Pattaya is home to a large expatriate Irish community. Our city also hosts the largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in South East Asia, and there are numerous Irish bars, many authentic, and others not so.
The Irish Embassy in Bangkok has only been opened a few years, and H.E. Brendan Rogers, Ambassador at the Embassy, has visited Pattaya on many occasions, most recently to lead the parade on March the 17th.
The Irish Thai Chamber of Commerce in Bangkok has a growing membership of local Thai and Irish business people who have an interest in the development of business ties between Ireland and Thailand.
Now there is a new organisation, located here in our city and whose founding members recently held their first inaugural and official meeting at the Tara Court Hotel. The Irish Society of Pattaya was formed by a group of expats, not all from the Emerald Isle, but who have an interest in either the local expat community or connections to Ireland.
The aims of the Irish Society of Pattaya are numerous.
It wants to promote Irish culture and sport, not only with the parade on March the 17th, but also to introduce sporting events, organised in conjunction with the Gaelic Athletic Association. It also hopes to raise funds to cover the cost of bringing Irish cultural groups to Pattaya.
Another objective is to raise awareness and much needed funds for local charities, not only those with an Irish connection, but those who are in need of support.
The Society’s website, not yet up and running, will offer advice to tourists to Pattaya, as well as to those who are thinking of making Pattaya a more permanent home. It will also be able to offer basic advice on the official aspects of living in Thailand. However, it will not become an official ‘consulate by the sea’, but a place that can point you in the right direction.
The Irish Society of Pattaya will one day be seeking to be recognised officially by the Embassy in Bangkok, and also, if possible, by the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin.
From little acorns do big oak trees grow, and the Irish Society of Pattaya will hopefully grow with the support of the expat communities here in Pattaya.