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Royal Horticultural Society of Ireland contemplates dropping ‘Royal’ from its name

Photo by Leigh Patrick via Pexels

The Society is gauging its members' opinions regarding the potential removal of the title which has been held since 1848



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23 November 2023

The Royal Horticultural Society of Ireland is asking its members whether it should remove the “Royal” from its name. Founded in 1816 as the Horticultural Society of Ireland, it added “Royal” before 1848. The society’s 1,500 members are invited to share concise submissions on the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats related to the current and proposed names.

A proposal for a name change was approved during its annual meeting in May, setting the stage for an upcoming general meeting. According to the Irish Times, former secretary and editor of its journal, Mary Hackett, submitted the motion suggesting the name “Horticultural Society of Ireland or another title acceptable to members.” 

The motion submitted by Mary Hackett proposed conducting a survey and convening a meeting to propose a name change based on the membership’s preferences. The survey results will be reflected in a document circulated to members, followed by an EGM to vote on the potential name change.

The Royal Horticultural Society of Ireland does not have a royal charter, unlike the separate UK-based Royal Horticultural Society. In the Republic of Ireland, other organisations retaining “Royal” in their names include the Royal Dublin Society (RDS), the Royal Irish Academy (RIA), and the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland.

Members are requested to submit their opinions by 1 December.

Philip Hollwey, chair, Royal Horticultural Society of Ireland, said: “We will have a vote on the name change, including on what the name change might be. The board as a board has no opinion and is soliciting the views of the members.”

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