It was a hybrid meeting, with members attending in-person at Irish Sport HQ and online via Zoom. It was chaired by the Chair of the Board of Directors, David Pollard. Thirty-eight clubs were represented at the AGM. There were sixty-eight voting members present, which included eleven individual members.
The Chairperson, David Pollard, welcomed everyone to the AGM. The standing orders were adopted by the meeting as were the minutes of the previous AGM, which was held as a hybrid meeting on May 10th, 2022.
David Pollard delivered a comprehensive Chairperson’s address in which he highlighted Mountaineering Ireland’s increased membership in 2022, the adoption of a new strategic plan, and achievements across all aspects of Mountaineering Ireland’s activities during the year. David concluded by thanking the staff team, his Board colleagues and the volunteers across all our committees and clubs for their commitment and dedication throughout the year.
The AGM granted full membership to the following four aspirant clubs: Wicklow Wanderers Club; Hillwalking Radio Club; Sliabh Hiking and Viatrek Little Island.
Siobhán Quinn gave the Company Secretary’s Report including that Mountaineering Ireland submitted a statement of compliance with the Governance Code for Sport to Sport Ireland on 23rd May 2022 and is now listed on their Register of Organisations in Compliance with the Governance Code of Sport.
The financial statements for 2022 were presented by Board member Dave Ayton, Chair of the Finance, Audit and Risk (FAR) Committee, showing a net surplus of €42,430 for 2022 and were accepted by the meeting.
A tender process was carried out to select new Auditors for 2023. The outcome of that process was a recommendation that OSK Chartered Accounts be appointed. The meeting approved the appointment of OSK which will come into effect on June 21st, after the Company Law requirement of 28 days’ notice to Whiteside Cullinan has been served. The Mountaineering Ireland Board and staff thanked Alan McClean and his team in Whiteside Cullinan for their professionalism and support over the past 13 years and wished them all the best for the future.
Motion 1 proposed by the Cork Climbing Club was presented by club Secretary Janette McDonald. The wording of the motion was amended and the wording below was approved by the meeting.
We propose that Mountaineering Ireland, in consultation with NPWS, NIEA and the National Monuments Service and other appropriate authorities, investigates how best to make information available on climbing and hill walking areas that are protected for both biodiversity and built heritage, including information on how they may be protected by people in their use of these areas for mountaineering purposes.
Motion 2 (below) was proposed by Maitiú Ó Coimín, Patrick Farrington and Derek Moore (individual members) and presented to the meeting by Maitiú Ó Coimín.
Mountaineering Ireland recognises that the names of our mountains, hills, valleys, rivers, streams, and other features hillwalkers, mountaineers, and climbers encounter in Ireland are Irish in origin and that most of these original names were rendered into their current meaningless approximations during the British mapping project of the country in the nineteenth century. Mountaineering Ireland applauds other nations such as Scotland who use and promote Gaelic names in upland regions and countries such as the USA and Australia who have restored native names to landmark features such as Denali and Uluru. Mountaineering Ireland believes that proactive measures should be taken to reclaim the prominence of our Irish-language placenames and mandates to use the Irish language versions of upland features in the Gaeltacht regions of the country to help normalise their use. This mandate applies to press releases, letters, submissions, social media posts, and other publications by Mountaineering Ireland.
An amendment to Motion 2 (below) was proposed by the Peaks Mountaineering Club and presented by William Smyth, this was supported by Brian Kennan on behalf of the Mountaineering Ireland Board.
Mountaineering Ireland recognises that the names of most of our mountains, hills, valleys, rivers, streams, and other features hillwalkers, mountaineers, and climbers encounter in Ireland are Irish in origin. Mountaineering Ireland supports the use of Irish language place-names in the Gaeltacht regions of the country and where possible will include Irish language names in press releases, letters, submissions, social media posts, and other publications by Mountaineering Ireland.
Motion 2 was discussed in great detail, with contributions from a large number of delegates. After considerable time devoted to this Motion, it was agreed that the topic requires further consideration and that this would be best done with input from the proposers, the Hillwalking Committee and staff, before bringing the matter back to a Members’ Forum.
As there was just one nomination, Rita Connell, a current Board Member nominated by the Blayney Ramblers, was deemed to be elected to the position of President of Mountaineering Ireland.
Noel Caffrey, Brian Kennan, Alan Lauder and Joan Mulloy were all deemed to be elected to the Board of Directors of Mountaineering Ireland as ordinary members.
Congratulations to Rita on her election to President of Mountaineering Ireland and also to Alan, Brian, Joan and Noel on their election as ordinary members to the Board of Directors.