1971. The Kerry Diocesan Youth Service was founded with the appointment of Father Roger Kelliher as Diocesan Youth Director
1972.The First meeting of all youth clubs in the Diocese was held. From this meeting an executive committee for clubs was appointed and shortly after the KDYS affiliated to the national Youth Federation of Youth clubs
1972-1980. Development of youth work in Kerry starts to progress with dedicated staff joining the KDYS to train youth club leaders and develop youth supports across the diocese
1981-Present day. In 1981 the organisation was restructured to encompass growth and development of youth work around the diocese. A new policy group was established within the organisation to allow for the Youth club Executive to focus exclusively on youth Clubs. This restructuring laid the pathway for the KDYS to develop youth centres across the county of Kerry and deliver a range of programmes that focus on the development of young peoples’ mental and physical well being. In the 1980s the organisation was established as a charity limited by guarantee.
Present day.The organisation is currently led by a voluntary board of directors chaired by Ger Godley and the organisations CEO Tim O Donoghue.The KDYS employs over 100 full and part time staff dedicated to supporting over 4,000 young people and 500 volunteers annually. The organisation runs 5 youth centres supporting 7 youth cafes and 46 youth clubs in the diocese. The KDYS is consistently recognised as one of the leading youth work organisations in the country being involved in numerous pioneering pieces of work and pilot projects that have had a hugely positive impact on the development of youth work in Kerry and in Ireland. In 2015 the organisation launched its 2015-2018 strategic plan that will see the KDYS continue to grow and support more young people in the diocese of Kerry than ever before.