AFTER 40 years representing Irish clubs and societies in Britain, the Federation of Irish Societies has voted to change its name.
From the autumn the organisation will be re-launched as Irish in Britain – a move it feels will make it more accessible and inclusive for local Irish communities.
FIS, which last month marked the 40th anniversary of its first congress at the London Irish Centre, voted through the name change after an Extraordinary General Meeting held in Birmingham.
“Some of our members had to change their names to make sure they are more accessible, approachable and inclusive for their local Irish communities – and we felt we had to do the same,” said Jennie Ms McShannon, CEO of the soon-to-be Irish in Britain.
“The agreement of our members to the name change is a positive step to securing a vibrant future for the community in Britain.
“The organisation will be the national champion for valuing and celebrating what it means to be Irish in Britain today.”
Ms McShannon said the new name reflects the fact that “being Irish in Britain means so many different things to so many different people”, adding that the name would be more accessible to the new generation of Irish emigrants who identify themselves as Irish in Britain.
The Federation’s decision to change its name came following a brand review, as well as consultation with its member organisations and individuals from the Irish community.
The Federation of Irish Societies is the sole national representative body to the Irish community in Britain.
The umbrella organisation has launched a number of high-profile campaigns, including a lobbying campaign which resulted in an Irish ethnicity category being included in the 2001 Census.
It also undertakes research, lobbying at a policy and parliamentary level and campaigning on behalf of the Irish community in Britain. The Federation’s role will remain the same despite the name change.