The East African Irish Society was founded in 1924, by Mr. E.K. Figgis Esq. So the Society has been going strong for over 90 years!
In 1972, reflecting political changes in East Africa, we became known as the Kenya Irish Society. The KIS is headed by a committee of elected volunteers who put together various social and cultural events for fellow members to enjoy.
The Irish Embassy closed down in 1988, and the Irish were represented by a consulate, the first Honorary Irish Consul being Mr Joe O’Brien. In the same year, at an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Kenya Irish Society, chaired by Mrs Joan Egan, it was agreed that the Irish Community would continue to be promoted in Kenya through the Kenya Irish Society, and follow three basic principles:
- Foster social interaction and maintain a brotherhood amongst Irish residents in Kenya
- Preserve the Irish character and institutions and assist Irishmen and women in need of support in Kenya
- Undertake activities that would raise funds that would assist the less fortunate in Kenya.
The Irish Embassy reopened in 2014 and today, the Irish are represented in a great diversity of life in Kenya. There are many Irish men and women in the religious orders involved in Health and Education who have dedicated their lives to this country. Within the many organisations of the UN based here in Nairobi one will find Irish people who are highly respected in their various fields. The professions of architecture, medicine, accounting, management and IT all have highly capable Irish people amongst their members. Many people come here on assignment with the EU or other multinational organisations or international Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO’s), make their contribution and move on. Many others come initially for a few years and then decide to stay and make Kenya their home. The Kenya Irish Society represents all these people and can provide help and friendship to them at anytime.
In addition to the Kenya Irish Society, Business Ireland Kenya (BIK) is an association that helps those with professional ties to Ireland and Kenya connect, share and grow. BIK is an initiative of the Embassy of Ireland in Kenya, which created the association in 2013 to help further trade ties between the two countries. Anyone with business operations that span Ireland and Kenya, or who wishes to establish similar operations, is welcome to join BIK. Please find out more on the website here.
The Kenya Irish Society remains committed to flying the flag and making friends!