The constitutional document governing the ILS is the ‘ILS Rules’, for which see below:

1.     TITLE

The title of the Society is “The Irish Literary Society, London”.

2.     OBJECTS

The object of the Society is to promote the study of the Languages, Literatures, History, Drama, Music, Art and Economics of the cultural communities of Ireland; and to provide a forum for intellectual and social activities in connection with these interests.


The membership of the Society is open to all who are interested in the objects of the Society.


The Society shall not admit any lecture nor adopt any resolution dealing with matters of a divisively sectarian or racist nature, and extreme opinions expressed on such matters will be ruled out of order at meetings of the Society.


The Officers of the Society are the President, one or two Vice-Presidents, the Chairman, Deputy Chairman, one or two Honorary Secretaries, the Honorary Treasurer and the Honorary Membership Secretary.


The Committee shall consist of the Officers and 6 other members, all of whom to be elected annually, except in the cases of the President and Vice Presidents who shall be invited to serve by the Committee.

  • 3 further members may be co-opted by the Committee during the course of a year.
  • 5 members of the Committee shall form a quorum.
  • There will be at least 4 Committee meetings throughout each season. Any member who has been absent from 3 consecutive ordinary Committee meetings to which he, or she, has been duly summoned, may be considered, at the discretion of the Committee, to have vacated his, or her, post.
  • The Chairman shall preside at all committee meetings and have the casting vote. The Chairman shall appoint an acting chairman of a committee meeting held in the Chairman’s absence.
  • The Hon.Sec. shall be responsible for organising & minuting meetings of the Society, for drawing up and implementing the annual programme of events and for receiving suggestions in writing for improvements in the Society .
  • The Hon. Treasurer shall be responsible for the management of the finances of the Society.
  • The Membership Secretary shall be responsible for issuing a list of current members set out in alphabetical order (surname/initial) during each January.


  • Applicants for membership shall be required to fill up a membership application form and to forward the completed application form and the annual subscription to the Hon. Treasurer.
  • The annual subscription shall be discussed and set at the AGM. The subscription for life membership shall be set at ten times the amount of the current subscription.
  • Annual subs. shall be due at the beginning of the season in September. A final notice will be sent out at the beginning of November requesting payment from those who were members during the previous season but whose membership will lapse if there is a failure to respond within two weeks to the final notice.
  • Each member shall receive a membership card, on paying the sub., which should be presented on entry to all events organised by the Society. New members shall receive a copy of the Rules.
  • Each member shall be entitled to invite up to a total of six guests to lectures or events during any one season.
  • Names of members and guests will be recorded on entry to the premises where the Society’s Meeting is being held.
  • New members who join after the February meeting shall be charged a half-price subscription for the remainder of the season.
  • Members shall not be entitled to have any part of their annual subscription returned, for any reason, after they have paid it.
  • The Committee shall have the power to expel any member from the Society for behaviour detrimental to the Society, by a three-fourth majority of those present. No member shall be expelled by the Committee, except at a special meeting convened for the purpose, notice being given to the members of the Committee and to the person whom it is proposed to expel at least a week previous to the Meeting.


  • The Committee shall have the power to elect as Honorary Members persons distinguished in the Arts, Music, Literature, or Public Life of Ireland; or who have won distinction in the field of Irish Studies; or who have rendered signal service to the Society. Honorary members shall  not exceed 7 at any one time.
  • An event shall be organised for the formal presentation of Honorary Membership to any persons elected.


  • The Annual General Meeting shall be held each year in June on a day agreed by the Committee, and a notice (including the AGM agenda) will be sent, about 28 days beforehand, to each member.
  • The main business of the AGM shall be to receive reports on developments within the Society over the past year from the Chairman, the Hon. Secretary, the Treasurer and the Hon. Membership Secretary; to conduct the election of Officers and Committee and appointment of the Auditor for the following year.
  • All candidates for the committee shall be proposed and seconded in writing, at least 14 days before the AGM. Proposals shall be sent to the Hon. Secretary.  In the event of there not being more candidates than vacancies, those nominated shall be declared duly elected.
  • In the event of there being more candidates than vacancies, there shall be a secret ballot conducted at the AGM and counted by two tellers.
  • The quorum for the AGM shall be 15 members.
  • Proposed changes to the Society’s Rules by members shall be proposed and seconded in writing to reach the Hon.Secretary by the deadline of 14 days before the AGM. A two-third majority of those present shall be required for any change in the Society’s Rules.
  • The AGM shall elect an Auditor for the Society’s following season.


  • (a)The Committee can summon an Extraordinary General Meeting but must send out the agenda to all members, at least 14 days prior to the date of the meeting.
  • A representation of 12 members calling for an EGM with the reasons set out in writing will require the Committee to summon such a meeting and to inform the members as in (a).
  • The General Rules of the Society can be amended or extended only at an EGM or AGM.
  • The quorum for an EGM will be 15.
  • A two-third majority of those present will be required for any change in the Society’s Rules.


The financial year of the Society will run from the 1st January through to the 31st December of each year.