Irish Association

Welcome to the Irish Association

The principal objective of The Irish Association is the promotion of communication, understanding and co-operation between all the people of Ireland both North and South.

A non-party political and non-sectarian Association with the aim 'to make reason and goodwill take the place of passion and prejudice in Ireland, North and South'.

Mission Statement

VISION: Reason and goodwill to take the place of passion and prejudice in Ireland, North and South.

MISSION: To make a real contribution to the growth of reconciliation, mutual trust and respect through providing an impartial forum for dialogue and debate.

- Act as a bridge to and between cultural, economic & social issues and interests across the island;
- Encourage & develop broader and deeper analysis, debate and communication at all levels of Irish society;
- Continually recreate platforms and processes to enable effective forms of cultural, economic and social relationships to emerge on the island of Ireland, North & South;
-Act as an impartial and membership-driven forum for the shared concerns of the wide range of organisations and individuals involved in North-South affairs.

The Council 2017

Chris McGimpsey (President)
Donal O'Tierney (Treasurer)
Alan Burnside
Stephen Douds
John O'Hare
Pauline Murphy
John Neill
Brian Walker
Rev Brian Kennaway
Mary Gethins
Bob Collins (Vice-President)
Dermot O'Doherty (Secretary)
Daltún Ó Ceallaigh (Internet Manager)
Daithí Ó Ceallaigh
Garrett Fagan
Hugh Finlay
Susan Hedigan
Charles Lysaght
Dorothea Melvin
Gilian Travers

Irish Association - History Ireland Hedge Schools
An example of collaboration

History Ireland is Ireland's history magazine. Collaborative IA-HI Hedge Schools were held in Dublin (May 2013) and Belfast (December 2013) and one took place in the north-west in 2014. These received funding from the Irish Government's Reconciliation Fund.

Aims and Objectives
The Hedge School format aims to bring history alive for today's audiences by providing lively, unfettered debate on topics of interest to national and local communities. In addition to those organised with the Irish Association, other partners have included Belfast City Council, the National Library, local museum and community groups north and south, as well as a range of festivals and summer schools. Event recordings are available on

Civil Society
A major objective of the Irish Association-History Ireland Hedge Schools was to bring together groups in wider civil society across the island by challenging the views of what happened in history, both inside and outside their own communities.

Increasing Membership

We are anxious to increase our membership, so let us have the names and e-mail addresses of anyone that you think would be interested in our mission to "Make Reason and Goodwill Replace Passion and Prejudice" in our inter-relationships on this island. Attached is A Short History of the Association that will help to explain the Association.


2017 News

AGM & Christmas Reception
'Exploring Difference - the benefit of not being at home'
Bishop Trevor Williams, Leader of Corrymeela Community
Ulster Reform Club, 4 Royal Ave, Belfast
AGM 12.00 noon
Reception: Tue 12th Dec 2017, 12.30 p.m. for 1.00 p.m.
For details, click here.

Winter Lunch
Making Sense of Brexit - A Symposium on Issues & Impacts
Paul Gillespie, The Irish Times & Institute of International & European Affairs
Ray Bassett, Commentator & former Ambassador to Canada
For Paper, click here.
Kerry Curran, Policy Research Manager, Inter TradeIreland
Linenhall Library, 17 Donegal St, Belfast
Sat 21st Oct 2017, 12.30-15.30
For further details, click here. For details on speakers, click here.

Autumn Lunch
Dialogue & Reconcilliation on the island of Ireland - the Role of the Summer School
Joe Mulholland - Director of MacGill Summer School
Wynn's Hotel, 35 Abbey St Lr, Dublin
Saturday 16th Sept 2017 at 12.30 for 1pm
For further details click here.
For info about speakers, click here.

Summer Lunch
'The Reformation - Its Impact on Ireland'
Martin Mansergh, Historian & former Minister of State in the Irish Republic
Wynn's Hotel, 35 Abbey St Lr, Dublin
20th May 2017, 12.30 - 1.00 p.m.
For further details click here.
For M Mansergh's address, click here.
For response by Rev Brian Kennaway, click here

St Patrick's Day Lunch
'The Association in a post-Brexit Ireland'
Brian Garrett, ex-Assoc President.
Malone Lodge Hotel, 60 Eglantine Ave, Belfast
17th March 2017, 12.30 - 1.00 pm
For further details, click here.

Winter 2016/17 Lunch
'Ireland: Social & Cultural Impacts of the Last 20 Years'
Speaker - Patsy McGarry, Religious Affairs Correspondent of The Irish Times (click for bio).
Wynn's Hotel, 35 Lr Abbey Street Dublin city centre - 12.30 for 1.00 pm.
For further details, click here.