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20 Years of Connections

Ireland Network Chicago is a business and social network of Irish, or those with a strong affinity to Ireland, living and working in Chicagoland. From humble beginnings, INC has grown into one of the largest Irish-affiliated organizations in Chicagoland.

2003: Establishment

Established in 2003, Ireland Network Chicago  was the brainchild of a few Irish ex-pats who met at the Celtic Crossings with a goal to better connect the Irish in Chicago. The organization has developed into a thriving network and an invaluable resource for its members. Overtime, the focus has evolved to become “a business and social network of Irish, or those with a strong affinity to Ireland, living and working in the Chicago area.” IN Chicago has established itself as a leading organization for business and social networking for the Irish diaspora in the Chicago area.



Garrett Sheridan, John O'Loughlin, Donal O'Brien, Ferdia Doherty and Joe McKittrick at the 2023 Ball


2010: Ireland Network USA

Established in 2010, the national umbrella organization integrates the Irish Networks that exist in various cities across the US. “IN USA helps Irish and Irish-American professionals across the US to connect with their peers and to develop relationships that will foster success in their business, economic and social ventures.”

The mission is “to bolster opportunities and economic development between the US and Ireland; to support and encourage Irish Arts and Culture through film, literature, theater, dance and language; to encourage and promote the mission and expansion of Irish sports, throughout the US; to support the efforts of local Irish organizations and associations; to serve as a conduit between newly arrived Irish immigrants and their communities in Member cities and states.”

IN USA Conferences held annually bring members together nationwide. Visit for information.


Ferdia Doherty, Ambassador Anne Anderson, Rachel McCormac, Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Seamus Byrne at the 2017 IN USA Conference.

2018: Advisory Board

Established in 2018, the Advisory Board is tasked with developing a strategic vision to ensure the sustained success, momentum and growth of IN Chicago for the next decade and beyond. This is accomplished by reviewing IN Chicago’s activities and progress and providing guidance and recommendations to the Executive Committee for implementation.


Helen Garrahy, Ferdia Doherty, Seamus Byrne, Katie Fitzpatrick, Consul General Brian O'Brien, Imelda Gallagher and James Sheehan at the 2019 Ball.

2019: IN Spirit Award

The IN Spirit Award was created in 2019 under then-President Ferdia Doherty to demonstrate our profound gratitude for an individual’s incredible service to the Irish community. The award is presented at our Annual Ball each February.

2019 – Bill Gainer, Galway/Chicago Sister City and Cork/Cook County Partnership

2020 – Dan O’Donnell, Armitage Hardware

2022 – Cliff Carlson, Irish American News

2023 - Senator Billy Lawless, restauranteur and immigration advocate



Annual Ball

Ireland Network Chicago's flagship event is the unofficial kick-off to St. Patrick's Day in Chicago! This memorable black-tie gala begins with a champagne reception, includes live music and dancing and a raffle benefiting our chosen charities, and ends with afters that last well into the morning. This one-of-a-kind celebration brings together the Irish community and represents the best our organization has to offer. 

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