The Christchurch Irish Society extends a warm welcome to all Irish and their friends.
The society was established in 1948 to promote Irish culture, to support the Irish community and to strengthen the bonds of friendship between the Irish and the people of Christchurch, many of whose descendants hail from Ireland.
In spite of the recent devastating earthquakes, the Society through its clubs, events and activities is thriving and has welcomed many newly arrived Irish to Christchurch.
Over the coming years, as the garden city continues its path to recovery, the Irish Society looks forward to welcoming many new members through its doors.
Our mission is to promote understanding and development of Irish culture while fostering bonds of friendship with other Irish communities throughout New Zealand. We strive to promote friendship and support within the Irish community in Christchurch, and to provide a place where Irish people and their friends can meet and socialise.
History of Christchurch Irish Society
In 1946 the then Taoiseach Éamon de Valera visited the North Island of New Zealand. Unfortunately no Irish organisation had yet been established in the South Island that could receive an Irish dignitary and therefore he did not visit Christchurch.
So it was that in 1947 the Christchurch Irish National Society was formed which was the forerunner of today’s Christchurch Irish Society.
There were six founding members: Paddy Kissane, Jim McGill, Bill Hickey, Bob Kelleher, Jack McSweeney and Jack Maloney.
(Jack Maloney had been involved in the 1916 uprising in Dublin, had been arrested by British forces and interned in a prison camp. He subsequently went on hunger strike for thirty six days before being released after the intervention of a friendly nation. Jack was also the last of the founding members to eventually pass away.)
It took until around 1955 for current site of the Irish Society to be chosen and that property purchased for £1,750. Later the adjoining property was also purchased as the original property was not large enough to accommodate the planned Irish Society hall.
During the subsequent years the hall was built and was officially opened on the 21st October 1961 by the Deputy Mayor of Christchurch, Mr C.R. Smith.
Since that time the membership has grown and the Society has been pleased to play host to many Irish dignitaries and events.
The Christchurch Irish Society is your society!
We are our membership, but it takes time and dedication to run the various aspects of the society, all of which is done by a merry band of volunteers. If you would like to contribute your knowledge, expertise, experience or enthusiasm to the growth and improvement of the society, please let us know. Otherwise we’re happy for you to just enjoy the results of our collective efforts! Why not check out who these volunteers are so the next you are at one of our events, you can introduce yourself to them.
Executive Committee 2015-16
President – Sean Regan
Vice-President – Kieran McErlain
Secretary – Patricia Radford
Committee – Theresa Shaughnessy, Edel Lougheed, Sarah Lynch, Geraldine Biggs, Micheal Mallock
Membership – Christine O’Brien
Newsletter/Website – Edel Lougheed/Jarryd Adams
You can contact the Committee through the Society’s email firstname.lastname@example.org