News 2020

 

Title:  Members Update on the Impact of the Covid-19 Crisis by CEO
Date:  13/06/2020

Since the 12th March 2020, having been advised that our head office was to be closed at 5:00pm by the Sport Campus Authority, in the early stages of enforcement of government restriction, everyone involved in Mountaineering Ireland and in outdoor recreation, have witnessed huge change to the way we were used to doing our business and enjoying our activities.

 

As an organisation, we have had to adapt to the best of our abilities, to how we run our programmes, our services and on how we communicate to our members, partners and stakeholders. We have had to reschedule and, in some cases, cancel events that are extremely important to us and what we consider to be the very fabric of our annual programme of events to our members. Alongside of this we have been working closely with government departments, Sport Ireland and Sport NI to have a clear communications strategy delivered at national level, by governments and internally we have being working closely with our members and key stakeholders to deliver our own guidelines on returning safely and responsibly to our activities.

 

In recognition of the fact that the vast majority of our members have not been able to participate in hillwalking or climbing in recent months due to the Covid-19 restrictions, our insurers have agreed to provide a rebate equivalent to approximately one quarter of the annual premium. The rebate works out at about €1.33 per registered member. As the cost and effort involved in providing refunds to all members would be significant, the Board has decided to retain the rebate as a contingency against likely reductions in other income streams this year as a result of disruptions caused by the pandemic. We are also looking at new ways of being more effective with how we communicate and engage with members as we prepare for the possibility of fewer physical meetings taking place in the future. We must also prepare that all our events meet the current 2 metres social distancing rules and hygiene guidelines as set out by governments.

 

If you need advice and or support, then please do not hesitate to contact us directly. We have been in contact with a good number of clubs and individual members and as we see progress on the lifting of restriction on the roadmaps/protocols as set out by governments, we must continue to support and implement these, each step of the way.

 

Both Ruth Whelan (Hillwalking Development Officer: 087-1612990 / ruth@mountaineering.ie) and Damien O’Sullivan (Climbing Officer: 087-2897181 / damien@mountaineering.ie) are available if you have any queries or need support on hillwalking and climbing matters respectively. For Access and Conservation matters, contact Helen Lawless (086-8046687 / helen@mountaineering.ie), for Training matters, contact Jane Carney (087-4122278 / jane@mountaineering.ie), for Membership Support, contact Laura Griffin (089-2016441 / laura@mountaineering.ie) and for Membership Registration and Administration matters, please contact Siobhan Quinn (089-2239557 / info@mountaineering.ie . Our office is fully operational on a remote basis, and we expect that within the next few months, that our Head Office will be reopened at the National Sports Campus.

 

Over the next number of weeks, we will continue to offer the various skills development webinars, live online lectures, continue to lobby and work with Governments and State Agencies on your behalf and also to commence a virtual club and members support event via Zoom on the 2nd July for all members. This will allow for information to be shared between clubs, individuals and staff on all matters concerning the current roadmap and the lifting of restrictions.

 

Our thoughts and best wishes are with our members who have experienced sadness, loss and personal changes to their normal life during this crisis. But please be assured that there is light on the horizon.

 

Therefore, can I ask that you all please continue to help us support the direction of both governments and their respective Roadmaps and Protocols to reopen the island of Ireland and hopefully all going well, we will be able to enjoy the outdoors in a greater capacity from the 29th June.

               

 

Kindest regards,

 

Murrough McDonagh

 

Chief Executive Officer

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