Set Up A New Club
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What Is A Club

A club is a group of like-minded people that come together to enjoy walking and climbing in Ireland’s uplands, crags and coastlines. The members all share in the club’s rewards and responsibilities.

Why Set Up A Club

There are a number of steps to consider when setting up a club:

  • Is there a need for the club or are there other clubs in the area that you could join?
    Click Find My Local Club
  • Is there (likely to be) sufficient interest to sustain a club?
  • Are there walking opportunities in the vicinity or within one (maximum two) hour’s driving distance
  • Do you have the experience to lead walks or is there somebody else involved with that experience?

What To Do Next:

  • Setup a meeting to discuss the formation of a group, agree some ground rules.
  • Avoid being too dependent on one person (e.g. what happens if that person moves to another area?) get as many people as possible involved in planning and leading walks, and other aspects of organising the club.
  • Setting up a committee is key to ensuring that responsibility is shared, it is also helpful in decision-making.

Next Step Join Mountaineering Ireland

By joining Mountaineering Ireland as a club - all members receive insurance, a quarterly magazine, discounts in outdoor shops and access to training support. Club's also avail of the following:

  • Access to our club toolkit and staff support to help with running your club.
  • Club Database – keep all your membership details in one place
  • Training supports: Club Leadership Programme/Club Training Grants and Club Training Scheme.
  • Skills/Committee /Environmental workshops - Climbing, Scrambling & Navigation & Hill Walking Skills.
  • Insurance specific to club activities.

Click here for full membership benefits.

What We Need:

  • A minimum of ten members is required to become an aspirant club and all members of the club should be affiliated.
  • In order to become a full club member, a constitution will need to be written up by the club and submitted within six months and prior to approval by the membership at the next AGM (see template).
  • Complete Club Application Form (include details on the background of your club, the type of activities you participate in, why there is a need for this club within your area.
  • Decision on approval for aspirant membership may take up to two weeks.
  • Please submit application for hillwalking to Ruth Whelan, Hillwalking Development Officer; or for climbing to Michael Duffy, Climbing Officer

Mountaineering Ireland Clubs will have access to our online portal where they can manage and communicate to their members and make payments directly to us. You will also be able to make payments by cheque, postal order or by electronic funds transfer (EFT).

All Mountaineering Ireland clubs will also be provided with our club handbook which provides a user friendly reference for all Mountaineering Ireland clubs to assist in setting up and running an organised club. The club handbook aims to support club growth and development and provide information on best practice and governance.

Other Things To Consider As A Club:

  • Decide early on what activities you want to do (e.g. trail walking, hillwalking, climbing) and make it clear in any publicity what level the group is pitched at.
  • Do you want to have any membership restrictions? (e.g. will the club be open to under18’s? If so do you have the relevant Safeguarding Procedures in place).
  • Have some fun deciding on a name.
  • Choose a central meeting point, this will allow people without transport to join in and it means that you can car-pool (this reduces the pressure for parking spaces in popular walking areas).
  • Make some provision for drivers to be compensated for their petrol expenses (possibly best to have a fixed fee for passengers irrespective of distance, it’s easier to manage and it’ll balance out overtime).
  • Starting off it’s probably best to walk every two weeks (you may not have sufficient numbers if you go out every week and once a month may not be frequent enough to allow fitness build up).
  • Social Media (club Facebook page), local radio, local newspapers, library and supermarket noticeboards could be useful to publicise the group but be careful not to enlarge the group too fast.
  • Make sure everybody knows what they’re getting into- how many hours they will be out for, what clothing to wear and what to bring with them (put together a brief information sheet or gear list).
  • For safety and environmental reasons walking group size should ideally be less than 10 people and should not exceed 15. If your numbers are greater than that consider having two walks (possibly longer and shorter).
  • Consider organising a training course for members of the club - contact our Training Officer for more information.
  • Go away for a walking (or training) weekend, this is a really good way of bonding the group and you can have the fun of exploring a new area.

Associate Organisations

'Associate Organisation' means a club or other body that does not qualify as a member club, where the recognised activities of Mountaineering Ireland is not their primary activity but is an interest and, for the time being, is approved by Mountaineering Ireland.

Associate members (those members of associate organisations) enjoy the same benefits as Member Clubs (and are covered for activities that are noted in our insurance policy) but do not have voting rights. Associate Members may attend General Meetings and, with the permission of the Chair, participate in discussions, but they may neither hold office nor vote. The application process is the same for both Member Clubs and Associate Organisation. 

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