Our History

Several years ago a group of Kansas Citians articulated a vision to create a place that would support, honor, preserve and celebrate the Irish and Celtic heritage of our community, families, and individuals year-round.

After much discussion, Kansas City’s historic Union Station was chosen as the location for the newly established Irish Center. Union Station and the Irish have a strong historical link. From the Irish immigrants who provided much of the workforce that built the railroads, to later immigrants coming through Union Station to start a new life in the Midwest, to the thousands of Irish-American soldiers who shipped out and came home through Union Station, to the Irish-American workers who dug the coal and butchered the livestock transported across the country from Union Station. The Irish Center’s partnership with Union Station continues to honor this history.

The Irish Center’s first home was in Union Station. It opened on St. Patrick’s Day 2007. The Center’s programming and events have grown over the years to the point that a new, permanent home was needed.

On September 1st, 2016 the Kansas City Irish Center purchased the historic Drexel Hall building at the corner of Linwood and Baltimore. This new home is in the heart of Kansas City’s historic Irish neighborhoods and is central to many of the Irish events in KC. Originally built in 1909 as a home for labor unions, with offices, three commercial storefronts and a large, high-ceilinged meeting hall with stage and upper balcony, Drexel has in recent decades hosted hundreds of wedding receptions, family and office parties, private concerts, fundraisers and Irish wakes.

Admission to the Irish Center is only charged for special events and select programs. However, donations are gratefully appreciated and support the many programs, activities and resources available through The Center.

To Celebrate, Support, Preserve and Promote Irish Heritage and Culture.

Staff

Board of Directors

Nancy Wormington
Nancy WormingtonExecutive Director
Nancy joined the Irish Center as Executive Director in September, 2010. She has 25+ years experience in the not-for-profit sector, primarily in fundraising and event management, including planning and implementing Capital Campaign, Annual Fund campaigns, and Special Events. In addition, Nancy has experience in marketing & public relations, volunteer management, and programming.
Renata Rua
Renata RuaIrish Specialist
Renata lived in Ireland for 10 years and studied the language extensively, earning a B.A. in Celtic Studies from University of California, Berkeley, and an M. Phil. in Irish Studies from University College Dublin. She has spent time in the Donegal and Galway Gaeltachts, and organizes Irish Language Immersion Weekends at the Irish Center.

Jay Burrus, President
Ronan Collins, Vice-President
Craig Duke, Treasurer

Mary Agnes Alderman
Nick Carswell
Kelly Dougherty
Rory Kane-Akers
Susan Kane
John Kerrigan
Anne McKeown
Kiera O’Boyle
Danny Regan
Barbara Scanlon