attached. The Star Hotel was used as a meeting place by the committee of the Ballaarat Reform League. Henry Ross, one of the wounded diggers was taken to The Star Hotel after the storming of the Eureka Stockade on 3 December 1854. The Star was flooded several times because of its proximity to the Yarrowee Creek. It was burnt down in June 1861. In 1862 william purchased land opposite the Railway Station and built the Provincial Hotel. It was also a depot for Cobb and Co. coach lines.
After a long illness she died of cervical cancer on 23June 1865 and was buried in the Ballarat Old Cemetery. Bridget’s obituary recorded that: “We regret to have to chronicle the death of Mrs Irwin, wife of Mr Irwin, of the Provincial Hotel. Mrs Irwin has been a resident in Ballarat during eleven years, and in the troublous times of the Eureka Stockade administered relief to several of the wounded in the brief struggle with the military. Mrs Irwin had won the respect of those who knew her, by her kindness and charity.”
Bridget is buried in the Ballarat Old Cemetery, Area CCN Section 3 Grave 3