Who we are
The Honourable The Irish Society was first created by Royal Charter in 1613 to undertake the Plantation in the North West of Ulster that was then being driven by the English Crown. It was originally a sub-committee of the City of London Corporation, which had been identified by King James I as the most suitable organisation to pay for, build and run the most substantial element of the Plantation, rebuilding the City of Derry (renamed Londonderry), Coleraine, and further development throughout County Londonderry.
The Irish Society evolved into a self funding, cross-community charitable organisation many years ago and continues to work today for the benefit of the community in County Londonderry, as laid down in the Royal Charters of 1613 and 1662 which govern its activities. The Irish Society is administered from offices in Coleraine, where the Secretary and Representative is based, and in the City of London. It is led by a Governor, Deputy Governor and Court of Trustees. The Court carried out a thorough review of its operations in 2011/12 and applied to Privy Council for a Supplemental Charter to modernise the administration and lead to full registration under the Charities Act 2011. The Supplemental Charter was granted in December 2012.
The Irish Society applies the income derived from its properties in Londonderry and Coleraine, including the fisheries of the Bann River, and from its investment portfolio to a wide range of local causes. This is done under the guidance of a local Advisory Committee, composed of a cross-party selection of Councillors from Derry City Council and Coleraine Borough Council, who co-operate closely with the Society’s local Representative. The Mayors of Derry and Coleraine are always members of this Committee, with the two Town Clerks also in attendance.
The Honourable The Irish Society is Registered with the Charity Commission for England & Wales. Registered Charity No. 1150776.