Global June 7, 2012 Last updated September 19th, 2018 1,935 Reads share

With the ‘Gift of the Gab’ The Irish Were Great Social Networkers Long Before Facebook Or Twitter

Image Credit:

Ireland has the unique distinction, for a small island of just 4 million souls, of having up to 80 million people globally, claiming to have Irish heritage. 40 million of these are based in the US. The UK alone has nearly 1 million first generation Irish-born people and 5 million with a direct Irish relative. 

For many centuries the Irish have had to emigrate beyond this small island and adapt to different cultures, in many distant lands.  In the process, we have developed  great Networking skills. Perhaps this is helped by our ‘ Gift of the Gab, but we seem to have a genetic propensity to excel socially.

Wherever we find ourselves in the world, our natural ability to Network helps the Irish to adapt to new environments.

10 of the Top International Irish Networks  

  1. Irish International Business Network  (IIBN) :  This network is committed to supporting the growth and development of Irish entrepreneurs and business professionals across the globe.   This network’s origins were facilitated by the Irish Embassy in London.  The  HQ is in London, with chapters also in New York and Dublin, with further satellite branches  planned for Belfast, later this year and Asia in the near future.
  2. Irish Network-USA  (IN-USA)  :  The network  assists Irish, Irish-American and friends of Ireland, to form local IN chapters in their communities. This  national umbrella organisation of the current 12 US city chapters allows members to connect with their peers and develop relationships that help foster success in their business  and social ventures.   Like the IIBN, this network originated from the Irish Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs.
  3. WorldIrish  :  Irish actor, Gabriel  Byrne describes  WorldIrish as a  ‘virtual global Irish tribe’ . This is an on-line network for Irish people and people who love Ireland, all over the world.  An initiative from John McColgan ( Producer of ‘Riverdance ), this idea emerged  from  Ireland’s Global Economic Forum ( WI is currently in ‘Beta’ ,with  launch of full version ,due later in  2012.)
  4. The Worldwide Ireland Funds  : This large network of friends of Ireland is dedicated to supporting programmes of peace and reconciliation, arts and culture, education and community development, throughout the island of Ireland.  It operates in 12 countries and has raised over $430 million for more than 1,200 organizations.  Donors enjoy access to an extraordinary network of global supporters and events. A partnership with The Worldwide Ireland Funds provides the opportunity to make a tangible and lasting gift that helps Ireland bridge the past and the future.
  5. The Ireland-US Council  : The purpose of this Network is to build business links between America and Ireland. In pursuit of its aim, the Council hosts frequent events in Ireland and in the United States. The Council also operates a variety of scholarship and student internship programs. The Council seeks also to focus on activities that will develop communications, dialogue and improved understanding between leaders in business and government on both sides of the Atlantic.
  6. Global Irish Network  :  This Network concept emerged from the Global Irish Economic Summits and  comprise over 300 of the most influential Irish and Irish-connected individuals around the world. Members of the Network, who come from a diversity of fields and are based in almost 40 countries, provide Ireland with an invaluable resource of international expertise from which we can draw as we work towards economic recovery.  The Network works closely with the Irish Government and State Agencies in promoting Ireland’s economic, cultural and tourism messages in key markets. The Network is also a key partner in our ongoing efforts to restore our international reputation.
  7. Irish Technology Leadership Group  (ITLG) :  This is an independent organization comprised of a number of high-level technology leaders in Silicon Valley who are Irish or Irish-American. The Group includes senior executives from some of the Valley’s leading corporations, each of whom are committed to promoting the technology connection between Ireland and Silicon Valley, and helping Ireland address the challenges of embracing new technology opportunities
  8. RendezVous353 :   The mission of this on-line, global-Irish, business & social network is to organize and mobilize the goodwill and patriotism of the Irish Diaspora and its people at home in Ireland. There is a strong emphasis on assisting jobs seekers, who recently left Ireland, particularly information on positions in Australia and New York and the network also has good representation of Irish in the Arabian Gulf states
  9. Irish Executives :  The Irish Executives network began on LinkedIn in 2008, a time when people and businesses first realised the pressures being exerted on the global economic climate. Connecting business people within Ireland and around the world, Irish Executives continues to respond to this pressure with a commitment to sharing ideas, insights, expertise, solutions and know-how which exists among the Irish Diaspora at home and abroad. The largest Irish LinkedIn Group also made its ‘offline’, with the first , ‘Irish Executive Summit’,  in Galway, Ireland in 2011.  See:  2 ½ Minute Video  – containing interviews with the network’s  founder, John Keogh and Kingsley Aikins, of Diaspora Matters and former President of  Worldwide Ireland Funds
  10. Irish American Business Network (IABN) :  This network is founded on the cultural and historical contributions of Irish descendants throughout North America. Using a light hearted, satirical approach, it seeks to use the collective experiences and insights to further their social, professional, and individual pursuits.

Related: Darragh Doyle of Talks To Bloggertone TV

These great networks are promoting Ireland globally to help the Irish people through their current economic challenges.  This combination of the Irish in Ireland and the Irish Diaspora globally, have the potential to unleash immense powers of creativity and energy, in the arts and business worlds.

Great Initiatives that will help Ireland’s Economy – through active Networking :

The Gathering 2013  :   

A year-long celebration of Ireland, its people and our impact on the world – Be Part of It!   This initiative, facilitated by Irish state agency, Tourism Ireland, aims to attract 300,000 visitors to Ireland to help boost the economy and  have a lot of fun at the same time !


Related: Ireland And The Business Of Holidays – An Interview With Niall Gibbons Of Tourism Ireland

ConnectIreland : 

Earn money for yourself or your favourite charity, by creating jobs in Ireland. The ConnectIreland mission is to attract companies that are expanding internationally, to locate in Ireland and create new jobs in the Irish economy.  They have been appointed by the Irish Government and IDA Ireland as part of the Irish Government’s Action Plan for Jobs.


Related: How To Be Irish On St Patrick’s Day. Even If You’re Not!

Choosing  just ten networks from so many great Irish Networks is challenging.  Some of the notable exceptions are Tangible Ireland, Irish Arts, Performance & Heritage Network,  Irish Abroad,  Irish American Business Chamber Network-Philadelphia,  Irish Business Organisation-NY, London Irish Business Society, IN-GB, Irish Business Network-Germany, Lansdowne Club-Sydney, Irish Club-Moscow,Russia and Le Cheile-Shanghai, China.

Please feel free to introduce your own favourite Irish International Networks below. 

Did you like this article? Sign up for our RSS, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter


Pat Carroll

Pat Carroll

Read Full Bio