News 2020

 

Title:  Summary of Key Topics discussed at Mountaineering Ireland Club & Individual Members Support Meeting – 2nd July 2020
Date:  03/07/2020

We would like to say a special thank you to all our members who attended and engaged in our club & individual members support meeting on 2nd July 2020. There was over 90 participants with over 50 clubs represented.

Below is a summary of key topics discussed:

Category 1 – Covid-19 Topics

  • Car Pooling – Car-pooling is deemed to be not compatible with social distancing, avoid car-pooling with people who are not part of your household. There is currently no special exemption for those engaging in outdoor recreation activities.
  • Car Parking – it is advised to arrive early, at less busy times (e.g. mid-week) and to less popular destination in order to avail of the limited spaces in car parks. It was noted that most car parks are experiencing higher than normal use and that our members must park responsibly at all times. It was also suggested to have a Plan B ready in case you cannot park at your first-choice location.
  • Guest on Walks – Some clubs raised the question about allowing guests as part of the taster sessions. It is important to limit your social circles right now so it was suggested that it may not be appropriate to expand your club at the moment while getting back up and running. It was also noted that Mountaineering Ireland’s position for groups sizes is to be less than 10 and no more than 15 per walk.
  • Covid – 19 and additional inclusions in our Guidelines – it was confirmed that as and when there is new information concerning our activities, sport and our members, that our guidelines will be updated to reflect these changes and it will be communicated to our members.
  • Contact Tracing / Sport Ireland Declaration – It was confirmed that clubs need to have a record of those on walks, either electronic or paper record, that all members coming on the walk must answer the three questions, that clubs should retain this information for 4 weeks. If a member develops COVID-19 symptoms that member must contact either the HSE or NHS. It is the HSE or NHS who will conduct the contact tracing on behalf of the individual and not the club volunteers  This information is available on both Mountaineering Ireland and Sport Ireland’s website.

 

Category 2 – Climbing Topics

  • Advice for Sharing and Cleaning Climbing Gear – there are three options here; 1). Give the equipment out to the club members to hold onto or 2). Allow for 72 before the equipment is used by another member or 3). In line with the manufacture’s guidelines, wash with the correct type of soap/detergent/warm water (as per the suggested temperature) and allow to dry before the next member uses the equipment.
  • What is the best way to maintain social distancing measures when Climbing -  it was suggested to only have small number in your climbing group (e.g. 4 climbers) and to limit your social network or group of climbers, ideally to that same number of 4 people.

 

Category 3 – Access Topics

  • Do clubs still have access to landowners land and are there any restrictions due to Covid-19 – it was suggested that members continue to be respectful to landowners, to park responsibly, to avoid farmyards and houses where possible, and to ensure our group sizes are 10 or less, but no more than 15. It was also noted that our members must be mindful that most rural and upland communities have not had many people in their area since March and may be nervous to see groups of people returning, plus we all need to be conscious of the concerns about community transmission of Covid-19. Access concerns at one location in west Cork came to a head due to a group of 20+ going through during the Covid period.
  • We also recommend that dog owners only take dogs where they are permitted and that people be responsible for their own litter.
  • Re. The National Parks and Wildlife Services Planning Application for Developments including Parking and Walking Trails in Connemara National Park – it was confirmed that Mountaineering Ireland has received feedback from a number of members and local clubs and will submit observations on this application, highlighting points that are welcomed, but also some concerns about the proposals.

 

Category 4 - Training Topics

  • When are Mountaineering Ireland providers commencing their training  activities – there is currently a phased return of their service on certain awards/schemes and if you have specific queries, please contact either the training provider or Mountaineering Ireland for more information.
  • When are the outdoor education centres opening again – the centres are currently starting to reopen, so it is advised to contact them directly or visit their individual website for more information.
  • Is first aid and self-rescue appropriate for our members to offer – this is a personal decision, as to whether or not you are comfortable to administer and/or self rescue. Should outside assistance be required please call Mountain Rescue or Coast Guard. This is a personal choice for each one of us to make and the usual ppe protocol of wearing gloves should apply, additional ppe such as a mask and apron should be added to your first aid kit. 

 

Category 5 – General Members Topics

  • Insurance Cover – there has been no changes to our insurance policy relating to the Covid-19 pandemic over the past number of months.
  • Membership Fee – our membership fees structure remains the same. New Individual members can register at any time and club members renewals commence from the 1st November to 31st October annually. New club members can register for the first time on the 1st September and avail of a special offer of 14 months membership for the price of 12 months.
  • Insurance Rebate – it was confirmed that the amount per member, agreed with our insurance provider was €0.44 per month per member and over the period of three months was €1.33 per member. The Board of Mountaineering Ireland agreed to retain this rebate as a contingency for loss of income due to the global pandemic and to allow for a new revised year end budget. It was also noted that the resources and costs associated in the processing of each refund would be considerable.
  • Membership Cards – it was confirmed that Mountaineering Ireland are actively looking to replace the hard-plastic ID cards for members with one that it more environmentally sustainable and cost effective. The new cards are planned to be available for the new season 2020/2021 and will be made from recycled laminated carboard. It was also noted that electronic membership cards functionality will be incorporated into the new membership database, currently being developed and there as an option if Mountaineering Ireland wish to avail of it in the future.
  • Club Membership Renewals – it was confirmed that Mountaineering Ireland, as part of its update and development of it’s website, membership database and training database, will be allowing for bulk uploads of memberships from large club, all aimed at offering more support to the end users, our club volunteers.

If you would like to discuss and topics in more detail please contact the relevant staff member with the details below: 

 

 

 

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