1922 IRA(SA) Conference

1990 Irish-South Africa Project Conference with Archbishop Denis Hurley (centre) as patron.


Following the remarkable success of the first Global Irish Diaspora Congress (GIDC), held at University College Dublin in August 2017, current president Professor Regina Uí Chollatáin, School of Irish Celtic Studies and Folklore, University College Dublin, announced that the second GID congress will be held in Durban, South Africa, from Wednesday 1 to Friday 3 July 2020. An optional field tour is planned for Saturday 4 July. We also expect that at least one international exhibition will be hosted by the Embassy of Ireland in Pretoria.


The congress will be held on the Howard College (Durban) campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, one of Africa’s top research and most progressive universities with five campuses and a student population of 44,000. The university was formed in 2003 following the amalgamation of the former University of Durban-Westville and the University of Natal.


The GIDC2020 Durban Organising Committee (DOC) is based at the Centre for Communications, Media and Society in the College of Humanities. The Durban Organising Committee is chaired by Professor Donal McCracken and can be contacted here.


Introduction to GIDC2020


This second Global Irish Diaspora congress welcomes anyone interested in the many facets of the Irish diaspora. Papers will offer perspectives on the Irish diaspora from all corners of the globe and will cater for the academic, the professional and the amateur, the expert and the curious. To submit an abstract of your proposed paper, click here


Conference fees (excluding accommodation) are:


  • International full registration: Early Bird (until 30 April 2020): €210
  • International full registration from 1 May 2020: €260
  • International accompanying person: €90 (including receptions and battlefield excursion)
  • SA & Africa full registration: R1400
  • SA & Africa per day: R500 (excluding field trip)
  • SA & Africa field trip only: R800


Additional costs for the Congress dinner and battlesites fieldtrip will be determined depending on sponsorship raised. Register for our updates on the Newsletter Signup form in the website footer.


Check here for your accommodation options. Book early as the weekend of 3 – 5 July 2020 will see the premier SA horse-racing meeting, the Vodacom Durban July, crowding the city to capacity.


Celebrating the Irish diaspora in Africa


This unique occasion is something very special – the largest Irish event to be held on African soil. We expect Irish links with Africa and Africa’s with Ireland will be showcased as never before. We are proud of the long history of Irish links with the continent, which includes Irish settlement in Cape Town even before the First Fleet set sail for Australia.


Those joining us for GIDC2020 will become part of a heritage of Irish-South African studies that stretches back a century or so. In 1922, Irish politician Patrick Little attended the IRA(SA) conference. More recently, in 1990 Archbishop Denis Hurley was patron of the Irish-South Africa Project Conference.


We look forward to greeting you in Durban!