About the ISAA

The Irish South African Association (ISAA) exists to facilitate social contact between Irish people, those of Irish descent and anyone who has an interest in the Irish and Ireland.

Everyone is welcome to join the Association (you don’t have to be Irish) and to attend our many functions.  Our main event of the year is held on St Patrick’s day, but we hold many other events including a golf day, quiz evenings, Irish food and wine pairings, films with an Irish interest, and many more.

There are currently three chapters of the association in South Africa: Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. Download the ISAA Constitution HERE.

The Irish South African Association gratefully acknowledges the on-going support of the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin and the Embassy of Ireland in Pretoria.

Our Cape Town Chapter

Clare Bridget Nel - Chairperson

Jon Tully - Vice Chairperson

Maureen Sharpe - Committee Member

Born in London, Maureen’s parents were from Dingle, Co. Kerry. Maureen has been involved with various Irish organisations in Cape Town for over 25 years and was a founding member of the Irish South African Association in 2001.

Kevin McEvoy - Treasurer

Born in Cape Town. Kevin’s father’s family is from County Tipperary and his mother’s family from County Kilkenny. Kevin is a retired accountant and is involved in his family’s business.

Will Carter - Kindred Societies

Will’s Irish heritage can be traced back to ancestors from the Vales of Antrim, but his forbears were Scots. Born in Cape Town, he is a workaholic entrepreneur and in his little free time, sustains a strong interest in creative writing, good literature, Celtic music and song. Will is an active officer in the world’s oldest Christian Order of Chivalry and his passion is spending meditation time in rainforests around the globe.

Fr. Dick O’Riordan - Spiritual

Born at Monard, Whitechurch, County Cork. Fr. Dick has lived and worked as a Priest in Cape Town since 1967, with occasional sprints across the borders of South Africa.

Dr. Sandren Naidoo - Committee Member

Dr Sandren Gopal Naidoo is an historian, archivist, genealogist and educationist. He is currently working as a school inspector in the Western Cape Province. Dr Naidoo is a former under and post-graduate student of Professor Donal McCracken, from whom he cultivated an interest in Southern African/Irish history. At various platforms he has delivered several talks on the Irish in South Africa. Dr Naidoo has published several articles and is currently writing a book on the Irish Anti-Apartheid Movement.

Russell Ludwig - Diaspora

David Ludwig - Diaspora

Micaela DeFreitas - Secretary

Our Gauteng Chapter

Helen Greene - Chairperson

Helen lives in Johannesburg with her husband John, a fellow Dub, and their two children, Trixie and Oscar. She works in Risk Strategy at a South African bank. In her spare time, Helen practices MMA, enjoys wine tasting and is passionate about sustainability. Helen is the ISAA-Gauteng resident MC for our annual St. Patrick’s Day event.

Michael Harrington - Committee Member

Born and raised in Johannesburg to Hannah and John Harrington, who have been involved in the Irish community since immigrating to South Africa in 1972 from Ireland. Michael has been involved with the organising of the ISAA Golf Day since 2019. Michael has been in the IT industry for over 15 years.

Breda Kenealy - Secretary

Breda is from Dublin. She spent 7 years in Zambia before coming to South Africa in 1976. She has been involved with various Irish Associations for the past 40 years. Breda is one of the founder members of the Irish South African Association.

Pat Gaffney - Committee Member

Originally from Killeshin which is over the river Barrow outside Carlow town. Pat has seen many changes in SA since his arrival in 1966 to take up a position in wheat milling with a division of Tiger Oats. He arrived to work at their KSM division in Queenstown and later in East London and Randfontein. Pat left milling and formed his own company - The Gaffney Group and for about 30 years specialised in publishing and advertising, he is now retired and lives in Illovo Sandton.

Hannah Harrington

Originally from Mitchelstown, Co Cork, Ireland. Hannah has been involved with the Irish community since arriving in Johannesburg in 1972. Currently her main focus within the ISAA committee is on the St Patrick’s Day functions. Hannah is the proud owner and operator of Mountain View Guest House in Northcliff, Johannesburg.

Lorraine Keenan - Committee Advisor

Born in Dublin, living in Joburg for the past 47years. Lorraine has worked with the Irish community in various roles, over the past 20 years. She takes great joy in sharing Irish culture and customs with the diaspora. Lorraine is a serial entrepreneur in the marketing world. She also runs a social enterprise operating in the tourism space promoting cultural exchange to the young at heart. She is driven by her passion and commitment for the development and up-liftment of impoverished communities in South Africa.

Louisa Mostert - Committee Member

Louisa is a South African. Her ancestors were Dutch, Flemish, German and Irish. The latter were Edward Maher and Bridget Kelly - from Nenagh, County Tipperary - who came to South Africa some time after1820. Their eldest son, Henry/Hendrik, was her great grandfather. Her interest is in making an effort to get the Irish Diaspora in South Africa documented, as well as increasing the knowledge and use of the Irish language where ever possible.

Keza Caroline Ryan - Committee Member

Originally Ugandan and is Irish through marriage. Keza moved to South Africa in 1990 and met her husband and have 3 children together. She is a Town Planner by qualification and now is a property specialist in SALES in and around South Africa. She joined ISAA 2 years ago and has been involved in helping organize several events. Keza has a passion for taking photos and loves meeting interesting Irish people to keep in touch with her Irish family.

Bridget Kelly - Committee Member

Bridget Kelly is 50% Irish, 50% English and 100% South African, having been born in South Africa to an Irish father from County Galway, and an English mother from Cornwall. She is a quantity surveyor by trade, but works as a consultant providing contractual advice to the construction industry and appearing as an expert witness in Dispute Resolution matters. Bridget lives in Johannesburg with her Irish partner, Sean Murphy, who hails from Killarney, County Kerry. They like to spend their weekends exploring all Joburg has to offer, from coffee shops and restaurants, the sunny outdoors and any new “touristy” thing that there is to do.

Our Durban Chapter

Raymond (Ray) McNulty - Chairperson Durban

Born in Killala, Co Mayo. Came to South Africa in 1969 and has been here on and off since. Lives in Westville with his wife Helen. Four children. Almost-retired metalworker. Been a member of the Irish Association for many years, became more active in the past three years. Has been known to tell an almost-true story, and is still trying to figure out what he wants to be when he grows up.

Patricia McCracken - Vice Chairperson

Ronnie Clarke - Treasurer

Born in Belfast, lived in County Down until moving to South Africa in 1975 for the start of TV (TV engineer); widower of 2nd generation Irish Kathleen; joined Irish Friendship Society (precursor of the ISAA); elected Treasurer when ISAA was formed.

Julian Buckels - Secretary

Margret Buckels - Committee Member

Brian Dowley - Committee Member

Pat McGrath - Committee Member

Pat Ferrandi - Committee Member

Andrew Mulder - Committee Member

Liz Brophy - Committee Member