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.

The Association is a non-party political and non-sectarian in character.

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 awareness 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 2018

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


The Irish Association for Cultural, Economic and Social Relations was founded in 1938 by people in Belfast and Dublin who felt that the political division of Ireland should not also sever the cultural and other links between north and South.

It was initiated by liberal unionists in the north, but they got a ready response in Dublin from people who wanted to keep up contacts in spite of the border.

The Association endeavours to get people from all differing traditions in Ireland to meet and to provide opportunities for discussion.

The Association itself holds no political views but welcomes people of all political persuasions.

Since 1938, regular meetings, seminars and conferences have been organised.

The Association has continued to the present day with members north and south determined to continue the aims of the founders.

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.


2018 News

Xmas Reception
'Jam & Art - Tyrone Guthrie, Annaghkerrig & the Island of Ireland'
Christopher Fitz-Simon, Theatre & TV Director
Ulster Reform Club, 4 Royal Ave, Belfast
Tue 11th Dec 2018 12.45
Preceded by AGM at 12.00
For details, click here

Conference on 'After Brexit'
'Healing the Wounds after Brexit'
Conference details - click here.
Canada Room, Queen's University Belfast,
University Rd, Belfast BT7 1NN
Wed 14th November 2018
09.30 - 17.00

Dublin Autumn Lunch
'Extending the Franchise: the Implication for Women Across the Island of Ireland'
Liz Gillis, Researcher, The History Programme, RTE, & author of Women of the Irish Revolution and other books.
Wynn's Hotel, 35 Lr Abbey St, Dublin
Sat 15th Sept 2018
12.45 gathering, 13.00 lunch
For details, click here.

Dublin Summer Lunch
'The Ulster-Scot Migration to the New World 1718'
Dr Linde Lunney, Royal irish Academy, Dictionary of Irish Biography.
Wynn's Hotel, 35 Abbey St Lr, Dublin
2nd June 2018, 13.00, followed by lunch at 13.30 For details, click here.
For background paper on subject, click here.
For Dr Lunney's paper, click here.

St Patrick's Day Lunch
'Community Relations in Ireland'
Deirdre McBride, Cultural Diversity Programme Director,
Community Relations Council.
Malone Lodge Hotel, 60 Eglantine Ave, Belfast.
17th March 2018, Lunch begins 12.30-13,00.
For details, click here
For paper, click here.

Winter Lunch
'The Importance of Empathy and Friendship on the Island'
Ald Chris McGimpsey, ex- President of the Association
Wynn's Hotel, Abbey Street, Dublin
Sat 3rd Feb 2018
12.30 for 13.00
For details, click here.