The All-Ireland Cultural Society is an all volunteer, non-political, non-sectarian organization that has promoted social opportunities, Irish entertainment and Irish cultural events in Oregon and SW Washington for over 80 years.
The All-Ireland Cultural Society is registered as a non-profit corporation in the State of Oregon and is approved as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization by the Internal Revenue Service.
- To promote and advance Irish social and cultural activities
- To provide a facility for education, research and exchange of information related to Irish cultural affairs, Irish history, and Irish current affairs; and
- To assist in social welfare activities for the benefit of the membership.
In the fall of 1938, a group of men got together in Portland, Oregon to form a club for those of Irish descent: to meet, socialize, and keep alive the Irish traditions and culture. Previously, there had been an Irish organization called the Ancient Order of Hibernians – a men’s group along with a woman’s auxiliary – active in Oregon from the 1860’s until 1930. However, during the years of the depression, the group ceased to exist. It is significant, however, that the Ancient Order of Hibernians built their own building, dedicated in October 1914, a tribute to the strength of their organization. This building still stands on NE Russell Street, although ownership passed from the Ancient Order of Hibernians around 1930.
In order to fill the need for an Irish organization, the group of men who met in the fall of 1938, founded the All-Ireland Social Club. The first function was a St. Patrick’s Day Dance on Friday, March 17, 1939, held at the Al Azar Temple on SW 3rd and Columbia in Portland. The 17 founders adopted a Constitution and By-Laws on May 17, 1939.
Through the years, the Irish Club has sponsored a wide range of activities for its members: classes in traditional Irish step-dancing, Gaelic language classes, Irish cooking classes, St. Patrick’s Day parades, concerts, dances, picnics, and the sponsorship of Irish musicians, feiseanna, and scholarships.
On March 10, 1979, the membership adopted revised By-Laws and changed the name of the Club to the All-Ireland Cultural Society of Oregon. And on March 20, 1979, the Club became incorporated with the State of Oregon as a non-profit organization. The renamed All-Ireland Cultural Society of Oregon applied and received the designation of a 501(c)(3) designation for non-profit status by the Federal Government.
The All-Ireland Cultural Society (known as the AICS) is focused on hosting a family-friendly St. Patrick’s Day Celebration on March 17 offering the best of authentic Irish entertainment for the community. A genealogy group meets frequently where they help each other trace their roots. Irish-themed programs of history, genealogy, music, art, presentations, and more with time to socialize after a short meeting are held in September, October, November, January, and February. The Annual meeting and election of a Board of Directors are held in April. The Officer’s Appreciation party is held in May, the annual picnic in August, the Christmas party in December, pub socials about five times during the year, the Tír Eoghain Ceilí Dancers meet weekly and we participate in festivals and philanthropy. The Seanachaí newsletters list upcoming community, social and club events, news, reviews and more.
The AICS has evolved over the years and continues to grow.