The Honourable The Irish Society

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For the Irish society for promoting the scriptural education and religious instruction of the Irish-speaking population chiefly through the medium of their own language, see The Irish Society.

The Honourable The Irish Society, commonly known as The Irish Society,[1] is the organisation created by royal charter consisting of members nominated by livery companies of the City of London, set up to colonise County Londonderry during the Plantation of Ulster. It was involved in the construction of the city of Derry, where it continues to own the City Walls. It was also particularly active in the town of Coleraine.


Following the end of the primary conflict between the British monarchy and the Celtic chieftains of Ireland with the flight of the Earls in 1607, James I of Ireland set out to defend against a future attack from within or without. In his survey, he found that the town of Derry could become either a great asset as a control over the River Foyle and Lough Swilly, or it could become an inviting back door if the people of the area were against him. He pressured the guilds of the City of London to fund the resettlement of the area, including the building of a new walled city, and the result was the creation of the society.

The Society financed the building of the Guildhall, Derry. Work started in 1887 and it was opened in July 1890, having cost £19,000.[2]


  1. ^ The Skinners' Company versus the honourable the Irish Society, and others. London: Richard Clay. 1836. Retrieved 16 March 2012. 
  2. ^ "Guildhall Information". Derry City Council. Retrieved 16 March 2012. 

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